Three country, tour of the ruins

This trip was planned well before Covid but  only managed to do it over the Christmas break of 2022. I started off in San Cristobal de Las Casas and was hoping for a nice downhill ride on the first day. It wasn’t as straightforward as I thought. I had an overall ascent of 1550m and a descent of 2770m. The riding was further complicated by the unbelievable number of speed bumps on this route. Oh well, I prevailed.

Pic – Early morning fog on the Chiapas mountains

On leaving Ocosingo the route was blocked for traffic by protesters but I was let through without any questions. I just quickly disappeared from them and continued on to Agua Azul. The accommodation next to the waterfall was thoroughly enjoyable. This place was controlled by the locals and visitors got charged several times by individual groups. It is hard to challenge anyone as there were no signs of government controls here. This helpless situation put me in a bad mood but once I was at the waterfalls I forgot all about it.

Agua Azul – Perhaps not quite Azul

The next day was an easy downhill ride to Palenque where I stayed one day to visit the ruins. The route from Palenque to Tenosique, the border town, was just fabulous – lush green canopy most of the way and the good quality road surface combined with flat roads made for an enjoyable ride.

From Tenosique to the border of Guatemala was through some really remote area and hence hardly any traffic. The border crossing was just mere stamping of passports. I spent Christmas eve over the Guatemalan side of the border.

From the Mexican-Guatemalan border it was a two day ride to Flores where I took a break to visit the Tikal ruins. The entry ticket had to be purchased at a bank at the gates where the wait time was about 2 hours. I almost gave up, but I was glad I didn’t. The vastness of this site, the towering pyramids were quite a sight.  This was only 20% of the ruins since about 80% of the ruins had to be excavated still. I am sure the picture and videos here will speak for itself.

Flores to Belize was another three day ride. The traffic roundabouts, the picture of the late Queen on the currency and the signs in English language was quite refreshing – some familiarity I guess. I found an Indian restaurant in Belmopan, on my first day in Belize. It happened to be run by Sekhar who was also born in the same region as myself. He made some lovely homemade food and we had an instant brotherly connection. Later, I found out that there are Indian restaurants in every city in Belize. With some good food that could be ordered in English, what not to like about Belize? 

Belize City

San Cristobal de Las Casas – Ocosingo (89 km) – Agua Azul (64) – Palenque (63) – Tenosique (79) – El Caibo (Guatemala; 60) – Guatelinda (88) – Flores (87)   – Melchor de Mencos (92) – Belmopan (56) – Belize City (79) – Orange Walk (87) – Chetumal (Mexico: 70)

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