Everything You Need to Know About the Tikal Ruins in Guatemala

There are many ancient ruins all over Central America. But Tikal, Guatemala, nears the top of the list for so many reasons.

Tikal, Guatemala, is one of the most famous Mayan ruins from the Classic Period. It is located in north-central Petén, Guatemala.

Tikal consists of over 3000 buildings including several large and looming temples. There are nine groups of plazas that are connected by bridges and causeways.

The main center of the city is 500 acres in size!

Read on to learn all about Tikal ruins and what you need to know before you visit.

Tikal History

You can’t visit these Guatemala attractions without first understanding some of the Tikal history.

The city began around 1000 B.C. Yet it wasn’t a major city until about 300 B.C. Around 750 A.D., the Tikal ruins were a thriving metropolitan city home to about 15 million Mayans.

If you could travel back in time to the Tikal of 700 A.D, you would have found an advanced city with a library, a school, and a hospital. There were also sports arenas, palaces, and temples.

Recently, lasers have discovered a network of roads that connect more than 60,000 homes, temples and even a fortress for times of war.

There isn’t much rainfall in the region. So the Maya controlled the flow of water with canal, reservoirs and drainage systems.

The odd thing about Tikal, Guatemala is that although this city was the height of power for Mesoamerica, it didn’t last. By 950 A.D., the city was a ghost town.

Archeologists still don’t understand why. It may have been drought, deforestation or something else.

Building Tikal

The word Tikal comes from the word ti ak’al in the Yucatec Maya language meaning “at the waterhole.”

The architecture in Tikal is made from limestone. Many of these buildings include inscribed stone monuments.

When you explore to Tikal, you will be drawn to Temple IV – the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas. At 70 meters (230 feet) tall, this temple is a great climb with a rewarding view.

You may recall seeing the breathtaking view in Star Wars: Episode IV.

The second highest temple, Temple I is 47 meters (154 feet) tall. This is called the Temple of the Great Jaguar. It was built for a king named Lord Jasaw Chan K’awil who died near the end of the civilization.

Next to Temple I sits Temple II. This temple, known as the Temple of the Mask. This temple was likely built by Lord K’awil for his wife. The structure is perfectly oriented towards the rising sun.

Make sure to climb up so you can see the magnificent views of the city and the jungle.

Tikal Park

The main gates of Tikal park open at 6 am and close at 6 pm each day. Tickets to get into the park cost less than $20USD for adults.

You can buy a map outside of the visitor’s center. But unless you want to keep the map as a souvenir, opt to take a picture of the map on your phone instead.

There are many great walking trails in the park that wind through and around the temple complexes.

In the main area, you’ll find a visitor’s center, tour guide service, a museum, three hotels, a campground, a souvenir shop and a couple of restaurants.

There is no ATM on-site, so make sure to bring the cash you’ll need.

Sunrise or Sunset at the Tikal Ruins

Many tourists opt for either a sunrise or sunset tour of Tikal. With such impressive heights and a lush canopy of the jungle, it’s no wonder why.

Both sunrise and sunset are great options. There are pros and cons to both.

Keep in mind that you must pay for a guide to do a sunrise tour of Tikal. You can expect to pay around $14 USD per person. Make sure to buy your ticket the day before because the ticket booth at Tikal won’t be open when you arrive for the sunrise tour.

Sunrise at Tikal

Sunrise at Tikal means that you have a very early morning. If you are staying at Flores, your bus may leave at 3 am.

The good thing about sunrise at Tikal is that you will enjoy cooler temperatures and have access to the park when there are many fewer visitors. This makes for a private and special experience.

Sunset at Tikal

If you aren’t really an early riser, sunset at Tikal may be your best option. Yet, be warned that you will arrive during the hottest part of the day.

If you plan to do this experience, you should think about staying at the on-site hotels or campground. The last bus returning to Flores leaves at 5:30 pm which doesn’t give you time to enjoy the sunset.

If you come to Tikal as part of a Guatemala Adventure Tour, you will already have a Guatemala guide to help you get the most of the experience.

Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes

It’s important to remember that Tikal, Guatemala is a jungle. It will be hot and muggy even in the evening.

If you plan to climb up a few temples or explore the paths, you can expect some uphill and uneven paths.

Make sure to wear good walking shoes and clothes that breathe well. Bring a refillable water bottle that keeps your water cold. It will be a relief in the heat of mid-day.

