The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Savvy Travel: History in the Jungle

Pyramids that rival the pharaohs' await The Budget Babe's International Travel Advisor Fifi LaMode in Tikal, Guatemala. —TBB

by Fifi LaMode
The Mayan city of Tikal dates back to 800 BC and at one time was home to over 100,000 people. The entire complex is a national park and Guatemala's pride. Howler monkeys make eerie noises which make you think you're in Jurassic Park. We were lucky enough to see not one but three toucans in the same tree. Other colorful birds, among them the trogon from the quetzal family, abound. If you are fortunate enough, you just may see the peanut bug which is a huge green thing in the shape of a peanut. They are very rare and I'm told they bite. We saw two mating - eeeeuw.

Tikal is spectacular - a much bigger area than I expected and surprisingly easy to get around. The walking paths are wide enough for 2 cars, though passenger vehicles are forbidden. The weather was unusually mild due to this year's La Nina effect (The same La Nina which caused such a horrible winter in the US also cooled off the jungle.) It's a quiet place, permeated only by jungle noises. The mounds of vegetation hide ruins which will not be dug up (only 15% of the city is uncovered), so we can only imagine Tikal's grandeur in days past. A careful balance is kept with nature in this very unique ecosystem.