Main roads in El Petén, such as between Flores/Santa Elena and Tikal, are paved and in very good shape. Secondary roads, however, often are in poor repair and not very well marked. Some roads are impassable during the rainy season, so check with the tourist office before heading out on seldom traveled roads, such as those to the more remote ruins surrounding Tikal.
If you're not booked on a tour, the best way to get around El Petén is by renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The major rental agencies, including Budget and Hertz, have offices at Aeropuerto Internacional Santa Elena. Koka, a local company, also rents vehicles from an office in the airport, as does Tabarini, which usually has a good selection. Prices start at around US$30 a day, or US$50 a day for an SUV. You need a valid driver's license from your own country to drive in Guatemala.
Budget. Aeropuerto Internacional Santa Elena. 7950–0741.
Hertz. Hertz also has vehicles for rent at the Hotel Camino Real Tikal. Mundo Maya Airport, Santa Elena, 11 Av. 0-11 Zona 2, Santa Elena, Petén. 502/7926–0415 Hertz in Santa Elena; 800/654–3001 Hertz international rentals. rentautos.com.gt.
Koka. Aeropuerto Internacional Santa Elena. 7926–1233.
Tabarini (Mundo Maya International Airport, Santa Elena, Petén. 502/7926–0253 in Santa Elena; 502/2322-5088 in Guatemala City. www.tabarini.com.)