Plazas and temples in Tikal

EnjoyGuatemala presents monumental plazas and temples in Tikal, includes free advice and how to book your entire Guatemala travel needs!

The Great Plaza: The most spectacular structure in Tikal is this plaza surrounded by stelae and sculpted altars, ceremonial buildings, residential and administrative palaces, and a ball court. On both sides of the plaza loom the temple of the Great Jaguar and the Temple II.

Temple of the Great Jaguar (Temple I):
Located on the eastern side of the Great Plaza, it is more than 150 feet high. The temple was erected about 700 AD by order of Ah Cacao, whose tomb was discovered inside.

Temple II: This temple stands at the western end of the Great Plaza and rises to a height of 120 feet. It was also constructed by Ah Cacao around 700 AD.

Temple of the Jaguar Priest (Temple III): Rising to 180 feet and located west of Temple 11, it was constructed around 810 AD. It has an almost intact carved lintel, depicting a personage clothed in jaguar skin.

Temple of the Double Headed Serpent (Temple IV): At 212 feet this is the highest standing structure in Tikal. It was built around 470 AD by Yaxkin Caan Chac.

Temple V: Constructed around 750 AD and located south of the Great Plaza. This temple is close to 190 feet high.

Temple of the Inscriptions (Temple VI): It is located south of the Mendez Causeway. The roof comb contains the longest hieroglyphic recording to date. It is estimated that the construction date was around 766 AD. It is believed being built under the rule of Yaxkin Caan Chac, but the inscription was done during the reign of Chitam. Stela 21 and Altar 9 are located at the base of the temple.

“The Lost World” Plaza of the Great Pyramid: Located southwest of the Great Plaza, this plaza features the largest pyramid in Tikal. The pyramid is 100 feet high and together with the structures to the west forms part of an astronomical complex. To the south is the group called “Great Masks”.

Plaza of the Seven Temples: Located east of the Great Pyramid, it is formed by ceremonial structures of the Post Classic period. Another palace with five doors, from the Pre Classic period, can be seen covered up and used as a foundation for another building built during the Post Classic period. Building on top of a structure of an old existing structure was a common practice of the Maya.