Emma and Sarah's Mayan Adventure May 2008 travel blog





Today we were up at 530am ready to leave for Tikal. Tikal is another huge site of Mayan ruins with big pyramids, similar to Chichen Itza. The difference is that it is in the heart of the jungle, so it combines the ruins along with some amazing wildlife as the area is protected. We started off at the crocodile swamp, where our guide told us they have about 7 crocodiles living at the moment. We could get right up close (but not too close!) but only saw 2 relatively small crocs. There used to be one called Goliath that was 3.5 metres long and killed 2 of the park rangers last year and so had to be shot. Apparently there is another one in there though equally as big! We then continued on our jungle walk for about 45 minutes and saw parrots and monkies! There were howler onkeys which made the most amazing noise but moved relatively slowly as they were quite big and spider monkies which were smaller and swinging around in the trees right above us! They also strated throwing sticks at us as that is how they fend off predators! We then arrived at the ruins which were very impressive and got to climb right to the top of one of the pyramids and the views were amazing. Many of them are still being renovated and many still lie buried under mounds of earth and trees. We decided not to climb the next one as it was much steeper and there was no hand rail at the top and a woman had died there the previous year as she fell.

We then carried on to the main site of the ruins where we could look inside the houses and look at the masks of the Gods they worshipped, the most important of which was Chac the rain god. We then headed back through the jungle and stopped again near the crocodile swamp where our guide pointed out some holes in the ground with webs covering them. He informed us they were tarantula holes! He then got a long piece of grass and gently broke the web. This fools the tarantula that it is food and it clung on to the piece of grass and he pulled out a real tarantula right in front of us! Pretty cool but we didnt want to get too close! We then headed back to the hotel in the afternoon and enjoyed swimming in the pool and relaxing and exploring the island, as it only takes half an hour to walk all the way round! We went out for supper with the rest of the group then went to bed.

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