tikal

What to expect

One of the biggest Classic Maya cities and probably also one of the main reasons most of you guys are here. Explore the majestic ruins of Tikal with one of our experienced guides.  Watch over the endless sea of green from thousand year old pyramids. You can almost feel like you´re going back in time.

As you’re watching the sunset, the spider and howler monkeys will be curiously observing you from the treetops. There is a big chance you’ll spot wildlife like toucans, ocelots, wild turkeys, tarantulas,  pisotes and foxes.

Unlike most Maya sites, Tikal is unique because temples are scattered over a huge area in the middle of the lush jungle. Even on a busy day you might suddenly realize you have been walking for a while without seeing anyone else. A truly magical experience, just as if you’re the one discovering the temples for the first time!

All our guided tours cover 90 % of the discovered ruins. Our guides will give you ample time to stroll over the central plaza and surrounding palaces. Strolling through el Mundo Perdido (the Lost World) complex is a delight. Of course you’ll get to spend a fair amount of time on top of temple 4, Tikals highest pyramid, far above the impressive canopy of the jungle.

Guides have been doing this for years and are experts on Tikal’s architecture, history and the abundant flora and fauna.

Sunrise Tour

Departure time: 3 am from the hostel. You’ll be arriving in Tikal around 4:30 am.

Tikal return time: buses return from Tikal at 11:00  and 12:30. The drive from Tikal to Flores takes approximately an hour.

Tour Price: Q 95. This price includes both ways transportation in a private shuttle and a full guided tour by a experienced fluent English speaking guide. We also have Spanish speaking guides if you prefer.

Entrance price: The regular entrance fee to Tikal is Q 150. Taking the sunrise tour however you will have to pay a Q 100 fee that the park administration charges for entering the park before official opening time (6 am) because extra guards need to watch the temples at this time. So total entry fee for this tour is Q 250 that needs to be paid at the entrance of the park. Make sure to ask for an official entry ticket.

Just a heads up. Because mornings can often be cloudy here in Peten, you’ll have a much bigger chance of seeing a beautiful sunset than a sunrise.

Early Bird Tour

Departure time: 4.30 am from the hostel. You’ll be arriving at Tikal around 6:00 am. (official opening time)

Return time: buses return from Tikal at 12:30 and 14:00. The drive from Tikal to Flores takes approximately an hour.

Tour Price: Q 95. This price includes both ways transportation in a private shuttle and a full guided tour by a experienced fluent English speaking guide. We also have Spanish speaking guides if you prefer.

Entrance price: The regular entrance fee to Tikal: Q 150. Make sure to ask for an official entry ticket.

Tikal Day Tour

Departure time: 8 am from the hostel. You’ll be arriving at Tikal around 9:30 am.

Return time: 3 pm. The drive back takes approximately 1 hour.

Tour Price: Q 100. This price includes both ways transportation in a private shuttle and a full guided tour by a experienced fluent English speaking guide. We also have Spanish speaking guides if you prefer.

Entrance price: The regular entrance fee to Tikal: Q 150. Make sure to ask for an official entry ticket.

Tikal Sunset Tour (Recommended)

Departure time: 12:30 pm from the hostel. You’ll be arriving at Tikal around 14:00.

Return time: 19:00. The drive back takes approximately 1 hour.

Tour Price: Q 85. This price includes both ways transportation in a private shuttle and a full guided tour by a experienced fluent English speaking guide. We also have Spanish speaking guides if you prefer.

Entrance price: The regular entrance fee to Tikal is Q 150. Taking the sunset tour however you will have to pay a Q 20 fee extra that the park administration charges for entering the park after official opening time (6 pm) because extra guards need to watch the temples at this time. So total entry fee for this tour is Q 170 that needs to be paid at the entrance of the park. Make sure to ask for an official entry ticket.

 History

Tikal was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. The site dates back as far as the 4th century and reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca 200 to 900 AD. During this time the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically and militarily. Following the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the site’s abandonment by the end of the 10th century. Tikal was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Tips

  • Bring comfortable footwear because you’ll be walking for a couple of hours.
  • Plenty of water and some mosquito repellant are a must as well!
  • As there is no food available in the park, ordering one of our yummy lunchboxes is recommended. We have a vegetarian option as well. The alternative os to buy some overprized fatty snacks near the central park in Tikal.
  • If you take the sunrise or sunset tour please bring a flashlight and a shirt with long sleeves. It can be fresh on top of the highest temple.
  • When on top of the temples try to listen to the many sounds of the jungle and enjoy a quiet moment, absorbing this magical experience. Remember this place has been sacred for thousands of years.

Fun fact

If you’ve seen the old Star Wars movies you might recognize the view from temple 4!