Tikal is a spectacular Mayan site in Eastern Guatemala. It's structures are tall, beautiful, and in darned good shape. They are separated by dense patches of jungle, making the site feel much less visited and busy than it is. The only place we really ran into crowds is in the main plaza and Temple 5; everywhere else it was sparsely touristed. This is a view of Temple 1 on the entrance path; alas, we came in from a different path and didn't get this special introduction to the site, but I figured we could put the picture first anyhow.
This the front of Temple 1, facing the Grand Plaza. Temples 1 and 2 face each other across the plaza; I was standing on the viewing platform of Temple 2 to take this picture.
Temple 2. Right below the band of lighter colored rock is where tourists can stand and see the Grand Plaza.
As we were leaving, we wandered back through the Grand Plaza and found it nearly deserted. So, we used our tripod to get this nice little momento, featuring Temple 1.
The structures to the left are known as the North Acropolis, forming another border of the Grand Plaza. This picture is also taken from the viewing platform of Temple 2.
This is the view above the jungle of Temples 1 & 2 (to the left) and Temple 5 from the viewing platform of Temple 4. This gives a great depiction of how tall these temples are.
This is Temple 4. Only the top is visible, the rest looks like a mid-sized hillock instead of a man-made structure.
Another area of the site is called El Mundo Perdido, or the Lost World. This pyramid is it's most impressive structure. Archeologist have tunneled into (under?) this pyramid to see that this pyramid is built on top of older structures, demonstrating that Tikal was inhabited for thousands of years.
This "hill" is what the temples all looked like (albeit with visible tops) before they were rediscovered and studied.
This is Temple 5, perhaps the most impressive single structure in Tikal. The modern stairs (on the left) are an engineering marvel in their own right.
Near the Grand Plaza, we first heard and then saw this fancy bird, called Montezuma Oropendula. He's a pretty bird, but in the next picture you see him doing tricks, showing that's he may well be a little bit crazy as well.