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#14692 - 05/15/02 07:46 AM seeing Tikal and armed guards???
Corinne Offline
Hi, We are planning on 1 week on AC and then we thought that we would rent a vehicle and wing it on the mainland for a week---drive to see Tikal---spend 2 days there. I spoke with an agent at Capricorn and she said that she thought there was an advisory against going into Guatemala. And that the lodges from Belize were escorting their guests with an armed escort. Does anyone have any info about this situation. We really would like to see Tikal, but maybe this is not the time??? Does anyone have the web site to look up "advisories?" Or does one say "hmmm armed guards, not for me. . ." Thanks for any info. I have read the board about Black Rock Lodge this past December.

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#14693 - 05/15/02 01:55 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
BankerWoman Offline
Corinne --- I don't have any firsthand knowledge about the Guatemala situation but we were in AC 4/14 - 4/24 and had occasion to talk for awhile with a very nice man who had ventured into Guatemala a couple of days earlier with a group from a Belize resort where he had been staying. He said they were met at the border and accompanied the entire time by Guatemalan soldiers armed to the teeth. I think you could take that one of two ways -either it's a frightfully scary thing to be avoided OR you're in the best possible protective custody. We had not intended to visit Guatemala so it was a non-issue to us but he said, if he were to consider it again, he might wait until things cooled off a bit.

[This message has been edited by BankerWoman (edited 05-15-2002).]

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#14694 - 05/15/02 03:00 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
KBG Offline
Went to Tical in February from San Pedro by flying with Tropic to International airport then changing to Caravan and flying to Gutamala along with about 5 others. The others all were on a pre arranged tour set up by Tropic Air and a small bus met them at the airport and took them directly to Tical. Being more independent I hired a driver at the airport and had him take me into town and to see the sights, market and surroundings. We then drove without escort to Tical and toured the ruins and back to the airport. No it is not Belize, there are soldiers in the area and lots of U.S. soldiers and and DEA and yes they are all carrying heavy weapons. The people in Guitamala are very friendly and appear open to Americans. I had no problems and did not feel threatened. Unless the situation has changed since my trip, the only difference is seeing lots of soldiers with guns which is not what you see in Belize. Whatever go to Belize soon and enjoy before all the Tourist arrive.
KBG

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#14695 - 05/15/02 03:43 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
trina Offline
Hubby and I went to Tikal two years ago. It was awesome. But, last summer there were some security problems inside the park itself. I personally would not go independently, but rather with a reputable tour group and registered guide. As far as "armed to the teeth", all one has to do is be in a US aiport to see the same thing. You just have to decide for yourself if you want to and are willing to do it. ..It's totally a personal decision. Tip: If you do go, go REALLy early, the park gets super crowded as the day wears on. Also, it's cooler in the morning. And go with a registered guide, as you won't get much out of it on your own. Our guide told us the entire history of the buildings, the story of the Mayans, info. about the surrounding jungle and animal life. And it's easy to get lost too. It's a HUGE park. Paths are confusing. ...Have fun, if you go!

[This message has been edited by trina (edited 05-15-2002).]

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#14696 - 05/15/02 04:12 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
ljacks Offline
Recently we rented a vehicle from Belize city a drove it down the Hummingbird Highway to the southern part of the country, ending up in the Cockscomb Basin. This is a park run by the Audubon Society and contains some of the only old growth rainforest in the country. This is a beautiful drive that goes past great resorts that boast cave tubing and beautiful fresh water springs you can swim in a so forth, The Hummingbird Highway is gorgeous.
I offer this post as an alternative to you. I have been hearing enough about the border crossing to make it …. nervous..

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#14697 - 05/15/02 05:00 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
mina Offline
http://travel.state.gov/guatemala.html

Here is a link to updated info on travel to the country especially the tourist areas. I went a little over a year ago and had no problems but we have a big driver and a personal tour guide when we got there. I do know that there have been problems more recently though and I might be less inclined to go the next time around - but I am chicken! Don't love the possibility of being car jacked, raped or killed while on vacation - enough of that at home.

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#14698 - 05/15/02 06:57 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
d-jon Offline
For our cliets who do Tikal tours, we use "Avinsa" they are EXCELLENT. They do pick up from anywhere in Belize (let someone who know the area do the driving). What we usually do is have them either pick up clients or drop them off back in Belize, and fly one way.

Yes the South of Belize has a lot to offer.
_________________________
Hi, trina I would suggest the Orange Walk area. There is a lot to offer there. In particular there is the Lamanai Outpost lodge that offers exactly what you're looking for. You can contact me if you need more info at djones@btl.net

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#14700 - 05/29/02 02:05 PM Re: seeing Tikal and armed guards???
BankerWoman Offline
RPVP: You first. Then I'll e-mail you with mine. (I'm shy...

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