Wow! Tikal has always been on our bucket list for a long time and we’re so excited to finally visit. Located in what is now the jungles of Northern Guatemala, it was an important city during the Mayan classical period. Some of the temples and pyramids are of the best preserved in Central America or Mexico, and you can still climb to the top of a few of them.
And of course, the most exciting part, it was also the location where parts of the first Star Wars movie was filmed; Tikal is used to represent Yavin base. Climbing to the top of Temple IV, you can almost picture the Millenium Falcon taking off and flying off on an adventure. The force is strong with this place.
We had more than enough reasons to visit Tikal. And we were definitely rewarded with an amazing adventure. Arriving early in the morning on a rainy overcast day, we were not able to see a sunrise, but we had the ruins mostly to ourselves. It certainly felt like an Indiana Jones adventure, exploring the lost city in the jungle. Aside from the sounds of the howler monkeys in the trees, it was quiet. In the afternoon, more busses began to arrive, and certain “popular” temples were surrounded by tourists.
We still found parts of the ruins we would have to ourselves. It was a very cool experience. Many of the bases of temples are still just piles of grass and overgrown with trees. Once the city was abandoned, the jungle quickly took back the city, which is why it was undiscovered for such a long time. Archeologists are still to this day discovering more structures in the jungle. The size of the city is expected to grow exponentially using new discovery techniques such as LIDAR. It is an ongoing excavation.
Tikal’s remoteness, located in the dense jungle, makes visiting so much more exciting. We drove from Mexico, and had to cross several borders – from Mexico through Belize and into Guatemala and back again. It was all part of the adventure.
Without further delay, here are our favorite pictures from the Mayan Ruins of Tikal in Northern Guatemala.
The Ruins of Tikal:
Ruins of Tikal. 2018.
Pyramids poking through the Jungle. 2018.
Exploring every single corner of the pyramids. Tikal 2018.
The giant jungle trees framing the buried temples. 2008.
Temple ?. 2018.
The world seems small from the Mayan Perspective. Tikal 2018.
Pyramid in the jungle. 2018.
The Grand Plaza, Tikal 2018.
Looking towards Temple V. 2018.
Looking up to Temple V. 2018.
Temples and Structures are surrounded by Jungle. 2018.
Even birds pose for you. Tikal 2018.