A trip to Tikal is more than the usual visit to an archaeological site, it is an immersion into a lost culture, the world of the Maya.
Across what is currently Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and South of Mexico, during the late classic period (A.D. 650-900) were numerous Maya cities and towns, among the three largest of which was Tikal.
Because of a large-scale restoration endeavors that have created the appearance of the city-state in its monumental splendor, visitors are now able to walk through the courtyards and find out the walls that gave life to the ancient inhabitants. Such can be a hauntingly beautiful experience.
The Maya lived in Tikal as early 600 B.C., however it wasn’t until the start of the Classic Period (A.D. 200) which the Maya Civilization, as we realizing today, began to take form within the Peten Heartland.
From the beginning of the 8th century A.D., Tikal had grown to an urban center of almost 50,000 residents occupying an area of 30 square miles.
Characteristics of the Classic Maya civilization contain features innovated by the Maya people, which include art and architectural styles, as well as innovations obtained from earlier civilizations (in Mexico), such as the calendar, the numbering system, the hieroglyphic writing system, the rituals of sacrifice and bloodletting, and the stela – altar cult. The usage of all these elements reached the highest period of development during the Late Classic Period.
Most impressive to the eye at Tikal are definitely the large pyramids and the massive acropolis which dominated the six square miles of the main area. Integrating the aesthetics of this zone is the Great Plaza, an important stage for important religious and secular rituals.
On the flanks of the Great Plaza are temple-pyramids I and II, to the east and west, respectively, and the north and central acropolis, to the north and south respectively.
All these structures offer awe-inspiring sights of the grandiose range of the architectural works of the Tikal Maya. Beyond the Great Plaza in all directions are other pyramids, acropolis, temples, and palaces some of which are partially restored, however, others of them yet still covered by rainforest growing.
Martsam Tour and Travel is a local tour operator and destination management company specialized in custom-made travel schedules for small groups, families and Fit’s, looking for Nature, Culture and Archaeology tours in Guatemala and the whole Maya World.