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During our trip to Belize Cassandra and I took one day-trip to Guatemala to visit the famous Tikal National Park. Tikal is an abandoned Mayan city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. We¬†explored the ruins and climbed the 65-meters high Temple IV with the most beautiful view of Guatemala and Belize. Although we had learned a ton about the Mayans when we visited Xunantunich in Belize, we learned even more when we visited Tikal.

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We toured Guatemala with a British couple named Chris and Kat, who happened to get engaged the night before we met them. Cassandra and I enjoyed spending the day with them and our wonderful guides, and we actually ran into them later in the week on Caye Caulker, an island off the coast! Other interesting moments — while we were at the top of Temple IV, Cassandra and I met a mother and daughter from Pittsburgh who were at the same Pirates baseball game as us a few weeks prior to our trip. I also ran into a woman whose daughter went to Belmont University, the tiny university I attended in Nashville, Tennessee. The world seems so small sometimes.

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Our day in Guatemala was just long enough to show me how gorgeous¬†the country is and how badly I want to go back someday. I thought when I booked this trip that I would explore Belize and Guatemala and then check Central America off my travel list. I was dead wrong; I’m already planning a backpacking trip through Costa Rica and trying to learn more about the other countries to plan trips to them as well. I want to see every inch of Central America — it’s just that beautiful.