Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pan-American Highway

Most people are surprised to hear that it was not hot where we lived in Guatemala. Xela is a city in the mountains and the temperature is pretty much perfect all year round. On our way home from our trip we stopped to take a few early morning pictures along our drive. Here are a few of the pictures from the mountain drive to Quetzaltenango on the Pan-American Highway. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mount Pacaya

Day Five: The Last Day
Mount Pacaya

The last day of our vacation we hiked active Mt. Pacaya. The hike went through the lava fields. The basalt was extremely fresh since the volcano had just erupted 5 months prior.

You're supposed to be able to see moving lava on the hike but there wasn't any surfaced lava when we went. It was really hot though. We were able to build a fire just by laying a few sticks on the ground next to a vent. The guide couldn't take us all the way up the volcano because the soles of shoes melt off.
Here we are in one of the lava tubes. It was pretty steamy. 

The hike was pretty interesting and the view was excellent. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Monterrico Beach

Even though it was really hot and I complained a bit, we also could have called this day "Megan's best day ever!" because it was just that good. 
The trip down to southern Guatemala to Monterrico Beach wasn't a for sure thing originally when we planned our big trip, but James really wanted to take me there to see some baby sea turtles. 

Monterrico is a small coastal town with a sea turtle hatchery. You can visit the turtle hatchery for free. During the night, they collect eggs that were laid on the beach and then re-bury them in a confined sanctuary so that they don't get eaten or stepped on. There were a couple hundred pipes sticking out of the ground in the hatchery. Each of these pipe has approximately 40 eggs buried around it.

After the turtles hatch, they keep them in a small pool until dusk when they are released into the ocean. Here they are swimming around in their pool. How adorable! 

We were able to see and hold babies that were only a couple hours old. During the turtle breading season they release hundreds a day.

The best part of the hatchery is that they let you release turtles for a small fee. We arrived in the morning and needed to wait a while before we were allowed to librate the turtles, so we took a tour of the mangroves and played on the beach while we waited.

Right before we left we met the hatchery attendants on the beach and James and I each liberated three baby sea turtles. They were so cute. I LOVED it!

My three little turtles right before they were let go.

They were strong little guys and kept trying to jump out of my hands. 

Here is one of the babies running to the ocean.


Friday, February 4, 2011

The Spanish Fort

The Spanish Fort at Rio Dulce

On our third day we started our drive back to Guatemala City and passed through Rio Dulce. In the park they have a 15th Century Spanish Fort on the water. They let you climb all through it. We had a great time looking into all the rooms, seeing cannons, climbing the stairs, and visiting the super dark dungeon. It was a beautiful place with a beautiful view of the river.