Monday, February 05, 2007


It turns out that 6:00 AM on a Monday in the end of January is not a popular time to visit Tikal. Lucky for us -- when we got to the main plaza there were only four other people there, and we got to enjoy the animals and the mist wafting around the temples in relative solitude. A particular highlight was watching the oro pendulas fly in and out of their hanging nests, watching their yellow tails flash and listening to their eerie songs.

A little later we went to an area called the Lost World, where we'd had good luck seeing toucans before. Sure enough, animals are creatures of habit, and they didn't disappoint. A magical thing about the ruins is that when you climb the temples, you are in (or sometimes above) the tree canopy, at eye level with the birds. This time we had the added treat of being up above a spider monkey.

We climbed the tallest temple (IV, 212 feet) and watched a rainstorm come across the jungle...when the rain was past we climbed the scariest temple (V), which was basically like climbing 190 feet up a series of ladders. Then it was time to go back and swim in Lago Peten Itza one last time.