Tikal Ruins, Guatemala

Tikal is the ruins of an ancient city found in a rainforest in Guatemala. Ambrosio Tut, a gum-sapper, reported the ruins to a La Gaceta, a Guatemalan newspaper, which named the site Tikal. The Berlin Academy of Sciences’ Magazine then republished the report in 1853. Archeologists and treasure hunters then began visiting the forest. Today tourism to the site may help protect the rainforest. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.