Looking for the Perfect Tour?

Thanks for reading all about the history and tips for visiting the Tikal ruins. We hope this article helps you get prepared for your Guatemala adventure.

Looking for a tailor-made tour in central America? Learn more about how Martsam Travel can make your dreams come true.




Boeing 737 MAX is not expected to return to service until JANUARY 2020

Boeing’s 737 MAX is not expected to return to service until January 2020 as regulators expand safety checks after the jets were grounded in March following two deadly crashes.

Aviation experts and analysts say they expect the lengthy delay as the Federal Aviation Administration pledges to resolve all safety issues before allowing the planes back in the air, The Wall Street Journal reports.

No official timeline has been confirmed by the company but the checks on software has repeatedly delayed their progress with a growing list of issues for them to look over.

Boeing is now said to be looking at other potential problems, including emergency recovery procedures to electronic components. Some checks are said to be looking at earlier 737 models too.

Boeing’s 737 MAX is not expected to return to service until January 2020. A number of the grounded aircraft can be seen parked at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington.

The scene of the Ethiopian Airlines crash near Addis Ababa on March 10 was horrific. The crash set off one of the widest inquiries in aviation history and cast a shadow over the Boeing 737 MAX model intended to be a standard for decades.

The specific software fix to automated system MCAS is said to have been completed and waiting for approval.

But additional concerns have now been raised from studies and tests on the jet in the interim.

And even once the fixes are completed Boeing will need both the FAA to approve them and airlines to carry out their own maintenance procedures, according to experts.

PROBLEMS ON BOARD THE BOEING 737 MAX

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after take-off, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.

Concerns were initially raised after a system called MCAS overpowered pilot commands, pushing down the noses of both jets that crashed.

Experts then raised concern over pilots being able to manually move a flight-control wheel in extreme circumstances amid more testing.

Then in in June further a new flaw was uncovered that is estimated it will take until at least September to fix.

American Airlines Group Inc said on Sunday it is extending for a fourth time cancellations of about 115 daily flights into early November due to the ongoing grounding of the jets.

The airline’s decision was expected after the FAA, which must reapprove the jets for flight following two fatal crashes, last month uncovered a new flaw that Boeing had estimated will take until at least September to fix.

Boeing has said it will ‘provide the FAA and the global regulators whatever information they need,’ and will not offer the 737 MAX ‘for certification by the FAA until we have satisfied all requirements’.

The 737 MAX, which had been Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft thanks to its fuel-efficient engines and longer ranger, was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after take-off, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.

Boeing hopes a software upgrade and new pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering a system called MCAS, which was activated in both the planes before they crashed.

American, the world’s largest airline and the second largest MAX operator in the United States, most recently had planned to keep the MAX, which it used on most flights between New York’s LaGuardia airport and Miami, off its schedule through September 3.

Boeing is now looking at other potential problems including emergency recovery procedures to electronic components, with some checks looking at cover earlier 737 models

American, with 24 737 MAX aircraft and dozens more on order, is scheduling without the jets through Nov. 2.

‘American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year,’ the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

It has been substituting other aircraft for its busiest flights while canceling others and temporarily suspending direct flights between Oakland, California, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Among other U.S. MAX carriers, Southwest Airlines Co has removed the aircraft from its scheduling through Oct. 1, and United Airlines Holdings until Nov. 3. Southwest is the world’s largest MAX operator.




‘Many MLAs are in my touch too,’ claims Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh

Siliguri: Supporting the claim of party leader Mukul Roy that as many as 107 MLAs of Congress, TMC and CPM will join BJP, State BJP unit president Dilip Ghosh on Sunday said that many of the MLAs are also in touch with him and with the Central leadership.

“Many MLAs are in the line. They are old friends of Mukul Da and he knows many more. They are in contact with him. They are in touch with me too and with the Central leadership also,” said Ghosh.

Mukul Roy on Saturday claimed that as many as 107 MLAs of Congress, TMCand CPM will join the BJP. “A total of 107 West Bengal MLAs from CPM, Congress, and TMC will join the BJP,” Roy had said.

Gosh said the list of these MLAs who would be joining the BJP has been prepared and the legislators are in touch with the state BJP leadership.

The change of sides by MLAs in Karnataka and Goa has created a kind of political upheaval in the two states.

