Located in Peten, Guatemala, Tikal is one of the world’s most important archeological places, as it holds a large amount of secrets from the historical Mayan culture across it’s almost 6.000 square miles of territory.

That’s why it’s no wonder the Tikal is the most heavily explored ground of all America, with thousands of discoveries and objects from the earliest days of the Mayan civilization, and it’s also Guatemala’s finest natural reserve. Tikal covers around 576 square kilometers of jungle around the ceremonial center, and explorers and archeologists from the University of Pennsylvania took over 13 years to unveil most of its secrets, even though there’s still way more to be found beneath the ground. This place has been turning heads for years and holds a certain kind of magic and mystery in it, as you can really take a glimpse of the way people used to live and how fascinating their way of conceiving life, developing technology and was way back in the day when the Mayans ruled the continent. This natural park was a mystery and the country’s best-kept secret for centuries, as the Mayans suddenly abandoned it over 1000 years ago, with the jungle covering most of the ground around it.

Discovery

For years, native people knew nothing but stories, legends, and myths about a lost city where human civilization was born and developed until it was finally found in 1848 by Ambrosio Tut, who happened to be wandering around.Tut saw the top of the temples from far away and immediately ran to told Modesto Mendez – the then Governor of the Peten Department- about its discovery. Once the mystery was unveiled, all the natives were completely shaken when they first saw those majestic architectonic wonders. Temples, squares, and all kind of buildings were right there hidden in the jungle, with people not knowing anything at all about the people who built them and how on earth were they able of conceiving such a beautiful thing. This discovery was later published by the Berlin Science Academy in 1853, and it was just a matter of time before the news was spread and explorers, archaeologists and scientists from all over the world were lining up to take a look at this historic place. Later on, it was discovered that this place was actually used as sanctuary used by the Mayans during their most important ceremonies, and up to this day, there’s still a lot of things we’re yet to find out about this legendary place where kings used to walk and live.

Uaxactun, Palace A-18

Tikal was declared a national park back in 1955, and UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1979, making it arguably Guatemala’s biggest pride for its rich history about the elder Mayan days. There are a lot of beautiful and interesting places to visit in Central America, but truth be told, visiting the mythical Tikal is a life-changing experience for every single person that ever sets foot on it.