tikalThe Tikal National Park is one of those destinations you can’t miss. It is located in the Petén Department of Guatemala. This is one of the largest Mayan cities to be excavated out of all the Mayan ceremonial sites and its name means “place of voices”.

It was declared a Human Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 and consists of a group of temples and plazas scattered around the rain forest but my absolute favorite ones are: 

Major Plaza: It is the most popular and most photographed place in Tikal. It’s surrounded by Temples I and II, a Mayan ball game and some smaller temples. This was the heart of the social and political life of Tikal’s habitants. And it is absolutely beautiful! My son’s reaction when he first walked in was: Woooooooooooooooooooow!!!!!!! Do I need to say anything else?

Temple I: This is the highest temple in the major plaza and is also known also as the Grand Jaguar Temple. It was built around year 700 during the Mayan’s Classic Period. Its crest reaches 45 meters high above the Major Plaza and faces west, overlooking the sunset.

Temple II: It is also known as Masks Temple and faces 3 things: the grand jaguar, the sunrise and east. It is the second largest structure of the major Plaza with 38mts. high. This temple was built during the same time that temple number one.

tikal2Temple IV: This is the highest structure in the whole Tikal complex and is 70mts tall. The actual name of this one is the “Two-headed Snake Temple”. My favorite thing about it is that there are wooden stairs that take you up to the crest. From here you get the best bird’s eye view of the place. I know there is a lot of climbing stairs to do to get there but it is sooo worth the trouble. And of course I can’t forget about the native flora and fauna.

Read more from Marina K. Villatoro and travel to Central America on her site: The Travel Experta!