Tikal is among the world’s travel wonders and many are calling it one of the most spiritually powerful spots on earth. The monumental site with its towering pyramids looms out of the thick jungle canopy like stoic sentinels of ancient mysteries.
Tikal was once a wealthy metropolis of 100,000 inhabitants and the seat of power for the great Jaguar clan lords. Today, Tikal attracts archeologists from all around the globe and the wild-live surrounding the ruins makes it a naturalist’s dream. Because of its importance and magnificent combination of nature and archaeological remains, Tikal has been declared a Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The ruins of Tikal include more than 3,000 structures extending over six square miles and including palaces, temples, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, plazas, avenues and steam baths. The ancient Maya began building Tikal around 600 B.C., and for the next 1500 years the area was an important religious, scientific, and political center.
The Tikal National Park is not only home to an ancient Mayan City. The area surrounding the park is a ancient jungle which provides habitat for a wide range of animals, including monkeys, white lipped peccary, brocket deer, coati-mundi, toucans, scarlet macaws, parrots, ocelots; even the seldom jaguar can occasionally be spotted. Along with many vegetation spices there is also an abundance of tropical flowers and all include nature’s soundtrack to travelers of the area in form of screeching howler monkey calls and squawking parrots.
The charming town of Flores, with its pastel-colored buildings, enjoys a scenic setting on Lake Peten Itza. It is located about half an hour from the entrance of the National Park and serves as a gateway to explore the immediate area.