Tikal National Park

Tikal National Park

Tikal National Park holds one of the most important archaeological findplaces in the world. In the jungle of Tikal, archaeologists discovered more than 3000 pre-Columbian monuments.

Among them are palaces, temples, houses, streets and balplaygrounds. The city was probably inhabited between 600 BC and 900 AD.

At its height from 700 AD to 800 AD the city supported a population of 90,000 Mayan Indians. They had made the transition from hunters to farmers: excavations have yielded remains of cotton, tobacco, beans, pumpkins, peppers and many fruits.

The natural surroundings of Tikal are also rewarded by this inscription. In the 22,100 ha rain forest several animal species have their home: among them howler monkeys, anteaters, crocodiles, racoons, skunks, weasels and various birds.

Map of Tikal National Park

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Visit September 1997

They call it jungle, but Tikal nowadays is a well-developed natural park that daily caters to lots of tourists. Actually too much park and conservation to my taste.

September 1997

The ruins are beautiful of course, although they also are not unique (similar to a site as Palenque (Mexico)). So I was a bit disappointed about this major site ...

September 1997



Community Reviews

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Frédéric M

Canada - 10-Nov-19 -

Tikal National Park by Frédéric M

Tikal was the last major prehispanic archeological site I visited on my Mexico-Guatemala-Belize trip last winter. And it was the best one!

The size of the site (gigantic), the number of pyramids and structure (numerous), the quality of the pyramids (amazing) and the wildlife (abundant) cannot be compared with other sites (even with Palenque). Me and my friend visited on a tour book at our hostel in Flores. We didn't took the sunrise tour, but rather the early bird one arriving in Tikal for opening. I think it's the best time to visit as it is not a ridiculously early wake-up, the crowds are still manageable and the wildlife is active. Our tour last half a day, and we head back to Flores at noon.

The most interesting complexes are la Gran Plaza, el Mundo Perdido, la Plaza de los Siete Templos and el Templo IV. It's a good idea to have a guide here to truly understand the site. Many pyramids and temples can be climbed on wooden structures. The view from la Gran Piramide de Mundo Perdido and from el Templo IV are nice. It's also nice to climb on Templo II and on both Acropolis Norte y Central to get the view over la Gran Plaza.

Wildlife we spotted include a lot of coatis, an agouti and howler and spider monkeys. Even without binoculars, we spotted 19 bird species, including cool ones such as great curassow, ocellated turkey, limpkin, slaty-tailed trogon, black-headed trogon, collared aracari, keel-billed toucan, orange-breasted falcon, red-lored amazon and montezuma oropendola.

In brief, Tikal deserves its world wonder status as one of the greatest prehispanic archeological site and a hotspot for North American tropical biodiversity. A must-see!

Dennis Nicklaus

19-Feb-19 -

Tikal National Park by Dennis Nicklaus

Tikal was the first ancient Maya site that I ever visited, and it remains my favorite one. I've since visited about 20 others, but Tikal still stands above them all.   The combination of the lush jungle and the steep pyramids poking above the canopy with their delicate roof combs above the  top temple rooms was just fantastic.  I loved the combination of the imposing pyramids with the detailed hieroglyphic stellae and the occasional giant stucco mask.  You get it all at Tikal, whereas other places, like Calakmul, for example, disappointed me a little because it didn't have much of the finer art, like stellae, while it had plenty of impressive massive buildings.  When we visited Tikal (1988) you could still climb on any of the structures, although a couple of them required getting up some rickety wooden ladders. I still remember how scary it was to climb the very narrow steps and having respect for the ancient Maya who had to ascend and descend these staircases routinely


Malta - 20-Feb-16 -

Tikal National Park by Clyde

I visited this WHS in December 2015. I drove from Palenque to Tikal by car through the El Ceibo border. Tikal is definitely Guatemala's highlight and one of the best WHS I've visited so far. The rainforest environment is still intact although the central plaza has been cleared. However, 'VIP service' buses/vans should not be allowed inside the historical area proper as is currently done from the back roads for the older wealthy tourists. However, apart from this practice, the main ruins are spectacular as are the minor ones still full of scrub and overcome by the jungle. Tikal is the best preserved example of an ancient Mayan city. Climbing is prohibited mainly on Temple I although access to the other main temple structures is gained by climbing wooden stairs on the back of the structures. As always, birdlife and fauna is most 'active' at sunrise/sunset. It's worth staying at least 2-3 days to be able to enjoy the park at different times of the day. The sunrise hype can easily be skipped as it's the only time when the site is really packed and since it is frequently misty, there is nothing you'd miss if instead you stay in the lodge in the national park (except the crowds and the early wake up call at 03:30!).

