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What's New

September 25, 2001: I added two audio recordings of bird sounds at Tikal, one of a blue-headed mot-mot bird (on Diary page for April 8), and one of a quetzal bird (on the first page of the Postcards section).

August 14, 2001: I received word from a visitor that the Mexican government planned to close all of its Mayan ruins structures to climbing, to keep tourists from further eroding the monuments. You could still visit the sites, but would not be allowed to climb on top of the pyramids or other buildings. It was only a matter of time before this happened, as the fragile old buildings need to be protected for future generations. We had already seen evidence of this at Chichen Itza, where the Temple of the Warriors and two sides of the Pyramid of Kukulkan were already closed to climbing (though my cousin climbed the temple ten years previously). I do not know when these new rules are to be enacted, or how they will effect the various sites. I also do not know if or when the other governments in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, etc. will enact similar measures. If you have any info on this subject, please email me.

Ideally, a site like this would have to be updated frequently as things change in Central America. Unfortunately, I won't have the time to keep making these types of corrections. My advice to you is that you research your trip thoroughly all the way up to your departure time. Whether it's disasters like earthquakes or Hurricane Mitch, or guerrilla fighting in Chiapas, or just the usual road closures, museum/site improvements, and hotel availability, be alert to any possible changes in your plans. Take the time to investigate the status of all things that you plan on doing on your trip. If you're travelling to places off the beaten path (especially in Chiapas), you may want to contact your country's State Department for the latest information on safety for travellers. Basically, be prepared. Most of my tips will be valid for a long time, but seek out the latest editions of travel guides and ask around the 'net for anything that may have come up recently.