Belize 2004, Part 4 – Maya Pyramids, Tikal, Guatemala

Journey Into Guatemala

For the most incredible experience of our trip to Belize, we left the country and entered neighbouring Guatemala to see the ancient Mayan city of Tikal which has the most extensive hieroglyphics in the Mayan world.

(Take a virtual tour of Tikal National Park)

By saying this, I don’t think I’ll hurt the tourism industry of Belize because when you cross over into Guatemala you quickly see just how poor and derelict the country is.

We travelled with a larger group in a big van, but the road along the way was so bad we just rattled, lurched and shook the whole way. It was so terrible I am shocked we didn’t blow a tire as many others had.

Ruins of Tikal

Founded in 200 BC, Tikal is the best Mayan site I have seen yet. It is an Indiana Jones type of jungle ruins having been overgrown by vegetation since the Mayans mysteriously abandoned it in 900 AD until being rediscovered in 1848. It was a regional superpower dominating other city-states from Yucatán to Honduras.

Miniature Model of Tikal, Guatemala

At the Tikal site, there are six enormous tall temple pyramids which were designed to impress. Temple IV is the tallest which stands at 212 feet. We scaled it by climbing a series of wooden ladders over protruding roots.

Climbing jungle Mayan ruins in Tikal

Me and pyramid Tikal, Guatemala(Here I am standing near the Pyramid of the Great Jaguar)

Mom and I in Tikal Maya National Park(Posing with Mom amongst the ruins of Tikal. You can see the huge cassette loaded video camera I used at the time hanging off my shoulder.)

All these photos were taken on the enormous brick of a 5 Megapixel digital Canon camera I bought in the year 2000. It cost $1,200! It was my first digital. Digital cameras were still in their commercial infancy back then. I bought a professional Canon EOS 20D SLR for the same amount in 2005 and didn’t upgrade until last month – nearly 10 years later. Canon rocks.

Watch [VIDEO] Belize Vacation Ten Year Anniversary

I also recorded most of these adventures on a huge clunky Digital-8 Cassette Video Camcorder which I carried around back then (I bought that at a pawn shop in 2003). You can see me wearing it in some of my pics. I have edited the footage into the compilation below. The soundtrack includes popular songs from 2004, which played a lot on the radio in Belize.

Belize Vacation Ten Year Anniversary Series

Belize 2004, Part 1 – Arrival in Central America
Belize 2004, Part 2 – Underground Mayan Waterways: The Caves of Barton Creek
Belize 2004, Part 3 – San Ignacio, Cayo District
Belize 2004, Part 4 – Maya Pyramids, Tikal, Guatemala
Belize 2004, Part 5 – The Coral Island of Caye Caulker
Belize 2004, Part 6 – Juni’s Sail & Snorkel Trips in Caye Caulker
Belize 2004, Part 7 – Lazy Lizard Bar & Grill at the Split, Caye Caulker

Next – Read Part 5:
The Coral Island of Caye Caulker

Originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime media producer, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, technology and being a Dad.

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