Published: August 13th 2008August 7th 2008
After a wonderful stay in Rio Dulce I headed down the Guatemalan tourist track to the little Isla de Flores. However, Flores itself is not the reason that tourist flock from near and far to the nortern reaches of Guatemala. Flores is convienently located a quick hour jungle drive away from one of the most incredible sites of ruins in the world. For this experience I gave in and bought the tikal sunrise tour package and I have to say that it was completely worth it!!! I woke in the still of the night gathered my pack and headed out to the street. The silence of the darkness filled the narrow cobblestone streets as the stars danced above. There was a quiet shuffel within the hostel as others pulled themselves from the fog of sleep. Then just before 3am the putter of an engine broke the stillness and grew louder until a large white tourist bus rounded the corner and stopped in front of the hostel. The bus grumbled around the island and we stopped here and there to let more people on. Soon we were off on the long strech of highway out to the Tikal National Park. We arrived
after about an hour and unloaded from the bus into the darkness of the surrounding forest. The guides instructed us to follow them and we started a long trek winding along the forest trails. We walked in scilence using the feet of the person in front of you as your only guide. we wound through the park, all sense of direction lots in the thick of the forest floor. Every once in a while you would look up to see a glimpse of what looked like a ruin but we were trudging quite quickly along the path that there was no time to stop and ask. After a long hike we arrived at the foot of a long winding wooden staircase. We all started to climb having no idea of the wonders waiting for us at the top. We folloed the wood planks up, up, up until suddenly we realized that we were on the top af an ancient Mayan temple. Everyone found a seat on the centuries old limestone and then finally were able to take in the incredible sight. The view from the top of temple IV showed the vast Guatemalan Jungle and rising like peaks in the
distance were the tepmles of the Grand Plaza. We watched for close to an hour as the mist of the morning lifted and the true glory of the temples was revealed. Around six we were broken up into smaller groupd and we recieved a tour of the grounds. The guides were full of information and the structures were absolutly magnificent. I stayed at the park long after our tour was over marveling at the incredible sights and exploring the ancient ruins.
There are more photos below