Tikal

Jul 18th, 2002, 03:08 PM
  #1  
Effie
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Tikal

Lan and others --

Any thoughts on what the political situation is like in Guatamala at the moment? I am specifically concerned about whether I will be able to safely visit Tikal in late August. Is the situation still very tense and/or dangerous there?

Thanks so much,
Effie
 
Jul 18th, 2002, 04:29 PM
  #2  
Lan Sluder
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The situation in Tikal comes and goes. Seems like that has been the pattern for the last dozen years I have been familiar with it. Overall, though, as long as you use common sense Tikal is about as safe as any destination. You will not believe how many people visit Tikal during busy periods. It's often a bit like Disney World, bustling with people, and when you see all the people from all over the world exploring the site you will laugh that you were worried about going there.

--Lan Sluder
 
Jul 19th, 2002, 10:49 AM
  #3  
jen
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We just got back from a visit to Tikal earlier this week. I had been worried about safety prior to the trip -- and my reaction once I got there was much as Lan describes it -- what had I been so worried about? There were lots of people and I felt perfectly safe the whole time. (And on a side note, I have to say that the public restrooms in Tikal are cleaner than many I've encountered in American airports!) I had also been worried about the crossing the border from Belize -- but that whole experience went smoothly, too. My one piece of advice would be to hire a guide. Our guide not only provided us with incredible information about the ruins, Mayan culture and the country in general but also led us through neat routes through the jungle that we wouldn't have encountered on our own and pointed out things that we wouldn't have noticed had we just been wanderly aimlessly on our own. And of course, having a guide helped to reduce any fears about safety.
 
Jul 19th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #4  
Effie
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Thanks Lan and Jen!

Jen, did you cross the border on your own or with a group?

Thanks!
Effei
 
Jul 20th, 2002, 04:41 AM
  #5  
Katie Valk
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My reliable source for conflicting info in Guatemala says movement in GC and Antigua will be restricted July 29 and 30 during the Pope's visit. I may have also been misinformed about the closing of the Guatemala City and Flores airports those two days. I'm checking on all this now, but anyone who making plans that could be affected by this, should also inquire. But it doesn't seem logical that the Peten region would be affected being so far from the areas the Pope will be.
 
Jul 20th, 2002, 02:44 PM
  #6  
katie valk
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Guatemala City airport only will be closed from July 29 at noon til 6pm on the 30th. I'd reconfirm, but this is what I've been told. Flores airport will remain opened.
 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #7  
jen
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Effie:

In response to your question, we crossed the border with our guide. He walked us through the process and then met us on the other side. It's not hard; there's just various fees to pay.
Also, there's guys who change money hanging around the border crossing, so you can change money there if you need to.

 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 09:16 PM
  #8  
Jeff
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Just returned from Belize 7/13/02. During our stay we took Maya Island Air flight over to Tikal to spend a night in the park. It was great! These were our first ruins that we'd ever seen and they were awesome! During the day we saw the ruins, Parrots, Toucans and monkeys. At night we listed to the howler monkeys above our room at the jungle lodge. Everything was great! If there was anything to be worried about in Tikal we didn't see it. We noticed a couple of guards that road with the Pepsi truck when it delivered the drinks to the local restaurants, but it didn't worry us. We waived to the guards and they waived back. Everyone was very friendly. We thought that the people were more friendly than the places we've been in Mexico. As a matter of fact, at night we hung out taking pictures of animals that came out at night and watched part of a soccer match that the locals played in the field across the street from the Tikal visitor's center. The bottom line… everything felt safe to us, but then we did know that we should be worried. They always say that ignorance is bliss!
 

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