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Getting to and away from Tikal

Getting to Tikal from Flores, Santa Elena and El Remate

Tikal is easily accessible from Flores, where most travelers are based. Buses from Flores to Tikal leave hourly, although you should always check with the visitors’ center for updated schedules.

To get to Tikal from Flores, the fastest and most straightforward way might be on a shuttle bus (1.5 hours) that leaves hourly, picking you up straight from your hotel. The first bus to Tikal leaves at 5a.m. and subsequent buses run hourly until 10 a.m, while returning buses from Tikal to Flores leave from 12p.m. to 6p.m.. You can reserve these tickets one hour in advance from any hotel or tour operator. Tickets cost $7, the same for both one-way and return tickets. However, when returning in the late afternoon, be prepared for a long wait (especially during low season) as buses might not even show up without sufficient passengers.

Public colectivos to Tikal leave from the main bus terminal in Santa Elena, but the whole journey can take up to 2.5 hours as it stops in each community along the way. Each way costs $2.50.?

Getting to Tikal from El Remate

From El Remate, the Tikal-bound shuttle bus leaves at 5.30a.m, returning at 2p.m. and costs $3.75 each way. Alternatively, you can also catch the hourly buses from Flores, and pay the same price. Any hotel in El Remate can make reservations for you.

Getting to Tikal by Taxi and Tour

Tour operators also organize guided group tours to Tikal that usually leave at 4.30 a.m. and last for four hours. These tours cost $18.50 including two-way transport and a bilingual guide, but they only bring you to the major ruins. Note that entrance fee is not included. A private taxi can bring you directly from Flores to Tikal for $20 each way. Enquire at La Posada de Don Juan, or directly at the bus terminal in Santa Elena.

Getting from Tikal to the Rest of Guatemala and Belize

To head to other regions in Guatemala, you can easily find public transport services and shuttle buses leaving from Flores and Santa Elena. You can also catch a domestic flight from the airport in Flores to Guatemala City. The frontier with Belize is only 100km east of Tikal. To get there on public transport, stop at Puente Ixlú and catch a microbus eastwards. Alternatively, a taxi from Tikal to the border costs $50.

By Nellie Huang
30 Sep 2009

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