Tikal Place and Culture in GuatemalaAuthor: Benedicto
Tikal Place and Culture in Guatemala
- 1. Tikal Grew and Decline
Its first permanent inhabitant settled in the area around the year 900 B.C. It saw its greatest growth between A.D. 700-800. Many of the structures you will explore today were constructed during that time.
The hot a humid climate throughout most of the year made the forest ideal habitat for an abundance of animal and plants species which provided food, medicine and construction material. The city was built on elevates areas, which were surrounded by "bajos", or slight depressions that flood during the rainy season.
The center of Tikal, with an area of 16 km2, has approximately 4,000 structures, including plazas, temples, palaces, ball courts, causeways and pyramids. Its population has been estimated at 90,000 people, including the living areas around the city.
- 2. Tikal's vegetation associations:
Several vegetation associations are found in Tikal, that include tall forest, botan bajo forest and tinto bajo forest, among others. The bajos are the areas that flooding during the rainy seasons forming forested swamps. The plant composition differs between associations.
The city of Tikal is located in tall forest, with species such as Ramón, Mahogany and Cedar that can be over 40 meters tall (131 feet). The bromeliads, orchids and vines are also common in this type of forest.
Different types of bajos can be observed to the east of the hotel area. There trees have an average height between 15 – 20 meters (49 to 66 feet). Trees such as Santa Maria, Tinto and Pije, with very hard wood resistant to humidity are common. There is an abundance of palms such as the escobo.
The bajos have many species of thorny bushes and plants with lance-shaped leaves that can easily cut through skin. Many animal species find cover against predators in this forest type due to the forbidden conditions of the place.
The forest of Tikal National Park sustains a large variety of animal species. During your Guatemala Vacations in Tikal you may encounter ocellated turkeys, parrots and spider monkeys.
If you have the opportunity, take time to observe and listen to the howler monkeys, the collared peccary, toucans, hummingbirds and hawks. Unfortunately for many, it is improbable that you will come face to face with the jaguar. Once this feline senses your presence, he will walk away quietly without being observed.
About the Author
MCM. Benedicto Grijalva
Martsam Tour & Travel
PH: (502) 4009-5674
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