Driving to Tikal - is it safe

Old Dec 26th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Driving to Tikal - is it safe

Thank you evryone for advising me against driving from Belize to Tikal (Flores) at night. How about driving on our own during the day - is it safe?
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 05:23 AM
Owen O'Neill
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Lots of people do it and it appears to be reasonably safe. The major caveat is that the ropad has major ruts and potholes in places and the drivers will drive over on the wrong side of the road to avoid hitting them. When you go over the crest of a hill or around a blind curve you'll need to exercise caution to avoid the possibility of a collision. Keep in mind that taxi service is cheap, especially if sharing the ride. if I recall correctly, it cost me US $3.50 to get from San Ignacio to the border and a taxi direct to Tikal park from the border was US $40. The price is standard and taxis are readily available at any time of morning or afternoon. It may be easier than renting a car. By the way.... although you've probably received this advice elsewhere, I'll suggest that you try to arrive at Tikal mid afternoon (before 4:00 PM). This way you can pay your park entry fee on the way in and it will also be good for the next day. Sunset and sunrise are the best times in the park - at those times it's open only to people who are staying in the park hotels. Also.... the heat is more tolerable early and late in the day.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 06:16 AM
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Hi Roman:

The road to the border in Belize is paved, so that is not too bad. Once in Guatemala, it is a dirt road with many curves. Must be very careful as people and animals walk in the road. We came around a curve on the way back to the border from Tikal, and there was a cattle drive going right down the middle of the road. Kids playing along side. Not to mention the other cars. It is not that it is not safe, but you need to excercise extreme caution at all times, especially if you are not a custom to driving in that country.
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 10:53 AM
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We did the drive from Belize City to Tikal and loved it. Of course you shoudl exercise caution as you would driving in any other foreign country. Be sure to stop in the town of Flores in Guatemala for lunch or dinner. It's a lovely little town and worth the small detour. And be mindful that the Belize border closes at 8:00pm. You really don't want to get stuck in the Guatemalan border city at night.
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