The People's Guide To Mexico

The Best of Mexico

Guatemala, Honduras
&The Ruta Maya

•Gringa Unplugged in Guatemala

"Carl said he was interested in hearing from "people who have successfully unplugged from Gringolandia. " Well, Carl, you know America has a rich history of those that left civilization..." by Lee Valenti

Discovering the Roots of Enchantment in Guatemala and Honduras

What does an elder Honduran or a Guatemalan Mayan have to offer a vacationing Jewish woman from the U.S.A. about her past? About her sense of place or of culture?

Sharon Lukerman wearing a Guatmalan headdress
As I prepare the last minute details for my journey to Guatemala and Honduras, I detect a peculiar anxiety beneath the typical pre-trip jitters. Though I haven't been to Honduras before, my first trip to Guatemala four years earlier was a spectacular adventure. From the moment I saw Guatemala City from the air at night and mistook the ring of volcanoes for forest fires, I never doubted the country's magic; I thought and felt little else whether climbing the jungle ruins of Tikal or exploring the misty mountain village of Todos Santos.... (much more) By Sharon Luckerman

•The Ruta Maya: What Is It?

First and most important, The Ruta Maya or Mayan Route is not a single route or itinerary. Like the so-called ‘Gringo Trail’ you won’t find the Ruta Maya on your Mexican road map or in the index of a geography book. That’s because the Ruta Maya isn’t really a place — it is a concept.

•Suggested Itinerary

Lorena and I are also birders and we’ve travelled extensively (and cheaply) in the Ruta Maya area. Start by taking a bus or colectivo cab from the Cancun airport to the bus station. From there, consider a direct bus to Chetumal (if you want to bypass the more crowded Mexican Caribbean coast).


To paraphrase one of my father’s favorite lines, “If I had a peso for every word I’ve written about safety in Latin America, I’d own a hacienda by now.” As often as I repeat myself, however, this perennial topic just never seems to go away.

Travel Tips: Getting There: When, Where & How?

The Ruta Maya includes a complex range of topography and climate. In January you’ll find teeth-chattering night-time temperatures in the highland villages of Guatemala’s Cuchumantanes Mountains — and humid, lazy-warm weather in the lowland jungles just a day’s travel away. Here’s just a few quick ideas to guide you toward agreeable travel conditions.

•Guidebooks For Guatemala

On our last trip to Guatemala, I field tested the most recent editions of three major guidebooks: Paul Glassman’s self-published Guatemala Guide, Tom Brosnahan’s La Ruta Maya “Travel Survival Kit” (Lonely Planet) and the budget-oriented, Real Guide to Guatemala and Belize by Whatmore and Eltringham. In Guatemala I also picked up a couple of locally published guides by resident authors: Henry’s Hint$ On Guatemala by Henry Gall and Guatemala For You by Barbara Balchin de Koose.

The Last Lords of Palenque

Robert Bruce is an acknowledged expert on this group of Lacandon Indians, often called the last true Maya, living in the rainforest of Southern Mexico. Their lives and traditions have remained relatively unchanged for the past several hundred years, in spite of encroaching civilization, tourism (yes, horror of horrors, small planes do permit access to their village), and the erosion of the rain forest for commercial gain (obviously by non-Lacandones). Book Review by Linda Nyquist, Ph.D

The Best of Mexico
The Copper Canyon
Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez
Chiapas & San Cristobal de las Casas
Guatemala & The Ruta Maya
Mexico Itineraries & Road Reports

©1972-2006 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens