A Travellerspoint blog

Visiting Petén

The ruins of Tekal and Yaxha Nakum Naranjo


This past weekend I attended the annual PAVA Foundation board meeting in Antigua, Guatemala. One of our board members announced that one of the people visiting her had fallen ill and was returning with his wife to the states. They'd planned a trip to the Tekal National Park in Petén, but now wouldn't be attended and couldn't get a refund. Unlike the United States, they could transfer the entire package to someone else for a small fee. I waited to see if anyone else wanted to go and by the evening no one else came up so I said yes. I had to get up at 3:30 am for a 4:00 am departure to Guatemala City.

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Without much incident we made our flight and arrived in Petén at about 8:30 am. Another hour of driving and we made it to the Jungle Lodge located in the Tikal National Park and a short 20 minutes later Arlene, Suzi, and I were out hiking the ruins of Tekal with our guide Carlos. Barbara on the other hand, chose to rest and went out after her much needed sleep. She's been there so often she could give tours!

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We walked through parts of the ruins of Tikal which was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Some of the monumental architecture dates back as far as the 4th century BC. Our guide told us stories of the discovery of Tikal and the archaeological investigations and I was grateful for the reminder of the history lesson.


As we approached the Great Plaza I was overwhelmed by the size of the structures and the grandness of it all. It was my second trip here and it was still just as awe-filled as the first time I came.


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I wandered around the park exploring different areas of the complex with my new friends.

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We heard about another park called Yaxhá Nakum Naranjo that was about 74 km away (about 45 miles). We became interested since the it had been the site of the show "Survival Guatemala." Apparently, the show had donated considerable funds for improvement in the park in order to film in the park. I was quite impressed with the park and I'd like to go back.

Posted by Aeren 15:48 Archived in Guatemala Tagged tikal peten maya_ruins

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