If you decided to run away of the bad European weather and run to Guatemala, Tikal National Park should be included on the list of priorities. It is a slice of Mayan history, hidden in the middle of a beautiful landscape. The magnificence of the human minds that build the temples meets the natural perfection. Most probably, you will need days and weeks to recover after such an uplifting experience.
Tourists from all over the world are visiting the remains of the Mayan civilization and culture and admire the great variety of fauna and flora.
The park, considered as one of the most important natural and cultural site of the Republic of Guatemala, covers an area of 576 sq. km. The first testimonies about the occupation of the site are going back to the year 800 BCE. The last construction took place in the year 900 CE. During the 1,500 years in between those year marks, the land was permanently occupied. Hence, the diversity of architectural construction, the development of the trade and mathematics and the cultural richness.
The first official survey of the site took place in 1848, but the Tikal National Park as we know it was created only in May 1955. It is included in the World Cultural and Human Heritage by UNESCO.
The most important sight seeings
The Park includes many interesting areas, either squares, temples or twin pyramids complexes.
The most spectacular part of the complex is represented by the Grand Square, the result of more than 1,000 years of permanent work. The square is bordered on the Northern side by a row of carved stellae and alters, followed by the North Acropolis, a complex of buildings that used to play ceremonial roles and was the mausoleum of the governing families. Another complex of structures, most probably palaces, are situated on the Southern part: most buildings were part of the residential and administrative quarter. On the East side one can find the Temple I or the Grand Jaguar and on the West, the Temple II or Temple of the Masks.
The Square of the Great Pyramid, or Lost World is situated 300 meters Southwest of the Grand Plaza. It has around 35 meters high build following astronomical considerations.
The next important stop is the Square of the Seven Temples, made up of a series of ceremonial buildings from the Late Classic Period. It includes a three-ball game, seven temples, and a ceremonial building.
There are six important temples that should be visited: the Grand Jaguar, the Temple of the Masks, the Temple of the Grand Priest, the one of the two-headed Snake, the temple from the Central Acropolis and the Temple of the inscriptions. The facades and the interiors of many of them were or still are in various processes of restoration. Many have more than 60 meters high so you should be ready to climb to the top.
A gorgeous idea for your next vacation, isn’t it?
Source of the photo: http://www.global-travel.co.uk