Tikal Journals

Side-Trip to Tikal

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A January 2003 trip to Tikal by ShannonBrooke

Staircase (Tikal) Photo, Tikal, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: My January visit to the UNESCO heritage site, Tikal, was fraught with difficulties and it was still well worth it.

Side-Trip to Tikal

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Overview

Staircase (Tikal) Photo, Tikal, Guatemala
Quote:
Tikal is an amazing site, and no other Mayan ruin in this area compares to it. These pyramids, for the most part restored, were built on a massive scale. Embedded in the jungle, Tikal has an Indiana Jones feel to it. Walking the jungle paths and climbing the giant temples is an unparalleled experience. The wildlife is just as much of an attraction, with coatamundis cavorting on the paths and monkeys screeching in the trees. Climbing the temples is not for the acrophobic. I climbed Temple II and Temple IV. Temple V is also open to visitors now. I much preferred Temple IV's ladder ascent to Temple II's harrowing stone steps. Temple IV has amazing views of the jungle and the other temples. ...Read More

Jungle Lodge

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Hotel

Quote:
The accommodations would have been pleasant if it hadn't been so obvious that we had grossly overpaid for our rooms. The rooms were fairly simple, with en-suite bathroom and shower. Each cottage was split into two suites, and the wall didn't continue to the top. Therefore, you were essentially sharing the accomodations with strangers. They could hear everything you said and vice versa. It is definitely beneficial to speak a little Spanish to communicate with the hotel staff and waiters. The waiters did not speak any English. This is surprising because it seemed that every guest I encountered was American. However, when in Guatemala, one cannot expect everyone to speak English. I had a spec...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 26, 2003

Jungle Lodge
Outside the Tikal site entrance
Tikal, Guatemala
(502) 777-0570

Tikal Markets

Attraction

Quote:
It should be noted that there are a few souvenir stands near the cafeteria and museums. All manner of Mayan handicrafts are sold here, from small carved animals to stone Mayan statues. You can also pick up a t-shirt if you need a change of clothes. Although prices are rumored to be lower in the nearby city of Flores, you can bargain with the vendors here and we found the prices quite reasonable. This is a great place to pick up gifts for home, and I brought home some obsidian jewelry for my mom and a Mayan goddess statue for myself. If you need snacks or water, here is the place to go. After our unpleasant dining experience at the Dining Lodge, we ate entirely from the vendors ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 26, 2003

Tikal Markets
Tikal National Park
Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal National Park

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Attraction | "Tikal"

Quote:
In my life, I had never seen anything quite like Tikal. When I saw the top of the Temple of the Jaguar-King rising out of the verdant growth of the rainforest, I was transported back to a childhood dream of being an archaeological explorer. Everyone who comes here will have that moment of discovery, just as the first European visitors must have had. 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 th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2003

Tikal National Park
Peten Basin
Tikal, Guatemala
+502 2367-2837

Getting to Tikal

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Early in the morn, we leave for Tikal. It's one heck of a long drive and we've gotten up very early. Luckily, Eva's Bar has very good strong coffee. I had pre-booked our Tikal trip with Guatemala Ecological Adventures. If I had gone through Lenny, I would have saved at least $100 and lots of hassle. I wouldn't recommend booking your hotel in advance at Tikal, because even at high season, there was plenty of vacant rooms. Worst comes to worst, you end up in the lovely lakeside village of Flores. You can get to Tikal from Belize a number of ways, from private cab to public transportation. Here is how we did it. You get into a van that drives to the border, disembark, cross the border on...Read More

Waiting for Rednecks (leaving Tikal)

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Story/Tip

Quote:
We slept poorly, as Alli started to get bad stomach cramps in the middle of the night. Also, I kept waking up in a panic because right as I was about to fall asleep, a spider had fallen into the bed. I was on guard all night long against bug paratroopers. The next morning, we missed the sunrise at Temple IV. I was awake, but Alli was too sick to move and I was afraid to walk there on my own. However, I did hear the famous call of the howler monkeys and set out that morning to capture them on film. I followed the sounds to their source, a tall tree near the swimming pool. The most I could see of the monkeys was the shaking of tree branches. Later that day, we did get our park fees refund...Read More