One of the most photographed sites on the planet, the soaring temples of Tikal in Guatemala were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Believed to have once dominated much of the region during the heyday of the ancient Maya civilization, Tikal is one of the best-preserved and largest Maya city-states ever discovered.
Tikal is a Maya term meaning “City of Echoes,” an apt name for this vast stone complex in the jungle that measures more than 21 square miles (55 square kilometers) in size. Most famous for its seven enormous temples, including Temple IV which rises more than 230 feet (70 meters) into the air, Tikal was once home to a population of more than 100,000 people. Other significant features include the “Mundo Perdido” (Lost World) ceremonial complex adjacent to the temples, ball courts, and enormous causeways.
Today, Tikal is located in the rugged El Peten department of Guatemala just a short distance from the border with central Belize. The main land crossing from Belize into Guatemala lies west of Belmopan and it is easy to make a day trip to Tikal from most locations in Belize, including the Caves Branch Lodge.
Tours to Tikal depart early in the morning around 5:30am so that visitors can watch the unforgettable sight of the sun rising over the jungle, bathing the ancient buildings with golden light. The tour includes all transportation costs, Guatemala border fees, Tikal park fees, and a four-hour guided tour of the site. Participants will return to Caves Branch around 6:00 pm on the same day. Americans, Canadians, and citizens of European Union countries do not need a visa to enter Guatemala and visit Tikal.
Note: This tour involves walking and exploring the buildings on site, so comfortable shoes, lots of bottled water, and sun protection are mandatory. The tour also includes time for doing some quick shopping as well as photographing some of the many beautiful vistas along the route.
Archeologists believe that Tikal was founded as early as 4,000 years ago as a ceremonial center but came to dominate the region politically, militarily, and economically during the first four centuries of the modern era. Clashing with other powerful city-states such as Teotihuacan in Mexico and Caracol in Belize and Naranjo in Guatemala, Tikal is one of the best-preserved Maya sites in the world.
Tikal is an important archeological site as the engravings and hieroglyphs on the temples, stelae, monuments, and other core buildings contain the most complete dynastic list ever discovered, giving valuable insight into the history and culture of the ancient Maya.
Explore of then just the ceremonial caves of Belize. Include a day tour to Tikal to complete a perfect vacation that combines cultural immersion and adrenaline rush adventures during your stay at Caves Branch Lodge. We promise you an unforgettable experience by doing so!