Tikal: Temples & Tarantulas

Tikal: Temples & Tarantulas

Guatemala is often referred to as The Mayan Heart of the Americas. There are endless historical sites where you can wander around the remains of what were once Mayan empires. After travelling for fourteen months though, the travel fatigue well and truly kicks in and the thought of trawling around temple after temple gives me anxiety so we decided to chose one Mayan site. We chose Tikal.

What I love about Tikal is its scale. This means that not all the temples can be restored due to the sheer workload, therefore you stumble across many moss covered mounds which were once grand temples or some that are now totally hidden by the jungle. I love that no matter what we create as humans, nature will always take over.

I asked our guide what could had caused this marking on the ground (thinking it was probably a snake), he said this was created by an army of ants. You’ve got to love how such tiny creatures achieve so much. Ultimate team work right there.

I thought our guide had lost it when he approached this termite mound and started tucking into them like they were caviar. He told us that they taste like carrots so I had to try for myself. Weirdly they do taste just like carrots. In hindsight I’m kind of grossed out at myself that I sambled them but at least I have a tried and tested option for survival if I’m ever lost and starving to death in a forests.

Wandering through the forest surrounded by nature and wildlife was so magical, especially when you see temple tops towering above the canopy, I felt like I was in a Tomb Raider reenactment.

Our guide got huge brownie points for finding us a tarantula. It’s the first time I had ever seen one in the wild which was awesome but I hope this is the last I see of them also.

Because we hate those people who jump in front of every monument so we thought we would stop bitching and give it a go. As you can see, we nailed it. 

The native community here call these trees ‘tourist trees’ because they go red and then their skin peels off.

I was dumb struck when I saw this Ocellated Turkey. What an incredible looking bird.

After our amazing Mayan day out we headed back to Flores which is a gorgeous little town an hour south of Tikal. It is home to a lot of traditional Mayan backstrap weaving which I adore so I treated myself to a skirt and a margarita over sunset.

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