Let’s Go to Flores Island and Tikal
I LOVE Flores. A 45-minute flight takes us from the Guatemala City airport to this lovely island which is simply charming. It affords a great overnight location to then enjoy a day trip to the World Heritage Site of Tikal or, perhaps, a helicopter visit to the most incredible Maya site of El Mirador. Flores is one of my favorite “cities” in Guatemala. I love the size, the views of the Lake Peten Itzá and the hospitality!
Despite a visit by the Spanish conqueror, Hernán Cortés, in 1541, the Maya Itzá held out until 1697 when the island was finally conquered in 1697 as the last area to come under Spanish rule. From the ruins of the Maya town Nojpetén – which means “Great Island” in Maya Itzá – the Spanish referred to it as Tayasal or “the Place of the Itza”.
Tikal is one of the most remarkable places to visit! A walk through the incredible rainforest affords the flavor of the protected park with all of its splendor: nature and unique wildlife. Guides take us back in time to 200 – 900 A.D. and intertwine nature with the history and architecture of the ancient Maya. On our most recent trip, we focused on many birds perched throughout – particularly the wide ocellated turkey endemic to the area! As Tikal was one of the largest archeological sites, we learned about the ancient causeways and water systems that provided commerce and life until it was abandoned around 950 A.D.
With a loss in the balance in the ecosystem, overpopulation and perhaps 120,000 inhabitants at its height, it became impossible to sustain. Today it is one of Guatemala’s highlights to visit including Star Wars fans as the first Star Wars Yavin 4 was filmed from Temple IV in 1977. Let’s go! Contact us at www.antiguatours.net for reservations.