I was pretty excited to go to the Tikal Ancient City. I had done a fair bit of reading on this city and how it was one of the better-understood ruins in the Mayan Empire, that is because they had tombs of all previous leaders well preserved. Tikal is a stunning example of how to restore a city, it is set in a national park and although the temperature was very hot, inside the forest it felt quite cool. Despite this, I was still sweating like a pig and the hike to the ruins only made it worse!

It is a stunning setting, theTikal Ancient City ruins almost feel like a movie set – they are so well preserved. This city dates back to 400 BC and came alive between 200 AD and 900 AD before the decline which seemed to go through the whole Mayan Empire. Scientists believe a mix of overpopulation, infighting, and agrarian decline led to the Mayan collapse.

I find it quite hilarious when people talk of Mayans and predictions when they (like any other dynasty ) could not even predict their own downfall. Despite this, the Tikal Ancient City is still one of the best-preserved sites in all of Central America.

The days ride only took around 3 hours as it was only 60 km from my hotel, but I took a few detours through Peten and Flores for lunch and some sightseeing, Flores is a really pretty city, however, flooding seems to be a big problem with water hitting over the docks pretty much everywhere.

I rode through a few small towns from Flores including El Remate, El Caoba before spending a few hours in the Tikal National Park. Admission to the Tikal Ancient City is around $35 USD The park’s main gate opens at 6 am, and officially closes at 6 pm.


Tikal is an ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala. Possibly dating to the 1st century A.D., Tikal flourished between 200 and 850 A.D. and was later abandoned. Its iconic ruins of temples and palaces include the giant, ceremonial Lost World Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar. At 70 meters, Temple IV is the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas and offers sweeping views. From Wikipedia

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