Elliott and I finally left Caye Caulker after we decided to stay there for five days and then skip the rest of Belize. The two of us and two other couples who we met at the hostel, Marina and Chris from Italy and Lauren and Paul from California, then hopped on a water taxi from the island to Belize City, where we boarded a bus bound for Flores, Guatemala.
After we made it to Flores, we did some research on Tikal and decided that the price was right for transportation to the site and a tour guide at the ruins — we only paid about $5 USD extra for the tour guide, and it was totally worth it.
The next morning, a shuttle picked us up outside of our hostel before the sun rose, since we wanted to get there right when the park opened at 6 a.m. in hopes of seeing the animals when they’re most active in the morning.
Well, our decision paid off, because we saw saw a ton of wildlife, including spider monkeys, howler monkeys, pizotes, a fuzzy poisonous caterpillar, a tarantula, a grey fox, a roadside hawk and a toucan. We also got to check out everything worth seeing in the park, according to our tour guide.
Our visit to Tikal marked our third stop at a Mayan ruins site in three weeks. I liked it better than Chichen Itzá and Tulum because we were actually able to climb the uncovered ruins, which are spread out throughout a 6-mile swath in the jungle, including the tallest pre-Colombian structure in the Americas. The park is a lot less developed than the others, so it feels more authentic, and there were far less tourists.