Tikal Journals

Guatemala: Tikal

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A November 1998 trip to Tikal by kylebarber

Temple I Photo, Tikal, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: An adventure to the ruins of Tikal hidden in the jungle of Guatemala's El Peten region

Guatemala: Tikal

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Overview

Temple I Photo, Tikal, Guatemala
Quote:
Everyone raved about it and said it was not be missed, but I was still surprised by the rush that occurred when I visited the ruins of Tikal. The flight from Guatemala to Flores in a small plane was an adventure itself, with spectacular views and sudden turbulence. After checking in to the adjacent Jungle Lodge, I was escorted on a walking tour of the ruins which included climbing a number of the pyramids. I wish that I had read more before arriving to more completely absorb the significance of each structure. A number of exotic animals were easy to spot, including toucans and brightly colored parrots. The howler monkeys were quite audible, sounding remarkably like large cats. The highlight of the tri...Read More

Jungle Lodge

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Hotel

Quote:
Sleeping in a spartan bungalow away from the main lodge seemed exciting when booking a room at the Jungle Lodge days in advance, but it didn't do much to settle my uneasiness about being alone in the dense and entirely dark jungle when nighttime arrived. Having seen and heard wild animals during the day, spotted rather large and unidentifiable bugs in the bathroom, and developed an unreasonable fear of contracting malaria from the plentiful mosquitoes, I slightly panicked when the electricity was shut off at 10PM and did not enjoy a restful sleep. In hindsight, I think it added to the excitement of waking up at 4AM to navigate the pitch black nightfall and catch the sunrise above the pyramids. But as ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

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

Comedor Tikal

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Restaurant

Quote:
challenged for one reason or another. This hole in the wall is pretty much identical to its next door neighbors, all offering the most basic of meals for low, low prices. I have to admit that I was pretty hesitant to sample their food based on the apparent lack of cleanliness throughout the open cooking area and dining room. But when you are stuck in the jungle you can't exactly be choosey. I'm happy to report that everything went down just fine, but the next day I was gastrointestinally challenged for one reason or another.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

Comedor Tikal

Tikal, Guatemala

Temple IV

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Attraction

Temple IV Photo, Tikal, Guatemala
Quote:
On my first day at Tikal, my guide led me up the steep face of Temple IV early on so as to enjoy the beautiful views across the thick canopy of trees. I was really impressed, and had no idea that the views afforded to me wouldn't even compare to what I would see the next morning at daybreak. The difficult part about watching the sunrise atop Temple IV was first getting there.My guide had assured me that I would find plenty of locals who would be happy to help navigate my way through the dark for a small fee, but in the morning time I found myself alone at the pitch black entrance to the grounds. The loud howler monkeys that sounded like big cats and the near total lack of visibility almost had me t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

Temple IV
Tikal
Tikal, Guatemala

Temple II

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Attraction

Temple II Photo, Tikal, Guatemala
Quote:
Since the imposing Temple I is off limits to climbers, many tourists congregated atop Temple II, which is situated directly across the plaza. It made for great picture taking and a chance to strike up conversations with other tourists. But my most vivid memory of Temple II is of the fearless coatamundis, which are similar to raccoons. These sweet looking animals would approach all calm and quiet, looking for a handout. But if you didn't keep your belongings close to you they would swipe your bag and hurry down the pyramid, hoping to get a larger portion of whatever food you had hidden inside.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

Temple II
Tikal National Park
Tikal, Guatemala

North Acropolis

Attraction

North Acropolis Photo, Tikal, Guatemala
Quote:
These stony ruins situated between Temple I and Temple II don't look like much compared to the awesome pyramids that loom above. But beneath the craggy exterior lies at least ten levels deep of excavated ruins. Near the ground level of the jungle floor is a hole, sheltered by a thatched hut, that leads down to some well preserved stone carvings. It might be a little dark and earthy for some folks, but the stonework is in amazing shape.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

North Acropolis
Top of Temple 26
Tikal, Guatemala