The Central American region was populated by the Mayans. It is impossible to escape all its history, beauty and culture. In Mexico, there are still those who speak Mayan and who live according to their principles. We learned to say two words, dog = pec and mongrel = maliche. But much of the Mayan heritage is in Guatemala and Tikal is proof of that.
Tikal, was the largest of the Mayan cities. It was abandoned around the 10th century AD. Scholars believe that at its height 100,000 to 200,000 people lived here. In addition to pyramids, we have palaces, residences, and even a building that is thought to have been a prison. Given their location, the ruins were undiscovered for years, and it was only in 1956 that excavation work began.
When seeing the images, many will remember the movie Apocalypto, filmed here. Duna cannot enter the park, we stayed in a modest hotel to leave her inside during our visit. It's something to take 4 hours. We left around 11 am. It took us 30 minutes to get there, and after entering the park we still have to drive another 18 km. Here the speed is controlled because of the wild animals that inhabit the jungle. The park is surrounded by Selva. We see signs of turkeys, snakes, jaguars,... we get butterflies in our stomachs and wonder what we would do if we saw a jaguar.
We proceed to the park, there are some pyramids to see, after passing the first known as the twin pyramids, we have what was for us one of the great moments of the trip. We started to hear a guttural sound, loud, very loud. They could only be monkeys. We look, we look for moving branches and there they are. There must have been 4 or 5. Small for the noise they made but still huge. Monkeys in their natural habitat. Tourists don't abound so time that moment just for us. They swing from tree to tree, until they enter the jungle and we lose sight of them.
We continue to complex 4, a pyramid that we can climb and from there we can see not only the entire park, as they say you can see as far as Belize and Mexico. We were speechless, we could only see the forest and hear the monkeys. We go down to the central square, we want to see the Jaguar Pyramid. The jaguar pyramid was a funerary temple where the Maya ruler - Hasaw Cha Kawil was buried. They believed it was a door to the other world. We stayed there for almost an hour, absorbing the energy of the place, the square was immense. We didn't want to leave without seeing more monkeys.
We looked at the trees and almost lost what was happening at our feet. A little anteater looks like it has a coat on. A little while later, the monkeys again. This time only one, but so close to us...
Tikal Park is magical, although the pyramids are still barely excavated, you can imagine living there, but the best thing is to be in contact with this jungle. We returned to the village, and met another couple of overlanders with whom we had been trying to arrange a meeting and who had entered Guatemala two hours before us. They are originally from the United States, come from Arizona and travel with two dogs. Their project has the best name we've ever seen - it's not a slow car, it's a fast house . Follow us, we hope to see you again.