General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

The main access to the park is via a paved road that enters the park from the southwest and runs as far as the administrative center.  The road surface is in good condition, and takes just 45 minutes to travel from the city of Flores, which has an international airport, to the center of the national park.  To the north, a few kilometers from the protected area, lies the community of Uaxactún.  A dirt road runs from the village across Tikal from north to south and links up with the paved road near the area where the administrative offices are located.  During the rainy season, only a four-wheel drive vehicle can successfully use the dirt road.  To get to the community of Uaxactún, one must request authorization from the park administration, because entry to the village is via the road that runs through the park.  Allegedly, the permit is to keep control over the people who use this road.


Near the national park there are several communities who are bringing pressure to bear on the park, mainly in the southern area, where forest cover has thinned rapidly in the space of a few years. CEMEC/CONAP (2000) satellite photographs show the southwest area near Tikal has lost a large swath of forest, while the southeastern forest has also become sparse.  Mostly, this human pressure in the southern area consists of forest fires caused by the farmers and cattle herders that are converting the land for agricultural purposes.  The extraction of forest products such as xate (Chamaedorea sp.) and pita floja (Aechmea magdalenae) is also a major problem in some areas of the park.  Despite the fact that extraction is illegal, there are loggers' camps in the southeastern section of the park.

 

Tikal is a first-rate tourist destination.  Park authorities report that the area receives over 200,000 visitors a year.  Tourists have to pay an entry fee of US$6.50 for foreigners and US$2 for Guatemalans.  In addition to income from entry fees, the national park receives user fees from tourist businesses that operate within the park.  The exact amount of the money collected is another one of the mysteries of Tikal.  Rumor has it that they are a source of corruption, although no employee in the area has ever been put on trial for corruption charges.  Tikal's income is sent to a private fund at the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which then allocates part of the sum back to the park and the rest to other departments of the ministry.

 

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