El Remate was the gateway village to visit the ruins of Tikal. This Mayan architecture is notable for its size and some unique building features. The most visible unique feature is the stone “crest” on the top of the main temples. Some of the temples at Tikal have been featured in many photos and even movies. One of the images below may be recognizable from Star Wars. Tikal covers a huge area and recent discoveries suggest that it may connect to other ruins in this region, making it even larger than presently imagined.
We spent four hours hiking around the grounds of Tikal. We saw the largest structures. We climbed to the top of the tallest structures. We explored the jungle with a guide well-versed in birdwatching. We spotted some elusive toucans and many other birds. Within those four hours it was hot, it was chilly, it was sunny and it was rainy. Although we thought we were “ruined-out” from Mexico, we are very glad we took the time to see Tikal and explore it with a quality guide.
Featured here is the collection of photos taken during our exploration of Tikal. There are also a couple of movies (in case you need to wait for them to load) showing the amazing, lush jungle view and the crests of temples rising towards the sky.
Those two photos show an orange, insect-like, jungle flower struggling for survival amid the lush growth.
These three photos show some current restoration and preservation work. Hundreds of temples, stellae, buildings and unknown structures remain as victims of the jungle growth. The structures remain covered in trees, vines, dirt and moss.
I am not sure we will visit a lot of other ruins, but we are really glad that we took the time to explore these. Tikal is a magical location in the middle of the beautiful, Northern jungles of Guatemala. Next we will head for the central highlands, known as the Alta Verapaz Region.