Tikal is the largest excavated site in the American continent.
Tikal is Guatemala’s most famous cultural and natural preserve. Tikal possesses a certain magic… Like all puzzles without answers it fascinates everyone and we dare say… Tikal is so irresistible once you are here, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay just a little longer!
Tikal remained a mystery for centuries, after being abruptly abandoned by the Maya over 1000 years ago and overgrown by a relentless jungle. Only a legend survived among the Itza Maya people of a lost city, where their ancestors had achieved high cultural development. In 1848 the legend faded, giving way to an exciting era of discovery when Ambrosio Tut, a gum collector or chiclero living in the area saw the temples’ roof combs in the distance.
Towering above the rain forest, Tikal is possibly the most magnificent of all Maya sites. The ruins, 68km from Flores down a smooth paved road, are dominated by five enormous temples, steep-sided limestone pyramids that rise to more than 60m above the forest floor. Around them are literally thousands of other structures, many semi-strangled by giant roots and still hidden beneath mounds of earth.
The site itself is surrounded by the Parque Nacional Tikal, a protected area of some 576 square kilometers that is on the edge of the much larger Reserva de la Biósfera Maya. Hundreds of species, including howler and spider monkeys, toucans and parakeets are found here. The sheer scale of the place is overwhelming, and its atmosphere spellbinding. Whether you can spare as little as a morning or as long as a week, it’s always worth the trip.
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