I always get a little nervous that a country’s most marketed tourist attraction might not live up to all the hype especially if it takes quite a bit of effort to get there. Getting to Tikal and back meant not one but two overnight buses so I was concerned. But these are scared ruins of the people pretty much responsible for chocolate, right …
You hear Tikal before you see it. Or rather you hear the jungle sounds of the amazing setting the Mayans built this particular ancient city in (Ancient civilizations had a knack for picking prime real estate, didn’t they? I’m thinking of you, Inca’s of Machu Picchu and Great Zimbabwe closer to home).
And while they might not be so great at predicting the end of the world – all though they conveniently claim it was always just they end of an era according to their famous ca – they could certainly build.
I don’t think the photos do Tikal justice because the ruins are actually set out over 16 square kilometers. The structures were also far bigger then I was expecting. Another big plus was how uncrowded and peaceful the site was really enabling you to step back in time while learning about the ancient culture. We could also climb and explore the ruins relatively freely without anyone blowing whistles if you stepped out of bounds (for some of us who might have annoyed the Machu Picchu guards a little bit).
PS With those commanding step designs for “ceremonies” and funky head dresses, does anyone else think those Mayans might have been able to put on a particularly mean Caberet? Nope, just me then. Either way those thanksgiving ceremonies for sunrises and sunsets must have been magnificent.