Tikal is an extremely impressive Mayan ruin site set in the Guatemalan rain forest. We were told the sunrise over the rain forest from atop one of the pyramids was something absolutely not to be missed. So we stayed at a lodge on site and woke up at 3:30 AM so we could see the spectacular scene unfold. After about four and a half hours of sleep, we woke up tired and blurry-eyed, grabbed our flashlights, sucked down a few cups of Juan Valdez’s finest, and trekked on in the pitch black dark through the lush Guatemalan rainforest in which we weren’t able to see. All that was visable were sets of eyes glowing at us periodically, which we found out later were large spiders. After a few miles of our hike in the dark, we made it to the pyramid and 196 steps thereafter we reached the top.
There were probably a few dozen of us up there in total. We collectively sat in silence so that we could hear the sounds of the jungle come to life around us. The night sky slowly faded as light began to gradually filter in. Birds began to call, chirp and whistle. Howler monkeys began to roar. Anticipation and excitement was building. It would only be a matter of minutes for our early morning trek in the dark to payoff with one of the most spectacular of sunrises viewable on earth, rising over the beautiful jungle being pierced with ancient Mayan pyramids. It was to be the visual crescendo of the jungle sounds around us.
Here was our sunrise view.
No one told us about any morning fog. Apparently this is a very common occurrence for the area. Grrr. This is a rain/cloud forest after all. Fail. If ever in Tikal, perhaps opt for the sunset instead.