The Temple of the Grand Jaguar, (shown above) replicates the nine levels of the Underworld. The skeletal remains of the Lord of Chocolate were discovered inside the temple, surrounded by Jade and other precious objects.
Tikal was the greatest city in the world of the Maya - dating back to 900 BC. Today, the temples still rival the great pyramids of Egypt. Unfortunately, due to a mysterious cocktail of war, famine, overpopulation and resource depletion, the city collapsed.
Eventually, the ruins were devoured by the jungle. In 1525, a band of conquistadors marched right by the site and didn't see a darn thing. Even today, the towering structures are tightly wrapped with hungry trees. That is one of the reasons I loved Tikal. Nature is right there, howling in your face. Or, flying by you, flashing rainbow colored feathers. The ancient city is large too - spreading out for miles. There are thousands of structures.
We didn't have the greatest weather. It was cool and cloudy - both days. Sigh. Still, I took lots of photos...
Temple of the Masks
Do you see the mask?
A ball court.
Intriguing Stelae - many inscribed with the rulers' great deeds, can be found scattered around the site.
A Brown Jay.
Ocellated Turkeys! They roam Tikal, dressed in regal feathers like a peacock.
Look at how small the tourists look at the top of the temple.
I love this photo.
Now, we're at the top of a temple, enjoying a glorious view of the park. (You'll see this view in The Empire Strikes Back, if you look closely) Years ago, we snapped this exact shot, perched on this very ledge. We laughed because my husband still has the same shoes!
Travelers, thanks for linking up to my new travel photo linky. It's starting to grow...
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