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Guatemala: Tikal

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The Petén of northern Gualtemala is a vast lowland blanketed in dense tropical rainforest. Nowadays it’s sparsely inhabited but this was not the case in the past: the Mayan city of Tikal, which began its development before 250AD, grew to be a vast cultural, religious and commercial centre. Following its collapse (c. 900AD) its jungle remoteness kept it isolated until roads and airstrips brought it within reach in the late 20th century. With its surviving temple pyramids piercing the canopy, vast plazas, its wealth of carvings and inscriptions and its location in the midst of a wild-life rich national park it is now one of the continent’s most impressive cultural monuments.

Our holidays to Tikal

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Luxury Guatemala and Belize: Tikal and the Caribbean

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Things to do in Tikal

Visit Tikal

Visit Tikal, ruined Mayan city

Visit the Ruins of Yaxhá

Visit the ruins of Yaxha


Jungle Trek to a Lost City

Trek to the Lost City of el Mirador

Our insider tips for Tikal

Rafe Stone

Rafe Stone

Rise at dawn, or linger until dusk, when there are few other visitors. At sunrise you’ll feel the tropical jungle filling with the agitated scream of parakeets and the haunting roar of howler monkeys; at sunset the site is bathed in a deep golden glow.
Alex Walker

Alexandra Walker

Straying beyond Tikal to visit some of the less well known but also impressive ruins: Yaxhá, or Uaxactún. 

Antonio Vaquero

Antonio Vaquero

Arriving at the remote, elevated site of El Mirador after a 2-day challenging and sweaty trek through the rainforest and climbing to the top of one of the two massive pyramids to see the spectacle of other temples rising from the jungle canopy.

What our experts say

Our guide at Tikal was as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area as he was about  Mayan history. His English was very good, his style relaxed and his humor engaging. Tikal itself covers a large area so walking around it can take some time. The central plaza is magical with temples at either end and trees heavily laden with the nests of oropendola birds in the middle. Expect to see the odd howler and spider monkey too. This is a mecca for wildlife-enthusiasts.  

Rafe Stone

Rafe Stone

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