Drive to Tikal?

Jun 30th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
Drive to Tikal?

My husband and I arrive in GC on August 6 and fly out on Aug 17. This will be our first trip to Guatemala...we usually rent a car and just 'wander' around when we travel, although I do a lot of research and so have a general idea of where we want to go. So... I had originally thought we'd see some sites in Guatemala and then head into El Salvador. But after reading the Moon Guide to G and also many of this sites postings, I'm thinking we should stick to Guatemala and save El Salvador for next summer???

So, my question actually is- does anyone know if it's possible to drive from GC to Tikal?? And how long would it take? My tentative itinerary right now is:

8/6: Arrive GC, spend night and go right to Tikal on 8/7 (driving or flying...)
Aug 7/8: Tikal
Aug 9/10: Chichi and market
Aug 11/12: Drive around the Highlands area
Aug 13/14: Lake Atitlan (staying in Santiago)
Aug 15/16 Antigua
Aug 17: GC for departure

Does this sound doable? Are we missing anything we shouldn't miss? Any advice would be appreciated- Thanks!

travelisknowledge is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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Posts: 3,877
The drive will take 8 to 10 hours. The way your itinerary is set up, you'd spend all day 8/7 driving up there and all day 8/8 driving back, leaving you no time to see Tikal itself. Chichicastenango is another three hours from Guatemala City too.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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Thanks Jeff- sounds like flying is really the best option with our time line....
travelisknowledge is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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In my opinion you're better off flying and taking shuttles than renting a car: drivers can be crazy in Guatemala and you'd be limiting yourself to staying in places with guarded parking. Also, remember that 2 nights = 1 day to explore; I'd spend a bit more time at the lake and at Antigua. You might consider 2 nights in the Petén, too, 1 staying in the park and 1 in Flores. Last visit we flew from Flores to GUA in time for our flight home. Though others feel that's pushing it, it worked slick for us. Photos below with travelogues linked on the main page of the more recent ones; additional Tikal pictures in the Belize collection. Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for your advice- do you know if there are 'secure' places to park in most areas (In Nicaragua last summer, many places had a 'secure' parking lot within walking distance...for a fee of course!) I really hate to give up the freedom of having a car and being able to stop for photos etc whenever we please.

Speaking of photos- yours are unbelievable- the colors are just so vibrant... when you were taking people photos (for instance at the market at ChiChi), do you ask people first? I've passed up so many great photos because I'm too chicken to ask- I guess I just need to get my nerve up. You are obviously also taken with Central America.... no matter where I start to plan to go every summer, we always end up in CA- your photos make me want to return everywhere to see things we missed...

You did Tikal on a trip to you think it was easier to do it from Belize than it will be from Guatemala? I really did want to spend a few days in El Salvador, and if we postpone Tikal till we return to Belize, we would probably have the time?? Is it worth spending a couple days in the Highlands area? Or are we better off to spend that time in Antigua and Atitlan?

Should we wait and travel in El Salvador along with Honduras? (We spent a week in Roatan, and a day in San Pedro Sula, but would like to eventually see more of Honduras, including Copan)

Sorry for all the questions and rambling- as you can see, I'm pretty confused at this point- Any suggestions you can give will be a help- Thanks!

travelisknowledge is offline  
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