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Travel to Tikal: Wonderful Ancient Mayan Citadel in Guatemala

Mayan piramid in tikal guatemala


Travel to Tikal: Wonderful Ancient Mayan Citadel in Guatemala

tikal mayan ruins

Today we are going to be talking about traveling to Tikal Mayan ruins in northern Guatemala, it’s actually close enough to the Belizean border. You could definitely enter from the Belizean border. It’s like three hours from there or even Chiapas Mexico. Or If you’re flying into Guatemala, I definitely recommend that you fly to Peten because it’s a good 9-hour drive all the way to Tikal. 

Getting to Tikal

So the best way, like I said, to enter would be either through the Belize border or if you’re going to be visiting Guatemala, you can fly from Guatemala city to their flight back to Guatemala city and then continue on with the rest of your trip or make this the last part of your trip. So that when you fly back to Guatemala city you either make it in time for your flight back or you spend the night right near the airport so that you can make it for the following night.

Related Read: Guatemala City Airport: Everything You Need to Know Before Arriving 

Where to Stay?

When you arrive in Tikal you could definitely stay in the national park of Tikal Mayan ruins. They have several hotels there, which is great or what I personally recommend because there are several things other than just visiting the Mayan ruins there that you say in the town of Flores, Flores means flowers, and it’s right in the heart of this lake, and it is this adorable, tiny, super colorful little village, and it’s about 45 minutes from Tikal. 

a kid on a floating platform in a river in peten guatemala

But this is normally the place that the majority of people say where there are a ton of hotels and restaurants, and you can walk around at night because in Tikal, once you’re done, there’s really very little more to do in your hotel. The hotel is there, even if the nicest ones are still quite basic in the actual park of Tikal. So that’s why a lot of people stay in Flores.

Or you could also stay right in El Remate which is another little town right on the lake, and it has a bunch of hotels and restaurants. It’s just a little bit of a different feeling. Honestly, if you have three nights to spend there, I would spend one night in Flores and then a day and a night in el Remate because it’s just so much nature, and you can walk around and you can take a boat ride or go swimming in the actual lake of that region. 

Related Read: 48 Hours in Tikal Peten, Guatemala: What To Do and Places to See

a wooden dock and some hamocks in a river at tikal national park

What are Tikal Mayan Ruins?

Now, what are Tikal Mayan ruins? It is one of the largest Mayan ruins. It is located right in the rainforest. So unlike the other Mayan ruins in Mexico or in Honduras, You have to walk at least 1-2 km depending on where you are going into the actual ruins. Unlike the other ruins which are right there when you enter the room, you are literally in the heart of the ruins. 

So that makes it that much more special because of the walk-in, there’s so much more wildlife that you get to see. You get to see howler monkeys, and great foxes, I mean the amount of wildlife is just unbelievable, it’s so fantastic.

woman and kids at the base of a gigant tree in tikal national park

Tikal Sunrise Tour

However, when you do go to Tikal, what I highly recommend is to do the sunrise tour. So you can see there are a lot of different guides, and even just if you want to go on your own shuttles that can take you to tickle, it’s about 45 minutes so that you are there. Or what you could do is spend at least two nights in that region. So the first night you would spend in Tikal park because you can fly in the evening. This way you are there for the sunrise tour and then from the second part of the day, you could go to Flores which is this beautiful little island.  

One thing that is very important to understand and why I recommend the sunrise tour. It gets hot, like blistering hot. Really hot and humid, and it can be really hard for a lot of people to continue with a full day. 

So if you start the sunrise tour by the time 10 or 11 a.m. You’ve pretty much done the whole tour, and it’s not that hot this way you have the entire afternoon to go and enjoy either Flores or El Remate which is the other town.


You could certainly do the park on your own. Or you could do a guided tour which is like $20 or $30, but you get so much more out of the tour. You really understand everything that was going on.

view of the trees and top of mayan piramids in tikal guatemala

Mundo Perdida/Lost World

The most popular place to visit is Mundo Perdida, which is what you see in Star Wars or the lost world. And there are still some pyramids that you could climb up and walk on and some obviously not because, you know, there are reasons why they’re eroding or whatnot. But if you have a chance to visit Guatemala and you have even two days to spend, this is probably one of the most magical places you could visit in all of Guatemala. I recommend this over everything else. So honestly take my advice. You must visit Tikal Mayan ruins and you will have a magical experience.

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