Belize - Tikal or Caracol Mayan tour?

Old May 5th, 2013, 02:02 PM
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Belize - Tikal or Caracol Mayan tour?

We will spend our first 2 nights at Cahal Pech near San Ignacio, so that we can take a big day trip to explore Mayan Ruins (June 1 will be the full day we will have at that location). It looks like we will be choosing between Tikal (in Guatamala) or Caracol (in Belize). Both sound fascinating....does anyone have suggestions either way?

We will have an opportunity to do the cave tubing thing later in the week from Hopkins, so we want to focus on archeological stuff on that one big day trip.

(I posted this in the Caribbean forum first, as Belize IS on the Caribbean coastline of central America, but forgot to tag it appropriately. I should know better. Been here long enough!)
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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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Tikal is the most imressive site in the Mayan empire, just over the border in Guatemala. Caracol is the largest site in Belize and its a beautiful drive thru the Chiquibul rainforest and Mtn Pine Ridge with scenic stops in the MPR.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Tikal have slightly more impressive ruins and great onsite museums, Caracol is less developed and day trip would typically include trips to Rio On pools and the giant Rio Frio cave.

My general recommendation is that Tikal is better as an overnight and Caracol is better as a day trip.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Thanks. I guess we can't go wrong either way.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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We just did both in Feb We stayed at Cahal Peche, (dont miss the ruins next to the hotel, it was one of our favorites).

I preferred Tikal. It is an all day trip but worth it. Overnight would be less tiring but the day trip is doable.

Caracol is good, but the road is unpleasant (and I am used to bad roads) and Tikal was just more impressive in my opinion. You certainly dont need to do both as we did.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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We did Tikal as a day trip from the San Ignacio area. Used Pax and thought they were great.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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we used pax as well
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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We visited Caracol...we went along with a group of about a dozen college students (like, the only bad part was, like, having to listen to the like, excited college-speak during the drives) but the plus was having a great Anthropology prof to talk with as well as Mario, our terrific guide. The prof told us that Caracol was one one his favorite sites because you are often the only people there. We only saw two other "groups" -- one of two and another of three. We climbed to the top of Caana, and got a great view all the way to Guatamala.

That road WAS a tough one, for a good part of the way, and make me happy we weren't driving it on our own (which we would generally have done.) Let a pro do it.

I wish we'd stayed at Cahal Pech for 3 nights, as the first afternoon we happily opted to just hang out at the pool and enjoy the views. We would have done the ATM tour if we'd had another day, and it is a good location to travel the Cayo district. Guess we will just have to do another trip to Belize! We spent our last 5 nights in Hopkins, on one of the most idyllic beaches I've ever seen, and our daytrips there were to snorkel.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Thanks for posting! I always figure anything I miss 1 trip is just an excuse to head back. We've visited Belize 3 times so far and just purchased flights to head back next spring.
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