The Heart of the Mayan Empire
Tikal Travel Blog› entry 123 of 134 › view all entries
Forget what you've read. Ignore the people who say "It's just another temple isn't it?" and put away all your preconceptions. This is Tikal.
We woke at 4am to take the hour long ride to the gates of Tikal. They don't open until 6am so despite the early arrival unfortunately we miss the sunrise here. As the pink and orange rays of a new day break over the trees I can only imagine how glorious a veiw it would have been. Tried as I did to find information no one could tell me how to spend a night in Tikal. That was until I met Little Ceasar who offers the night tour (250Q) and the chance to stay in Tikal to see the sunrise and have the chance to have this amazing site to yourself.
So it was that we arrived on mass and started our tour with Ceasar early one morning. The site is huge litterd with important sites that until 1840 were covered by jungle. We headed straight to Temple IV where we caught the last impressive colours of sunrise. The view from the top (once I'd caught my breathe) was spectacular. The peeping tops of other temples, trees and the cry of the monkeys all transported us to a much simpler but bloodier time.
Ceaser introduced us to his friends if you like Tarantulas, the myths and legends of the Mayans including the Saber Tree, the national tree whose roots were believed to stretch through 9 levels of the underworld.
The Mayan people were forecful rulers.
We strolled through the site and all the main temples and came to the Grand Plaza holding Temple I the gateway to the underworld and Temple II, I was overcome with such a feeling power from this place. The echo of Mayan footsteps can still be felt. A site like this never truly loses it's power, it keeps emitting it until someone comes across it and recognises it for what it is. I wish I would have had the opportunity to have spent a silent night here, truly experiencing the peacefulness and magic of the place. One for next time though.