Tikal, the Mayan jewel of Guatemala

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| 11 septiembre, 2021 | 0 Comments

Located in the middle of the great jungle of the Petén, Tikal became one of the most important centers of the Mayan empire, in the current country of Guatemala.

It is an ancient city in which a multitude of constructions were built: temples, palaces, ceremonial platforms and innumerable ball games.

Currently, many of them are still hidden by the great vegetation of the dense jungle, others have been unearthed and restored.

The Tikal National Park of Guatemala was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it is not surprising. It is one of the largest archaeological sites in the country and surely one of the most impressive that can be visited in the world.

From the entrance of the Tikal National Park there is a path that, in just under half an hour, takes you directly to the Great Plaza, after passing through several minor temples.

Once you arrive, you will realize why it is called the Great Plaza, it is the most important and monumental in the entire city, as well as being the place of reference and where the Mayans perform the most important ceremonies.

On each side (east and west) there are two great pyramids, the Temple of the Jaguar and the Temple of the Masks. North of the Great Plaza, is the North Acropolis, with a large number of structures. And to the south, we find the South Acropolis.

The Temple of the Jaguar (or Temple I)

It is one of the most photogenic and slender pyramids in the Mayan world. Its 47 meters high are so attractive that not a few tourists have wanted to climb it, although today it is totally prohibited.

The Temple of the Masks (or Temple II)

It may not be as tall as the Jaguar (it is 38 meters high), but it is just as impressive or more impressive. The best of all is to have a view of the two temples from somewhere in the square.

After visiting the Great Plaza you can go to some of the structures of the North Acropolis. It is a pre-classic Mayan structure that is located on a large platform of about 100 by 80 meters.

This acropolis is full of stelae, altars and temples, almost all of them pyramidal in shape and with very steep stairs.

South of the Plaza is the massive Temple V

The one that was a great funerary pyramid of a monarch that today has not yet been identified. At 58 meters high, it is the second tallest building in Tikal and is characterized by its large 20-meter wide staircase at the front.

Continuing west from Temple V, we find the Plaza of the Seven Temples and a little further on the Plaza of the Lost World.

In the Plaza de los Siete Temples, we find (as its name says) the seven temples, of which only their ruins remain.

Temple of the Double-headed Serpent

At 70 meters high, it is the tallest pyramid in all of Tikal and the tallest preserved pre-Columbian structure in all of America. If you want to take a good memory of Guatemala and specifically of Tikal.

Pyramid of the Great Priest (or Temple III)

Last but no less impressive than the others. It is a large restored building 55 meters high, which at the time must have been another of the skyscrapers of the ancient city of Tikal.

How to get to Tikal

The city of Tikal is located in the heart of the Petén jungle. The closest towns are El Remate, about 30 kilometers away, Flores and Santa Elena, about 65 kilometers away. Although I recommend that you stay in Flores.

From Flores to Tikal you can get there by daily local minibus transport. The first is at 4 in the morning and there is usually one every hour, so there is not excessive frequency, so it is advisable to confirm both outbound and return schedules the day before.

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Category: Central America, Guatemala, Monuments, Natural landscapes, Place of interest, Sin categoría

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