Tikal is one of Guatemala’s most important tourist sites, enjoyed annually by thousands of visitors from all over the world. Tikal National Park, which included the archaeological complex and the surrounding rainforest, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The name Tikal may be derived from Yucatec Maya Language, it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning “at the waterhole”. The name was apparently applied to one of the site’s ancient reservoirs by hunters and travelers in the region. It has alternatively been interpreted as meaning ” place of many voices” in the Itza Maya language. Tikal, however, is not the ancient name for the site but rather the name adopted shortly after its discovery in the 1840s.
Hieroglyphic Inscriptions at the ruins refer to the ancient city as Yax Mutal or Yax Mutual, meaning “First Mutal”.There are thousands of ancient structures at Tikal and only a fraction of these have been excavated. The most prominent surviving buildings include six very large pyramids, labeled Temples I – VI, each of which supports a temple structure on their summits. Some of these pyramids are over 60 meters high (200 feet). They were numbered sequentially during the early survey of the site. The tallest structure is Temple IV- measuring 70 meters (230 ft) from the plaza floor level to the top of its roof comb and two carved wooden lintels over the doorway that leads into the temple on the pyramid’s summit record a long count date. Temple IV is the largest pyramid built anywhere in the Maya region in the 8th century, and as it currently stands, is the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas.
Tikal tour is a full day, departing San Ignacio at 7 am and returning back to Belize's western border at 4 pm. It’s a 20 min drive from San Ignacio to the western border with Guatemala. After Belize and Guatemala immigration checks, no sweat or hassle, we take care of everything with ease. We would then board our transportation to Tikal, drive time 1.5hrs. On-site tour, 4 hrs, it includes lunch at one of the local Guatemala restaurants, where you get to enjoy their local cuisine. After lunch and shopping, we then board our transportation back to the western border, and back to San Ignacio.