An early morning flight takes you to the lush rainforest of the Peten. Continue overland to the Chiminos Island Lodge, an eco-archaeological preserve in the forested Peten region. From your mahogany bungalow you're enveloped by the sounds of the jungle: parrots, toucans, and myriad other bird species share their song, while the uncanny roar of nearby howler monkeys adds a primal feel to the jungle. As the sun begins to set, we'll head out on a guided rainforest hike to see what wildlife we can spot.
The ruins of Aguateca are among the best preserved and restored Maya sites in Guatemala. We spend the morning here learning about the Classical Maya period before returning to the lodge in time for lunch. A three hour transfer by boat and bus brings us to the shores of Lake Peten Itza, where we settle in for the evening.
Tikal's towering pyramids rise above the thick jungle canopy like stoic sentinels of ancient mysteries. The ancient Maya began building this city around 600 B.C., and for the next 1500 years the area was an important religious, scientific, and political center. Pyramids to honor dead kings were built, administrative buildings rose, storage houses appeared and houses for royalty were carved out of the jungle. Tikal became one of the greatest centers of Maya culture and sprawled over 46 square miles with more than 4000 structures in the core city center alone. Today, the pristine forest engulfing the ruined city is home to howler and spider monkeys, white lipped peccary, brocket deer, coati-mundis, toucans, scarlet macaws, parrots, ocelots and the seldom seen jaguar. This morning we explore the ruins with an experienced guide before flying to Guatemala City where we overnight.
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$95 single supplement