Classic Expedition: La Ruta Maya

As Pangaea Expeditions enters its 10th year, we’re taking the time to look ahead at where we’re going and also to reflect back on where we’ve been. With that in mind, it seems like the best place to start is at the beginning.

I had been four wheeling Land Rovers, namely a rock crawling Defender 90, for years. One of the big reasons I moved to Colorado was the access to millions of acres of national forests, mountains and deserts all just a short drive from the city. After years of weekend camping trips into the mountains and weeklong excursions to Moab, we decided to undertake our first major overland expedition, the La Ruta Maya expedition to Belize and Guatemala. In the summer of 2001, we loaded up our newly acquired 1995 Discovery “Camel” as well as the 1997 Discovery XD and headed south to Central America. Come along with us as we revisit our 6,000 mile odyssey from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains all the way to the jungles of the Mundo Maya:

La Ruta Maya: the Mayan Route

It isn’t a specific road marked on any map. Rather it exists as a series of roads and primitive jungle tracks linking the ruins of the once great Mayan Civilization in Central America.

Originally conceptualized by Wilbur Garret, former editor of the National Geographic magazine, La Ruta Maya is a region through which eco-tourists and adventurers can visit most of the major Mayan Ruins. La Ruta Maya stretches from the Yucatan region of southern Mexico, through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and into El Salvador.

2001 Expedition

In the summer of 2001, we loaded up two Land Rover Discoveries (the inaugural expedition for the Pangaea “Camel” truck) and headed down to Belize in La Ruta Maya: A Jungle Odyssey. Click on any of the “Days” below for the photo gallery and diary from this expedition.

Day 1 – Houston, TX to Brownsville, TX

Day 2 – Brownsville to Tampico, Mexico

Day 3 – Tampico to Villahermosa

Day 4 – Villahermosa to Playa del Carmen

Day 5 – Playa del Carmen to Corozal, Belize

Day 6 – Corozal to Tikal, Guatemala

Day 7 – Tikal

Day 8 – Tikal to Blancaneaux, Belize

Day 9 – Blancaneaux (Cave canoeing)

Day 10 – Blancaneaux (Four-wheeling)

Day 11 – Blancaneaux (Xuantanich)

Epilogue (the drive home)

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