Best Pictures From Tikal

Located in the jungles of northern Guatemala, Tikal is a prominent (and possibly the most prominent) Mayan ruins site in Central America. You could almost call it the “Angkor Wat of Central America.” With architecture dating back to 400 BC, Tikal was a dominating force in the Mayan region, particularly during its height around 200-900 AD. There are several very large structures that have been restored (and many others yet to be excavated), making this quite a place to see. Definitely a “must do” when visiting Guatemala or nearby mainland Belize.

We spent a day at Tikal walking on and around the various structures and learning about the history of the place. One of the more interesting things for us about going to sites like Tikal and Angkor Wat is imagining what life would have been like when these “cities” were thriving cultural and political centers. Did the rulers make grandiose speeches from the tops of the tallest structures? What were the sacrifices like? Where did people sleep? Where did they go to the bathroom? It’s so interesting to think about!

Here are some of our favorite pictures from our time at Tikal:

Side view of the main complex in front of Temple 1

Side view of the main complex in front of Temple 1

Temple I tower as viewed from Temple 2

Temple I tower as viewed from Temple 2

Ceiba tree, which served as a link to heaven and the underworld according to the Mayans

Ceiba tree, which served as a link to heaven and the underworld according to the Mayans

Tarantula!

Tarantula!

Oldest structure at the site - this guy dates back to 400 BC

Oldest structure at the site – this guy dates back to 400 BC

Brian at one of the outer structures

Brian at one of the outer structures

This provides a good look at the difference between excavated vs. unexcavated ruins.  There are still several dozen unexcavated temples and structures here, buried beneath centuries of undergrowth.

This provides a good look at the difference between excavated vs. unexcavated ruins. There are still several dozen unexcavated temples and structures here, buried beneath centuries of undergrowth.

There was a lot of wildlife around the park - here is a shot of a howler monkey we spotted while walking one of the trails in between ruins

There was a lot of wildlife around the park – here is a shot of a howler monkey we spotted while walking one of the trails in between ruins

Panoramic view just before sunset from Tower 4 - you can see tower 1 and 2 jutting above the jungle canopy

Panoramic view just before sunset from Tower 4 – you can see tower 1 and 2 jutting above the jungle canopy

Sunset from Temple 4

Sunset from Temple 4

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