Your Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Tikal in Guatemala
Tikal is in Guatemala and has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. It was built by Mayans around 600 AD and became a major city during the Classic period (AD 250–900). Today, Tikal is home to many ruins, including temples, pyramids, palaces, and plazas.
Characteristics of the Classic Maya Civilization include features innovated by the Maya people, such as art forms and architectural styles, as well as inventions borrowed from early cultures (in Mexico), including the calendar, the numbering system, the hieroglyphic writing technique, the rites of sacrifice and bloodletting, and the stela-altar cult.
The use of all these elements reached the highest stage of development during the Late Classic period.
The giant pyramids and the massive acropolis dominating the central area’s six square miles are most striking at Tikal. Integrating the aesthetics of this zone is the Grand Plaza, the main stage for important religious and secular ceremonies.
On the flanks of the Great Plaza are Temple-Pyramids I and II, to the east and west, respectively, and the North and Central Acropolis, to the North and South, respectively.
All these structures offer awe-inspiring views of the majestic scope of the architectural works of the Tikal Maya.
Beyond the Great Plaza in all directions are other pyramids, acropoleis, temples, and palaces; some of them are partially restored, but others of them still covered by jungle growth
The Best Time to Visit Tikal
If you want to avoid crowds, don’t travel during holidays such as Holly Week and Christmas; travel between November and February when the weather is more relaxed and drier.
Getting Around Tikal
Tikal National Park is in the northern area of Guatemala, in the department of Petén, 484 km from Guatemala City (9 hours) and only 63 km from the city of Flores, Petén (1 hour).
You can board a direct bus from the capital to Flores with several transport lines, such as Autobuses del Norte, Fuentes del Norte, and Linea Dorada.
You can also arrive by air at the Mundo Maya international airport.
Once in Flores, you must take the CA-13 highway towards Melchor de Mencos, taking the detour to the left in Aldea Ixlú that leads to El Remate.
Follow this road until you reach the entrance to the park.
You can reach Tikal by bus, taxi, or car rental. In addition, several tour companies offer trips to Tikal.
Where to Stay in Tikal
Three hotels are available if you plan to stay overnight at Tikal. However, if you only need a day trip, then you might consider staying at one of the nearby towns instead.
Things to Do in Tikal
There are several things to do in Tikal, including visiting the ruins, seeing the museum, and taking an archaeological tour; Sunrise and sunset tours are extraordinary experiences. You can also take a birding tour or a nature walk.
Tikal Service and Attractions
If you are looking for an authentic adventure, then Tikal is the perfect destination.
It’s one of the largest Mayan sites in Guatemala and has been inhabited since at least 600 AD.
Today, Mayan buildings are standing after thousands of years of use.
Tikal National Park offers visitors experiences to make the most of their stay and interpretation.
Among them, the following activities can be carried out:
- Visitors Center
- Lithic and Ceramic Museums.
- Camping area.
- Walks along trails of cultural and natural interpretation
- Bird watching.
- Visits accompanied by guides authorized by INGUAT
- Sanitary services in different areas of the park for your convenience
- Rest houses in the archaeological site.
- Vehicle service for people with special abilities.
- First aid service
- Handicraft sales
SCHEDULE AND RATE:
The established public service hours are from 06:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
During extraordinary hours, the sunrise tour is set from 04:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m., and the sunset tour from 06:00 p.m. to 08:00 p.m.
Foreign Tourists: Q.150.00
National Tourists: Q. 25.00
Nationals: Q. 20.00
Entrance to Museums:
As of March 15, 2017, the bank charge was implemented so that visitors can purchase tickets for the different services at BANRURAL Agencies throughout the Republic upon presentation of the passport or personal identification document (DPI).