Ruins is probably the wrong word to use for the numerous temples, pyramids and buildings in Tikal. 80% of the structures have been preserved through processes of nature (think giant hills that have formed over temples). the visible 20% is impressive and more than enough to fill an entire day of walking, photos and historical reflection.
We definitely recommend checking out the Tikal ruins as well as paying the extra for a tour guide. They are fun, speak great English, are extremely knowledgeable about the history and passionate about their work (try and get a smaller tour group if you can). The misconception that the Mayans just disappeared was cleared up, it turns out they moved away to avoid the Spanish, live to this date and still perform ceremonies at the temples and pyramids. Don’t be terrified of the T-Rex shrieks coming from the jungle, it’s just howler monkeys, whose howls were used in the jurassic park series for (you guessed it) the T-Rex’s.
- Cost of park entry is $150 Q per person
- Tour guide and return shuttle was $100 Q per person
- Bring snacks if you go for the early morning option