Tikal Guatemala Ruins Map & How to Visit Tikal National Park

Visit the Mayan ruins in Guatemala Tikal. It is one of the most exciting things to do in Central America. These ancient temples, which look like something out of Indiana Jones, were once the most significant capital of the Mayan civilization.

This place is similar to Mexico’s giant Chichen Itza pyramid, but it’s arguably better. Tikal National Park has a wide variety of wildlife, and you can climb many Mayan temples to get sweeping views of the jungle.

You can visit Tikal by land from Belize or Flores, Guatemala.

It’s a bucket-list experience you should take advantage of when you travel to Belize or Guatemala. Star Wars fans can also enjoy that Tikal served as a location in ‘A New Hope,’ one of Star Wars’ original films.

This Tikal travel guide contains information on the location of the ruins (along with a map) and how to reach them from Guatemala or Belize. It includes hours, entrance fees, safety advice, tour packages, and other essential details.

Best Tikal Tours

Tikal Guatemala, especially your first time there, is best experienced with a guide. This is the most convenient and safest way to travel to the ruins. An English-speaking guide can also help explain the site and take photos for you.

GetYourGuide offers day tours to Tikal from Flores, Guatemala. They also offer day tours that start from San Ignacio, Belize. These tours can include lunch, hotel pickups, drops, and even drop-offs.

Where is Tikal located?

Tikal is situated in northern Guatemala in the Peten Department (state).

You can visit Tikal by road from San Ignacio, Belize, or Flores, Guatemala. Both towns have many hotels that cater to tourists.

How to Get To Tikal Guatemala

* From Guatemala

Mundo Maya Airport in Flores (code: FRS), Guatemala, is the closest airport. The bus is also an option, but it’s a lot slower and costs more. It takes about 10 hours.

Flores is accessible by nonstop daily flights from Guatemala City and Cancun in Mexico. Avianca and TAG Airlines are the two airline options. Avianca has a better safety record and is more flexible with baggage.

You can find flights to Flores for as little as $400 Quetzales (about USD 50). Skyscanner allows you to search for flights.

From Flores, you can take a shared tour by bus to Tikal. This is an affordable option. This can be done by taking a bus tour from Flores. It is very cheap.

You can also visit Tikal on your own if you hire a car or take the shuttle from Flores. It’s not much cheaper, but a guide will help you understand the park and take pictures.

From Belize

If you come from Belize, San Ignacio is the first place you will need to go. It’s a city located in Belize near Guatemala.

You can drive, take a bus, or take a shuttle to San Ignacio. The trip takes 2 to 2.5 hours. The shuttle is the best option.

Some flights fly from Belize City to San Ignacio. However, these are small puddle-jumper planes with limited options. You can ask Tropic Air about this or Maya Island Air.

It takes 2 to 2.5 hours to drive from San Ignacio to Tikal. You can do this using a tour package, which will take care of all your transportation.

It’s easy to cross the border. You can take a taxi from San Ignacio or take the shuttle to Tikal if you don’t want a tour.

What to Expect when Visiting Tikal Guatemala

It’s a large area but still manageable to walk around. The paths are all flat and easy. However, if you want to climb temples, it can be strenuous. Some temples are more challenging to climb than others.

Keep in mind that some temples are not open to climbing. Before you start climbing, check the signs. The signs are in both English and Spanish, so visitors can easily understand them.

You can see hundreds of different animal species in Tikal National Park. We saw turkeys, turkeys, and coatimundis in one day. You can also see tarantulas, toucans, pumas, jaguars, and tarantulas. If you’d like to spend a few nights at Tikal, several hotels have direct access to the park.

Tikal Map of Guatemala

You can use this handy 3D Tikal Map to plan your Guatemala vacation. A paper map of Tikal can be purchased at the national park’s entrance. It will help you navigate the park and find the temples, ruins, and other attractions.

This map, among other things, shows you where to find bathrooms in the park. This map of Tikal shows the park entrance as ‘9 Ingreso.’ You’ll start your first tour at the park entrance.

Best Tikal Temples & Ruins

These are not all Tikal’s ruins, but they are some of my favorite temples.

Temple 1

Temple I, also known as the “Temple of the Great Jaguar,” is the most iconic and beautiful of the temple ruins at Tikal, Guatemala. It is also the tallest.

Temple I is not climbable, but Temple II can be climbed and used as a vantage to take pictures of Temple I. Here are the most famous photos of Temple I.

The Mayan king Jasaw K’awiil I was buried in this temple. There are many other photo opportunities at the Great Plaza, where Temple I is situated.

Temple II

Temple II, also known as the “Temple of the Masks,” is a beautiful building on its own, but the best part is that it can be climbed to get a great view of Temple I and the Great Plaza, which is right next door.

The temple is 38 meters high (125 feet), but you can reach the top by climbing the wooden staircase at the back. It takes only a few moments. It’s worth it to climb up!

* Temple 4

Temple IV, the tallest Mayan building in the world at 65 meters tall, is in Tikal.

It’s also possible to climb! It’s an intense workout to climb the wooden staircase with almost 200 steps. When we reached the top, our group was exhausted.

This location, known as the “Star Wars Temple,” was used to film the jungle planet Yavin 4 for Star Wars A New Hope. The view is stunning in both the film and in real life.

Tikal In Star Wars

Temple IV is the Tikal Temple from Star Wars. In ‘A New Hope,’ a Rebel watcher watches the Millennium Falcon spaceship land on the jungle planet Yavin 4 in the movie.

The film shot was taken from Temple IV. In the distance, you can see Temples I, II, and III rising over the jungle canopy.

The scene was filmed in 1977, during the Guatemalan Civil War, and, according to a Reuters article, George Lucas and his team were required to use a pulley to lift the heavy camera equipment and lights up to the top.

The Star Wars film team paid a Guatemalan security guard six packs of beer for him to protect their equipment with a shotgun over four nights!

It was great to see this place in person!

Entry Fees at Tikal National Park

You can buy Tikal tickets on the internet starting in 2023! This is done on the official website at https://boletos.culturaguate.com, and you can pay the Tikal entrance fee with a foreign Mastercard or Visa credit card. The current entrance fees are listed on the website.

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