My number one Mexico must-see was Chichen Itza. I’m a history nut, so coming face to face with one of the seven wonders of the world (according to some lists, anyway) was something I didn’t want to miss out on!
I think I had culture shock when I arrived at Playa del Carmen. As one of Mexico’s biggest tourist resorts, it was way cleaner and more American looking than anywhere I’d been in the past few weeks. I had total mixed emotions – it was kind of exciting to be somewhere touristy, but also sad to leave Belize and Guatemala behind!
Belize is famous for its beaches, coral reefs, watersports and being a favourite destination for rich American tourists. I was looking forward to Belize because of one selfish reason: they spoke English. My Spanish is not very good, and that made communication in Guatemala difficult. But as a former British colony I expected no problems speaking to the Belizean locals.
Flores and Tikal are two of Guatemala’s most popular tourist destinations. And they were the next stop on my Central American journey.
From Antigua we caught a private minibus, making a few stops at petrol stations and roadside restaurants along the way. Guatemala is not an easy place to get around. The roads aren’t always sealed, the local chicken buses are kind of a terrifying prospect and there are big distances between cities and towns. The journey took about 10 hours, and I spent it listening to audiobooks because that’s the type of person I am.