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Tikal

Photo © ChantelleS

Travel Guide Central America Guatemala Tikal

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Introduction

IMG_8704-1

IMG_8704-1

© All Rights Reserved ChantelleS

Tikal is the largest ruined ancient Mayan city, located near Flores in northern Guatemala. This city rests in lowland rainforests and several large animals are known to wonder the ruins, including jaguars and cougars. At its height Tikal was one of the most populous and important cultural centers in the Mayan world. The area was originally settled in the 4th century BC and slowly grew in power.

The city reached its height during the classical period, 200 AD to 900 AD. At that time this city was one of the largest in the world and dominated the Mesoamerican landscape. It is believed that the inhabitants of the city used very complex farming methods in order to preserve the soil. Another amazing fact is that Tikal has no natural water source meaning there are no rivers, streams or springs nearby. The city got all of its water from storing rain water in large underground basins. From the 6th to 7th century is the period called the Tikal hiatus. During this time all construction stopped and no inscriptions were made. This was due to the invasion from the city-state of Caracol in present day Belize. The hiatus continued until the ascension of the King Jasaw Chan K'awiil I who returned Takil back to its position of priority in the Mayan world. Towards the end of the classical period the Tikal was starting to be abandoned and there is evidence that several palaces may have been burned on puprose.

Like most major sites the city of Tikal was never completely lost. Rumors of it existences continued throughout Central America. The first explores to rediscover Tikal were Modesto Méndez and Ambrosio Tut who visited it in 1848. Due to its remoteness only the most adventurous of explorers dared to go all the way to Tikal in the 19th century. Even to this day only a small fraction of Tikal has been excavated.

The name Tikal comes from Itza Mayan and means “place of voice.” No one knows what the city was called during ancient times and name Tikal was first used shortly after it was rediscovered in the 1840s. It is believed that Tikal had between 100,00 to 200,000 citizens depending on the century. Today Tikal is a major tourist sight and on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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Famous Temples

Tikal Ruins

Tikal Ruins

© All Rights Reserved Seaurchins

  • Temple I (Temple of ah Cacao)
  • Temple II (Moon Temple)
  • Temple III
  • Temple IV – The largest temple
  • Temple V – The only temple with no tomb
  • Temple VI (Temple of Inscriptions)
  • Lost World Pyramid – is a 30 metre high pyramid with stairways on 3 sides

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Opening Hours

The park and visitor center is open everyday from 6 am to 6 pm.

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Cost

  • Entrance Ticket: 150 GTQ
  • Guides: 8 to 20 USD

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Getting There

The closest large towns to Tikal are Flores, Santa Elena and El Remate. The best way to get to Tikal is to take a bus to Flores and Santa Elena. There is an airport in Flores (FRS) that has daily flights to Guatemala City and international flights to Belize and Cancun, Mexico.

By Car

It is possible to rent a car with a driver to take travellers to and from Tikal.

By Bus

There are several minibuses that run from the nearby towns to Tikal, just pick one up in the bus station.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hostal Hermano Pedro Tikal.guesthouse80
Las GardeniasEl Remate Floreshotel-

There is limited lodging within walking distance to the park. Make sure to book rooms far in advance. There is plenty of additional lodging in the nearby towns like Flores.

ndez and Ambrosio Tut who visited it in 1848. Due to its remoteness only the most adventurous of explorers dared to go all the way to Tikal in the 19th century. Even to this day only a small fraction of Tikal has been excavated.

The name Tikal comes from Itza Mayan and means “place of voice.” No one knows what the city was called during ancient times and name Tikal was first used shortly after it was rediscovered in the 1840s. It is believed that Tikal had between 100,00 to 200,000 citizens depending on the century. Today Tikal is a major tourist sight and on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Top

edit

Famous Temples

Tikal Ruins

Tikal Ruins

© All Rights Reserved Seaurchins

  • Temple I (Temple of ah Cacao)
  • Temple II (Moon Temple)
  • Temple III
  • Temple IV – The largest temple
  • Temple V – The only temple with no tomb
  • Temple VI (Temple of Inscriptions)
  • Lost World Pyramid – is a 30 metre high pyramid with stairways on 3 sides

Top

edit

Opening Hours

The park and visitor center is open everyday from 6 am to 6 pm.

Top

edit

Cost

  • Entrance Ticket: 150 GTQ
  • Guides: 8 to 20 USD

Top

edit

Getting There

The closest large towns to Tikal are Flores, Santa Elena and El Remate. The best way to get to Tikal is to take a bus to Flores and Santa Elena. There is an airport in Flores (FRS) that has daily flights to Guatemala City and international flights to Belize and Cancun, Mexico.

By Car

It is possible to rent a car with a driver to take travellers to and from Tikal.

By Bus

There are several minibuses that run from the nearby towns to Tikal, just pick one up in the bus station.

Top

edit

Sleep

TPIDPropertyAddressTypeLatitudeLongitude
35159Hostal Hermano Pedro Tikal.guesthouse17.0436552870000-89.6813964844000
35161Las GardeniasEl Remate Floreshotel17.3244204433000-89.6154785156000

There is limited lodging within walking distance to the park. Make sure to book rooms far in advance. There is plenty of additional lodging in the nearby towns like Flores.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 17.225000
  • Longitude: -89.613333

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This is version 13. Last edited at 11:47 on Jan 10, 14 by KellieBarnes. 15 articles link to this page.

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