Results 11-13of 13 Reviews
July 26, 2003
It is almost unbelievable that a site on this scale was uninhabited for so long. Most of these temples were once covered in earth and foliage, and indeed most of the hills at Tikal are buried temples. Each ruler here had to build a new temple every twenty years.
The highlight of the trip is climbing Temple IV. The view is something that cannot be described except with pictures. You can sit up there all day if you like, watching the birds flit about the canopy. They say sunrise is good from here. It is a popular temple to climb, as there is a sturdy wooden staircase/ladder.
The Lost World complex is another great area to explore. It was one of the last areas to be restored, and the Lost World pyramid is an ambitious hike. Because of the broken steps, I didn't feel comfortable climbing to the top. However, my traveling companion confessed that the sunset vista from here was something I should not have missed.
You could spend at least two days at Tikal, exploring all of the major and minor ruins. A guide is worthwhile. Ours gave us a basic orientation to the site and gave us a photography-oriented tour. Our visit was quite dramaticly planned, with grand vistas surprising us at every turn.
From journal Side-Trip to Tikal
August 16, 2002
From journal Guatemala 2002
by Cherri Megasko
February 27, 2001
Our group had four people, plus our 72-year-old Guatemalan guide, Angel. The scenery on the way to Tikal was great...just like out of the pages of National Geographic. We passed small villages where the local women were carrying water in pots on their heads and washing their clothes with stones on wooden platforms built into the lake.
Once at Tikal we trekked through some small stands of jungle and got a few lessons on local fauna and flora from Angel. We were provided with a sack lunch -- not great, but adequate. The ruins were quite a sight -- 72 (very vertical) steps to the top of the Lost World.
One thing that I found very interesting was that the Guatemalan government can't afford to excavate and restore all of their ruins, so they are progressing very, very slowly. They use all original materials, and cut each block of limestone to exactly match the one they are replacing (or so we were told by our guide).
I'm not a lover of ancient ruins, or even historic sites, but I would definitely recommend this trip. Getting to see some of the local people of Guatemala was just as exciting for me as seeing the ruins.