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Amazing Tikal...jungle time


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large_938978_13683547677883.jpgSo today we went to one of the most famous, and according to some most beautiful Maya cities, Tikal.

Tikal is still 'hidden' in the jungle. We had a walk with a guide through the jungle as well as seeing Tikal itself. We saw birds, ants, monkeys and even a tarantula. But the first thing you see when you enter is a very huge, very straight Ceiba tree.

Tikal is a big city, but as it is everwhere else most of it is still hidden. During our visit we saw a lot of hills, that hid temples underneath. This city has the higest temples known so far in Mayan history.

First we saw 'Complex Q'. It's a twin pyramid complex. Twin pyramid complexes had identical radial pyramids on the east and the west sides of a small plaza. This one is the east side pyramid, and the best renovated one.large_938978_13683547639695.jpgThe view! There are quite a few stelae in front of it, but all faded out.

We walked through the jungle to the famous Temple IV. This one is 70 metres high, the highest temple of Tikal, and also a fun fact, this one isn't fully excavated either. You can climb up by wooden stairs they placed next to it (lucky because using the original Mayan stairway would be too dangerous this high with this many people...) and looking down you still see the jungle covers most of it. The view from this one is amazing! You could see temples I and II in the distance, and a few others as well. You have a magnificent view over the jungle surrounding you.

After that we walked on, partly through small jungle paths, to the Lost world, El Mundo Perdido in spanish. This was a big ceremonial complex.large_938978_13683547717023.jpgTo the left, Temple of the Mask, to the right, Temple of the Great JaguarIt is build in a very interesting way. There is the big central temple/pyramid. Behind it the Maya build other temples as well, two big ones one each corner and one straigt behind.....to align them with the solstices and equinoxes. Everything that happened, the sun shore right behind one of the pyramids (depending on the time of year), and made a straight line with the central pyramid of the Lost World. So in that way we got an explantation how Mayan people used their knowledge of astronomy.

From there on we walked to the Plaza of the Seven Temples. This is one great plaza, flanked one the east side with seven nearly identical temples. And from there on to the Gran Plaza. Along the way we saw three spidermonkeys climbing the trees, so we stopped for a while to (try) making a few good pictures.large_938978_1368354768732.jpgComplex Q, east pyramid

At the gran plaza you can see Temples I and II, the temple of the Great Jaguar, and Temple of the Mask. On the sides of the temples are the palace (Central Acropolis) and a complex of temples, build on top and next to each other (North Acropolis). You couldn't climb the temples but you had a very nice view from atop both of the acropolis. You couldn't go to the very top, but high enough. They weren't that high but still for pictures, perfect. We also saw nosebears in the North Acropolis, and as long as you weren't coming to close they would stay where they were.

It was warm here as well, but not as hot as Copán was. After that it was time to go back to Flores. But they're right, Tikal is a very special and beautiful place to be!

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Guatemala

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