Tikal is the most important and largest of all Mayan sites. It is located in the midst of an impenetrable jungle in northern Guatemala. The Mayans lived in Tikal from 600 BC to 900 AD, but little is known of the civilization that thrived there for 1500 years.

As of this writing only a small fraction of the site has been excavated and investigated. Up to 4 expeditions plan to further explore the site to excavate and recover other temples and treasures.


  • 1 game board
  • 36 terrain hexagons
  • 24 round treasure wafers with 3 x 8 treasures
  • 48 square temple tiles consisting of
  • 4 expedition leaders
  • 72 expedition workers
  • 8 camps
  • 4 scoring markers in 4 colors
  • 4 rule summary cards 1
  • 4 turn indicators for the auction version

Object of the Game

Each player is the director of an expedition intent on exploring Tikal in search of the secret paths that lead to the temples and precious treasures that have remained hidden for over 1000 years.

A player A receives points during four scoring rounds for each recovered treasure and for each temple that he controls. But, both temples and treasures can change hands. The expedition that earns the most points exploring Tikal wins the game.


Place the game board on the table in easy reach of the players. The game starts with four terrain hexagons explored and mapped: the base camp, two temples and an area of the jungle apparently without temple or ruins.

Sort the terrain hexagons by the letter on their backs. With these letters facing up, shuffle each set and then stack them so that the As et is on top and the others follow in alphabetical order B through G. Place this stack next to the board.

Each player selects a color and takes all the game figures of that color: 1 expedition leader, 18 expedition workers, 2 camps, and the turn indicator (only used with the auction version).

Sort the square temple tiles by their numbers and stack them carefully in numeric order next to the board. Shuffle the up-side- down round treasure wafers and put them in 2 stacks next to the board. Place the 4 scoring markers off the scoring track near number "1".

Game Play

The oldest player begins. On a player's turn, he performs the following actions:

  • draw the topmost terrain hexagon and place it face up on the board and
  • use 10 action points to explore Tikal.

Play continues in clockwise order, with each player placing a new terrain hexagon and exploring for 10 action points.

Place Terrain Hexagon

The terrain hexagons have stones set in one or more of their six sides. These are the paths expeditions may use to move from one hexagon to another.

When adjacent hexagons have no stones on either of their adjoining sides, the expeditions may not move between those hexagons directly.

When players place new terrain hexagons on the board they are placed adjacent to one that has already been explored (including the four pre-printed ones).

Each hexagon is placed so that the expeditions may reach it. There must be at least one stone leading to the new hexagon from one adjacent explored one. The movement stone(s) may be on the new hexagon or the explored one(_) or both. As movement is not possible through volcanoes, they need no stones leading to them.

There are four kinds of terrain hexagons:

Jungle: An expedition may establish camps in jungle hexagons. Each expedition's camps are connected to each other and to the base camp by secret paths.

Temple: The temples are over-grown, but may be uncovered, making them more valuable. A player may uncover a portion of a temple if he has one or more expedition members in the hexagon.

Treasure: When a treasure hexagon is placed, the player puts treasure wafers on the hexagon. The number placed is the number of golden masks on the hexagon.

These treasures can be recovered by a player if he has an expedition member in the hexagon. When all the treasures have been recovered, the hexagon may be used to establish a camp in the same way as a jungle hexagon.

Volcano: When a volcano hexagon is drawn, a scoring round begins immediately for all players. After the scoring round, the player who drew the hexagon continues with his normal turn, placing it on the board and using his 10 action points. Expeditions may not enter or pass through volcano hexagons, even if stones lead there from other hexagons.

Use 10 action points to explore Tikal

After the player draws and places a terrain hexagon, he may use up to 10 action points (AP) to explore Tikal. Although he need not use all 10 points, they may not be saved for a later turn. The points may be used in any combination and order for the following actions. These actions are also shown on the rule summary cards.

SymbolActionCostSpecial considerations
Place 1 expedition member in the base camp or one of your camps or move the member from camp to campA player may not use this action to put expedition members in another player's camp.
Move 1 expedition member over 1 stone into another hexagonMovement between hexagons must be completed in the turn. Thus, if the path between two hexagons has three stones, an expedition member cannot move over two stones on one turn and the last on the next.
Uncover 1 temple levelIn a player's turn he may uncover a maximum of 2 levels per temple. The player must have one expedition member in the hexagon per level uncovered.
Recover 1 treasureIn a player's turn he may recover a maximum of 2 treasures per hexagon. The player must have one expedition member in the hexagon per treasure recovered.
Exchange 1 treasureAn exchange may not be rejected. Pairs and triplets may not be separated.
Establish 1 campThis may only be done on a jungle or empty treasure hexagon.
Place a guard on 1 templeTo place a guard, the player must have the majority in the temple hexagon. Each player may only place 2 guards in the game.

The Expedition Members

Each player has 1 expedition leader and 18 expedition workers. The cost to place or move expedition members is the same for the leader and the workers.

Also, either may be used, at the same cost to recover treasure and uncover temples. However, when counting expedition members to determine the majority in a hexagon, the leader counts as 3 expedition workers.

Placing and moving expedition members in and between camps

It costs 1 AP to place an expedition member (leader or worker) on the board. The player takes the appropriate figure from their supply and places it in the base camp or one of his camps. The player may place up to 10 expedition members in a turn.

The player may also move expedition members between the base camp and one of his camps or between two of his camps for 1 AP per move. Movement to and between camps is facilitated by secret paths known only to members of the expedition that has established the camp. Members of any expedition may visit other camps, but may not use their secret paths.