At least 10 Congress MLAs from Goa were inducted into the BJP in the presence of working party president JP Nadda and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in New Delhi. An identical political situation has gripped Karnataka as well.

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won 211 of 294 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls.




Royal Brunei Airlines back on Brisbane route – Australian Aviation

A file image of Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A320neo V8-RBD, which features a special Visit Brunei livery. (Masakatsu Ukon/Wikimedia Commons)


Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has resumed nonstop flights to Brisbane for the first time since 2011 with the arrival of BI9 early on Thursday morning, July 11 2019.

Flight BI9, operated by Airbus A320neo V8-RBD featuring a special Visit Brunei livery, landed at about 0330 local time on Thursday, following its six and a half hour journey from RBA’s Bandar Seri Begawan hub.

The aircraft was on the ground at Brisbane Airport for about 13 hours before taking off as the reciprocal BI10 a little after 1600 local time.

RBA chief executive Karam Chand said the airline was delighted to be back in Brisbane after an eight-year absence.

Further, Chand said the new Brisbane service would strategically position the airline as a key player on the Kangaroo route between Australia and the united Kingdom.

“We are delighted to offer our Bruneian, UK and other guests from our expanding route network an additional Australia travel destination where they will find many and attractions and activities of offer in Brisbane city and its surrounds,” Chand said in a statement.

In addition to Brisbane, RBA flies nonstop to Melbourne daily with Boeing 787-8s.

Both its Australian routes were expected to support RBA’s nonstop Bandar Seri Begawan-London services.

A file image of a Boeing 787-8 in Royal Brunei Airlines livery. (Wikimedia Commons/Jahurz)

A file image of a Boeing 787-8 in Royal Brunei Airlines livery. (Wikimedia Commons/Jahurz)

The Brisbane route will will operate as an overnight flight from from Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Meanwhile, the return service takes off from Brisbane in the late afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The schedule, which is similar to RBA’s Melbourne service, has been optimised for convenient connections on the London route.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation chief analyst Brendan Sobie said while the new RBA service represented less than two per cent of total capacity between Brisbane and Asia, it was strategically important as the flights would stimulate demand in the Brisbane-Brunei and Brisbane-Uk markets.

“Brunei is a tiny source market for Queensland and there is also limited outbound demand in the Brisbane-Brunei market. However, these segments will grow (from a very low base) as nonstop services are resumed,” Sobie said in a research note from February.

“Of more significance is the impact the new Brunei service will have in the Brisbane-UK market. The UK is the fourth largest source market for Queensland and London is also a very popular destination for Brisbane area residents.”

“However, making the Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan route work will not be easy because Brisbane-London – which Royal Brunei will need to rely on for a large proportion of its Brisbane passengers – is a very competitive and low yielding market.”

Sobie noted return fares of less than US$1,000 were available on many carriers for Brisbane-London itineraries, while RBA had some sub-US$800 fares in the market for travel during the second half of calendar 2019.

“With the offer of such low fares it will be hard for the new Brisbane-Brunei route to deliver sustained profitability – even with incentives from Brisbane Airport and Queensland,” Sobie said.

At the time the Brisbane flight was launched, RBA has targeted a start date of June 11. However, aircraft availability issues due to engine maintenance requirements on its Boeing 787 fleet forced the flight to be pushed back a month.

RBA has seven A320neos powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines. The airline has configured the next-generation narrowbody to carry 150 passengers, with 12 seats in business class and 138 seats in economy.

Airbus lists the A320neo as having a range of 3,400nm in a typical two-class configuration of 165 seats. Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne is 2,940nm.

RBA was the first to fly the A320neo to Australia when it used the aircraft temporarily on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne route in August 2018 while its Boeing 787-8s were unavailable due to engine inspection requirements.

To celebrate the new route, the airline planned to host an event at the Brisbane City Hall on Thursday evening.

The airline recently began flying nonstop between Bandar Seri Begawan and London Heathrow, having previously served the United Kingdom capital with a one-stop routing via Dubai.

Brisbane may also prove a source market for RBA’s new regional services with ATR 72-600s due to kick off in October. The turboprops on lease from Malaysia-based Malindo Air will be used to serve seven destinations on Borneo – six in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and one on the Indonesian part of the island.

