Founded at least 2500 years ago, this Mesoamerican capital boasts some 3000 structures arranged with astronomical precision across 16 square kilometers (6.2 square miles). Home to more than 100,000 people at its peak, Tikal’s engineers left behind system of reservoirs that is still operational, while its scribes kept diligent records of rulers, wars, religion, and trade that make this the best documented ancient city in the Americas.
Wandering through the ruins on your own, with its accessible temple pyramids and troupes of fearless wildlife—including monkeys, parrots, toucans, and long-tailed coatis eager to share your picnic lunch—is rewarding. It’s well worth investing in a guide, however, who will help translate the dramatically carved stellae, altars, tombs, palaces, and pyramids, into an exceptional and informative historical tour.
Park hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and anyone caught sneaking around afterward risks spending quality time in a Guatemalan jail. There are camping and lodging options just outside the park.
Tours & Tickets
Discover excavated Mayan ruins in UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tikal National Park (Parque Nacional Tikal) and Yaxha on this 2-day tour from Flores. An ... Read more
Duration: 2 days (approx.)