Emilia Bautista King

U.S.A. - 27-Feb-06 -

Tikal was a highlight of my 2-week stay in Guatemala. Before I left for Guatemala, I saw a travel program on TV about pyramids and it stated that the pyramids at Tikal were superior to those in Egypt. Since I haven't been to Egypt, I can't say I agree or disagree. The view from Temple IV is amazing. I also enjoyed the walk through the jungle in order to get to the North Acropolis. I was delighted by the spider monkeys and toucans!

Site Info

Full Name
Tikal National Park
Unesco ID
1 3 4 9 10
Archaeological site - Pre-Columbian

Site History

1979 Inscribed


The site has 1 locations

Tikal National Park


The site has

Human Activity
Science and Technology
WHS on Other Lists
World Heritage Process


Community Members have visited.

A. Mehmet Haksever ALS Adam Hancock Alberto Rodriguez Gutierrez Alex Pflugfelder Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Alfonso Muralles Ali Zingstra AndreaTLV Andrew Wembridge AniaCh Artur Anuszewski Ask Gudmundsen Atila Ege Bamse Bas Bob Finnie Bob Parda Boroka Szamosi Bram de Bruin Buzjwa Cameron Wilde Carlo Medina Carlos Sotelo Christine Swanson ClaireSpeedie Clem C Clyde Comensal Coppi Ctravel DOn Szumowski Dan Pettigrew Dan1306 Dani Cyr Daniela Hohmann Dave wood Dean Swift Delpupp Dennis Nicklaus Diane Murphy Don Irwin Donald M Parrish Jr Donia Donna S EDC Elaine Baran Els Slots Emilia Bautista King Eric Lurio Eric PK Erica Eternalarrival FGKJR1492X Fan Yibo Fderuet Fernweh Fmannucci Francky D'Hoop Frédéric M G. ingraham G.L. Ingraham Gary Arndt George Evangelou Gernot Gi Glendaviste Gustavo Leit Harald T. Homadism Howard Howard Brayer Hsjamsil Hungarian Geographic Iain Jackson Irena Klementov Iriss J Mitchell Jaroslav Klement Javier Coro Jennifer Prout Jens Jezza Jgera Jon Bauer Jonathanfr Jordi Martinez Jos Schmitz Jose Josef Mikus Josie Borst João Aender Judith Tanner JudyWalsh KAO Kasienka5 Keith90245 Kelly Henry Keqi Kinstell LaVale Leontine Helleman Linus Karlsson Loic Pedras Longdutch Lorenzo Mejino Lovinfosse@gmail.com Luis Filipe Gaspar Lukasz Palczewski MMM Mal Turner Malcolm Turner Malgorzata Kopczynska Markus Marleen Speelman-Kooijmans Marta Lempert Matthew Harris Matthewsharris MaxHeAnouBen Maxine Eisenberg Michael Ayers Michael Cummings Michael Novins Michael Turtle Michael Wasserman Michael anak Kenyalang Michal Kozok Michal Marciniak Mikek Mikeupowers Mikko Milan Jirasek Miriam laschever Misswanderlust Mitsidis72 MoPython Monika and Rini Morodhi Mr20170 Nanvano Nihal Ege PabloNorte Pascal Cauliez Pat OBrien Patrick Matgen Paul RYKEN Paul Schofield Paw90 Peter mathews Philipp Pieter Dijkshoorn Plutomu Pontobaggins Ray matlock Reza Ricardo N Rickard Alfredsson RobRos Roberto Diaz Roger Ourset Roman Bruehwiler Roman Raab Rswood Ruben Mend Rudegirl Ryan Oliver Ryan watkins Ryan09sb S1m0n3t4 SHIHE HUANG Seadie Sergio Arjona Shannon O'Donnell Sharon Wheelock Simmot2019Z Simone Cannon de Bastardo Sliny Sncjob Solivagant Stanislaw Warwas Steve Newcomer Sumo446595@hotmail.com Susan Stair Sutul Suzanne Suzy OBrien Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tammy Gouldstone Ted Barnett Teresa J. Wilkin Thomas Buechler Thomas cahalan Timallen Timothy C Easton Tonioto Traveling Girl Trevni Truls Brekke Tsunami ValiaVeweth Vanessacmc Vidiot Virp VisionMX123 Watkinstravel Willc1515 Wolfgang Sander Wouter Xavier b Yellowjohn Zen Zeng Zoë Sheng