• Visiting Tikal Maya Ruins from Placencia Belize

    If you’re staying in Placencia, Belize on your vacation, it’s really easy to visit Tikal, one of the most amazing historical sites on the planet.

    Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Tikal is located just a few miles across Belize’s western border with Guatemala. Tikal and its towering temples have been featured in many popular movies, including Star Wars (Episode IV, a New Hope), Moonraker, and the New Adventures of Tarzan.

    Barefoot Rentals and Services’s Tikal tour allows visitors to explore one of the most impressive Maya sites ever built. Now surrounded by a vast national park, the grounds of Tikal measure more than 23 square miles (60 square kilometers) in size and include more than 3,000 buildings.

    The tour departs from Placencia at 5:00 AM so that visitors can arrive on site in time to watch the sunrise over the temples. An experienced, English-speaking tour guide will be on hand to describe the history of the site as well as learning more about the birds, plants, and animals that live on the grounds.

    Tikal’s most famous area is known as the “Mundo Perdido” or “Lost World” complex, located just west of the Plaza of the Seven Temples. Together, these areas are home to the impressive pyramids and temples that instantly make Tikal recognizable. This includes Temple IV which rises 230 feet (70 meters) above the plaza floor. Other iconic temples include Temple III (Temple of the Jaguar Priest) that measures 180 feet (55 meters) tall and Temple II (Temple of the Mask) that stands 125 feet (38 meters) tall.

    First built more than 3,000 years ago, Tikal rose to become one of the most dominant and powerful Maya cities in the ancient world. It is estimated that, during the height of the Maya Classic Period, Tikal was home to more than 100,000 people and regularly fought with other regional powers like Xunantunich and Caracol (located in modern-day Belize). For reasons still debated by archeologists today, the population of Tikal rapidly plummeted beginning around the year 900 AD, and the city was later completely abandoned.

    Today, Tikal is located in the middle of Tikal National Park. Top attractions include the Plaza of the Seven Temples, the Mundo Perdido Complex, vast ball courts, and elaborate carvings. There is also a small museum located on the edge of the Tikal complex.

    If you’re staying in Placencia, Barefoot also organizes tours to other popular ancient Maya sites like Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, and Nim Li Punit.

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