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Tikal Tour

Tikal Tour, Guatemala

Tikal is most definitely the most impressive of all the Mayan sites in Central America not only for its historical remains but because it is also a haven for wildlife, making the trip to Tikal all the more enchanting.

The ruins lie within the 576 square kilometer Tikal National Park, declared a World Heritage site in 1979. The site's mapped district covers 16 square kilometers and comprises more than 3,000 individual structures, temples, and courtyard groups. For centuries Tikal was left undiscovered lost to the sprawling lowland rainforests that grew over and around it.

As you explore the ruins you have a good chance of seeing some of the 54 species of mammals in the park most commonly the spider monkeys, Pizotes (coatimundi) and howler monkeys.

At its peak some 1,500 years ago, Tikal was home to an estimated 100,000 Maya and one of the more important urban centers of its time particularly during the classic and late classic periods, (AD 200-900) when it dominated the Maya controlled area of Central America politically, militarily and economically. This is evident in the more than 3,000 structures extending over six square miles, many of which were built to pay tribute to past rulers and to hopefully please the deities.

For largely unknown reasons a gradual decline in population ended in the abandonment of the site by the end of the 10th century leaving Tikal to the jungle that subsequently swallowed it, only for it to be rediscovered centuries later.

Today there are remains of royal palaces, residences of important Mayans, ball courts and five main protruding temples, that rise over 60 meters, which the fit and brave can climb (at your own risk), for magnificent views, as well as thousands more remaining structures amongst them some still hidden under mounds of earth, awaiting discovery.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Michael, an Audley Travel specialist

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Guatemala specialists

Other experiences in Tikal & El Petén

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

  • Mayan ruins at Uaxactun

    Uaxactun camping excursion

    Tikal & El Petén

    A two day / one night excursion visiting the ruins of Uaxactun and the opportunity to enjoy a locally cooked, evening meal.

  • Sunset at Yaxha

    Yaxha at Sunset

    Tikal & El Petén

    Yaxha, q'equchi' for green water, is located 73 km from Flores. This Maya site, discovered in 1904 by architect Teobert Maler, is situated within the Maya Biosphere Reserve along with the sites of Nakum and El Naranjo.