In this post, Caravan Tours offers some helpful Guatemala facts and information about our all inclusive tours.

Guatemala, the land of eternal spring and heart of the ancient Mayan world, is a Central American country rich in heritage. You can spend days exploring everything from ancient Mayan ruins and archaeological sites like Tikal (which doubled as the rebel base in the 1977 Star Wars movie), to Colonial towns like Antigua, or volcanic lakes like Lake Atitlan.

Explore Guatemala facts and information abou tthe Mayan culture, which is over 4,000 years old. Guatemala’s Colonial heritage dates back to as early as the 16th century. Guatemala’s Colonial and cultural heritage evolved from a combination of Spanish and native Mayan peoples, ensuring that you will be captivated by the locals you meet during your Guatemalan tour.

In recent years, many eco adventure tour companies like Caravan Tours have begun offering guided vacation package tours through Guatemala. Guided by experienced tour guides familiar with Guatemala and its people, guests of Caravan Tours enjoy Guatemala facts and information firsthand.

These are very safe, all-inclusive Guatemala vacations, which are a great alternative to visiting Guatemala on your own.

Guatemala & Tourism

Even though Guatemala is smaller than the US State of Louisiana (108,890 sq km), this tiny country attracts hundreds of thousands of American tourists each year. Tourism is important to Guatemala and each day of Caravan’s Guatemala tour brings you to brand new surroundings with delightful surprises.

Guatemala is known as the “Land of the Eternal Spring” with coastal lowlands that are tropical and more temperate highlands where most Guatemalans live.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala is a preferred destination for many cruise lines. From beautiful sandy beaches one can enjoy an amazing country that boasts heavily forested lowlands and the volcanic Sierra Madre Mountains.

Guatemala is also classified as a biodiversity hotspot thanks to diverse and unique ecosystems and rainforests, much of which engulfed the ancient Mayan ruins over the centuries. In fact, most of Guatemala’s Mayan ruins have yet to be excavated.

With economic growth and recent democratic elections, Guatemala is a maturing and growing tourism destination in Central America.

In fact, Guatemala boasts over 700 bird species and some of the world’s best sailfish fishing areas, attracting tourists from around the globe to this little Central American country.

Caravan Guatemala Tour Highlights

Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is considered the hub of the country and where Caravan Guatemala tours begin and end.

Upon landing at the International airport, Caravan Tour guests spend two nights in Guatemala City while becoming acquainted with the new culture. Here guests have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Archaeology and take a sightseeing drive of the historic center.

From Guatemala City, travellers get to explore the best of this tiny country, visiting the Mayan city of Quirigua, then Rio Dulce, Tikal National Park, and the colonial city of Antiqua. Other Caravan tour highlights include a visit to a Guatemalan coffee plantation and a boat cruise on Lake Atitlan, a spectacular volcanic lake, before returning to Guatemala City.

Caravan’s fully escorted Guatemala tour is virtually a treasure trove of Guatemala facts and information about this beautiful country and its people!

Visit Caravan’s Guatemala Tour Reviews page to hear what others are saying about this popular Central American tour.

Call Carava Tours at 1-800-227-2826 to book your spot today or check on availability!

The history behind the great Tikal Ruins in Guatemala has its humble beginnings back in 800 B.C. when settlers came to the area and began building on top of a small mound.

Today, the Mayan temples and ceremonial centers are still highly impressive even compared to modern-day structures and very popular on Tikal Guatemala tours. The historic plazas and temples of Tikal are well preserved natural and cultural treasures and were cause for declaring Guatemala’s Tikal Ruins a UNESCO Heritage site in 1979 and then in 1986, a World Monument.

In this blog post, learn about Tikal Ruins National Park and all of its can’t miss attractions, wildlife, and other interesting facts.

Tikal Ruins National Park

A visit to Tikal National Park while on vacation in Guatemala is a must. Located in the northern province of Peten Guatemala, Tikal was the first official National Park in Central America, declared back in 1955. Later in 1970 Tikal was also named a National Monument.

