Temple I - Tikal

Tikal – Mayan Pyramids and Temple Ruins in the Jungle of Guatemala

Tikal is an ancient Maya town located in the rain forest of the low-land of the department Peten in Guatemala. It was known since the Spanish have conquered the highlands of Guatemala and was never completely forgotten.

Cortez passed the area, but did not mention the existence of the town. Various expeditions have been undertaken to examine the area, but it took until  the 50’s that a systematic inspection of the ruins was started.

Tikal - Pyramid - Temple II - Guatemala
Tikal – Pyramid – Temple II – Guatemala

The settlement of Tikal began 900 BC, but the first architectural traces derive from 200 AC. In this pre-classical era Tikal had it’s first time of prosperity.

Tikal - Pyramid - Temple IV - Guatemala
Tikal – Descending the Pyramid – Temple IV – Guatemala

It survived the decline of this period and did rise again in the classical period. At 900 AC the city was abandoned.

Tikal - 2 Pyramids standing face to face - Temple I and II - Guatemala
Tikal – 2 Pyramids standing face to face – Temple I and II – Guatemala

During this second climax, Tikal was populated by approximately 200.000 inhabitants.

Tikal - Those pyramids are impressive, massive stone buildings Temple II - Guatemala
Tikal – Those pyramids are impressive, massive stone buildings Temple II – Guatemala

The area of the town has a size of 65 sq. km. 6000 buildings have been identified so far and it is estimated that 10000 more are still covered by vegetation waiting for their exploration.

Tikal - Slim but high pyramids - giants of the rain forest - Temple II - Guatemala
Tikal – Slim but high pyramids – giants of the rain forest – Temple II – Guatemala

The most impressive buildings are located in a central area of 16 sq km.  The temples are usually named by numbers. Temple I.  and II. flank a central place, the “Plaza Major”.

A detailed photo of the surrounding jungle of Peten- the path between the pyramids - Guatemala
A detailed photo of the surrounding jungle of Peten- the path between the pyramids – Guatemala

The temples III.- VI. are located further away from this area. With 40 m and 47 m respectively  the temples I and II have a remarkable height in Middle America.

Coati - Living in the forest around the mayan pyramids
Coati – Living in the forest around the mayan pyramids

Below you find a small slideshow video that I produced.

 

Recommended Reading

An description of the amazing experience to visit Tikal can be found on the Website of Marcella and Claire – “Best regards from far“: Tikal: where nature and culture merge

As usual, Wikipedia has a nice article about Tikal, with detailed information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikal


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THE MAYA SITES
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Tikal – Mayan Pyramids and Temple Ruins in the Jungle of Guatemala was last modified: March 31st, 2017 by Christian Schoen

2 thoughts on “Tikal – Mayan Pyramids and Temple Ruins in the Jungle of Guatemala”

  1. Tikal was by far the most impressive temple I visited in the Yucatan area – it doesn’t just feel like being a “tidily dug out archeological site presented on a silver platter” for tourists to see. Especially the walking up of the jungle (howler monkeys going nuts) was an awesome experience -> Get there before sunrise! Have to return there someday and visit El Mirador.

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