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Tikal and Heights

New York City, New...
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Tikal and Heights

hi lovely people! i'll be visiting tikal this august. my friend wants to do both sunrise and sunset tours, but i'm having some doubts, as i know i won't be able to climb the steeper temples. (or are they all steep temples?) would it be safe to wait at the base of the temple for the group, or should i just... what should i do?

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Tikal and Heights

If the actual climbing is the problem then yes, the wooden staircase would be a challenge. The stairs are very sturdy though and have solid hand rails. You can stop for a breather on the way up and let others pass you. Our guide Roxy patiently waited with me and then we proceded up to the top.

If you are afraid of heights the stairs are okay (the dense jungle vegetation prevents that awful feeling of vertigo) but getting close to the edge at the top might 'cause a feeling of vertigo. i'm uncomfortable with heights so climbed the stairs but stayed well back from the edge.

Have fun...Tikal is great.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Tikal and Heights

thank you holajan!! yes, unfortunately, my fear of heights is intense and produces vertigo. i'm in good shape so, mechanically, the climbing is fine, but my body locks up out of fear when i get too high lol. i definitely don't mind waiting at the bottom if it's safe but i wonder if its worth paying the extra price of the pre-opening hours admission and the tour if the entire thing will just be watching the sun rise on top of a temple. :( we booked our tours through jaguar inn if that helps at all!

Bethesda, MD
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2,774 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: Tikal and Heights

It's hardly uncommon to see people sitting at the base of the temples rather than attempting the climb. I'd think that, for a sunrise tour, it would be safe. If you're interested in seeing (and hearing) wildlife, that's more likely on an early morning tour, before it's gotten hot and all the tourists have gotten there from Flores.

tucson, az
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3,871 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Tikal and Heights

I suffer slightly from vertigo and going up and down was very hard for me; Temple IV nearly did me in. I had to close my eyes when descending. The vultures hanging around at the bottom of the temple amused me no end but didn't help!

BC
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4,187 posts
168 reviews
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5. Re: Tikal and Heights

You can wait at the bottom, but it will probably be dark when you first get there. You'll be able to watch all the groups traipse past, there are a lot of them and obviously ones who did not stay overnight in the park, although this is supposed to be a requirement. Everyone just sits at the top in silence and it gradually gets light and the birds get slightly louder. I was not one who was thrilled with this experience.

You will then have the rest of your tour until about 8:30 or so (depending on what you have arranged) and it is nice to tour the main areas before it gets too hot. It definitely was not crowded with tourists at any time during the day when I was there (March), so that is not an issue, but the heat gets pretty intense by 11 or so.

6. Re: Tikal and Heights

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