Tikal is recognized for being one of the largest and most populated cities of the Late Classic Period of the Mayan World with an average population of 90 thousand inhabitants.
After being abandoned, the city was covered by a dense layer of jungle, it was discovered more than a thousand years later, when its exploration began in the late nineteenth century.
The Park covers more than 570 km² and is known as the center spot of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the fourth largest extension of continuous forest on the planet.
The tour can usually take a full day, but with this virtual option you can choose which sections and pyramids you want to explore, click on the image to start:
The site has more than five hundred structures, including forty steles, thirteen altars, nine pyramids, two ball courts and a network of sacbeob (main roads), which connect the Central, North and East Acropolis. These roads are very characteristic, since not all the sites had these main streets.
Plaza C is the only complex of Twin Pyramids, outside of its ally Tikal, these monuments were built to commemorate a Katun, a period or lapse of twenty years. The Lake Road is 80 meters long and it's considered the official entrance to the City in ancient times, the road connects the archaeological site with Lake Yaxhá.
You can appreciate all the wonders of this park on an incredible virtual tour:
Despite the existence of photographic records dating from 1933, the city was discovered years later by some chewing gum workers.
In the 1960s, two chewing gum-producing businessmen released the news of this discovery. Thanks to them the city receives the characteristic name of El Mirador.
Although the exact reasons are not known, archaeologists estimate that the city was abandoned for about 700 years. It was inhabited after the Late Classic and Terminal Late Classic, but the structures were not repaired, nor were new constructions made at that time.
Start this tour in the middle of the jungle by clicking on the image: