Located in the jungles of Guatemala, the relatively remote Mayan Ruins of Tikal are impressive. I spent the better part of two days inside the grounds and still didn’t see everything. But from my time walking among the ruins I learned to further appreciate the Mayan Culture I’ve already grown to know from places like Coba, Tulum, and Chichen Itza.
Inside I climbed multiple pyramids, hiked through jungle, listened to howler monkeys, spotted some magnificent birds, admired wild turkeys watched both a sunrise and a sunset atop a temple in Tikal and loved it all. I loved every minute.
Here are a few photos from my time.
The Gran Plaza and Temple of the Jaguar
The path in to the Gran Plaza and the first two temples (Templo I and Templo II) is through the jungle and filled with a few smaller, yet impressive ruins (first photo). But when you arrive at the Gran Plaza, the site of the famous Temple of the Grand Jaguar (Templo I) you know it.
Serving as the “center” of the city in the past it also served as the main meeting place. I noticed fellow tourists gathering to enjoy the sights and some relax time in the “plaza.”
Here at the sight of the highest pyramid, sixty-five meters, and one of the highest in pre-columbian America, steep wooden steps lead you up (all climbs are on wooden steps or ladders in Tikal) to the top of the most impressive panoramic views. I climbed a top three times; once in mid-day, once to see a sunset, and then once again the following morning to watch the sunrise from atop a Tikal pyramid.
The Lost World, Temple V and the South Acropolis
Walking to through the lost world, you wonder why just one section receives this name as to you, the entire city seems like a lost world. It seems the architecture is from many of the time periods (early and late classic) but excavation revealed some of the oldest Mayan structures at Tikal.
Also, a little further down the path, Temple V, will definitely challenge anyone’s fear of heights. The stairs are the steepest I’ve climbed, but well worth it.
Stay Adventurous, Craig
PS – And I’d like to wish everyone a happy new Baktun, and new era as the Mayan Calendar begins a new chapter today. I hope you do too.