Officially called Parque Nacional de Tikal (City of the Echo)
Eddie explained that the Parque was home to the jaguar, puma and spider and howler monkeys and lots of natural fauna and flora (tourist tree because it's red and peeling, ceiba, chewing gum tree)
Tikal is the second largest Mayan settlement (the first one being El Mirador which can take 5 days to get to) and it covers 16 sq km. Mayan was a civilization, not an empire and had lots of states/settlement with their rulers such as Tikal, Chichen Itza, Palenque, Copan. There would be trade and sometimes fights between settlements. Tikal was ruled by a king called chocolate (aka mr chocolate). He was very tall for a Mayab and lived to 82, how did he do that?!
Tikal was present during 200 - 900 AD and then there was a really long world drought and the settlement was abandoned and Mayans went to Chichen Itza to try to find food/water.
There are 3 architectural structures in Tikal
1) Temples which are the biggest and represent a place of religion where you are closer to God. They sometimes have no stairs or one set of stairs.
2) Pyramids which were smaller and were used as observatories and was the same on all 4 sides with 4 sets of stairs
3) Palaces where the rich lived
There are 7 temples in Tikal. We hiked and climbed for around 5hrs and saw temples 1,2,3,4,5 - we climbed up temples 2 and 4 (temple 4 is apparently where one of the Star Wars was filmed). We also saw the the acropolis and the lost world with the seven temples.
Can't wait to see the Copan ruins!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.