"Mayan Mysteries in a Jungle Setting" Top 5 Page for this destination Parque Nacional Tikal by windsorgirl

Parque Nacional Tikal Travel Guide: 314 reviews and 1,008 photos

I was on holiday in Belize for 2 weeks, however since I was staying in San Ignacio within 10 miles of the Guatemalan border, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to see the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal.

My day at the ruins turned out to be the highlight of my entire trip. Sitting high atop temple IV in the early morning watching the toucans in nearby trees and spider monkeys swinging through the branches was an unforgettable experience!

What You Need To Know

There are several options to get yourself to Tikal from Belize.

First, and most expensive is a guided tour from San Ignacio, these were $75 US but only allow a few hours at the ruins, and about 4 hours travelling. They will also provide transportation only for $25-30 US each way. This way you can stay overnight and spend as much time as you like at the ruins.

The second option is to take a 5BZ taxi to the border from San Iganacio. Walk across the border and then walk to the bus station and wait for the next bus or collectivo to Flores. You will have to get off the bus on the highway at El Cruce, then wait for another bus heading to Tikal. This would be the cheapest option, but the least convenient.

A third option, which we did, was to take the taxi from San Iganacio, then once across the border we negotiated a taxi to take us directly to our hotel in El Remate which is located 35 kms from Tikal on beautiful Lake Peten. This cost us $10 US each. The next morning we took a 530 am shuttle to Tikal which cost $2 US. The return trip to the Belizean border the next day only cost $4. For some reason it is much easier to get back to the border than it is to get from the border to Tikal. This method cost us half the price of the organized tour but was very convenient and allowed us complete freedom.

El Remate

As much as I enjoyed the ruins at Tikal, staying overnight in the small town of El Remate on the shores of Lake Peten provided an insight into the Guatemalan way of life.

I learned that very few Guatemalans speak English, but they were very patient with my rudimentary Spanish.

In El Remate, daily life is centered on the lake. We saw many children swimming and playing in the water. Mothers would be washing clothes and themselves in the lake, while the men would be washing their cars. Horses and dogs would drink from the lake and even a trio of pigs wandered down to the lakeshore for a wallow in the mud!

  • Last visit to Parque Nacional Tikal: Feb 2005
  • Intro Updated Mar 15, 2005
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Reviews (14)

Comments (9)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Great page - just what I needed to whet my appetite for our planned visit to to Tikal in November. I've saved some of your helpful tips for future reference. Thank you :-)

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2006 at 2:35 PM

    This definitely looks like a "magical experience." We will be exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico in late January. Wish we could visit Guatamala too.

  • Sue08080's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2005 at 12:54 PM

    We're leaving for Guatemala this Wednesday. Thank you for the great photos and information.

  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2005 at 11:15 PM

    It's a pity the ropes are no longer there. They were charming. I'll go back there (Yucatan, Guate, Belize) with the family in august but they don't know it yet - big surprise till we're on the plane. I'll come back to your pages for updates. Thanks

  • vaticanus's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2005 at 10:20 AM

    So they've finally exposed Temple V- it looks huge in your photo. I've heard it said that Tikal was the Mayan New York CIty and Copan was it's Paris. It's a good analogy. As usual, you have a very informative page.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2005 at 5:10 PM

    You're right Kathy, these ruins do rival those at Chichen-Itza. Awesome photos, especially the sunset and the main photo overlook of the ruins.

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2005 at 10:12 AM

    Awesome pages Kathy. Great pictures and comments, as usual !!! Have to go there one day. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2005 at 8:10 AM

    A fantastic page Kathy!! Wow, your tips and photos of the pyramids and temples made me want to take off immediately. What a great experience it must have been perched above the jungle on such structures! Well done!

  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2005 at 11:42 AM

    Thanks for the comment. I loved your pictures and tips. I'm somewhere in between trying to get my past travels in so I hope to work on my page soon.

windsorgirl

“Enjoy the little things for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”

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