Author: Jeni Stembridge

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize, Caves and Superstition

My guide, Jose, looked around at me and put his finger to his lips, “Shh, can you feel the spirits?” I held my breath. Human skeletons and cracked pottery lay scattered on the ground. Obsidian blades that were once used to pierce the tongue and genitals sat near a slate altar at the far wall. We were more than a kilometer underground. I was in Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize’s “Cave of the Stone Sepulchre.” The Mayans thought caves to be the entrance to Xibalba, or “place of fright.” In order to ensure a good crop or a spell of...

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The Luster of Lanquin, Guatemala

Take a canopy tour in Tikal. Climb a volcano outside of Quetzaltenango. Lounge on the sunny shores of Lake Atitlan. Guatemala offers a variety of places to partake in both adventure and relaxation, but no place combines the two more perfectly than the rural village of Lanquin and its enticing surroundings. Lanquin is located in central Guatemala near the city of Coban, about halfway between the better-known tourist destinations of Panajachel and Tikal. From Coban, I took a microbus two hours down curvy dirt roads through mountainous coffee and cardamom plantations to the center of the village, at which point there are choices to either walk or catch a ride to one of the few accommodation options in the area. While the rustic and laid back hotel Las Marias is closer to the natural wonders of the region, Guatemalan-English owned El Retiro beats all competition in terms of ambience and style. It’s a great place to meet fellow travelers or simply relax in the pristine, lush surroundings. About a 10 minute walk downriver from the drop off point in Lanquin, El Retiro flaunts a superb setting perched along the Lanquin river and is comprised of thatched cabana-style dorms and singles (some with private bath) strewn across a verdant, hilly riverbank. The restaurant sits a stone’s throw from the water and hosts breakfast, lunch and nightly family-style dinners for all...

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Welcome to ITKT

I am Devin Galaudet the Editor in Chief of ITKT. I am asked all the time how I did it? Was it worth? Changing my life around to make travel a priority. The short answer is yes. It was really a lifestyle choice. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it. If you are like me, you might want to explore what I did to get started.

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