You’ve probably heard of Machu Picchu and Teotihuacan, but Latin America is home to many ancient cities that were rediscovered many centuries later. One of those cities is Tikal, one of Guatemala’s most amazing ancient wonders.
The ruins of this ancient city can be found in the middle of the tropical rainforest in the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. This nature reserve is home to a large concentration of ancient Mayan cities, but Tikal is the most notable one that’s been excavated so far.
It’s believed that Tikal was established in the 4th century BCE, and that it was one of the major metropolises of the Mayan civilization. Archaeologists have uncovered around 3,000 structures that were once the part of this ancient city, including the pyramid-like limestone temples that Tikal is best known for.
Like many Mayan complexes, Tikal was abandoned for centuries after its decline in the ninth century but went on to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction in the 20th century.
Flores is the only major city with an international airport in close proximity to Tikal. If you take a shuttle bus or join one of the guided tours, it will take about 90 minutes to reach this ancient city. Tikal National Park is open daily between 6am-5pm, and the regular admission ticket will set you back by $20.