Tikal Guatemala - The Mayan Empire



Tikal GuatemalaHidden by the dense jungle until the 19th century, Tikal remains one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites of the Maya World.  Once one of the most powerful and grandest cities in the Maya World during the Classic Period, the city was abruptly abandoned over 1000 years ago and became hidden and overgrown by the jungle over time.  Climbing up Temple IV, the largest structure in Tikal at 72 meters, visitors can look out over National Park that surrounds the site, see other temples protruding through the tress and even curious mounds that look like temples yet to be uncovered in the distance.  On top of Temple IV or the Lost World you will also have a chance to view or listen to the many other inhabitants of the area- howler and spider monkeys swinging through the air – the songs of the toucans and the other 410 species of birds that bring music to the jungle canopy.  Over 3000 structures have been discovered in on the site so far – archaeologists have unearthed temples, palaces, living quarters, ball courts, a sauna – not to mention the reliefs and stellae that recorded the history of the city- it’s kings, wealth and wars with neighbouring cities.  Most visors leave Tikal wishing they had more time to explore the massive 16 square kilometers of what is just a small portion of the actual city of Tikal, and vowing to return!  There is also a small museum on site with a collection of ceramics, jade, shell and bone jewelry and sculptures.

Then explore ancient Ceibal, “The Place of the Ceiba Tree”– a small but beautiful site near the banks of La Pasion River.  Shaded by huge Ceiba trees, this ancient site dating as far back as the year 800 of the Common Era is a mixture of open plazas, ruins and untamed tropical forest.   Learn about the history of the people that flourished there by following the story carved on ancient limestone stelae in the central plaza.  See what many people consider the “Mayan Art Gallery”- the incredibly well-preserved stelae and a staircase decorated with Maya Glyphs – a place where many jade pieces, ceramics and pottery figurines were rediscovered in the 19th century.   

Then wander through the cobblestone streets of the island-town Flores, situated the middle of Lake Peten-Itza.  Stay in the village and shop at the many arts and crafts stores that sell a range of wooden objects and textiles from the region.  Then travel to its sister-city Santa Elena to visit the wildlife rescue centre, which houses animals that have been rescued from smugglers and the illegal exotic pet trade, such as macaws, green and yellow parrots, jaguars, howler and spider monkeys, kinkajous and coatimundis.  Then explore the Actun cave or take a tour in a small wooden boat and discover the areas around the lake Peten-Itza.  Tour sunken communities in the lake or visit the eco-project and zoo at Petencito island.  On Petencito, walk the trails and view the wildlife roaming freely throughout the island.  Or take your boat to San Miguel and hike up to the mirador to get fantastic panoramic views of the countryside.

Day 1:

Tikal GuatemalaEarly in the morning you will fly from La Aurora International Airport to Santa Elena Airport in the Peten.  The plane ride will take around 45 minutes.  Our guide/specialist will meet you at the airport and take you directly to Tikal, the “City of Voices” – someone will check you in at the Hotel Jungle Lodge, located inside the park, while you start your walking tour!  Your guide will teach you about Maya civilization and history, the rulers of Tikal and the construction of the city, the mysterious downfall of the city, and information on the flora and fauna of the region.  You will visit the Temple of the Jaguar, Great Plaza, Lost World and then scale Temple IV to look out over the jungle and the rest of the site.  The tour will take most of the day and will include a break for lunch in the park at around 1:00.

Day 2:

Ceibal GuatemalaAt 8:00am we will take you to the colorful town of Sayaxche to start a guided visit to Ceibal – the beautiful Maya site in the midst of tropical jungle.  Many of the temples are well preserved, including a rare circular stone observatory platform used for astronomy.
The architecture in Ceibal is also very different from other Maya Classic sites, including the round platforms that are usually associated with the Quetzalcoatl cult.  A country lunch in the Park is included.

In the afternoon you will go to Flores Island, located in the middle of Lake Peten-Itza, check into your hotel and have free time in the evening to wander through the town or eat dinner. 

Day 3:

After breakfast, you take a relaxing tour of the lake Peten-Itza in a small wooden boat.  The boat will take you to different parts of the lake – to Petencito Island to see the roaming animals in the eco-project and zoo indigenous to the island – then to the Actun Can Caves, a large cave with interesting rock formations, most notably one that resembles the national instrument of Guatemala, the marimba.

In the afternoon we will take you to Santa Elena Airport to take your flight back to Guatemala City.  Upon arrival we will transfer you to your hotel in Guatemala City or Antigua.

Please contact us for pricing!

The price for this tour includes round trip airfare from Guatemala to Flores, on-the ground transportation costs, a guided tour in Tikal National Park, 1 night in Tikal National Park (double room), a guided tour in Ceibal, 1 night in Flores (double room), a guided tour by boat on Lake Peten-Itza, one picnic lunch in the park per person each day, all breakfasts, all entrance fees and taxes.

Special rates for groups of more than four people

** If you need transportation from Antigua to Guatemala please ckeck prices with us and availability***

** There is an additional cost for guided tours in French and Italian **

This tour is available seven days a week, excluding some holidays.

Reservation Request

To allow us to reserve your place on this trip, please fill out the form below. Our Adventure Experts will verify that space is available and contact you as soon as possible.

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