Tikal, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world, is located in the Petén department in northern Guatemala. Tikal National Park covers an area of 575 km2 and was declared the first cultural and natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Explore the Ancient Maya Civilization: Tikal, as one of the fundamental symbols of Guatemalan identity, is a must-visit destination for history and archaeology enthusiasts. Here, you have the opportunity to explore the remains of the ancient Maya civilization and learn about their culture, architecture, and astronomical knowledge.
Within the reserve, there are numerous archaeological sites representing the heyday of one of the most advanced civilizations in America. Tikal, the most famous site known for its iconic “Temple of the Great Jaguar,” was one of the major cities of the Classic Maya period and the main rival of Calakmul. Other important sites include El Mirador, Nakbe, Uaxactun, Piedras Negras, and Yaxhá.
Stroll through well-preserved ruins and admire the breathtaking structure of the temples that dominate the Tikal skyline.
In addition to its historical significance, Tikal offers an unspoiled natural environment. The Maya Biosphere Reserve, covering 21,000 km2, is the largest protected area in Central America, accounting for one-fifth of the national territory.
Surrounded by dense jungle and lush vegetation, it is a paradise for nature lovers. Large animals such as howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatis, toucans, and ocellated turkeys inhabit Tikal. Jaguars and pumas also reside here, but they are quite elusive.
Take a walk through the trails and listen to the sounds of exotic birds and wildlife. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful flora and fauna.
Want to experience Tikal in an unforgettable way? Take a sunrise tour and witness the awakening of the jungle. The pyramid peaks rising above the treetops, accompanied by the dreamy songs of birds and the occasional howl of a howler monkey in the distance—it's an almost sacred ritual.
No matter when you choose to visit Tikal, it’s always a great adventure. If you enter the park later in the afternoon, the warm sunlight casts a beautiful glow over the park, making for stunning photos of the Grand Jaguar Temple.
If you’d like to witness the sunrise or sunset, consider staying overnight in the park. Jungle Lodge is a real favorite to stay at, making the experience truly complete.
Before you travel to Tikal, there are a few things to keep in mind
- To purchase entrance tickets to Tikal, you’ll need cash and your identification. If you’re doing the sunrise or sunset tour, you’ll need to buy an additional ticket for 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m., in addition to the day pass.
- Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes, as there are many stairs and uneven paths in the park. Don’t forget to bring enough water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also beneficial to book a guide to make the most of your visit and learn more about the history and significance of Tikal.
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