Travel Suggestions - Tikal

Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:25 AM
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Travel Suggestions - Tikal

Hi, a few friends of mine and I would like to plan a trip to Tikal, however, I don't have the slightest idea where to begin! I was looking at possibly flying to Belize and then going on a two day tour from one of the tour operators in Belize. However, I would rather not be rushed in Tikal and have to stay on an agenda. So any suggestion any has about where to fly into from the states (AZ) as well as suggestions on locations and sites to see. We hope to fly there in Dec. 06, what is there season? Thank you for any suggestions you might have.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:02 PM
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December is a popular time to visit. It's easy to plan a trip to Tikal from Belize. I recommend you buy a travel guide or 2 (I'm really fond of the Rough Guide, there's a new Moon Handbook that has received awards, and a new Fodor's coming soon that should be great) and read up. You might also want to check out . Happy trails...
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:45 PM
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Thank you hopefulist - belizeforum .com will be very helpful.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:55 PM
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I think Continental now flys in Flores, near Tikal. Or fly from Belize to Flores and then return to Belize by road thru the western border or plane.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Hi torifan,

You will certainly want to stay right at Tikal. There is nothing like entering the ruins early morning and late afternoon/early evening to enjoy the tremendous light and the abundance of birds and animals. Whatever you do, be sure to pack some good binoculars!

Another option, rather than traveling from Belize, is to fly into Guatemala City, do a bit of Guatemala... Antigua is just great... and then fly from Guatemala City to Tikal. Just a thought.

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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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We just returned from there a couple of weeks ago. Wow, what an amazing place.

We had a rental car initially while in the Tikal area and drove to Tikal from a lodge on the Peten Itza lake. We left the area (and sadly our friends)after a few days to stay at another lodge a couple of hours away. We had planned on staying at this other place several days but after meeting a bird guide there we decided to head back to Tikal with him because the birds are so amazing there. On our second time there we stayed in the park at the Tikal Inn. Lovely grounds, nice pool. We had our own bungalow. Dinner and breakfast were included. We didn't know about dinner so ate next door but breakfast was good. Nothing terribly exciting but decent enough. Rooms were very clean but simply done. Lights are only on for an hour and a half in the morning and 3 hrs in the evening. They do go off promptly at 9pm in both lodges.

The other hotel is the Jaguar Inn. This is where we ended up eating dinner as it has a restaurant. They have internet there as well. The Tikal Inn just makes a huge dinner and everyone eats the same thing. The Jaguar Inn is more of a budget hotel but seemed nice enough from the outside. Both are right in the park. You do need to buy entrance tickets to get into the park every day you go in. Would be nice if they could add it to your bill at the hotel and give you a bracelet or something so you don't have to bother. It is a pretty simple matter to buy the ticket but it would have been nice to just walk out of the hotel in any direction we wanted.

Most people hired a guide when they got there. It was $50 for about 5 +/-hrs. I would recommend doing the tour with a guide because there is so much information about all of those temples. After that we just wandered around ourselves. We did see that people were looking for other people to share a guide to cut costs. There were 4 of us so we just split the cost ourselves. The second time we went we had our bird guide so didn't share.

If you should stay in El Remate (cute little town) Don Davids is a good place.

Several ways to get there. You can fly Continental directly to Flores now from Houston.

Several flights a day from Guatemala city to Flores. We stayed in Antigua the night before flying up to Flores. GC is a pretty ugly city. We allowed an hour to get to the airport from Antigua and used most of it because of traffic. We flew up to Tikal on Aviateca (TACA).

It is only about an hour or so from Belize. You can even take a bus from the border and not tie yourself down with a "tour". San Ignacio is a pretty decent town on the Belize side.

There are buses from Flores to Tikal for the day. Flores is a funky, cute little town built on an island. The other town there is Santa Elena. We looked at a couple of places in SE on the lake and it had a really strong sewage smell. We didn't notice any smell while staying in Flores.

We started our trip in Atitlan then to Antigua and finally Tikal. We did contact a tour company for transfers. A 3hr ride to Atitlan from GC, 2hr ride from Atitlan to Antigua, 1hr from Antigua to GC airport. Plus an almost full day of touring to a market and then to the town of Panajachel on lake Atitlan. All of this cost $310. We used Turansa Tour company. They were the cheapest and initially we were worried but several guide books recommended them. They were prompt, friendly, and good drivers.

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