Moving expedition members

It costs 1 AP per stone crossed to move an expedition member (leader or worker) from one hexagon to another. Each member must complete the move from one hexagon to another in a turn.

If the path has three stones, 3 AP must be spent this turn to move the member. The movement cost may not be split over two turns. A player may move as many members as he can afford with his 10 AP in a turn. When placing figures in a hexagon, do not put them on the stones, the treasures or the temples.

Example: To move from the "2" temple to the jungle hexagon costs 3 AP. It is not possible to move directly from the "2" temple to the treasure hexagon. One can move from the "2" temple to the treasure hexagon via the jungle hexagon for a cost of 6 AP. To move from the "2" temple to the "1" temple costs 1 AP.

Uncover temple levels

During scoring, a temple's value is the number showing on the top of the temple. A temple will have an initial value of 1 to 6, but this can be increased with a little effort. To make a temple more valuable a player can have his expedition members uncover it by removing the overgrowth.

To do this, the player must have at least 1 expedition member (leader or worker) in the temple hexagon and pay 2 AP per level uncovered. The player must have 1 member per level uncovered and may only uncover 2 levels per temple per turn. When a temple level is uncovered, the player takes the next highest numbered temple tile from its stack and places it on top of the temple.

If the next numbered temple tile is not available, the temple cannot be further uncovered. Temple numbers must be used in order and a number cannot be skipped even when uncovering 2 levels in a turn. A player may uncover several temples in a turn to the extent of his 10 action points.

Recover Treasure

To recover treasure, a player must have at least 1 expedition member (leader or worker) in the treasure hexagon (that still has wafers) and pay 3 AP per treasure wafer recovered. The player must have 1 member per wafer recovered and may only recover 2 wafers per treasure hexagon per turn.

The player takes the topmost wafer and places it face up before himself on the table. A player may recover treasure from several hexagons in a turn to the extent of his 10 action points.

The value of treasures

There are 3 each of 8 different treasures available. During scoring the treasures are worth the following:

  • 1 single treasure: 1 point
  • 1 pair (= 2 like treasures): 3 points
  • 1 triplet (= 3 like treasures): 6 points

Exchange Treasure

A player may exchange one of his single treasures for one of another player's single treasures for 3 AP. The player chooses both the treasure he is giving to the other player and the one he is getting. The other player cannot refuse the exchange. However, pairs and triplets may not be separated.

Establish a camp

A player may establish a camp on any jungle hexagon or empty (no more treasure wafers) treasure hexagon for 5 AP. The player need not have an expedition member in the hexagon, but there may be expedition members present (from this player or other players). It is assumed that a secret path has been discovered leading from the base camp to this new camp.

The player may now place expedition members into this camp from his supply for 1 AP. Only 1 camp can be established per hexagon so players cannot share the camp sites.

Expedition members from other players may stop or pass through the hexagon, however. A player may only establish 2 camps in the game.

Place a temple guard

If a player has a stronger expedition force in a temple hexagon than any other single player, he may place a guard on the temple for 5 AP. This will guarantee that he scores the points for this temple during all remaining scoring rounds. When determining expedition strength, the expedition leader counts as 3 and each worker counts 1.

After payment of 5 AP the player places one of the figures in this temple hexagon on the temple. He then removes all other figures in his color on this hexagon and places them in the box. They are not returned to his supply; they are removed from the game. Members of other expeditions remain on the hexagon and may stay or be moved later as their player chooses.

The guard remains for the remainder of the game and may not be moved or removed. Members of any expedition may move into and out of this hexagon just as before. This temple cannot be further uncovered; its value is fixed for the remainder of the game. A player may place a guard on only 2 temples in the game.

Scoring Round

When a volcano hexagon is drawn, the game immediately enters a scoring round. All scoring rounds run:

  • The player who drew the volcano puts the hexagon aside and uses 10 action points as in a normal turn.
  • Afterwards, he scores his position.

There are two parts to a player's score: temples and treasures.

The value of a temple is the topmost number on the temple. A player earns the temple score if he has a guard on the temple or has a stronger expedition force in the temple hexagon than any other player. If two or more expeditions have the same strength, neither receives points for the temple.

The player adds his temple points to those of his treasures and moves his scoring marker accordingly.

Afterwards, the scoring round continues in clockwise order with each player using 10 action points and then scoring their position just as the first player did.

When all players have scored, the player who drew the volcano continues with his normal turn. He places the volcano on the board (he does not draw another hexagon) and uses 10 action points to explore Tikal.

The game continues as normal until the next volcano hexagon is drawn and a new scoring round occurs.

End of the Game

After the last hexagon is placed and that player completes his 10 action points, there is a final scoring round. As with the previous three scoring rounds, each player uses 10 action points to explore Tikal and then scores his position. When all players have finished scoring, the game ends.

The winner is the player with the most points.

The scoring track has 100 spaces. If a player achieves a total of more than 100 points, he continues with 1 and notes that he has passed 100 points.

Example Scoring Round

The player who drew the volcano hexagon sets it aside. Then he uses 10 action points to explore. After exploring for 10 AP, the player scores his position. He has the majority in the following temples: one "3", two "5", and one "8" temple.

On the scoring track he moves his scoring marker forward 21 spaces. He also has 2 pairs of treasures (6 points) and 2 individual treasures (2 points). He moves his scoring marker another 8 spaces forward.

Afterwards, his clockwise neighbor takes his turn, using 10 action points to explore and then scores his position. After all players have scored, the player who drew the volcano hexagon places it on the board and uses 10 action points to explore Tikal.

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