Guatemala - East
Castillo de San Felipe (Lake Izabal) - This 17th century stone fort on a spit of land at the entrance to Lake Izabal was built to defend against the English pirates. The pirates would sail their boats up the Rio Dulce and grab stuff stored in the Spanish warehouses on the lake. The Castillo has towers, dungeons, rooms to run around and cannons on the ramparts.
Boat trip on the Rio Dulce (El Golfete) - Take a day trip (or spend several days) on the Rio Dulce, El Golfete, a wide expanse of fresh water, lined with mangrove swamps and jungle vegetation. Kids will see monkeys, parrots, iguanas, butterflies, hummingbirds, herons, pelicans, egrets along the way. Stop at the Biotopo Chocon-Machacas to look for the elusive manatee. There are warm water springs for swimming and waterfalls to visit. Arrange for boats at the town of Rio Dulce or Livingston (on the Caribbean side).
Museo de Estanzuela (Estanzuela) - If anyone in your family is big on old bones, this museum (Museo de Paleontologia, Arqueologia y Geologia) has a great collection of prehistoric animals that come from Guatemala, as well a Maya tomb.
Copan (Honduras) - The Maya stelae (sculpted stone monuments) in the Great Plaza are one of the wonders of the world. Seven stelae are larger-than-life size representations of the 13th king of Copan. The king appears in different guises on the stelae, as a Jaguar God, Ceiba Flower Bird, Maize God, Macaw Mountain Lord. Amidst the stelae are altars in animal shapes - the cosmic turtle and three two-headed feathered serpents.
Kids can go up and down the stone steps of Hieroglyphic Stairway - over 2000 stones carved with glyphs. At the Ball Court, imagine those games played with a big heavy solid rubber ball. The losers could lose more than the game; they could end up as a sacrifice. You can also visit the tunnels that go under the "Acropolis," tunnels made by archeologists to uncover the layers-upon-layers of construction at Copan.
The Museum of Maya Sculpture has a full size replica of the "Rosalila" (sun) temple from the ruins. The stucco reliefs are painted in the original colors - brick red, white, and green. On display is fascinating Maya sculpture depicting bats, birds, and creatures of the underworld.
Note: The Copan ruins are just over the Guatemalan border in Honduras.
Parque Recreativo Agua Caliente (Agua Caliente) - Had enough of ancient cultures? Head over to this recreational park with lovely steaming hot springs, swimming pool, playgrounds for kids and a park to run around.
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
follow us on instagram
vimeo travelforkids
follow us on pinterest