Traveling From Belize to Tikal, Guatemala — A Guide During COVID-19
Belize and Guatemala were once both part of the Maya Empire, but territorial boundaries changed a long time ago, and the pandemic has made travel significantly more complicated than it was. Thanks to the implementation of a Safe Corridor policy for visitors, Belize has managed to weather the pandemic well, and the border between Guatemala and Belize remains open for tourists. That said, there are some changes to policy thanks to COVID-19. Here’s what you can expect.
Tikal is Inaccessible Due to COVID-19
The most popular day trip across the border from Belize into Guatemala is to Tikal. As one of the largest extant Maya cities, it’s been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also an easy 90-minute drive across the border from the nearby town of San Ignacio. Unfortunately, COVID-19 regulations on both sides of the border prevent travelers from experiencing the full tours offered normally.
But There Are Still Plenty of Alternatives
Tikal may be awe-inspiring in its own right, but Guatemala and Belize are both part of the ancient Maya Empire — and that means the Belizean interior is rich with Maya sites. The cities of Xunantunich are every bit as impressive, while the archaeological site known as Cahal Pech is conveniently located in San Ignacio Town. There couldn’t be a more convenient way to go exploring the lives of lost civilizations.
When Things Will Normalize
The land borders between Guatemala and Belize officially opened on May 31, but that was just the first phase in an extended reopening effort. Tourists and family members of locals from abroad will be let over the border after phase two, and phase three will constitute a full reopening. Unfortunately, there is not yet a timeline in place for when those conditions might change.
Everything You Could Want is Right in Belize
Tikal is an undoubtedly beautiful city, but it’s just one jewel in a stretch of land rich with them. San Ignacio Town is positioned right at the gateway to the Cayo District — a region that’s well known for both its archaeological sites and its vast swaths of gorgeous jungles, rivers, and caves. But if you’d rather just luxuriate, you can do that as well. Belize resorts like San Ignacio Hotel and Cahal Pech Village Resort will go the extra step to make sure that your experience is perfect — or at least as perfect as can be within the confines of these current restrictions.