Located in the jungles of northern Guatemala, Tikal is a prominent (and possibly the most prominent) Mayan ruins site in Central America. You could almost call it the “Angkor Wat of Central America.” With architecture dating back to 400 BC, Tikal was a dominating force in the Mayan region, particularly during its height around 200-900 AD. There are several very large structures that have been restored (and many others yet to be excavated), making this quite a place to see. Definitely a “must do” when visiting Guatemala or nearby mainland Belize.
We spent a day at Tikal walking on and around the various structures and learning about the history of the place. One of the more interesting things for us about going to sites like Tikal and Angkor Wat is imagining what life would have been like when these “cities” were thriving cultural and political centers. Did the rulers make grandiose speeches from the tops of the tallest structures? What were the sacrifices like? Where did people sleep? Where did they go to the bathroom? It’s so interesting to think about!
Here are some of our favorite pictures from our time at Tikal: