Tikal: Mayan ruins turned “Star Wars” Rebel base; Marc Tyler Nobleman; Noblemania

Guatemala – Tikal National Park

On 2/17/18, after a weeklong visit to the American School of Guatemala, I day-tripped from Guatemala City to what some call the historical highlight of Guatemala: the ruins of a Mayan city now called Tikal, part of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. (How long it remains the highlight remains to be seen. Mere weeks earlier, it was announced that archeologists using LiDAR discovered an immense stretch of ruins—a megalopolis—not far from Tikal.)

My hotel was about 10 minutes from the airport. My (domestic) flight was at 6:30 am. Oddly, the tour company set my pickup for 3:30 am. I asked for leniency but the latest they would agree to was 4 am. Sure enough, there was a slow-moving, 15-person line at check-in, but even so, I was done by 5 a.m. That left 90 minutes to fill…assuming the flight departed on time.

Which, surprise, it didn’t. My flight number was 110 but turns out three flights were scheduled to leave GC for Flores (the airport closest to Tikal) at 6:30, out of the same gate but with different (unannounced) flight numbers.

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