|© Photo: Ronny Mejía |
Description: Tikal was one of the first national parks in Guatemala, and the first to be included (in 1979) in UNESCO´s World Heritage list, due the extraordinary and abundant natural and cultural richness. With an area of more than 142100 acres, it is considered one of the most representative sites in Guatemala, and is widely visited by tourists all year long. Tikal is part of the nucleus areas of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, with a high level of conservation activities. The monuments, remnants of the ancient Maya culture located in the middle of luscious jungles, are ideal places for birdwatching.
Services: Museums, visitors center, parking areas, hotels, restaurants, and camping. In Flores and Santa Elena you can get other options as well.
Access: Taking the CA-9 Atlantic Highway from Guatemala City, get to where it says “to Petén” by the CA-13 highway; by plane you can take a flight from La Aurora International Airport to the Mundo Maya International airport in Flores (the flight will take approximately thirty minutes). Once in Flores, take the road that leads to Melchor de Mencos, taking a left towards Tikal.
Tourist facilities: Trails that lead to the archaeological monuments; you can also birdwatch on the high points of the temples (check ahead of time, because there is restricted access in some temples). It is very important that you follow all the rules of the park, since it is a World Heritage site.
Fees and schedule: US$ 4.00 per person for Guatemalan residents and US$ 20.00 per person for foreigners. It is open from Monday through Sunday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Other features: The archaeological monuments are the main attraction in Tikal. It is also possible to observe a great diversity of fauna such as foxes, pisotes (a racoon), spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and other diverse fauna. From Tikal you can reach other archaeological sites in the Maya Biosphere, such as Uaxactún Archaeological Park.
Contact: Ministry of Culture and Sports/Cultural and National Heritage Headquarters,
Telephone: (502) 2252 6224. More information in Tikal National Park: (502) 7920 0025.