In the remote jungles of Mexico and Central America, many Mayan temples lay undiscovered and forgotten. Some amazing archeological sites have been excavated, and are accessible to the world. Some of them are still waiting to be discovered. Tikal was an important city in the Mayan Empire, and the ruins here are some of the best preserved in the world.
It is not the easiest place to access, located in the jungles of Northern Guatemala, but once you arrive you will realize any effort you put in will be paid back in full. There are several massive temples and pyramids that are located throughout the complex, and most importantly, there are several that you can still climb to the top of. The views of the ancient city, with the top of the temples poking through the dense jungle canopy below, is a sight to be seen.
The most impressive of these is Temple IV, which has the distinct view that some people might remember from the first Star Wars movie – Tikal was a stand-in for Yavin IV in A New Hope. You can almost picture seeing the Millenium Falcon taking off over the temples. This is just one of the many reasons why you should start planning your trip to Tikal immediately.
Despite the importance and grandeur of the ruins, it still remains a little bit off the beaten track, and if you are able to arrive early in the morning, you will have the ruins to yourself. By mid-afternoon, a few tour buses from nearby Flores arrive, and while not being as overcrowded as some ruins around the world, it is still best to arrive early. Bonus points if you can make it for sunrise!
Exploring the Mayan Temples of Tikal:
Located in the jungles of northern Guatemala, is one of the most important cities of the Mayans; Tikal. There are several well-preserved pyramids that dominate this location, and when viewed from above create an amazing view of the towering monuments poking through the dense jungle canopy below.