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What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

Troy, New York
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What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

I am going to Belize with a friend in Feb 2012 and I want to see the COOLEST ruins. Now, she has a limit of one week there and I am planning on staying 2 weeks. So I'll be traveling solo.

I was thinking about making the trek to Tikal but that doesn't seem safe in general, then especially for a single female traveler. If anyone has a suggestion on the safe way to visit Tikal I am all ears.

What do you think? I don't mind traveling far. All suggestions welcome!

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1. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

Lamanai get great reviews as it is off in the jungle. Caracol is also supposed to be awesome. I really like Xunantunich and Cahel Pech which are close to each other and you can do in the same day. Don't forget about the Mayan underworld and all the caves! ATM, Barton Creek, or simply just cave tubing!

Cheers,

Carlos

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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2. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

We have enjoyed Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. The Lamanai trip up the New River is wonderful and we liked the ruins - bigger and junglier than X or CP. I've been to Tikal 3 times - it's AMAZING - and look forward to returning to the area and visiting other area ruins. As I've suggested on several other of your similar threads, I'd contact Roxy Ortiz if you are looking for an excellent guide for Tikal and the Peten in general.

www.tikalroxy.blogspot.com

You can check out our photos and travel reports below if you're interested.

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections/

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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3. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

Tikal is a dont miss - if you dont want to arrange an independent trip (which is a lot of work if you're not staying overnight at one of the hotels near the ruins) take a tour. IMO the issues with Tikal are not specific to single women; if there is unrest in the area being a man wont help. The unrest in the Peten is supposedly no where near Tikal but a local person can give you up to the minute info.

I went alone the first time - stayed 2 nights at the Jungle Lodge and was fine. At the time, aid workers in vans were being pulled over and robbed and I was a little nervous between the airport and the entrance to the park, but once inside Tikal, there was a lot of security. Went back a 2nd time on a day trip from Mopan River Resort.

Caracol is also cool, but supposedly there are more issues there than by Tikal currently. Then again, my info is from June, when I was down in Belize. Situation could have improved.

Chechem Ha is another dont miss spot.

suitcaseready.com

San Ignacio, Belize
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4,769 posts
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4. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

Caracol is my favourite out of all the ruins I've seen. It's unexcavated except for one huge temple, Ca'ana, place of the sky. It's like you're in a national park on a ruin. The most people I've seen there is around 20 too, so you feel like you are alone.

One of the reasons it's my favourite is that you get to do so many other sites the same day, like caves and waterfalls. So it's not just a long ride, ruins and another long ride. Rio On Pools and Big Rock Falls is why I have a vehicle here.

There are many other great sites though, many mentioned above.

Have a fun hike!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

What do you mean by "cool"???

Vancouver, Canada
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1,569 posts
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6. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

What do you mean by "cool"???

Davie, Florida
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7. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

look them all over on gmaps and youtube

Alabama
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758 posts
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8. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

I also vote for Caracol.......

Edited: 24 October 2011, 01:44
Cypress, Texas
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1,348 posts
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9. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

The crime would be for you to be that close to Tikal without getting to see it.

Just go with a quality tour service like PACZ Tourts...

www.pacztours.net/tours/tikal_guatemala.html

You can see our photos of Tikal, Caracol & Xunantunich here...

…photobucket.com/albums/…

Moab, Utah
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171 posts
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10. Re: What are the coolest Mayan Ruins?

I agree with everyone here, that you don't want to miss Tikal. If you go with a tour group from Western Belize you won't be alone either.

Lamanai gets my #2 recommendation because the trip up the New River and the birding is such a bonus in addition to a really cool ruin.

Lucy