Tikal in Guatemala
Adventure Never Ends
Tikal is in Peten, Guatemala which is only two hours away from the Belize Western Border. It is known to be the largest archaeological site and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, and the most popular tours to do when visiting Belize. Tikal, meaning “at the waterhole”, got its name from the ancient reservoirs that were in the region. The entire city covers approximately six square miles with about 3,000 structures, housing from 10,000 to 90,000 inhabitants. In 1955, the area around Tikal was named The Tikal National Park, and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tikal was formerly known as “Yax Mutal” according to hieroglyphic inscriptions at the ruins until its first discovery in the 1840s when it adopted the name “Tikal”. Evidence shows that this once powerful kingdom dated back to the 4th century BC, but reached its peak during the classic period. By the 10th century, no new large monuments were built and palaces were eventually burnt down leading to a decrease in population and total abandonment of the site. Only a small portion of Tikal has been excavated including six large pyramids with some standing over 200 ft high which are the highlight of the tour.
Temple l (Temple of the Great Jaguar) stands 154 feet high dedicated to Jasaw Chan Ka’wil who was buried in the structure in AD 734. Items found in the tomb were inscribed human and animal bone tubes and strips with scenes telling stories of deities and people, jade and shell ornaments and ceramics.
Temple ll (Temple of the Mask) is 125 feet high constructed for the wife of Jasaw Chan Ka’wil which was precisely aligned towards the rising sun.
Temple lll(Temple of the jaguar priest) was the last pyramid built standing 180 feet tall, but is not accessible due to its damages over time.
Temple lVis the largest pyramid towering 230 feet high from floor level to roof top. All the structures of this ancient city were built with limestone including; temples, palaces, residences, small pyramids, administrative buildings, ball courts, monuments and even jails.
Temple V is the second tallest structure located on the southern side measuring 187 feet in height. The temple dates back to AD 700 and is one of the first to be discovered by the governor of Peten on their first expeditions to the site.
Temple Vl(Temple of the Inscriptions) is known for its 39 feet high roof comb with panels of hieroglyphs covering its back and sides.
Just as Belize has a wonderful history of the Mayas, so does Guatemala. Our neighboring country holds exotic pieces that showcase just how intelligent our ancestors were. Your adventure begins after crossing the western border where one of our guides will be awaiting your arrival. On the way, you will see a few quaint villages and learn about the agricultural practices of the locals. Arriving at the Tikal visitors center, the ambient immediately changes as one steps foot into the damp green rainforest. You may get a chance to see some wildlife such as: foxes, spider monkeys, a large variety of tropical birds, coatimundi, turkeys and so much more. Tikal is widely known for its massive pyramid temples, monumental plazas, palaces, and stelae.
The excitement builds up knowing that beneath the canopy of the rainforest lies a completely different world. Not only will you be able to observe the wonderfully made temples, but a whole new experience awaits as you hike your way up to the tallest structure.
Are you ready to join our knowledgeable guide on a four-hour tour at this majestic place?
Private transportation in AC Vehicle from your hotel to Tikal.
Licensed Tour Guide
Entrance Fees to Park
NOTE: Border Exit Fee not included.