Steven Dudash(Mundo Maya, Mar 2011)
Nice variety of locales, and guides made everything interesting. We had visited Peru a couple of years ago, so it was interesting contrasting the Incan culture there with the Mayan culture in Guatemala. Both guides - Hugo (most of the trip) and Ishmael (Tikal) were knowledgeable, informative, and took obvious pride in their country - they were only too happy to share this with us. They were also very security conscious. We couldn't have asked for anything more in this area. This was very much a positive as far as we were concerned, and definitely added to the satisfaction we had with the trip.
Spent a pleasant free day in Flores - took a boat (obtained through the hotel) to the the Petencito Zoo, visited an overlook and a small museum on the way back. Based on a suggestion from our guide (concerns with security), we did not tour through St. Elena during this time.
Because of Lent, we were able to observe a Sunday procession, and the making of numerous sawdust "carpets." I had seen no refererence to either of these in our research, so they were quite a pleasant surprise. A trip during Holy Week would undoubtedly be quite interesting. Conversion rate at the currency exchange at the Guatemala City airport was significantly worse than at the banks in Antigua. However, reading message boards, there might be limits on the daily or weekly amounts that are allowed to be converted at the banks. It would be nice to obtain guidance on this ahead of time. It was interesting that Hugo (the guide for the majority of the trip) indicated that he planned for more walking with Adventure Life visitors (although he was very flexible if this had not been desired). For example, normally on Sunday, he leads visitors to a number of churches in Antigua. For example, we went up to Cerro de la Cruz during our walk. This was a place that I was really hoping to visit, but for which I did not think we would find time. Additionally, it was obvious that our guide was considerate for adequate security during this excursion, as he indicated he had discussed our walk with the head of security for the area, and I noticed several patrols that appeared at various times during the walk as the guide stopped to tell us of some of the history of the area.
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