Blogs from Tikal, Petén Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 3


Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 24th 2012

As we continued on an outer circle around the ruins, we came across some areas called complexes which were identified with letters instead of numbers. The complexes did not features such large temples, and some none at all. The one thing that they all did feature was a set of impressive hieroglyphic rock carvings (the best of which are now in museums) which contained the text of the ancient Maya. After having visited a few of these complexes, we noticed that the clouds started lifting at which point we decided to start making our way back to Temple IV – now about 25 minutes away. As we were walking through a trail in which we didn't encounter another visitor of park, we heard a crash in the trees above us and soon realized that there were ... read more
Stone Inscriptions 2
Me on Templo IV

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 23rd 2012

After one more day in Lanquin at the highly suggested El Retiro Lodge, we hopped a shuttle from Lanquin to Flores – our base for our tour of Tikal. I've started to learn that posted arrival times are rarely ever met as we left at 8 am and arrived near 6 pm (the trip was supposed to last 7 hours). We got off the shuttle with a hostel called La Union in mind. As we were waiting to get our bags off the roof, the tourist agency that ran the shuttle did all they could to convince us to stay in the hotel directly across the street from their agency. Tactics included providing a tour of the hotel and room commitment-free and then waiting an extreme amount of time to untie our bags from the roof ... read more
Flores Boardwalk
Flores Sunset
View from Hotel

Hola! Tikal Mayan ruins were nothing short of spectacular. The ruins are amazing - as is the setting! Set deep in the jungle and sprawled over 25 square miles you walk through a series of trails to each site whilst monkeys and birds sit above you in the canopy. The excavation work that has been put into recovering such an interesting settlement has been in itself amazing. Imagine having to remove centuries of the rainforest growth in the blistering heat and humidity, when all you have is a machete? Many Mayan sites have been dated between 2000 years BC to 900 years AD, or later until the Spanish arrived in the 1500's or so. There are periods of classification during this time to indicate the type of building style they used, the style of ceramics they ... read more
Towering above the jungle
Great Plaza and the Courts
A Jungle Flower

The weather has been a pain on this trip so far, because of it I didn’t get a sunset shot from Tikal and I also lost the sunrise pic. I woke up at 04:30 to hear the sound of rain pitter-pattering on my tent so turned off the alarm and turned round and went to sleep. I eventually got up at 06:15 and headed off to wander round the ruins. The tops of the temples were enveloped in mist so I did get some good pics after all but not the famous sunrise shots. Tikal is a huge Mayan site and is littered with temples but unlike the other sites it is still shrouded by dense jungle which gives it a more natural feel. Tikal was one of the locations used for Star wars the Empire ... read more
La Ceiba tree
View from Temple 4

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal December 12th 2011

Sitiing on the first bus we took in gauatemala for six hours, accompanied by a rather pungent smell of urine, and a spitting child, meant it was a relief to finally arrive in Flores. Flores is a little island, surrounded by a lake and is very pleasant to walk around. It is also the proud owner of a Christmas tree complete with star wars music (awful and continuous) and a cockerel at the top. Lots of street food - cakes, dips, colours, music, live band. We avoided this on arrival thinking it would be a permanent feature - why party on a thursday? Spent the next few days in regret, with no street food in sight: Tikal. Early start, 4am to avoid tourists. Went on a tour this time. Paid lots of attention in the horoscopes ... read more
Star Wars
jaguar face

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal November 24th 2011

Another border cross and heading north and back into Guatemala - cant seem to get away from this place!! The reason for my re-enty and stopover is to visit Tikal supposedly one of the most spectacular of all the Mayan ruins sites. The Mayan people settled here around 700bc and by 250bc most of it was completed. It sprawls over 30sq kilometres making it way bugger than any of the other sites. As you will see in the pics towering pyramids poke above the jungle canopy some above 60m and most you are allowed to climb. We took a tour from Flores a little island on a lake about 60k away and left at 4.30 in the morning to ensure that first of all it wasn't too hot and second of all there were alot less ... read more
Flores Island where we stayed
Photo 3

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal September 19th 2011

We got up at 6:30a to see what tour we were doing. The caves were closed because the rivers were too high, so we got ready to go to Tikal. We grabbed a piece of toast and got picked up around 7a and went to pick up two other couples. There were six of us total. The border to Guatemala isn't that far away, so it didn't take long to get there. We had to get our passports stamped and walk through the other side to get into a different van. The ride to TIkal was a out 1.5 hours and I got sleepy during the trip. Our guide, Hugo, was very knowledgeable and pointed out a lot of different things along the way. We got to Tikal around 10a, and started walking in. The sun ... read more

We had a great workweek with the team in Chitixl and then had an amazing despedida with the community. The leaders of the community, surrounded by many of the children, gathered at the school to give us a farewell. Members of community expressed their gratitude for the work that the team had done. They presented each member of the team with a locally made fabric as a token of their appreciation. It was a very touching moment that I am sure will not soon be forgotten. After saying out last goodbyes to the community we returned to the MTI office in Coban to have an additional farewell with the staff. Leaving Jorge in Coban to have a ‘relaxing’ weekend with his family, I left with the group up to the area of Flores. I had come ... read more

M – We have tried to mix it up with the food in the last few weeks – street food, market food, bus stations, airports, restaurants and hotels. Most of our experiences have been good and some even great. As we have mentioned before, regardless of where we end up there is always the rice and beans option. And if you don’t choose it, just to make sure you didn’t forget, they will usually add a portion of each to your plate anyway. Now I have entered a new stage – I am experimenting with new concoctions. The first that I am proud to unveil is the Central American Equivalent of the British Chip Butty! Using the other staple that usually comes with all food ........the Flour Tortilla. Take a flour tortilla, add a good squirt ... read more
A bottle of Rum and a Bag of Crips - what more do you need
Us at the Grand Plaza Tikal
Grand Plaza Tikal

Visiting the ruins of Tikal has always been very high on my agenda since I first visited Chichen Itza nearly 10 years ago. Chichen Itza receive millions of tourists every year, Tikal, a maximum of 600 a day. Why are you going to ask me? Accessibility seems to be the answer. To explain why so few tourists are making it to Tikal you first have to consider that Guatemala has only been out of civil war for few years. Second, Guatemala City, the capital is very wellknown for a huge crime rate and unsecurity. This doesn't make the best marketing campaing up to these days for Guatemala. Next problem, access. You can fly in from Guatemal City, but we didn't want to go there. You can also fly in from Belize, but this is far away ... read more
Arriving at Temple V
Main square

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