Mayan Hammocks

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A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Flores, Peten, Guatemala by TravelPod blogger Leeinkster titled “Tikal” Leeinkster’s travel blog entry: “A short flight north to the Guatemalan jungle to find: Mayan archeological treasures at Tikal, a thatched-roof hut of my own on the shores of Lago de Peten Itza, a hammock overlooking the lake, a French restaurant 100 m. from my hut, horseback rides on jungle trails, kayaking on the lake. Well….all but the last two became reality. This was due to heat-stroke following my day at Tikal. The rest of my stay in El Remate, Peten, was spent prostrate, dizzy, nauseated, trying to get my faulty internal temperature regulation to cool down with cold compresses and rest until the wicked heat-stroke passed. Memories of Nepal, and a firm resolution never to stay in absurdly hot places without air con available. The mind is strong, but the body is weak!!!” Read and see more at: www.travelpod.com Photos from this trip: 1. “My El Remate hut on Lago de Peten Itza” 2. “On the shores of Lago de Peten Itza” 3. “The Mayans were here” 4. “The Mayans were here too” 5. “Lee finds another Shaman (are they stalking me?)” 6. “Lee and the Ceiba tree” See this TripWow and more at tripwow.tripadvisor.com

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internationalliving.com Not so long ago, Tulúm, Mexico, was a backpackers’ haven. A small town beside one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in Mexico, it was just far enough south of Playa del Carmen—about 40 miles—to be off the beaten path. There were a few hotels and beachside palapas for those who wanted to play beach bum. No more. Today a four-lane highway connects Tulúm with Playa and Cancún, a new international airport is planned less than 20 miles away, and a new, sleek, tourist-oriented downtown called Aldea Zama is under way. New developments are going in, and real estate prices are rising. Tulúm still retains its laid-back, slightly zen, eco-chic vibe… You still find yoga classes and massage centers, as well as inexpensive local restaurants in town. But you also find palapa-style accommodation with all the amenities (instead of the hammocks they used to offer), Bikini Boot Camp (at the Hotel Amandala), and trendy eats along the beach. This is a great place to kick back. There’s sun and warm, turquoise Caribbean waters offering swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and more. It also has some of the few Maya ruins that are near the ocean (see the video above). If you visit the ruins, consider taking a bathing suit–the admission fee also gives you access to the beach by the ruins. A little time in the Caribbean waters is a great way to end your culture tour on a hot day. Inland, you’ll find jungle and lots of cenotes for fresh-water swimming. (You can even

wind chimes

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A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Chichén Itzá, Mexico by TravelPod blogger Endsoftheearth titled “On the Mayan Road” Endsoftheearth’s travel blog entry: “From the hot and steamy humidity of Palenque, and least expecting it, we stepped up on to what was to be the most freezing cold bus on the trip so far. We’d be warned to get on the overnight buses prepared, as each bus company takes pride in having the best air-conditioned 80km/hr bullet running the route. Our goal was to head to the famed Toltec-Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, although first we would be spending a couple of days each getting acquainted with the Spanish colonial towns of Mérida and Valladolid. Not on the tourist trail, we found these to be worthwhile introductions to Yucatán peninsula and found the people really open to have a chat and give us tips for what to do (granted, their commission to send us to their mate’s hat and hammock factory may have been on their minds more than ours, but what the hey). In Mérida we saw some impressive wall sized murals by the yucateco painter Fernando Castro Pacheco in the Palacio del Gobierno. The paintings depicted the Maya people in a dramatic form: identity, great civilizations, enslavement at the hands of the Spaniards, Christianity, and freedom. Another highlight of Mérida was wandering the huge food market and buying the ingredients for our own hostel-made guacamole – a huge avocado, tortilla chips, limes, coriander and a little habana chilli all

wind chimes

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A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Utila, Honduras by TravelPod blogger Claudiacfavre titled “Under the Sea” Claudiacfavre’s travel blog entry: “I’m on Utila, one of the Bay Islands… busy scuba diving so I will blog sometime soon, I promise! Utila is one of the 3 Bay Islands in the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras. They boast the world’s second biggest coral reef that stretches up through the coast of Belize. With such good diving it is hard to believe that it is the world’s cheapest place to get SCUBA certified, but it is! My friend Chad is here getting his 4th certificate as a “dive master”, which is a very long and strenuous training that will hopefully result in a job for him here on the island. The ferry was crowded with gringos and I was zoned out because I had already finished my book on the bus… up pulls a taxi with my good friend Erik Stanley in it! We worked together in 2005 at a Boy Scout camp in Virginia. He does research for his PhD on Mayan farming in Guatemala and Belize so when he grew bored of Spanish school he decided to hop down to the islands for a quick vacation. Small, small world. We’ve been hanging out all week and having a great time. Utila is lined with dive shops. I am staying at Alton’s which is right on the water and has a cool 2 story dock at the end with hammocks and benches. You can jump off the top down into the crystal clear waters below. I started my basic open water diving certification which is a 4 day course

fountains

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Designed for all ages, the all-inclusive Coconut Bay features two worlds and is ideal for couples, singles or families. Coconut Bay’s adults-only wing is the perfect setting for a tranquil escape with hammocks, intimate cabana beds and the oceanfront Kai Mer Spa. For families, the resorts playful wing has a diverse menu of daily entertainment, water park and Kidz Klub.

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