Friday, February 26, 2010

Western Highlands Mayan Trail

One of my favorite trips that we do here at Old Town Outfitters is the 3 day trek across the ancient Mayan trade routes that once connected the Maya cities of the lake atitlan area to those of Xela.

The trails wind their way through farms and fields where the locals are going about life in much the same as the generations before them. We camp the first night just outside a traditional Mayan settlemet that has been abandoned after Hurricane Stan came through in Oct. '05. The government has yet to rebuild the road that was washed away forcing the locals there to move up on the ridge

From up on the ridge we traverse the mountain tops at just about 3,300 mts. The mountains cut a ridge that seperates the Xela valley below on one side and the lake titlan caldera on the other. It is a spectacular place to camp.

But the weather can roll in at any moment and close out the view. It always breaks though giving up huge vistas over the pacific ring of fire and the atitlan basin.

It's a stunning view back to the east over looking the lake all the way back to the volcanoes outside Antigua.
The walk continues on the ridge before dropping down some 3,000ft through lush bamboo thickets and dense cloud forest

It's a tough walk, certainly not for the faint hearted, but such amazing areas are worth the effort. Here are a couple more shots from the trip.