Venturing off-grid through the jungles in search of remnants of Maya culture and history was a big part of our 2022 holiday experience. Once again Columbus Guatemala Travel rolled out the red carpet for our family to ensure our tour was safe, fascinating and fabulous! The Maya of Guatemala are the only indigenous culture that constitutes a majority of the population in a Central American republic. There are 21 different Mayan communities in Guatemala making up an estimated 51 per cent of the national population. We trekked through a huge expanse of tropical rainforest, swamps and savannah which forms part of an untamed wilderness that stretches into the Lacandón forest and collects Maya cities from late pre-classic and classic period (400 B.C. to 900 A.D.).


The majority of modern-day Maya live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal. Roughly 40 percent of Guatemalans are of Mayan descent.


Exploration, adventure and dining were the prime activities. Esteban, David and Rene guided us towards  thrilling locations, sunsets, and history lessions. The national park of Tikal, is a protected area about 576 square kilometers, on the edge of the large “Reserva de la Biósfera Maya”. Animal species that can be found include the howler and spider monkeys and toucans and parakeets. Exploring Tikal will help you discover the Mayan spiritual and universe vision. The overwhelming harmony hides one of the most important and majestic cities from Mayan Time.


Also one of the many highlights, the visit to the ATM Cave in Belize was a true “Raiders of the Lost Arc” adventure.  The Actun Tunichil Muknal has earned its reputation as one of the most stunning natural and anthropological sites around. National Geographic ranked Actun Tunichil Muknal as the number one sacred cave in the world, placing it above breathtaking spiritual caves throughout India, Greece, and China. Its vast network of underground chambers is known as being a treasure trove for archaeologists but also for its diverse ecosystem of bats, crabs, crayfish, and tropical fish.


The Crystal Maiden
Many of the stories that can be gleaned from the ATM Cave are rather bleak in nature. It’s believed that as part of their sacred rituals, the Mayas used Actun Tunichil Muknal to conduct human sacrifices. Well-preserved human skeletons are just as prodigious in the cave as handmade artifacts are, but the most famous of these finds is the “Crystal Maiden”.


Belize ATM Cave Crystal Maiden
Belize ATM Cave Cystal Maiden




Without a doubt, stargazing at the Milky Way at the Ecolodge El Sombrero on Laguna Yaxha was a lifetime highlight. We were off-grid in the jungle on the edge of the lagoon and there was zero interferring light which gave us a crystal clear view of the universe above. I captured this image with a 15mm, F8, 30 second exposure, 1600 ISO.



All arrangements made by the incredible Columbus Guatemala Travel Company
Phone: +502 53765147 (whatsapp), Email:


Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel
Located in the Heart of the MayanWorld, very close to the magnificent Tikal, Uaxactún and Yaxhá ruins, Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel invites you to experience the jungle at its best. Surrounded by a Natural Reserve offers paths to explore nature and connect with universe. More than 300 acres of private reserve. the hotel  organizes excursions to the 2 surrounding islands, full of monkeys and native fauna and flora, as well as 5 lagoons and a museum with archaeological pieces.


The property can arrange trips to Tikal National Park and Yaxha Park. In addition, you can do bird watching and excursions to the island of the Monkeys are included. Las Lagunas is 12 minutes ‘drive from Las Flores Island, 13 km from downtown San Benito and 8 minutes’ drive from Metroplaza Mundo Maya shopping center. In addition, the rating of this accommodation is one of the best in Flores.


The northernmost landlocked Petén Department’s capital city of Flores was originally the Mayan city of Nojpetén. The Itza people that left the Yucatán region during the 13th century came to what is now Flores and built the city, which was also known as Tayasal, which became their capital city. They titled it Noh (Nohoch) Petén, which translates to “City Island”. And was also called Tah Itzá, or ‘Place of the Itzá’.


Our trip also included:


-Tikal Maya Pyramids

-Yaxhá Nakum Naranjo

-Ecolodge El Sombrero is located in Laguna Yaxha.

-Xunantunich Maya Site

-Placencia Beach Paradise

-Snorkeling and Tennis in Belize