Parque Nacional Tikal is located in Guatemala,about 50 miles
northwest of it's border with Belize ....
remote area, one of the greatest civilizations of it's
a city that endured for centuries.
Set in the jungle
canopy, the site today consists of over 3,000 structures extending over six square miles including temples, palaces, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, avenues and plazas.
The Maya began building Tikal around 600 B.C. and at its peak some 1,500 years
ago Tikal was a wealthy metropolis, home to an estimated 100,000 Mayans, as well as an important religious, scientific, and political center.
The five great pyramids of Tikal give this ceremonial centre a majestic grandeur unique among Maya cities. The height of the temples, crowned with tremendous roof combs; the complicated assemblage of the palace structures of the central Acropolis; and the complexity of the chronology of the North Acropolis are staggering to anyone visiting Tikal for the first time.
As is the case with all Mayan sites, the origins of
Tikal are only barely discernible. Findings
of pottery dating from a few hundred years before
give evidence that Tikal was inhabited then.
By the time of Christ, the Great Plaza had already
its basic form, with platforms and stairways
on the north side.
is a place for wondering, not only
at the engineering accomplishments of the Maya,
but at the
jungle splendors of the Petén region in Guatemala.
The site of Tikal is a national park where
the native flora and fauna still flourish relatively
addition to it's numerous well-excavated temples
Tikal presents an excellent opportunity for animal
and bird-watching. Roaring howler monkeys and squawking parrots provide nature's soundtrack and along the paths, spider monkeys,
gray foxes, coatis-mundis, deer, and peccary are visible to the visitor.
Today, one can sit
atop a pyramid, gaze at the Great Plaza and roof-combs rising up from the sea of jungle and imagine the
times more than a thousand years ago when the plaza
was alive with activity and the city was surround by
cultivated fields dotted with houses.
But one can do little more than imagine....
There is no coherent history of Tikal and there may never be one. Bits and pieces of information are picked up from drawings on pottery and bone, tools, similarities in artistic styles between Tikal and other Mayan and Non-Mayan centers, and the few glyphs that have been deciphered up to now.
archeologists from all around the globe and the wild-life surrounding
the ruins, make Tikal a naturalist's dream. This combination of archaeological remains and the natural environment of the Petén, makes Tikal the only place in the world which has been declared by UNESCO as both a Natural & World Cultural Heritage site.
Museo Cerámico, displays some fascinating archaeological exhibits, including a skeleton with ornate jade jewelry in a reproduction of a burial vault, stelae (stone monuments), shells, ceramics, inscribed bones and other items recovered from the excavations. The museum is near the park entrance.
Zip-Line Canopy Tour
If you want to feel at one with nature there is nothing like zipping through the jungle and get a “birds eye view” of things when you can fly like one? At this privately owned park, just outside the Tikal entrance, you can do just that. Equipped with a harness and one glove (for braking), this Tarzan tour lets you fulfill your childhood dreams, climbing up a tree trunk (by means of a metallic ladder over 40 meters high) attaching yourself to a wire and…. Letting go.... Rushing past tropical vegetation and howling monkeys.