Tikal combines all the qualities to be one of the most impressive archaeological sites on the planet. Tikal is one of the Mayan cities that you want to visit even in documentaries.


Tikal
It is from those remote places on the planet, such as Machu Pichhu or Angkor Wat, capable of flourishing and sustaining a tourist industry around them, no matter how far away they may be. There are few places in the world so powerful capable of generating this, and Tikal is one of them.

There are several factors that give you the status of World Heritage to Tikal, the most imposing city in the Mayan world.

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CURIOSITIES OF TIKAL

The Tikal National Park It has an exquisite location within the Guatemalan Petén jungle, one of the most leafy and living areas of America. Being a protected area, the animals know they are safe and they walk around Tikal. Is weird not seeing any wild animal in a visitIt is a wonderful opportunity to see monkeys, exotic birds such as the toucan or memorable insects such as the tarantula. The environment of Tikal is impressive in many ways.

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Su historical relevance it is thanks to significant findings that have helped to clarify the fantastic puzzle of the Mayan civilization. It is one of the most explored, named and studied cities, and this is how an archaeological zone jumps to stardom, reaching the media and couché paper. Tikal has been the set of several films, including episode IV of the Star Wars. Once you get into Temple IV, you will see how the ship on the planet Yavin 4 lands in your mind.

The good state of conservation and the architectural excellence of its buildings are other essential features to make Tikal a great tourist destination. Tikal was inhabited by more than 1500 years, being the last centuries those that conferred the imposing character of its buildings. Without those last architectural years, we would talk about another Tikal. Some majestic buildings, such as the Acropolis, are still swallowed up by the jungle.

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Acropolis
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 TIPS ON HOW TO VISIT TIKAL

Tikal is one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, you can spend 12 hours discovering and walking the enormous enclosure, simply amazing this place. If you can devote all day, we give you some advice for the visit, to make the day more practical.

The trails are well indicated and there are different maps during the journey. Ask for a map at the entrance, some are free, but sell by 20 quetzales. It is a good visual guide to go with a map, it is very big Tikal. There are baths in several points, you will see them indicated in the signs of the park.

As we have mentioned, the enclosure is huge, so you will walk a lot. Bring comfortable shoes and water. They sell water and snacks inside, more expensive, so if you are one of those who like or should save up to the last peso, bring water from outside, you will need it on your visit to Tikal. Also take some food if you plan to spend the whole day, it is 12 hours. The entire view of the enclosure is 6 hours of slow walking, more what you stop along the way.

RECOMMENDED TOUR IN TIKAL: when entering the Tikal precinct, take the path to the right at the fork to the cThe Q and R complex and the neighbor O. Follow the Maler road to the H, P and M complexes and take the Maudslay road to the Temple IV. These are smaller enclosures that take you for a magnificent walk through the jungle.

From this point begins the most impressive and remarkable, that nobody loses. We talk about Temple IV, the Lost World  Square of the Seven Temples, the Temple V and the Large square and the acropolis that surround it.

It is interesting to hire a guide that makes you understand the place better, I think you enjoy it much more with knowledge. Then you can finish the journey at your leisure, enjoying your time in Tikal like a kid.

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WHAT YOU CAN NOT LOSE IF YOU MAKE A SHORT VISIT IN TIKAL

If you're not going to go around there are two things you can not miss in Tikal.

LARGE SQUARE: One is the Large square, one of the most sublime preserved complexes of an ancient city. We see the Temple of the Jaguar (44m.) And the Temple of the Masks (37m.) Presiding over the beautiful Plaza, where the acoustics obtained are worthy of mention. In most Mayan cities, the Plazas are closed, with limited access for those who decided the Governor who could attend the ceremonies and acts. Controlled power, same tricks repeated throughout our history.

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GO TO TEMPLE IV: otra parade es admire the views from Temple IV, that of the Two-Headed Serpent. It is the only temple of the heights that can be climbed. It is done by a staircase fitted out to preserve the pyramid. With its almost 70 meters high it is the second pyramid, dated to date, the highest of the Mayan civilization. A sublime show.

