There comes a time on most backpacking trips when you need to get a little more serious and take in the history of an ancient culture. Tikal is the place to do this for the Mayan cutlure. An ancient city that would have been home to up to 90,000 people during the height of the Mayan civilisation. It’s meant to be one of the largest and most understood civilisations of the Mayan period. You can see Cel’s 60 second candid commentary of the site albeit the focus of the commentary switches to her sweaty feet part way through:



The site itself is huge, we took a 4 hour tour through it and really only scraped the surface. It’s well preserved, only a very small portion of the structures have actually been excavated – with an estimated 20,000 structures still covered in soil, jungle and grass. To make the tour even more interesting, there is a huge range of wildlife at Tikal – being a tropical forest it is home to snakes, spiders, birds, crocodiles, lizards and the normal array of insects you’d expect!


I won’t go into the detail too much about the site, I’ll let Wikipedia do that for me: find out more here. Instead I’ll focus on a few pictures we took while we were there.


Tikal, Guatemala

One of the main temples at Tikal


Tikal Tarantula

Spot the spider...


Tikal, Guatemala - Grasshopper

A decent sized grasshopper


Tikal, Guatemala - Howler Monkeys

Howler monkeys hanging in the trees


Tikal, Guatemala - Hummingbird

Hummingbird generally humming


Tikal, Guatemala - Spider Monkeys

Spider monkey taking a swing


Tikal, Guatemala

Cel relaxing in the palace


Tikal, Guatemala

Trying to take shelter from the sun


Tikal, Guatemala

On top of a pile of concrete


Tikal, Guatemala

Looking out over the central plaza complex


Tikal, Guatemala

Above the canopy looking back at other temples


Tikal, Guatemala

Scaling stairs in the sun - great idea


Tikal, Guatemala

Taking a rest part the way up


Tikal, Guatemala

Rightfully sitting on the royal throne



An animal (can't remember the name) that had just dug out a tarantula and eaten it - you can see the tarantula legs hanging out the left side of his mouth - crazy!


Tikal, Guatemala Racoon

This fella wanted our nuts - no way.


Tikal, Guatemala

Great day out for temple'ing


For anyone wanting to visit Tikal, you need to get to Flores and then take a 1hr trip north into the park (cost is 150Q to enter).

One Comment

  1. Latin America: Top 5 Destinations « says: November 7, 2012 • 08:22:03

    […] narrow down to five, so here are a few other notable spots that I just couldn’t quite fit in: Tikal (Guatemala), Medellin (Colombia), Cuenca (Ecuador), Tupiza (Bolivia) & Salento (Colombia). If […]


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