Tikal

One of the largest and best known Mayan sites, Tikal was once one of the most powerful Mayan city states, occupied for over a thousand years until declining after 900AD, probably due to overpopulation and environmental issues. Now it is an evocative collection of ruins in the dense Guatemalan jungle, home to impressive stone structures.

We started through the twin pyramid plazas of complexes Q and R.

Temple IV is one of the highest Mayan pyramids, rising 65m from the jungle floor. It didn’t look much from the ground as much of it is unrestored but the view from the top was pretty stunning, and may be familiar to Star Wars fans as it featured in Episode IV.

Talud Tablero Temple was a favourite of mine, from below and particularly seen from the top of the Great Pyramid, with Temple IV behind.

The small room at the top of the Talud Tablero Temple was typical of the pyramids.

The 32m high Great Pyramid also gave good views of the tops of Temples I and II in the North Acropolis, and Temple III.

Close up the North Acropolis was one of the most impressive parts of the site, with views from Temple II across many Stela and Temple I.

Next to it is the remains of residential housing / palaces for the Mayan elite.

Final couple of bonus photos from a lunch stop on Lago de Peten.

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