Excerpt from Across Central America
N the following pages I wish to give the reader an insight to a country not often visited by travellers, and which on that account may perhaps afford some interest.
I arrived at the port of San Jos de Guatemala from San Francisco in October, 1875, proceeded to the city of Guatemala, and after some interesting trips, east and west, continued my journey northward. A good road took me as far as Coban in Alta Vera Paz, then by an Indian path over the mountain ranges I reached the Rio de la Pasion, which enabled me by canoe to land within a few leagues of what has been called the mysterious Lake of Peten. From Peten a journey of six days through the forest brought me to the Village of Tenosique, situated on the Rio de la Pasion, which here assumes the name of Usumacinta; thence by canoe to the island of Carmen in the Gulf of Mexico.
Of the wonderful ruins - evidences of ancient Indian civilization - which are so profusely scattered over this part of the continent I visited Quiche, Copan, and Palenque. These have been so ably dealt with both by pen and pencil by historians and explorers, that I have only ventured to give a general idea of them for the information of those who have not read the important works on Central America. If my readers only know as little of the subjects of this volume before taking it up as I did before I started on my journey, I trust they will in some measure be repaid by its perusal.
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