Over the last month and a half of my travels I have seen ALOT of Mayan ruins. (Well 3 :P) Starting with Chichin Itza in Mexico where I almost got stranded in the middle of the jungle. The beautiful seaside ruins of Tulum in Mexico and lastly the Guatemalan Mayan ruins of Tikal.
Let me first start by saying I’m not massive Mayan culture or Archaeological buff. But by the time I got to my third set of ruins within a month Tikal I was all ruined out. Which is a shame seeing as looking back now at Tikal it was an amazing set of ruins. It probably didnt help that I did the sunrise tour so I was pretty tired and after seeing the sunrise at the start of the day I knew it wasn’t going to get any better than that.
That being said I think that each set of ruins had their own charm. The sheer grandness of the major ruin in Chichin Itza was really impressive that and the awesome carvings on the walls around the ruins. However Chichin Itza felt a bit ruined for me by the 100’s of people constantly barraging me to buy things everywhere I walked. As a result of this I’d have to rank Chichin Itza as my least favorite ruin of the three.
Coming in as my second favorite ruin is the Tulum ruins also in Mexico. The thing that I loved the most about these ruins is the fact that they were so quiet and non commercialized There was no one at the ruins selling a single thing. That and the fact that it had the backdrop of the amazing Caribbean coast and even had its own private beach that we got to go lounge around on and take a dip after traversing the ruins for a couple of hours.
My favorite mayan ruins overall were Tikal. Located in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle the things that impressed me most about my time at the Tikal ruins wasnt so much the ruins itself but the atmosphere and other cool things I got to experience at my time at the Tikal ruins.
To start with I went on the Tikal sunrise tour which involved me getting out of bed at 3am from my hostel in Flores to take a 2 hr shuttle to the Tikal ruins. each wielding our own torch we navigated our way into the park and sat on top of the largest temple and waited for the sun to rise up over the jungle to the chorus of hundreds of monkeys.