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Guatemala & Honduras 2016

                            19 Feb. San Cristóbal (MEXICO) - Panajachel (GUATEMALA)
                            20 Feb. Panajachel (Lago de Atitlán)
                            21 Feb. Panajachel - Chichicastenango - Antigua
                            22 Feb. Antigua
                            23 Feb. Antigua - Guatemala City - Rio Hondo - Copán (HONDURAS)
                            24 Feb. Copán - Rio Hondo (GUATEMALA) - Quirigua - Rio Dulce
                            25 Feb. Rio Dulce - Livingston - Flores
                            26 Feb. Flores - Tikal - Bethel - Frontera Corozal (MEXICO)

Entering Guatemala

First impressions

Guatamala signs are all about politics

"Ensalada cesar", and "mango tango" for lunch

Fighting my chocolate addiction

Lago de Atitlán

Lake Atitlán is the deepest lake in Central America with a maximum
depth of about 340 metres with an average depth of 220 metres.
It is shaped by deep surrounding escarpments and three volcanoes
on its southern flank. The lake basin is volcanic in origin.
The culture of the towns and villages surrounding Lake Atitlán
is influenced by the Maya people.

Lake Atitlán is Guatemala's most important national and international
tourist attraction. German explorer and naturalist Alexander von
Humboldt called it "the most beautiful lake in the world,"

Girls in a tuk tuk on the way to their work?

Day trip to 3 places around the lake

Local guide Lola.

"She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
El-oh-el-aye Lola la-la-la-la Lola"
(The Kinks)

San Pedro La Laguna on the southwest shore of Lake Atitlán.
For centuries, San Pedro La Laguna has been inhabited by the Tz'utujil people.

Santiago Atitlán

The majority of the residents are indigenous Mayans.
It was the capital of the Tz'utujil people in pre-Columbian times

Politics and education

Bonita chicas selling clothes at a market

Having fun in Guatemala

The market of Panajachel

Tuk tuks

Visiting the famous Chichicastenango market

Next to the market is the 400-year-old church of Santo Tomás.
It is built atop a Pre-Columbian temple platform.
K'iche' Maya priests still use the church
for their rituals, burning incense and candles.
In special cases, they burn a chicken for the gods.
Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church
stands for one month of the Maya calendar year.

A testimony to the victims of the internal armed conflict
in Guatemala between 1979 - 1996
uses some of the symbolism of the Popol Vuh from the middel
of the 16th century.

Chichicastenango is well known for its famous market days on Thursdays and Sundays

Chichicastenango gate

More murals in Chichicastenango



A city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for
its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well
as a number of ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital
of the Kingdom of Guatemala.

Catedral de Antigua (Catedral de San José)

Catedral de San José was built in 1680. While most of the building was leveled
during the earthquake of 1773, the ornate Baroque facade emerged relatively unscathed.
While a partial reconstruction beginning in the 19th Century has allowed the building
to once again be home to a functioning church, other portions of the complex remain in ruins.

Maya family

Catedral de San José ruins

The lively Parque Central (Plaza Mayor) of Antigua

Street performer

Traditional versus modern

Palacio del Ayuntamiento
(Town hall of Antigua)

Romantic district

Procession in Antigua

breakfast Hotel El Carmen
(thank you Paul and Thea!)

I like the Chicken bus

Antigua bus station

A Chicken bus is a colorful, modified and decorated bus that transports
goods and people between communities in various Latin American countries,
especially Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.

The base vehicle is usually a retired North American school bus on
a light or medium truck chassis.
A fun and crazy ride!

A piñata is a container often made of papier-mâché, pottery, or cloth;
it is decorated, and filled with small toys or candy, or both, and
then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration.

Breast feeding fountain
(Unfortunately water instead of chocolate milk)


That's peanuts ;-)

The Arch of Santa Catalina, symbol of Antigua

Yogurt drink

Ice cream selling mother

Bracelets and necklaces

More ice, very popular in Guatemala

Entering Honduras for only 1 night


An archaeological site of the Maya civilization, not far from the
border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period
kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD.

Stela P in front of Temple 16. The original is in the Sculpture Museum.

The Cemetery Group is immediately south of the Main Group
and includes a number of small structures and plazas.

East Court Of The Acropolis Copan

East Court


Stela N is located south of the Great Plaza, in front of the Temple 11.
It dates to 761 CE and was erected by K'ak' Yipyaj Chan K'awiil (Smoke Shell), the 15th ruler
of Copán, who ascended to the throne in 749. He also built the Hieroglyphic Stairway as well
as Stela M at the base of the Stairway.


Hieroglyphic Stairway


Modern Copán

Hotel & Spa Copan Colonial, Copán

Back in Guatemala


An ancient Maya archaeological site in the south-eastern Guatemala.
It is a medium-sized site along the lower Motagua River. During the Maya Classic
Period (AD 200-900), Quiriguá was situated at the juncture of several important
trade routes.

Quiriguá's rapid expansion in the 8th century was tied to king K'ak' Tiliw Chan
Yopaat's military victory over Copán in 738. When the greatest king of Copán,
Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil or "18-Rabbit", was defeated, he was captured and
then sacrificed in the Great Plaza at Quiriguá. Before this, Quiriguá had been
a vassal state of Copán, but it maintained its independence afterwards.

The ceremonial architecture at Quiriguá is quite modest, but the site's importance
lies in its wealth of sculpture

Quirigua Zoomorph O

Temple Plaza

Bananas crossing the road...

Catamaran Island Hotel


Eastern Guatemala, at the mouth of the Río Dulce at the Gulf of Honduras.
A port on the Caribbean Sea noted for its unusual mix of Garífuna, Afro- Caribbean,
Maya and Ladino people and culture.

Livingston is named after American jurist and politician Edward Livingston who wrote
the Livingston Codes which -translated into Spanish by liberal leader José Francisco
Barrundia- were used as the basis for the laws of the liberal government of the
United Provinces of Central America in the early 19th century.

Another milestone

Livingston cemetery

Complex Q of Tikal

Tikal is the ruins of an ancient city found in a rainforest in Guatemala.
It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala.

Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful
It reached its apogee during the Classic Period, c. 200 to 900 AD.

Temple IV

North Acropolis

Great Plaza and Temple I

Temple II


The Usumacinta River forms the border between Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas

Back to Mexico

next: Mexico part 2