Tikal – I Couldn’t Resist Going Back!

Even though I was only in Belize for 10 days, I couldn’t resist the temptation to pop over the border into Guatemala to revisit Tikal.  Ever since my first visit in 2002 with Alexa I’ve been wanting to return – I just found it such a timeless and awesome place to experience.

I took a minibus from Cayo across the border and direct to Tikal.  I was amazed how much better the road was, and just how much tourism development has popped up along the highway between Flores and Tikal in just a couple of years – disappointing, but I guess inevitable.  Tara Davis, a friend from business school, flew from Belize to join me.  We managed to find accomodation in Tikal at the Jaguar Inn (tough to get but definitely worth it!) and then went off to explore the site.

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                                                             Got the same room four years later!

We walked our legs off around the huge expanse of ruins and got to experience both sunset and sunrise on top of the temples (My recommendations are Temple IV for sunset and either the newly restored Temple V or the Pyramid for sunrise).  It’s a great time of the day to visit because you avoid the daytrippers and best of all you see so much more of the fauna – spider and howler monkeys, toucans, turkeys, coatis…

I was really glad I made the effort to go back to Tikal – it didn’t dissapoint!

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Temple I, as seen from the south.

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Temple II – last time I was in Tikal you were allowed to walk up the steps and climb all over it.  I remember sitting around the backside of it drinking a bottle of wine on one of the ledges.

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The newly restored Temple V.

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The view from the top of Temple V, looking towards Temple I (R) and the North Acropolis (L) in the Gran Plaza.

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That’s one hairy staircase!!

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Temple IV, as seen from the Pyramid.

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The temples of the Gran Plaza, from on top of the Pyramid.

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Gran Plaza, from Temple IV.                   Pyramid, from Temple IV.

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A magical and timeless sunset from the top of Temple IV, looking east towards the Gran Plaza.

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