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A 45-minute flight from Guatemala City to Flores in the steamy Petén region of northern Guatemala, Tikal's 3,000 temples, shrines, ceremonial platforms, ball courts and plazas lie in the heart of the jungle. A substantial portion of the complex remains unexcavated, and the site's jungle location gives it a mystical atmosphere; whether shrouded in dawn mist, or covered in tropical foliage. This little known park receives only around 200,000 visitors a year; a fraction of those at the other better-known Mayan and Incan sites

The most impressive of Tikal's structures are the six huge step pyramids or Temples I-VI, some towering over 200 feet above the humble tourist. Yet the majesty of Tikal is apparent wherever you are; craning your neck upwards, peering giddily downwards, or gazing across the Grand Plaza at the temple tops rising above the jungle canopy on the skyline.

Wildlife is plentiful and your visit will be accompanied by the sounds of chattering birds and howler monkeys, all adding to the unforgettable experience. Indeed, the Petén region contains over 800 species of trees, 57 species of reptile, and 500 species of birds. Tapirs, peccaries, and jaguars still roam the emerald forests.

Tikal can be visited as a day trip or an overnight trip staying in one of the rainforest lodges.

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What to do
When to go
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When to go
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Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park
Best time
Low season
Off season
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A Note on Price

Like much of Central America, Guatemala represents good value in comparison to its South American counterparts. Antigua Guatemala is full of reasonably priced boutique hotels (costing around £100 a night), but in Atitlan and Tikal, we’d recommend you go all out and stay in the best hotels, which means that a 10-day trip to Guatemala could cost from £2,000 per person including flights.