15.5.12

Guatemala Tikal

Tikal National Park is a Mayan archaeological site in northern Guatemala, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. 
The Mayan city of Tikal is believed to have started around the 4th century BC, and reached it’s pinnacle around 200 to 900 AD when the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily. By the end of the 10th century evidence suggests there was population decline which eventually resulted with the city’s abandonment.
Tikal is one of the best understood Maya cities because of the discovery of several intact tombs which provided archaeologists with a long list of dynastic rulers as well as well preserved temples and palace. 






Tikal has been partially restored by the University of Pennsylvania and the Government of Guatemala.  Many temples, like this one, have still not been excavated. 



There are also several courts like this one for playing Mesoamerican ballgame 

Most of the time visitors can climb the actual ruins, which is amazing although maybe not so great for preservation, some of the temples that were being restored had steep stairs like these. 

 Here is a sacrificial alter, all fun and games for this guy! 
We went very early in the morning when the wildlife is known to be most active.  We came across a group of Howler Monkeys and Spider Monkeys- all of the photos just look like trees- 
These little guys are called Coati and we saw a group forging for food on the trail in front of us- they didn't seem to be bothered as we walked by- although at one point they got spooked and the whole herd leaped onto trees a few feet off the ground and clung on like koalas.  It was cute.  They are a close relative of the raccoon. 

The boys were fascinated with the leaf cutter ants and I have to admit they were pretty cool to watch


And here is my youngest trying to look natural while the wild turkey called a Crested Guan,  struts behind him.
We arrived early and spent the day wandering around- Being in the moist jungle amid the ancient ruins was a magical experience.  
What is the oldest place you've visited? 

12 comments:

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

I would love to visit there! Those leaf cutter ants are something else, huh?

Oldest place I've ever visited? Probably the Acropolis.

Freedom Five said...

so awesome that your kids (and you) get to see this stuff!

Selene said...

AMAZING PLACE!!!

Alexa said...

Oh I've always wanted to go! The oldest place? Hmmm...good question. Loved the temples in Bali, but then Rome and Pompeii were pretty awesome too. xoxo

vanessa (the gal) said...

wow, very cool.

xx, Vanessa

http://fashiongalfireman.blogspot.com/

Phoenix said...

Awesome pictures! I love that you take your kids exploring everywhere. It will certainly influence them as adults!

The oldest place I've been...hmmmm. Probably Stonehenge!

Clair said...

Wow, what an adventure for all of you.

ElsaD said...

Cannot wait to visit the ruins! Great pics! I think the oldest place I visited was Rome's Pantheon.

Pat Tillett said...

Someday, I'd really like to go that place. Your photos are amazing! What a great experience for your boys...

Mia said...

WOW! So beautiful!

Wear The Canvas said...

I've always wanted to go there!~ Beautiful!

Amanda said...

What a fantastic opportunity! A very blessed family indeed.

blessings
Amanda

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