How many steps?!

Tikal Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 11 › view all entries
Lago Peten Itza, on the way to Tikal.
Tikal was fantastic! Incredible site. Our guide, Luis, was superb. He was very knowledgeable about a wide range of topics relating to Maya culture, religion and daily living, and he was very friendly. Tikal was the first national park in Central America. This site is roughly 26 square kilometers. Luis confirmed something I had read previously, that the Maya did not build cities or even buildings without a specific reason or location in mind. Rather than build next to a water source, such as a river, they built in places they believed to be nodes of power. he showed us how the buildings had resonant chambers, and some of the courtyards were designed to echo (perhaps to make the rulers who spoke there sound more powerful).


There are five absolutely huge pyramids, amazing structures with fantastic views. We climbed a fiew of them on steep wooden staircases (a couple were more like ladders than stairs). Temple IV is 212 feet tall, still one of the tallest buildings in the area. In addition to the five largest buildings, there are a huge number of other structures, many of which are still unexcavated. Luis was able to take us along paths through the jungle, less trafficked by the many tourists at the site. At one point, we hiked up a huge hill to find a small stone building at the top. Luis explained that that is how many of the Maya sites were discovered - people reached the tops of hills only to realize that they were, in fact, huge buildings covered by trees and earth.

You could easily spend two days at Tikal and not see it all. A good guide makes a huge difference. We were able to see the highlights in a few hours, and learned a lot to boot. Spectacular!
cneoridium says:
Those are definitely some of the best pyramids in the world, there's just nothing else like that.
Posted on: Mar 27, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Lago Peten Itza, on the way to Tik…
Lago Peten Itza, on the way to Ti…
Spider Monkeys
Spider Monkeys
There are so many steps in this pl…
There are so many steps in this p…
The Guatemalan countryside, from t…
The Guatemalan countryside, from …
The Guatemalan countryside, from t…
The Guatemalan countryside, from …
The Guatemalan countryside, from t…
The Guatemalan countryside, from …
Tikal
photo by: Biedjee