At its height of existence around 500 AD, Tikal was home to 50,000 – 100,000 Mayan people. The growth and construction of this great Mayan city began to slow around 870 AD and Tikal was eventually any mysteriously deserted by the end of 900 AD for unknown reasons.

The Mayan ruins at Tikal are the largest excavated site in the Americas giving glimpses into Mayan practices pertaining to art, religion, economics, agriculture, mathematics, and hieroglyphics.

Tikal Ruins’ Points of Interest

Tour Tikal’s Great Plaza

The Great Plaza of Tikal rests at the heart of Tikal and is one of the most studied Mayan architectural groups. Brochures, pictures, and maps cannot do justice to the sheer size of Tikal’s Great Plaza. Within a 20 minute walk from the gate entrance, many people put the Great Plaza at the top of their “to see” list on their Tikal Guatemala tour.

Temple of the Grand Jaguar

Also known as Tikal Temple I, the Grand Jaguar is one of the major structures at Tikal. Built in a typical Peten style with a limestone stepped pyramid dating back to 730 AD. The lintel at the top of the temple is said to represent a king sitting on a jaguar throne. Temple I deviates from the traditional Mayan culture of building funerary temples for burials north of the Great Plaza.

Tikal Temple II 

lso known as Masks Temple, Temple II was built by Jasaw Chan K’awiil in tribute to his wife. The single wooden sculpture is of a woman who some speculate was Kawaiil’s wife.

Plaza of the Seven Temples

Many regard the Plaza of Seven Temples as the most attractive sites in all of Tikal. It is quiet, secluded, and renowned for excellent bird watching. There are also three Tikal ball fields to see which are unique to the Mayan World. Other must-see attractions include stela with glyphic inscriptions, altars, and stucco human heads.

El Mundo Perdido (The Lost World)

Tikal’s Lost World is made up of 38 different Tikal structures covering 60,000 square meters of the jungle. The main feature point in the Lost World is the Great Pyramid which is a four-sided structure with stairways leading up 30 meters. The structure, for whatever reason, never leads to a temple at the summit. The Lost World is also home to building 5C-49, the oldest structure in Tikal with a unique architectural design.

Tikal Wildlife

A visit to Tikal National Park on any Tikal Guatemala tour offers much more than just exploring Guatemala’s ancient Mayan ruins; the National Park spreads out over more than 200 square miles. The lush tropical jungles of this northern Guatemalan area are home to some 285 species of wildlife including:

  • Exotic birds
  • Monkeys
  • Jaguars
  • Pumas
  • Tapirs
  • Deer

While enjoying Tikal Guatemala tours it is useful to note that many of the wildlife in the area is endangered – giving rare glimpses of animals and birds that many people may never have the opportunity to see. Also, Tikal is a bird watcher’s paradise and considered one of the best spots to bird watch in all of Central America.

Additional Facts About Tikal National Park

Once inside Tikal National Park, tourists will be amazed at the grand size of Tikal’s ruins. Keep in mind that:

  • Only 40% of Tikal Ruins in Tikal National Park are mapped.
  • 80% of the structures are still unexcavated sitting as mounds of rock covered by trees.
  • 220 sq miles of Guatemalan jungle surround Tikal.
  • Access to the Tikal Ruins is restricted to foot.
  • There are an estimated 3000 structures in the ruins of Tikal.

When visiting Guatemala’s Tikal ruins it is highly recommended by Caravan Tours to come prepared. Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sun protection, and mosquito repellant can make your visit much more enjoyable. Binoculars and cameras (with extra batteries) will help you fully take in the setting and capture it for years to come.

All-Inclusive Tikal Guatemala Tours Include Tikal Ruins

A Caravan Tour all-inclusive Guatemala Vacation includes a visit to the Tikal ruins at Tikal National Park. The Tikal visit is fully escorted and fully guided so that Caravan travelers get the most out of their ancient Tikal experience.

Contact Caravan Tours by calling 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to learn more about our Guatemala Mayan ruins tours or browse the reviews page to read what others have to say about this all-inclusive tour.