In the mood for a longer trip around Central America? Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of Mayan civilization.
Located in the Petén Basin in northern Guatemala, Tikal’s Mayan ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it’s all accessible from Mystic River Resort! The ruins lie among the tropical rainforest of Guatemala that formed the cradle of lowland Maya civilization. The city itself was located among fertile upland soils but had no water other than what was collected through rainfall and stored in ten reservoirs one of which was refurbished in the 20th century by archeologists for their own use!
Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Mayas. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, the city reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca 200 to 900 AD. During this time, it dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically and militarily, while interacting with other areas throughout Mesoamerica and the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant valley of Mexico. There is evidence that Tikal was conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century AD. Following the end of the late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at the site and there is evidence that elite palaces were burnt. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the city’s abandonment by the end of the 10th century.
Tikal has been largely mapped and covers an area greater than 6 square miles that included about 3000 structures.