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WHERE TO PURCHASE THE ENTRANCE TO TIKAL?

Entrance tickets are purchased through Banrural (in the booth at the entrance to the park or in any branch of Guatemala valid for 30 days). The main stand at Tikal Park is a 17 km south of the ruins. Here tickets are bought, both Tikal  and Uaxactún. There is no ATM-ATM, it has Cash in Quetzales. And a photocopy of your passport or photo of the document (you have to write down the number) and a document if you are Guatemalan for the discount.

WHERE TO SLEEP TO VISIT TIKAL?

There are two main towns from where to visit Tikal, one is Flowers and the other The Remate. The island of Flowers It was the main base from the beginning, the quiet town of El Remate, which extends some two kilometers on the shores of Lake Petén Itzá, has been gaining numbers over time. In both destinations you can find all types of accommodation and tourist services.

In this Petén area, quite touristy and backpacker, the prices vary a lot for the same service.

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HOW TO GET TO TIKAL FROM FLOWERS AND FROM THE REMATE?

From the island of Flores and El Remate there are two basic ways to get to Tikal, one is by public transport and the other by tourist transport, which is more comfortable and practical. Tikal which is located 60 km from Flores and 30 from El Remate.

FROM THE REMATE IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: From the main road / junction there is a micro (collective van) to Tikal, it costs 30 quetzals, round trip. It is about 45 minutes away. The last bus leaves Tikal at 17:XNUMX p.m.

FROM THE REMATE IN TOURIST TRANSPORTATION: the lodges and agencies sell tourist transport to Tikal from 50 quetzales round trip, up to 90 quetzales (for a very similar service all). They will pick you up at the hotel, there are different times, it is best to go early to the 4: 30.

FROM FLORES BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:  you must go to Santa Elena in tuk tuk by 5 quetzales, from here the buses go to Tikal. You pay 25 quetzales, but I tell you that they tend to inflate the prices, they like to raise minimum 5 quetzales to the tourist. The last micro leaves Tikal at 17 hours.

FROM FLORES IN PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION: tourist transport costs from 60 to 80 quetzales round trip to Tikal, 1 hour 30 journey minutes. They sell it in all the agencies and accommodations this service, they will pick you up at your hotel in Flores. The same from the nearby town of Santa Elena.

HOW TO GET TO TIKAL FROM BELIZE OR MEXICO

You can get to Tikal from Mexico and Belize. In these entries we give you information on how to cross borders, prices, tips, travel by car and public transport. This route by land is increasingly popular among travelers.

Mexico-Guatemala border to get to Tikal

Belize-Guatemala border to get to Tikal

The first time we visited Tikal in the 2000 year we were impressed, when we returned there is no chance we do not enjoy, it's a wonder. Undoubtedly, the magnificent Tikal is a mandatory stop on your way, a place that is nothing to enjoy.

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Tikal, archaeological site

LOCATION: The Tikal National Park is located at 60 km from Flores.
SCHEDULES AND SERVICES: open from 6 to 18 hours daily. Sunrise from 4: 00-6: 00, sunset from 18: 00-20: 00, paying an extra of Q100. Sundays are free for nationals and residents with official identification. They sell drinks or food inside. There is an interesting Museum in the complete Visitor Center, the entrance fee is 30 quetzals.
PRICE ENTRY: 150 quetzales for foreigners to the ruins and 10 quetzales the entrance to the Museum. 25 quetzales for nationals.
ACCOMMODATIONS: In the archaeological zone of Tikal there are a couple of accommodations. The closest town to stay is Remate (half an hour by transport) or Flores, which has all the facilities for the visitor: all kinds of lodgings, restaurants, agencies, information, connections with other places of interest. Search your accommodation and offers in this hotel link.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothing, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, closed shoes (you are in the jungle and there are many bugs, protect yourself), water and something to eat if ideas spend the whole day.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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