Arise early and perhaps catch a little more sleep on the early morning (hour and fifteen minute) drive to the majestic Mayan ruins of Tikal. Rising out of the jungle canopy where Howler monkeys swing through the trees and parrots are frequently heard squawking, a visit to Tikal is unforgettable. Once the most powerful city in the ancient Americas, this huge complex of temples, altars, pyramids, plazas and palaces, includes more than 3,000 structures and is a testament to the sophistication and scope of the Mayan people. The Maya were one of the most advanced civilizations of the ancient world producing many works of literature, philosophy and architecture as well as a precise calendar. One of the greatest cities of the Maya, Tikal is known for its vast concentration of temples and ruins surrounded by pristine rain forest. At its peak the population of Tikal was estimated to be 100,000 individuals residing in a 25- square-mile area. Over 285 species of birds have been identified here including toucans, hawks, motmots and parrots. Frequently seen are Howler and Spider monkeys, coati, peccary and deer. The elusive jaguar and ocelot also survive in this pristine rain forest habitat. Our local naturalist guide will illuminate the nature, archeology and ancient culture of Tikal as you explore pyramids soaring above the jungle canopy and innumerable multi-leveled palaces, ball courts, plazas, temples, terraces, shrines and carvings. Return in the afternoon to the comfortable and beautiful surroundings of Lake Peten Itza and the Nitun Reserve and Ecolodge for lakeside relaxation and a delicious meal.