Touring Tikal

From Flores we took a bus to Tikal National Park:

“It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Since I was a young child, I have always been fascinated with ancient civilisations. When my friends were playing with barbies or reading “Sweet Valley High”, I was pouring over books about the Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greece. My favourite movies and TV series were about Roman and Greek myths, legends and ancient civilisations like “The Mysterious Cities of Gold“. Visiting Tikal was a dream come true.

Unfortunately, we learned the hard way, that your guide can either make or break your experience and ours was a huge disappointment. Caesar, from Little Caesar’s Tours took us on a private tour of the city. He walked us through at such a rapid pace that we hardly had time to stop and take photos (unless it involved the wildlife), not to mention the minimal info on the structures, civilization and history of the site. We got more information on the wildlife than the temples!

After Caesar raced us through the city at Olympic Gold Medal speed, we did a little exploring of our own. During that time we got more thorough and fascinating information from eavesdropping on other passing tour guides, than we got during the entire “detailed personalized” tour Caesar supposedly provided for us.

Rubbish guide aside, it was a fascinating experience and another one off my bucket list 😉

Standing at the top of the Temple of Masks, overlooking the Temple of the Grand Jaguar Standing at the top of the Temple of Masks, overlooking the Temple of the Grand Jaguar so.many.stairs. so.many.stairs.

circular stone altar with intricate carvings of secenes from Maya life circular stone altar with intricate carvings of secenes from Maya life Temple of the Grand Jaguar, tomb of Temple of the Grand Jaguar, tomb of “Lord Chocolate” (Ah Cacau), one of Tikal’s greatest rulers

the Lost World Pyramid the Lost World Pyramid A massive stucco mask found on the substructure of one of the temples A massive stucco mask found on the substructure of one of the temples Archeologists working on one of the structures Archeologists working on one of the structures panoramic view of Tikal, from the tallest Temple IV panoramic view of Tikal, from the tallest Temple IV

inside the palace inside the palace

view of Temple IV from the palace view of Temple IV from the palace

view from the palace, overlooking the Central Plaza view from the palace, overlooking the Central Plaza

“No Scratching”

juuuust chillin' juuuust chillin’ abundance of wildlife in the forest, including toucans and these acrobats! abundance of wildlife in the forest, including toucans and these acrobats!

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