north - peten

Tikal was inhabited for a thousand years, from 900 BC to 900 AD, and at its peak, it was one of the great lowlands Maya cities. The ruins are quite extensive, over 3,000 buildings, spread over a large area in the jungle (and more structures are still buried beneath the dense tropical forest). Today, Tikal is very much a local tradition. On weekends, Guatemalan families come to picnic with their children.

Exploring the Ruins
Tikal Museums
Travel Tips
Night sky - Tikal is a long way from any big cities, and the night sky is just magical. Over centuries, the Maya charted the path of the moon and planets (especially Venus) across the night sky. If you're staying in the hotels in the park, be sure to go out at night to gaze at the stars.
Canopy Tours Tikal - Just outside the park, if kids want to fly through the jungle like a spider monkey, take the ziplines. Also available, hanging suspension bridges through the jungle, and horseback rides.
Shopping -
Near the entrance to the ruins, buy corn husk dolls, decorated with iridescent turkey feathers. At the shops next to the Visitors Center, buy wooden carvings of Guatemalan animals - jaguars, monkeys, armadillos, crocodiles, coatimundis, as well as stone-carved replicas of artifacts from the ruins and Guatemalan textiles.

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