Tikal, Temple II

Miguel Ángel Asturias, named Nobel Laureate in 1967, wrote "Only Guatemala is comparable to itself," describing it as "a land of natural dreamscapes...mysterious presences and absences." Tikal, the largest known Mayan city, is incomparable in the same way; its size imposing and intimidating, its setting lush and teeming with wildlife, and with a mysterious and overwhelming atmosphere best described in the writing of Asturias:

"The imagination reels. There are reliefs, pyramids, temples in the extinguished city. The damp murmur of the arroyos, voices, crepitations of the intertangling vines, the sound of flapping wings, trickle into the immense sea of silence. Everything palpitates, breathes, exhausting itself in green above the vast roof of Peten."

Miguel Ángel Asturias, The Mirror of Lida Sal: Tales Based on Mayan Myths & Guatemalan Legends, p. 13-14.