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Unraveling the Wonders of Ancient Mayan Ruins: Belize to Tikal Tours
If you love to immerse yourself in intriguing historical mysteries or adventure the remnants of ancient cultures, visiting the Mayan ruins of Tikal, Guatemala, is probably on your bucket list.
The ruins of Tikal, once a flourishing city of the Mayan empire, are now a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site, nestled in the lush vegetation of the surrounding jungle. While much of the city has crumbled under the pressure of time, several buildings remain standing, a testament to the achievements of this once-great city.
But before you can wander the overgrown streets of Tikal and look on in awe at its prominent buildings, you’ll need to get there. A Belize City to Tikal tour is a common choice, but it isn’t your only option. Flores and Guatemala City are excellent jumping-off points to kickstart your Guatemalan adventure and unravel the wonders of ancient Mayan ruins.
Visiting the Tikal Ruins
Tikal, also known as Yax Mutal, was once a great city of the Mayan empire, reigning over a massive section of the southern Maya lowlands. It once thrived, housing thousands of people in its bustling streets. In its heyday, the Mayan people built monumental structures, including the pyramid-like temples that still guard the city in shadows today.
However, like the rest of the Mayan empire, it eventually met its demise, fading into oblivion after its collapse began in around 900 A.D. Parts of the city still remain standing, surrounded by the crumbling remnants of historic structures.
These structures encase the surrounding grounds in shadows, flanked by thick vegetation that has concealed the ruins for centuries. Walking through these historic grounds takes you on a journey through time, allowing you to immerse yourself in what it may have been like to live and work in this great city.
Today, the Tikal ruins are part of Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These fascinating ruins are a must-see for any history buff or avid adventurer, making them the perfect addition to a well-rounded Guatemalan adventure.
Transportation to Tikal
Before you can visit the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, you’ll need to get there. You have a couple of options to visit this area, including flying into Flores, Guatemala City, or Belize.
Some folks choose to fly into the Flores airport, which is the closest option to the Tikal National Park, where you’ll find the ruins. Once you fly into this airport, you’ll need to drive about 90 minutes to reach Tikal. You can take a public shuttle bus or private transfer via taxi. While there are usually public shuttles waiting at the airport, this can vary based on your arrival time, so you might need to take a taxi.
Flying into Flores is often the best option for those who want to focus on Tikal and skip other attractions and sights around Guatemala.
Your second option is flying into Guatemala City. This is the capital of Guatemala and the starting point for many tours, including our fully guided tours at Caravan. Guatemala City is a solid distance away from Tikal National Park, requiring an eight-hour drive to get to your destination.
Flying into Guatemala City is the ideal choice for those who plan to make the most of their Guatemalan adventure and explore more than the Tikal ruins alone.
Some travelers visiting the Tikal ruins choose a tour from Belize City to Tikal, which starts in the bordering country of Belize, before venturing to Guatemala. There are plenty of Belize to Tikal tours, including several Belize to Tikal overnight tours. These options are great for those who plan to bounce around from one spot to the next on their vacation.
Sometimes, these tours will fly you into the Flores airport to keep things short. Tour buses from Belize City to Tikal are also an option, but it’ll take around four hours each way.
It’s important to remember that you’ll need to bring your passport when leaving Belize to visit Tikal. You’re crossing the border, so you’ll need documentation to ensure you can travel back and forth.
Explore the Ruins of Tikal in a Fully Guided Tour
If the prospect of planning the finite details of your trip, including lodgings, transportation, and other essential components, sounds overwhelming, a guided tour might be the perfect solution. With our fully guided tours, you get to skip the headache of stressing over the details – we handle them for you!
At Caravan, we offer a tour that takes you through Guatemala, Tikal, and Rio Dulce, stopping at must-see points along the way to maximize your vacation. Sound like an adventure you’d like to experience? Book a trip with us today by calling 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800!
Why Travel with Caravan?
Why Travel with Caravan?
Excellence Since 1952
You can trust our years of experience with tours of superb quality and excellent value. Caravan has enjoyed the same family management and ownership since 1952.
For your safety, Caravan cancelled most 2020 and all 2021 tour departures and refunded 100% of all payments received. See Caravan’s Covid-19 Terms of Travel.
Caravan's Proud History
In 1965, Roger Mudd hosted a two-hour CBS TV special on Caravan Tours. This TV production took about one month to make and was so successful it inspired the 1968 romantic comedy movie “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium.” In the early 50’s the Mayor of Dublin presented Caravan with the Key to Dublin for bringing the first American tour to the city after WWII. Since then, Caravan has been recognized as a pioneer in travel. You can trust in our stability, experience and dedication to quality.
Stay at park lodges, scenic resorts, and excellent hotels in great locations. See hotel descriptions on each tour page.
Most meals included within Latin America. For USA and Canada tours, included meals are listed on each itinerary page. Bottled water is provided on motorcoaches in Latin America.
Enjoy complete sightseeing with more visits, extra features, and local guides.
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All tours conducted from start to finish by professional tour directors, who are fluent in English, experienced, and fun.
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