Photographer's Note

Another picture from my rather deep archive. I am sometimes asked what have been the most fascinating place I have ever visited. Difficult to answer. But Tikal is for sure somewhere on top of the list. rnrnTikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is a remote place, the closest larger modern settlements are Flores and Santa Elena, approximately 64 kilometres. Tikal is approximately 303 kilometres north of Guatemala City. It is famous for its many ruins of Mayan pyramids. The ruins lie among the tropical rainforests of northern Guatemala that formed the cradle of lowland Maya civilization. The jungle is fantastic there. Conspicuous trees at the Tikal park include gigantic kapok (Ceiba pentandra) the sacred tree of the Maya; Tropical cedar and Honduras Mahogany. Regarding the fauna, agouti, white-nosed coatis, grey foxes, Geoffroy's spider monkeys, howler monkeys, harpy eagles, falcons, ocellated turkeys, guans, toucans, green parrots and leafcutter ants can be seen there regularly. Even jaguars, jaguarundis, and cougars are also said to roam in the park. For centuries this city was completely covered under the jungle.Tikal Temple IV is one of the tallest and most voluminous buildings in the Maya world. The pyramid was built around 741 AD. It stands 64.6 metres from its supporting platform to the highest part of the roof comb. Temple V is only a bit lower. Here you can see it above the jungle. I climbed all the pyramids. Here I was sitting on one and looked on another. The stairs were rather narrow and steep and with no protection. 65 m is something like a 10-storey building. Would I climb it now?

In my youth, I dreamt about seeing Mexico. When finally I went there, I fell in love in Guatemala.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13002 W: 139 N: 33644] (153568)
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