Welcoming in a New World

Over the years, many crazies have predicted that the world might end. The Medieval period was populated with apocalyptic theories based on the devil. Some thought that as the clock struck midnight, marking the beginning of the new millennium, in the year 2000, the apocalypse would happen while only last year thousands of people prepared for the world to end in the USA on the back of a crazy conspiracy theorist.

In a week’s time, another milestone will be reached as we hopefully pass the Mayan prediction for the end of the world. As hundreds of people head to the hills of France or hole up in their cellars equipped for years of nuclear war, I am heading to the heart of the action, the capital of the ancient Maya nestled deep in Guatemala’s Tikal National Park.

While I am not expecting the earth to rumble, nuclear war to break out or great floods to sweep me away like in some of the recent Hollywood movies cataloguing Mayan prophecies, I am expecting the atmosphere to be electric. I am sure that the ruins will be packed with conspiracy theorists, press and drama queens and the tourist stands will be crammed with merchandise capitalising on the Mayan end of the world.

Despite this, the monkeys will still be swinging in the trees, the sun will still be shining and the ruins will keep on standing tall above the forest.  I am sure that there is no better day to explore these infamous ruins than on the day the Mayans predicted their world would be no more. It is the Mayan ruins that we know the most about and that we learnt the most about the Mayan culture from.

While many millions of people have visited Tikal over the years, I will be one of very few who will experience the atmosphere and watch the date of the Mayan prophecy pass at the point where it was possibly predicted. I feel privileged to be one of the few who will be able to watch the ruins welcome in a new age and see Tikal as it emerges in a whole new light.

Jess Millett will be on Tucan Travel’s Quetzal Highway tour departing 18th December 2012. The tour will be at Tikal National Park on 21st December 2012. (This tour is no longer running but we have a very similar one you can view here.)

About the Author: Jess is Communications Coordinator for Tucan Travel. She has travelled independently and on group tours through Central America, Africa, North America, Israel and Europe. You can find her on or read her other contributions here.

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