Once we finished the Volcano Pacaya overnighter, we took a short flight that from Guatemala City to Flores, which is located in the northern part of Guatemala. We arrived in the evening and checked into the Hotel Jaquar Inn, conveniently located inside the Tikal National Park.
It was humbling to stay at the inn. Upon arrival, we were given a notice to inform us of the specific window of times when we’d get hot water and electricity. It was a potent reminder on how us city dwellers tend to take such things for granted in our daily lives….
It was right after 8:30pm when we checked into the inn, so we scurried into our room to take our showers while there was still 30 minutes left of the hot water. The water pressure was super low, and the hot water was at best lukewarm, so we showered in less than ideal circumstances, but after all that we had been through in our Worldschooling adventures the last few years, we learned to just roll with it. We were just glad to be able to shower and to have a safe place to sleep at the end of the day.
We woke up early the next morning to have a quick breakfast, and then met our guide shortly for our tour of the Tikal ruins. It was a private tour, so there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions and to take pictures. Tikal is the site of one of the most famous ruined cities of the Classic Period of the Maya. Perhaps even more known to modern culture though, is the location within Tikal where a scene from Star Wars IV was filmed. While our family is not a big fan of Star Wars (don’t judge), we were still excited to be at that exact location where the scene was shot.
Our guide provided a ton of knowledge on the history and the archaeology of Tikal, which we really enjoyed. I think we enjoyed it more than Chichen Itza simply because Tikal’s temperature was so much more comfortable, and there were very few people on the day that we went. There are some steep stairs to see a few of the buildings though, so do be prepared for that. And be on the lookout for wildlife, like the troop of coatis that we came across!