Sunday, August 09, 2009

Roatrip to Yaxuna

Today Sergio and I made our way to Yaxuna for the day. The site is in the municipality of Yaxcaba (Yucatan state), about 20 mintues from Libre Union and Piste (in either direction). Before hitting the town we checked out the little town which was actualy quite cute and had some nice little churches. Yaxuna is a very interesting site, it was a fairly large centre, but the visitable area is relatively small. The constructions are of a fair size but the area is not really landscaped at all, which makes for a very diffent experince from most sites. I really enjoyed it and was glad I brought some good shoes! (There are probably quite a few snakes out there in all that tall grassy vegitation... but we had no problems) Hope you enjoy the pics.

Very detail of cool altar!

Facade of this neat church with three towers... quite unusual architectural design

Detail of old lock =)

Segio chilling out

Ballcourt at Yaxuna

Kinda nice pic of butterfly

Little raingod mask, there seems to be quite a bit of toltec influence here to

Smallish pyramid covered in vegetation

Main Plaza

More pyramids

View of a few buildings from atop pyramid

Thats all for today! check back soon!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Central America odyssey pt. 11 (Final post! Iximche and Mixco Viejo)

Well, here we are... the final post of the trip!
I visited Iximche on a day trip from Antigua... the weather was not that great, but I am still glad I went. Established in 1470 Iximche was one of the last (if not the very last) Mayan city to be founded. It was also a spot of very early meso-american/european comunication. Once the Spaniards arrived they formed aliances with the leaders of Iximche which allowed them to preserve the city. Obviously this "aliance" did not last for very long.
Mixco Viejo is about half way between Antigua and Guatemala city. I went there with my good friend from (great site, in spanish). The city was built in the 12th century during late postclasic period on. The site is build on a montain top and offers some truly beatiful views. I am yet to go to Machu Pichu, but from what I can tell in photographs, mixco viejo seems like a miniature of this famous Inca site. Truly wonderful!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Central America odyssey pt. 10 (Antigua, Guatemala)

Antigua is just one of those WOW places. The old Capital of Guatemala bursts with color and beauty at every turn, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. It is much like San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico.. but has a bit different a vibe (perhaps because San Cristobal is at such a higher altitude). There are so many amazing places to eat and cool places to hang out, antigua deserves at least a week to explore and get to know. Anyway pictures speak louder than words so...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Central America odyssey pt. 9 (Copan, Archaeologial site)

Visiting the ruins at Copan was certainly one of the highlights of my trip. If you follow this blog at all you will know how excited pre-hispanic archaeology makes me... and frolicking around a site like Copan, well it does not get much better than that. Copan is know cheifly for its wonderful sculpture, there are however some vary noteworthy monumental structures... however the scale of the palaces is not comparable to those at Clacmul, Tikal or Palenque.

Main ballcourt

Very neat large stone sculpture of an old man

So freaking cool, these guys ment bussines

You can still make out quite a bit of color on many of the masks and facade, however nothing like that which you would find in other sites such as Bonampak.

Mayan Battle turtle brings only mayheam death and destruction!!!

Hope you enjoyed the photos of this wonderful site. Next stop ANTIGUA GUATEMALA!

Central America odyssey pt. 8 (Copan, wildlife and town)

After leaving el Salvador I headed to Antigua to spend the night and make my way to Copan (Honduras). I was a little nervous about going... with the whole military coup happening just a couple weeks before... but I figured it would be OK since it was so out of the way and far from any major cities. Actualy the Guatmela/Honduras border was the easiest crossing I had during my time in Central America. The reason I went to Copan was obviously to visit the archaeological site, but the little town and surrounding area proved to have plenty to offer. Here are the pics! (hope you have some room for more macaws!)

Sure he/she is looking a little scruffy... but still beautiful eh?

Big rodent... I think I ate one of these guys last year in the Peten (meat was a little rough)

These guys move fast! foucousing was quite a pain in the but... my little rebel XT is swhoing its limitations

Neato =)

Shot of Copan Ruinas town at about 5 am

They should probably udate this sign

As a rule I do not endorse hotels, restaurants or anything like that on the blog... well really its not a rule, I just have never felt compelled enoughto do so until now (and I have run the blog since 2005, so that should tell you something). This hacienda with beautiful rooms and very afordable prices is run to help finance "Paramedics for Children" which is an NGO which provides medical care and ambulance services in western Honduras. All procedes from "Hacienda Esperanza" go directly to the charity... so I STRONGLY encourage you to stay there if you ever find youself in Copan. The grounds are very beautiful, they have stables and all sorts of amenities... its really great. For more inforamation you can check out