A thousand years ago Tikal was a powerful Mayan city, with five great temples soaring out of the jungle in northern Guatemala. Today it stands as one of the country’s finest archaeological sites, with breathtaking ruins hidden in the heart of a misty jungle teeming with wildlife.
From the air, much of Peten in the north of Guatemala is a vast sweeping jungle, with the dense carpet of trees only interrupted by temple tips emerging from the canopy. On foot, the trees disperse into a wide clearing scattered with ruins, many of which are still being uncovered, or are outright untouched.
Tikal’s enigmatic temples are the jewel in its crown. The five pyramids in sturdy limestone reach 60 metres in height, and anyone feeling adventurous can climb to the top to experience panoramic views among the treetops.
The ruins are surrounded by the Tikal National Park, over 500 square kilometres of lush wilderness. If you’re an early bird you’re in luck – the park is at its best first thing in the morning, before the humidity climbs. It’s the best time to see spider monkeys and brightly-coloured wild turkeys ambling about to a soundtrack of parakeets and rainforest toucans calling their greetings.
Perhaps the most novel way to see Tikal is the popular jungle canopy tour. You’re strapped securely into a harness slung from cables suspended in the treetops, swinging along like Tarzan. If you don’t fancy the speed, opt for the new suspension bridges and explore at your own pace.
Lightfoot Travel are on hand to help you design a luxury tour of Tikal, one of Guatemala’s oldest and most enchanting Mayan cities. We’ll tailor a trip to your exact requirement using a luxurious concierge-style service.