Tikal, home of the ancient Mayans. Majestic. The scale of the buildings was something to see; towering over us, enticing us to climb to the top. Mesmerizing. Each direction we turned, there was another set of buildings in the distance. Each corner encouraged you to take another look. Mysterious. Where did the ancient Mayans go? Why were these built? Why were they abandoned?
We had no idea how sprawling Tikal was…the distance to the Grand Plaza from the entrance was a good 25-minute walk up hills and through the jungle. It was a hot day. Fortunately, we were shaded from the sun by tall trees surrounding the area. This underscored the immense size of the Grand Plaza when we emerged from the jungle into the open site unobscured by trees, dominated by huge temples and adjoining plazas.
Unlike many historical monuments I’ve visited, this one still allowed you to climb up and down many of the structures. The climbs themselves, however, were not for the timid. My hips weren’t up to the ascents but at least Truls did (and Storyteller on the first one).
I can imagine spending many days in Tikal. We spent the majority of our time in the Grand Plaza with a side trip to Temple V. According to our map, several edifice stood in nearby clearings in the jungle. But the heat and our daughters’ growing desire to jump in the hotel pool shortened our exploration. Oh well.
I have to say though, as out of the way as the Tikal ruins are (compared to Tulum, for example), they are soooooo worth the effort to see. And maybe someday, we will again.
An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.