The Tikal ruin site is the main activity here, but a few other options are available for people with extra time.

Adventure Tours

By the national-park entrance Canopy Tours Tikal offers a one-hour tour through the forest canopy, with the chance to ride a harness along a series of cables linking trees up to 300m apart and to cross several hanging bridges.

Birdwatching

As well as howler and spider monkeys romping through the trees of Tikal, the plethora of birds flitting through the canopy and across the green expanses of the plazas is impressive. The ruined temple complexes present ideal viewing platforms for this activity, often providing the ability to look down upon the treetops to observe examples of the 300 or so bird species (migratory and resident) that have been recorded here. Bring binoculars and a copy of The Birds of Tikal: An Annotated Checklist, by Randell A Beavers, available at the visitors center shop. Tread quietly and be patient, and you'll probably see some of the following birds in the areas specified:

  • Templo de las Inscripciones Tody motmots, four trogon species and royal flycatchers
  • El Mundo Perdido Two oriole species, keel-billed toucans and collared aracaris
  • Complejo P Great curassows, three species of woodpecker, crested guans, plain chachalacas and three tanager species
  • Aguada Tikal (Tikal Reservoir) Three kingfisher species, jacanas, blue herons, two species of sandpiper, and great kiskadees
  • Entrance path Tiger herons sometimes nest in the huge ceiba tree located here
  • Complejo Q Red-capped and white-collared manakins
  • Complejo R Emerald toucanets