Departure: 7:00 am
Drive time: 1-1/2 hours
Tikal is a really spectacular site and about the best Central American ruin there is. There are lots of temples to climb with inspiring views of the nature reserve around. For the most part you walk on jungle trails so you are shaded from the sun most of the day. You almost always see coatimundi, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and ocellated turkeys in the park.
Although the site lies across the border in Guatemala, many of our visitors like to visit Tikal and now it's one of our most popular tours. Tikal is less than two hours by road from duPlooy's - If you're this close, why not take the opportunity to visit one of the wonders of the Maya world?
Tikal exemplifies the greatness of the
Maya civilization ...
Almost completely enveloped in thick verdant jungle, the site has lain practically undisturbed since the abrupt demise of the Maya culture around 900 A.D. It was only in the mid-19th century that Tikal was rediscovered by a Guatemalan magistrate from the island village of Flores.
At its core, Tikal consists of the Great Plaza flanked to the east and west by Temples I and II, and facing to the north, the numerous temples of the North Acropolis. There are some seventy stelae and rows of altars along the northern edge of the Great Plaza.
The Central Acropolis to the south of the Great Plaza covers about 4 acres and is composed of many courts of varying levels connected by a maze of passageways and stairs. Most of the buildings are of the Late Classic Period.
Originally, the city center was stuccoed,
and red-painted temples with blue trim rose from the
And amazing as it may seem, more than 3,000 structures and 200 monuments still lie under the jungle canopy.
The area surrounding the archaeological sites of Tikal is a National Park protected from hunting and the removal of plant or animal specimens. The park covers an area of 222 square miles. Within the park the area of Central Tikal, covering 6 square miles, is filled with structures, House mounds and other signs of occupation, which extend to an area covering about 25 square miles.
There is much that is not mentioned here. Innumerable courts, palaces, temples and sites of unknown functions abound within the park. The staggering immensity and grandeur of this hidden city in the jungle will impress and inspire those who visit, and certainly excite curiosity as to the civilization which built it. So astounding are the ruins that Director George Lucas used Tikal to represent the hidden rebel base in the classic film, Star Wars I.
General Tour Information
Light-weight, comfortable clothing and shoes with a good grip. Long trousers are more suitable than shorts as they give more protection from insects and weather. Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water are advisable.
If you have extra time, consider doing the overnight trip and be sure to include Yaxhá.
* See Tours & Transfers for current rates and more tour options.