RBA Airbus A320neo V8-RBA at Melbourne on August 1 2018. (Brian Wilkes)

RBA Airbus A320neo V8-RBA at Melbourne on August 1 2018. (Brian Wilkes)

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

BI9 Bandar Seri Begawan-Brisbane

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

18:50

03:45+1

BI10 Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

16:10

21:30




Embraer showcases newest E195-E2 aircraft in the SAR

Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer has brought its newest Profit Hunter jet – the E195-E2 – to Macau, showcasing the “TechLion” livery that covers the aircraft’s fuselage.

Their newest aircraft is currently on a global demonstration tour, which kicked off in Xiamen on July 8 and will be followed by several stops in China and the Asia Pacific region this month and next.

The E195-E2 is the largest of the three aircraft in the E-Jets E2 family.

The firm described the aircraft as the most efficient single-aisle jet on the market, the ideal aircraft for growing regional business and complementing existing low-cost and mainline fleets.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Guo Qing, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation China, said that the aircraft can achieve competitive costs per seat with larger narrow body aircraft but with significantly lower costs per trip, which will enable carriers, especially low-cost carriers, to explore additional secondary markets.

“We are operating in a differentiated segment with a seating capacity of 75 to 150. That’s exactly what Macau needs in order to expand its aircraft network into the second and third tier [Chinese] cities,” said Guo.

“If you look at what is currently operating in the market, it’s above 150-seat capacity. [But] with the right seating capacity of the airplane, we can help Macau link and expand [its] network to smaller cities that are currently not being flown to by either AirMacau or other operators,” the executive added.

In April, the E195-E2 received type certification from three major world regulatory authorities simultaneously – ANAC (the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency), the FAA (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).

The airplane will enter service with Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. in the second half of 2019. Spanish airline Binter will also receive its E195-E2 later this year.

According to Guo, the firm is not targeting any specific airlines, yet it stressed that current airline operators in the region have the opportunity to expand their market with the right product to bring passengers to and from the SAR.

The representative refused to disclose the pricing details of the new aircraft.

Currently, eight airlines operate 105 Embraer commercial aircraft in Greater China and Mongolia, which lays a solid foundation for adding the E2s to the market.

Commenting on Embraer’s joint venture with Boeing, Guo remarked, “We are progressing smoothly […] and we trust the authorities.”




Post Air India Express incident in Mangalore, DGCA finds safety lapses at Calicut airport

NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator DGCA Thursday issued show cause notice to the director of the Calicut international airport after it found that some critical areas were not being maintained as per the safety standards, sources said.

On July 2, an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam had a tail strike while landing at the Calicut international airport.

Under directions from the DGCA, Air India Express earlier this month suspended the pilots involved in this incident.

A source told PTI, “The DGCA observed various lapses in safety standards during its inspection of Calicut airport on July 4 and July 5. Therefore, the show cause notice has been issued to the airport director K Srinivasa Rao. He will have to respond within 15 days.”

The PTI has reviewed the show cause notice issued to Calicut airport director on Thursday.

The notice said that “cracks are observed at runway 28 TDZ (touchdown zone) and along runway C/L marking at runway 10 TDZ”.

The touchdown zone (TDZ) is the part where the aircraft first contacts the surface while landing.

The touchdown zone is ahead of the threshold area.

The notice said that “excessive rubber deposit” was observed in the area from runway C/L marking to three metres on both the sides of touchdown zone of runway 28.

ALSO READ | DGCA issues show-cause notices to Ahmedabad, Chennai airports

Similar excessive rubber deposits were also found by the DGCA along runway C/L marking of touchdown zone of runway 10, as per the notice.

“Water stagnation of about 1.5-metre length was observed on the area between runway edge and intermediate turn pad on runway 28,” the notice said.

The DGCA also found several cracks in the aircraft stand number 5.

It also observed that a “portion of Apron surface” of about 111 metres as damaged.

Apron is that area of the airport where the aircraft are parked, refuelled and boarded with passengers.

“A steep downward slope of approximately five feet depth is observed immediately after the apron behind of aircraft number 1, which needs to be levelled and graded,” the notice said.

The DGCA also observed a shortage of reserve stock of 6,630 litres of Aqueous Film Forming Foam concentrate(AFFF) and 140 kg of “DCP complementary agent” – both are used to put out fires – at Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) station of the airport.

DGCA on Tuesday had also issued show cause notices to the directors of the Chennai and Ahmedabad airports for not maintaining the safety standards.