In my previous post on Tikal, I explained the important details to help ensure a successful visit. In this post, I’ll share images of the beautiful ruins. The order of images below is in the approximate order of our visit over about 7 1/2 hours in one day. Tikal is a large park and it will take a full day to see most of the ruins. The ancient city covered about 25 square miles and only about 15% has been excavated, meaning there is far more out there than meets the eye.
This is the focal point of a visit to Tikal, and the “postcard” view spot. You can climb up Temple II, for a view of Temple I and the Plaza, as shown below.
Hidden behind Temple II just to the west of the Gran Plaza is Temple III. It is hard to see it through the trees, you’re looking straight up trying to find it! Most of this temple is still covered with jungle foliage.
Plaza de los Siete Templos
This site is at the southwest side of the Park, and was very quiet during our visit. While the structures may be a bit less grand here, it was a fun area to explore with no other tourists in sight. This site gets its name from seven small temples at one end of the plaza. There are 3 ball courts here, which is unique in Mayan archeological sites.
Also tucked away in the southwest corner of the Park is Mundo Perdido, or “Lost Word”. It kind of feels like that. This was one of my favorite locations in Tikal, partially due to the remote setting with the huge temples and the views from the top of the Great Pyramid.
Palacio de las Ventanas (Palace of the Windows)
Another spot a bit off the beaten path. If you like bats, you’ll find them here. This structure is between Mundo Perdido and Temple IV. You can climb into the structure, at least there were no signs indicating this wasn’t allowed.
Temple IV is at the far west end of the Park. You can climb it (via a wooden stairway) for a view of the surrounding structures in the Park.
North Zone, Complex “P”
We visited Complex “P” after Temple IV. It was a 20-25 minute walk. This complex is on the northern edge of the Park, and once again it was very quiet, I think we were the only tourists out here at the time.
Temple V is on the south side of the Gran Plaza in its own little corner. On the signpost at this temple, it shows some photos of the excavation process – what a lot of work!
Plaza Este y Mercado
Palacio de las Acanaladuras
Probably the most remote ruin in the Tikal visitor circuit, it’s a good temple to see on your way out, since it’s at the southeast end of the Park, and from here it’s a straight shot back to the main entrance.
As shown above, there’s lots to see in Tikal. Plan for a full day, put on some comfortable shoes and have fun exploring this magnificent Mayan site, one of the grandest and largest in Central America.