The maps show 3000 temples, palaces, shrines, ceremonial platforms, residences, ball courts, terraces and plazas.
Tikal is located in the middle of Tikal National Park, a wildlife preserve covering 222 square miles and the first park of its kind in Central America.
The park is a magnificent jungle and wildlife preserve. Some of the rainforest trees that grow in the park are Spanish cedar, ceiba, a tree sacred to the Maya, zapotes, mahogany and chicle, which is an ingredient in chewing gum.
Living among the ruins are groups of spider monkeys, hundreds of species of birds, including hawks, hummingbirds, parrots, and golden turkeys. Nearby are jaguar, puma, ocelot, pecarry, small deer, and many other animals, some of which are endangered.
In the main ceremonial area there are 200 stone monuments, known as stelae. Stelae were elaborately carved with glyphs, a form of writing, and other images.