3Weeks, 3 Countries And A Shitload Of Buses…Parte Quatro (Tikal, Guat!)

CB is seriously deep in the bilge replacing engine mounts, and I am catching up on blog posts…so here we go with our trip to Tikal. Since it was soooooo cool and we had many amazing photos from here I will dedicate a whole post to this place. Although many have seen these exact same photos from other friends/family that have traveled to Tikal, we will continue to be those people showing off our not so interesting photos of our vacation :-)

A short history is that Tikal was mentioned in many Spanish conquistadors journals, but no one ever knew what they were describing. It was not until the mid 1800’s that explorers located what we now know as Tikal and started studying the areas. Due to the remoteness of the area, not much happened in Tikal other than very lengthy and strenuous expeditions to the region to begin understanding and unearthing the ruins. Not until the mid 1900’s did Tikal start becoming what we see today. This was largely due to the airstrip being built that allowed easy access to the area. For more info. on Tikal go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikal. This park is now a national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This was our first time seeing monkeys and exotic jungle birds….so pardon all the sort-of out of focus pictures of trees with blurry animals in them. But in a nutshell, this is Tikal. It was a very mind blowing experience.

We got to the park late in the day due to the 5 chicken bus mode of transport. But this turned out to be good. This way we bought a pass that was good for the evening and also the next day. There are 3 or 4 lodges in the park that offer package deals for room, food and tour. We chose to take the early sunrise tour that leaves the hotel at 4 am. This tour hikes out to the temple of the serpent head, or Temple #4.

The north Acropolis and Great area featuring the famous Temple #1 on the left and temple #2 on the right.

Temple # 1 again…lots of photos of this temple

You can no longer climb temple #1, but the opposite side has a wooden stair case built around temple #2 with a viewing platform. This is a rare thing to have this photo with no people in it. Usually you can’t even see the grass. Benefits to travelling during rainy season.

The great area was reconstructed by archeologists to give a feel of how the upper class Mayans lived.

Monos! I think this is a howler monkey. They may be little…but the noise they make sounds like a 600# gorilla.

These ruins are where the middle class lived…the po’ folk lived on the outskirts in huts that are long gone.

More middle class housing.

This dude had a big ol’ box of Fruit Loops in his talons right before I snapped this shot.

I give you the Jackelope of Tikal…some sort of chicken rooster thing with a little vulture mixed in?

The next morning we woke up at 0 dark thirty and headed out into the park with a guide. The idea is that as the jungle wakes up you sit on the top of Temple #4 and watch the sun rise over the canopy….sometimes…during rainy season it is foggy and no sun appears…but it was still cool as hell!

5 am view of Temple #4 that we would soon be climbing. If this looks familiar it is because it was the backdrop in The Empire Strikes Back when the Millenium Falcon flew over the moons of Endor.

We bought this cool little carving from a kid in Belize. We decided to bring it to the temple with us to get some good Mayan vibes in it before putting it in the boat.

This temple just pops straight up out of the jungle while hiking. It is currently being stabilized after earthquake damage, they hope to have it open again soon.

There were so many pictures to choose from. I literally took hundreds. I hope these give you all just a taste of how amazing this place was. If you ever get a chance to go to Tikal, don’t miss it.

The obligatory Temple selfie….

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One Response to 3Weeks, 3 Countries And A Shitload Of Buses…Parte Quatro (Tikal, Guat!)

  1. Jane Robinson says:

    So cool, you guys!!! Keep the pictures coming, as we are traveling vicariously through you. Miss you!!

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