Tikal Maya Temples
Tikal, the crown jewel of Maya archaeological sites, has been fascinating visitors for over 100 years with its stunning beauty and sheer grandeur as it rises out of the lush jungle of Guatemala’s Petén district.
Once the sprawling capital of one of the greatest empires of the ancient Maya, Tikal was established well before the time of Christ. It flourished during the Maya Classic period of 200 to 900 AD and was the most important city state in the Maya region, bouncing back from defeat by rivals Calakmul and Caracol and ruling a vast realm before suddenly falling into decline in the late 800s.
At its height the city of Tikal had a population estimated to be as large as 90,000. Earthworks and other defence systems surrounded an area of some 120 sq km supplied by ingenious irrigation and agricultural systems which can still be seen today. The layout, beautiful architecture and scale of impressive buildings connected by wide causeways, the rich jungle life and the relaxed ambience make this an unforgettable experience.
Today, Tikal is an UNESCO world heritage area and national park, with 222 sq mi (576 sq km) area of unspoiled natural beauty and home to many exotic animals, including tapir, jaguar, crocodile, cougars, monkeys, coati mundi and other species as well as a colourful assortment of birds. It is the largest excavated site in the American continent, containing over 3000 structures and massive, beautiful temples rising 70 meters (230 feet) out of the dense jungle. Tikal presents a rare opportunity to explore one of the world’s most interesting ancient cities in a relaxed, breathtaking setting.
Tours to Tikal from Chaa Creek include a lovely 2 ½ hour drive through rural Guatemala with knowledgeable guides on hand to point out interests and make history come alive. Full day and overnight tours are available to give visitor a well rounded, in depth experience of this fascinating, enigmatic culture.
Chaa Creek has for many years hosted Maya research within its own 365 acre private nature reserve and surrounding areas. With the Winter Solstice of 2012 approaching more and more interest is being focussed on the Maya civilisation, and our Tikal tours represent a rare opportunity to marvel first hand at the impressive achievements of this rich, mysterious civilisation.
Tikal Tour details:
Departure: 7:00 am
Distance: 1/2 hour drive from Chaa Creek to Bze./Guatemalan Border then 2 hours drive to Tikal Site
Duration: Full day and overnight tours available
Fitness: Moderate to good
Lunch: At a restaurant in the Tikal National Park
Dress: Short or long pants and sturdy footwear -- sleeve lengths are optional
What To Bring Along:
Passport, hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant, camera, raingear if needed