Tikal Guatemala - The Mayan Empire

TIKAL, Uaxactun, Flores and Lake Peten Itza: 3 Days/2 Nights Tour

 

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.

Rediscovered in 1916, Uaxactun or “Eight Stones” is located 23 kilometers north Tikal and is one of the most important archeological sites in Guatemala.  Possible founded around 3000 years ago, this oldest of the Maya cities is where it is believed the Maya perfected their writing system and invented their calendar.  Mayan astronomers, mathematicians and architects were extremely knowledgeable for their time; in fact, it was not until the beginning of this century that our modern calendar finally had the precision on the Mayan Calendar.

One of its outstanding buildings is the astronomical observatory, where the Maya began their studies in this field.  Wander through the ruins of temples and observatory of Group E, constructed to mark the points where the sun rose on the summer and winter solstices – the sun rose behind the left-hand temple on the summer solstice and behind the right-hand temple on the winter solstice.  Examine the major pyramid with staircases on each side, ancient stellae and stucco sculptures, reliefs and masks of individual rulers and mythical creatures.  The earliest dated inscription of the year 328 was found on Stella 9, and the most recent, in 889, was found on Stela 12.  Along with other Mayan cities, Uaxactun declined during the 9th century and was abandoned by the first part of the 10th century.  A large Temple in Group A offers fine views of the surrounding country side.  Uaxactun also produced excellent polychrome clay vases, the most beautiful of the Mayan World.

About 600 people live near to the ruins, and children in the community make some beautiful dolls from tusa, or corn husks.

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:

After breakfast, you will head towards Uaxactun, just 24 kilometers (16 miles) north of Tikal.  You will take a guided tour of the village and archaeological site of Uaxactun, located in the middle of the jungle and learn about the site’s history.  You will climb the main Temple of group A to have a beautiful view of the countryside or go on top of Temple E-VII, the oldest building found in Peten.  A country lunch in the park will be provided.   

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.

Price per person in double room accommodation: Please contact us for the price!

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 Uaxactun, 1 night in Flores (double room), a guided tour by boat on Lake Peten-Itza, one picnic lunch in the parks 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 add $15 per person one way**

** 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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