The Most Powerful of the Maya Kingdoms
At the very heart of the Maya civilization we reach Tikal, the most important of the ancient capitals they had (there were 4 of them). The most powerful of all the kingdoms the Maya world was structured of. Remotely located in the middle of the pristine jungle of northern Guatemala, around one hour bus drive from Flores, means the hordes of tourists you see in Chichen Itza are not even a tenth in here. We were extremely lucky to enjoy the site almost to ourselves alone and have most of the pictures with no one else around.
Merely 20% of the site has been excavated and exposed to the public, the other 80% lies beneath the thick and dense jungle. You can guess from the many tree-covered mounts that an structure is underneath. Infra-red studies made by NASA show over 4000 constructions! You can imagine the vast size of this place if everything would be uncovered.
Fortunately, what you see today is well enough to give you an idea of how powerful Tikal once was while the many ongoing works to discover, uncover and restore are slowly expanding the area to the visitors. (more…)