Monday, March 21, 2016

Tikal in Two Days

First, I am not a historian............and I never will be.  This was the second time for me to visit Tikal because I am so drawn to the culture.  So, I will show you the two days that I spent here and I will also give you some of the history that makes it more interesting.

I did two, four hour guided hikes plus returned on my own to take more photos. There is no way I can show you all of the photos but I will give you a good variety.

You can reach Flores, Guatemala by bus or by air.  I chose to fly, due to time restrictions.  My package included all transportation from Antigua, 4 meals and the two guided tour and the night at the inn.

There are three main hotels inside of the park and I decided to stay at The Tikal Inn. It has the basic accommodations and electricity with hot water for about four fours in the evening.  Don't get too upset over this, because it is YOU who has decided to stay in the jungle.

Before we entered the park, Andres took us to a place where we could see a scale model of  Tikal

It would take us two days to cover all of this territory.  The national park itself is 222 square miles and at one time had 90,000 people living here. Some of the architecture dates back to the 4th century BC.

When you enter the park you will see a cieba tree, which is the national tree of Guatemala.  With the man on the right, it gives you an idea of how large this tree is. They can tower to 100  ft. tall and have branches that span 150 ft. 

This is the back of Temple I.  It faces west and was built in 750 AD and it is also called the Temple of the Jaguar.

In 784 AD, it was used as a burial place.  At the very top is a place with three rooms.  No longer are you allowed to climb this temple.  It is 144 ft. high.

This is the Great Plaza that separates Temple I from Temple II  In the top of the photo, you can see the steps that lead up to Temple I. When you climb Temple IV, you can see the alignment of I and II.

In the center of the Great Plaza is a sacrificial area. All significant events and announcements were made at this area, along with sacrifices. 

This is a view of Temple II, which is in direct alignment with Temple I. It is also called, The Temple of the Masks. This temple is 125 ft. high and can be you can see many people under the doorway. It dates back to 700 AD.

 I thought it was interesting that this bird stayed perched in the same spot all morning on Temple II.

 This is the side that we used to climb Temple II

Then we spend some time walking to the next temple.

 Here is a pavo ocelado.  They are very colorful and can make a lot of noise

This is the North Acropolises.  It contains smaller temples, housing areas, storage areas and tombs. These building date back to 600 BC. 

 This is one of the 10 ft. masks that was uncovered in this area.

 There was always concern for resources so this is a canal that was dug to bring in water for a reservoir.

Many different type of flowers and trees.

Heading up to another acropolis

Lost of moss covered trees.

This is the backside of Temple III.  It is also called the Temple of the Jaguar Priest and is one of the newest found temples.  Currently restoration is ongoing and many problems have taken place.  The temple is splitting and in some other photos you will see the work that is being done

Getting closer...................

Then as you get around, you can see the work that is being done.

Entering another acropolis.

These structure are known as The Lost World.

 Then we had the opportunity to climb Temple IV.  The temple is 154 feet tall and has 187 steps.

From the top of Temple IV, you are able to see the front of Temple I, the back of Temple II and Temple III is on the right.

 Closer view of Temples I and II.

More ocellated turkeys.

I did not have time to read my bird book........something else to do in the future.

Very colorful.

After the 4 hour tour, I went back out to find some monkeys.  These are spider monkeys playing.  There was a family of five jumping from tree to tree.

"I think I can make it!!"

Well, that was my first day in Tikal.  In the morning, we will meet at 0330 to return to Tower IV to watch the sunrise!


Kemmel and Lisa Dunham said...

What a fun trip! I love the pictures especially of the wildlife!

Mom said...

Sheri, how very nice!!!!! Exciting trip and beautiful pic. VERY interesting!!!!!