Tikal National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1979. It is one of the largest urban settlements in the Mayan civilization, currently one of the largest archeological sites in Mesoamerica.
It is believed that Tikal was a great city of political importance in the fourth centuries before writing, it is thought that the apogee of the citadel was between the years 200 to 1000 after Christ, it is known as the capital of a beligarante state become part of a very powerful kingdom of Mayan civilization, having relation with other cities and regions throughout the region from the south of Mexico, peninsula of Yucatan, Honduras and El Salvador.
Tikal is located north of Flores, approximately 300 kilometers from the capital city of Guatemala. It has a territorial extension of about fifteen square kilometers, within which it includes a great variety of structures between stone hills on marshy lands and of tropical vegetation.
The archaeological site is located in the middle of the Salve in the Peten basin, a region that was part of the Mayan civilization until reaching the south in lower lands connecting it with the Yucatan zone, reason why its location was strategic for the human transit and commercial of that time. Tikal, despite having no access to water from rivers or lakes, is thought to have subsisted for years on the basis of accumulation and rainwater deposits, the development of intensive farming techniques, but it is not ruled out that this lack of water was largely the vulnerability that played an important role for its collapse as a human settlement of great importance. It is believed that for years Tikal was inhabited teniedo a continuous growth, which reached its maximum between the years 700 to 850, having a variation among its inhabitants of between 10 thousand to 100 thousand inhabitants, coming to think that with other settlements and nearby cities the region may have reached 425,000 inhabitants, a figure that is not supported by many scientists.
Tikal is undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions of Guatemala, and undoubtedly one of the most important for visitors looking to get to know the Mayan world. Because of its remote location, in the middle of the forest, its visitors emphasize that in comparison with other archaeological sites of the Mesoamerica region, in tikal you can enjoy a much wilder and even mythical environment, a little more removed from modern populations and with smaller numbers of tourists than other sites to the north in the Yucatan peninsula.
Its climate is sunny, hot and humid, quite rainy in winter with cold nights under rainfall between marshes, the proliferation of insects is quite high, so it is recommended to always carry repellent against insects either for visitors looking to stay on site as visitors arrive only during the day.
how to get there:
To get to Tikal there are different forms, because of their popularity during the last decades different means have been developed to access the site, there are buses that take from Guatemala City, from Belize City, and also from Flores or Santa Elena, which are the towns nearest and with tourist connections. To access Flores you can do via air, the airport is international with flights from Cancun, Belize and even USA once a week. Many travelers take the town of Flores as a reference and then take the buses that lead to the site, towards Flores you can find public transportation as well as private transportation in tourist buses from the main tourist destinations in Guatemala such as Puerto Barrios, Livingstone, Coban, Antigua Guatemala or Lake Atitlan.
where to stay
As far as accommodations are used, many travelers stay in the area of Flores, being very popular the Island of Flores where is a variety of hostels and hostels with more accessible prices, and from there the buses go to the site of the tikal where the travel is around an hour and a half, but also exist within the archaeological zone lodgings and restaurants, in case you seek to spend one or several nights inside the archaeological site, in addition to an area for camping with rent of shops, is to take in mind that there are no ATMs on the site, so it is always recommended to carry cash for expenses that are usually a little higher than in other destinations within the country.