The 14 BEST things to do in Tikal, Guatemala


Welcome to The Journey Seeker! Find out all about best things to do in Tikal, Guatemala!

Welcome to Tikal, Guatemala! If you’re looking for adventure, history, and a good dose of absurdity, then you’ve come to the right place. Tikal is a magical place where ancient Mayan ruins meet modern-day tourism, where howler monkeys roam the treetops and tourists roam the streets. It’s a place where you can hike to the top of a pyramid and feel like you’re on top of the world, or wander through the jungle and feel like you’re in another world entirely.

Atmosphere / Vibes

Brown Volcano Under the Sky
Photo by Goodnight.exe_
The atmosphere in Tikal is electric, to say the least. With its mix of ancient history and modern tourism, there’s always something going on. Whether you’re exploring the ruins, shopping at the local markets, or just soaking up the laid-back vibe of the town, there’s always something to do. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the tourists are a mix of adventurous backpackers and luxury travellers. It’s a place where you can truly be yourself and have the time of your life.

Weather throughout the year

White and Brown Concrete Building Under the Blue Sky
Photo by Isaac Cortés
One of the best things about Tikal is the weather. Located in the heart of the tropics, the weather is warm and humid year-round. The rainy season runs from May to October, but even during the rainy season, the weather is hot and sunny. The dry season runs from November to April, and this is the best time to visit if you want to experience the best weather. Either way, be prepared to sweat – it’s hot and humid in Tikal, but it’s all part of the adventure!

Why Tikal, Guatemala is the best place to be

White Concrete Building Under the Blue Sky
Photo by Isaac Cortés
There are so many reasons why Tikal, Guatemala is the best place to be. For starters, the ancient Mayan ruins are truly breathtaking. The grandeur and majesty of the pyramids, plazas, and temples is something you have to see to believe. But Tikal is more than just ruins – it’s a place where you can experience the beauty and diversity of the rainforest, from the howler monkeys in the treetops to the colorful birds and butterflies flitting about. And let’s not forget about the delicious food, the vibrant culture, and the friendly locals. All of these things combine to make Tikal a truly special place.

Cost of Travel

Eruption of Volcano of Fire in Antigua, Guatemala at Sunset
Photo by Luis D. Alvarez
Tikal is a budget-friendly destination, with plenty of affordable accommodation options and activities. You can find a basic hotel room for as little as $20 per night, or splurge on a luxury resort if you’re feeling fancy. Food is also inexpensive, with local restaurants serving up delicious meals for just a few dollars. The only thing that might break the bank is airfare, but even that can be reasonable if you book in advance and shop around for the best deals.

Top 14 best things to do in Tikal, Guatemala

People Watching the Sea of Clouds in Tikal, Guatemala.
Photo by mike sember
  1. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins – this is a no-brainer. The ruins at Tikal are truly awe-inspiring, and you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time as you wander through the pyramids and temples. Be sure to hire a guide to get the most out of your visit.
  2. Go birdwatching – Tikal is home to a staggering variety of bird species, and it’s a great place to go birdwatching. You might spot parrots, toucans, and even the rare resplendent quetzal. There are several local guides who can take you on a birdwatching tour, or you can explore on your own and see what you can spot.
  3. Take a hike through the rainforest – the rainforest surrounding Tikal is full of hidden wonders and breathtaking views. There are several hiking trails that wind through the jungle, ranging from easy to challenging. No matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
  4. Relax in a hammock – there’s no better way to unwind after a long day of exploring than by lounging in a hammock. You’ll find hammocks for rent all over Tikal, so you can kick back and relax in style.
  5. Try your hand at zip lining – if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try zip lining through the jungle? There are several companies that offer zip lining tours, and it’s a great way to see the rainforest from a whole new perspective.
  6. Go horseback riding – horseback riding is a fun and unique way to explore the surrounding area. There are several local operators who offer horseback riding tours, and it’s a great way to get off the beaten path and see some of the less-touristed areas of Tikal.
  7. Visit a local market – the local markets in Tikal are a must-see. You’ll find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts, and it’s a great way to support the local economy. Be sure to bargain for the best prices!
  8. Take a cooking class – if you love food, then you’ll definitely want to take a cooking class while you’re in Tikal. You’ll learn how to make traditional Mayan dishes, and you’ll get to try your hand at cooking over an open fire. It’s a fun and unique experience that you’ll never forget.
  9. Go kayaking on the lake – Lake Peten Itza is a beautiful and peaceful place to go kayaking. You’ll find several local operators who rent kayaks, and it’s a great way to get out on the water and explore the surrounding area.
  10. Take a hot air balloon ride – if you want to see Tikal from a whole new perspective, then you’ll definitely want to take a hot air balloon ride. The views from up above are truly breathtaking, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
  11. Go cave tubing – if you’re up for a little bit of adventure, then you’ll definitely want to go cave tubing. You’ll float down a series of underground caves on an inner tube, and it’s a unique and thrilling experience.
  12. Visit a local village – Tikal is surrounded by small, traditional Mayan villages. Taking a tour of one of these villages is a great way to get a glimpse into the daily life of the Mayan people and learn more about their culture and traditions.
  13. Take a salsa dancing class – if you’re feeling lively, then you’ll definitely want to take a salsa dancing class while you’re in Tikal. You’ll learn how to dance like a pro and have a ton of fun in the process.
  14. Relax at a hot spring – after all the sightseeing and adventuring, you might just want to relax and unwind. Luckily, there are several hot springs in the area where you can soak your tired bones and let all your cares drift away.


Aerial View of a City in Tikal, Guatemala.
Photo by Saulo Zayas
There you have it – 14 of the best things to do in Tikal, Guatemala. From exploring ancient ruins and birdwatching in the rainforest to zip lining and salsa dancing, there’s something for everyone in this magical place. So why wait? Pack your bags, book your ticket, and come experience the absurdity and wonder of Tikal for yourself. You won’t regret it!

Have you thought about staying in Tikal for a little longer and working remotely? Here is another blog post about becoming a Digital Nomad in Tikal

Did you like this post? Have a look at our other blog posts about living in Guatemala, such as Lake Atitlan, Monterrico or Monterrico.