Tikal is Guatemala`s most famous Mayan site. With looming pyramids, giant ball courts, thousands of stone carvings and howler monkeys throwing feces at you, what is not to love.
We decided to spend the night with the monkeys by camping just outside the ruins and then getting up at what seemed like the middle of the night to see the sunrise from temple 4. Despite our very quiet, uniformative guide and a group of people who thought that sunrise on a sacred Mayan temple was a great time to snap a selfie, or skpe with their relatives or try to figure out for the first time how to use their cameras, the experience was amazing.
We sat in the dark on the temple for over an hour admiring the stars before light even began to emerge on the horizon. But when it did the jungle seemed to erupt in a chorus of sound. The monkeys began to howl great, throaty bellows from every corner while the number and variety of bird calls and songs was indistinguishable. The volume of the great jungle chorus began to build as more light crept into the sky and it crescendoed to its peak just as the sun emerged over the horizon. Just as quickly as it came the chorus disappeared back into the jungle and the sun climbed on with out further accompaniment. We eventually climbed down from the temple and went on with exploring the ruins. But how amazing, that every day, the jungle welcomes the new day in the same way.