Day 4 (March 7, 2014) Tikal

Before   

  This day starts very early for us as our flight to Flores takes off at 6:30 AM. Once in Flores we will decide if going to the Tikal by bus or taxi.

Map of Tikal

   We’re allocated at Jaguar Inn, inside the park, so we’ll have the entire day to explore it at our will, enjoying also the jungle and the hotel. Our thought is joining the tour for watching the sunset from the top of one of the temples as a magnificent end for this day and for this country too.

After

   We could hear the storm outside from our room. It seems it has taken the entire night, but when we’re out of the hotel at 5 AM it is over.

TACA plane for domestic flights in GuatemalaInterior of TACA plane
















   Everything goes fine in this airport, quite crowded at this early time, and we board into a plane smaller than usual to reach Flores around 7:30 AM. The airport here is very small and we leave the plane to go walking to a hall in the airport where we can see customs, immigration and the unique baggage carousel in the same room.

Reaching the jungle by planeAirport "Mundo Maya" in Flores
















   We find a sign with my name at the same door to go outside the airport. The man who stands showing it is our driver.

   In this ride, a bit longer than one hour, we make two stops: one in a very expensive gift store but with a good free coffee and another one in the entrance to the park where we purchase our admission tickets by 150 quetzals per person.

Road to Tikal
Shore of Lake Peten ItzaEntrance to Tikal National Park















Jaguars area

   We arrive to Jaguar Inn, where we check in and rest before going to explore the archaeological site.

Entrance to Jaguar InnRoom at Jaguar Inn
















   We see a group of adorable coatis eating with no stop from a tree, just before the entrance to the park, where they check our tickets.

Path through the jungle in Tikal   The following is a pleasant walk through the jungle, where we see a spider monkey and a woodpecker between the dense foliage.

   After 20 minutes we reach the first Mayan ruins, labeled as Group F, which are quite disappointing. Somehow, the known “Gran Plaza” is near.

   But before we explore the group known as “Mercado”.

Mercado in Tikal  
















  Then, after get amazed by the back of the Temple I, also known as “Gran Jaguar”, we reach the wonderful square, with that temple showing its long staircase, in front of a smaller brother. At both sides, the acropolis structures complete this incredible place.
Back of Temple I of Tikal



   I climb up to the top of Temple II to take a formidable view of the square, but the effort is paid with such hot.
Temple I "El Gran Jaguar" in Tikal


Northern Acropolis in TikalTemple II in Tikal
















   We pass by Temple III, which is still buried, and can show how the jungle can hide such a building with the vegetation.

   Temple IV is the furthest point of this park and is covered by vegetation in the most of it. But people are not coming here to see it, but to climb to the top, as it is the highest temple of the complex. On its top you can get the best views of Tikal: an endless green sea from which emerge the tops of the other temples. It is so fantastic as per George Lucas used it in “Star Wars” and I as header of these pages.

Stairs to the top of Temple IV in TikalTop of Temple IV
















  We’re coming back by different paths to explore the buildings we haven’t seen before, as the group labeled as “Mundo Perdido” (Lost World).

"Lost World" in TikalTemple in Tikal  
















  We go on with the Acropolis and Temple V, which looks lonely and magnificent. From there we go back to the hotel tired from all the trekking.

Square of seven temples in TikalTemple V in Tikal
















   We eat pasta this time by around 300 quetzals and go to bed for a rest.

   Before getting dark we come back to the beginning of the park just for a walk and some of bird watching. We want to see toucans. We meet the same group of coatis still eating from the same tree than before. Then, toucans appear on the highest part of the trees.

Coatis in TikalToucan in Tikal  
















  As usual, sleep is coming soon and we don’t fight against it as tomorrow we must be ready at 6 AM.