On Monday evening we boarded a bus to Guatemala City, and then an over night bus to Tikal. Half dazed and confused we arrived in Flores at 5am. I was comforted that the travel agency we booked the trip through had someone waiting to take us to the hotel. The hotel was by no mean glamours or where I would have picked but, I was too tired to even care. I just wanted to sleep for a couple of hours.
At 8am, which really mean 8:30am manana time, we loaded into a van that drove us another few hours to Tikal. There we joined up with a group of eight others, for a tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the ruins, however, he was a man of few words. In order to get extra details, you had to keep ask questions. I did like that he “took the short cuts” through the jungle so we could avoid the other tour groups.
Tikal was built by the Mayans, and the ruins are nothing less than amazing. Currently Tikal’s pyramids are being restored. In the 50’s the University of Pennsylvania restored one of the pyramids and uncovered information about the chambers that lies beneath. Today most of Tikal is still covered in the jungle. According to our guide, Guatemala will only allow companies to restore a pyramids / area if they can pay for the entire project up front; which is a ton of money. For the project you have to have a team of archaeologists, historians, and architects. Right now Guatemala is restoring one of the structures and a company from Japan will begin work on another sometime this year. It’s expected for those projects to take several years to complete. The structures that have already been restored are still going through constant maintenance. Want to learn more about Tikal? Click here!
After the tour we arrived back in Flores. Sadly we were so tired from the over night bus and the tour that we fell asleep for several hours. By the time we woke up it was time for dinner and the sun had already set. We tried to walk along the shore to discover a bit of the city but, it was so dark it wasn’t worth wondering. So we found a great little restaurant over looking the water and discussed our next adventure.
Next stop Lanquin!