A View From Tikal

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Making the long journey up to Guatemala’s northeastern region is a prerequisite for most anyone visiting this country. It is in these densely forested hills that the ruins of Tikal spread out amongst the shadows of ancient trees. Still partially buried, and spanning over 200 square miles, Tikal draws fascination not only from the city it once was, but from the years it stood undiscovered. Buried under earth and overgrown by foliage, to walk Tikal is to feel as if you are on the verge of discovery.

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It’s cliche, but Tikal is one of those ‘must see’ places. It changes you..and to think we almost missed it due to the long haul it took to get up here from Utila. Squeezing it in to our dwindling time frame was the best decision we could have made.

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Tikal’s sheer vastness– a Mayan metropolis in the middle of a relentlessly dense tropical rainforest– is something that can’t be fully understood until you see it. Limestone temples with intricate carvings tower atop hills, entire community living quarters still buried beneath years of earth, active excavations delineated by construction tape and spotlights, the experience is both solemn and wondrous.

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Roadways, marketplaces, jail houses, temples, and palaces: the area paints a picture of the early city in such vivid light that it is impossible to not feel an attachment. Tikal is an original ghost town representing a modern edge of early humanity– it instigates philosophy into the depth of our species, and has the potential to make anyone amass a connection with the history of the Mayan world. I am humbled, I am amazed, i feel connected. My experience has left a lasting impact beyond anything I could have imagined.

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