Visiting Tikal from Belize
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Tikal is one of the most iconic and impressive Maya ruins in the world. Located in the department of El Peten in northern Guatemala, Tikal is a popular attraction for visitors in Belize because of its close proximity to the Belize-Guatemala border.
Why You Have to Visit Tikal On Your Vacation
Tikal is the site of one of the oldest and most powerful city states of the ancient Maya civilization with a footprint of 6 square miles (16 square kilometers). The main attractions for modern visitors are the enormous buildings, including the so-called Temple 1 (measuring 154 feet high), royal palaces, and pyramids. The site also includes three ball courts, hundreds of smaller buildings, stelae and a network of elevated causeways.
Where Is Tikal Located?
Tikal is located within the Tikal National Park in the northern district of El Peten in the country of Guatemala. The entire area is now a nationally-protected biosphere and consists of dense jungle. The nearest inhabited town is Uaxactun, approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Tikal.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Tikal
The Maya site of Tikal is inside the Tikal National Park, which opens at 6:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm daily. There is lodging available inside the park for overnight visitors.
Best Way to Get to Tikal
If you’re in Belize, there are a number of different ways to reach the remote jungle site of Tikal.
International flights depart daily from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City to the town of Flores in Guatemala. From Flores, private operators offer services to Tikal (about 45 miles/70 km).
Several intercity bus lines in Belize offer service from Belmopan to Benque Viejo Del Carmen on the western border. Once inside Guatemala, there are buses to the town of Flores.
Best Way to Experience Tikal
Due to its remote location and popularity, be sure to arrange for reliable transportation ahead of time. As there are no banks or cash outlets (ATMs) in the area, bring enough cash for the duration of your visit. There is an entrance fee for all foreign visitors of approximately $20.
Once inside the park, there is a visitor center with maps that detail the well-marked hiking trails that you can follow to explore the entire site. Due to the deep jungle environment, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and protection against insects.
Contact Untame Belize if you have any questions or need assistance in planning a visit to Tikal in Guatemala.