Where To Stay At Tikal National Park
Many visitors to Tikal National Park mistakingly opt to stay in Flores, a 1-2 hour shuttle away, without realizing there is accommodation within the Tikal National Park, which is both affordable and allows you to relax and immerse yourself in nature.
There are three accommodation options on offer within Tikal National Park, but by far, the best is Hotel Tikal Inn, which offers affordable prices, clean bungalows, a large swimming pool, and is a 2-minute walk to the ruins.
It just doesnt get much better than this, and Tikal Inn is the perfect Tikal Accommodation!
I stayed in the Ranchon satellite building, located a short 2-minute walk into the jungle, and absolutely loved it. At night I could hear various nocturnal animals going about their business, and during the day, Howler Monkeys would frequently drop by for a visit Sort of like your own Tikal jungle lodge.
The rooms are very well screened to ensure no bugs get in, and there is a private shower, two single beds, and a ceiling fan, although, at night, the jungle is surprisingly refreshing.
Hotel Tikal Inn also offers poolside bungalows with thatched roofs and spacious Junior suites, with a room configuration to suit all needs and budgets.
Being located in the Mayan Biosphere power here is limited to set hours in the morning and the afternoon that you are likely to be around and outside of these times, the front desk will happily charge any electronics, so I never found it annoying.
How Does The Sunrise And Sunset Tour Work
You can arrange a sunrise and/or sunset tour with the shuttle services . These leave at 4:30 am and aim to capture the sunrise at Tikal. Since sunrise and sunset tours are outside of park hours, there is an additional Q 100 entrance charge and a guide is mandatory. If you want to attend the sunrise tour for Tikal National Park, you only need the sunrise ticket and a guide. BUT you also need to show a regular ticket used a previous day or one you will use for another day. The regular ticket for Tikal park is needed to be shown for sunset tours as well.
Although the sunrise excursion is a popular option, it does get quite misty in the jungle during the mornings. Try for the sunset tour , and you may have a better chance of catching the rays!
Where To Stay When Visiting Tikal
This guide to visiting Tikal would not be complete without recommendations on where to stay in Tikal. When planning your trip to Tikal, you can stay at the park or in one of the surrounding hotels. Many of them are on the island of Flores, the shores of Lake Peten Itza, or near the airport.
As I mentioned, I recommend staying in the Peten area for at least four days and three nights. It will give you enough time to visit Flores island, Tikal, and other Mayan cities and attractions in the area. All of the hotels I am recommending are ones that I have personally stayed at. Therefore, I am sharing my personal experience, not just what others say on Tripadvisor.
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Great Location: A Hotel Near Tikal And Isla De Flores Peten
When visiting Tikal, most people look for a hotel in Tikal or a hotel in Isla de Flores, Peten. However, there are advantages to staying in an area close to both Tikal and Flores. Just 15 minutes from Mundo Maya International Airport, 20 minutes from Isla de Flores, 45 minutes from Tikal National Park, and about 1 hour from Yaxha, Hotel Villa Maya is the perfect starting point for any activity in the area.
Hotel Villa Maya is just a short drive from many restaurants and the charming town of Flores, yes far enough to feel completely secluded. It is the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation where you can connect with nature and disconnect from the hustle and bustle.
Most people visiting the ruins stay in a hotel in Tikal. It is ideal for one night or two when you plan to see the Tikal ruins. However, many do not know that even the best hotel in Tikal, the Jungle Lodge, has minimal amenities. It is due to being in the middle of the jungle. The Jungle Lodge only has electricity and hot water for a few hours daily. There is no wifi in the rooms, only in the restaurant and lobby. There is also no wifi anywhere in the park.
How To Get The Best Guide For A Visit To The Maya Temples Of Tikal
We arranged on the spot a guide for a tour during sunset, sunrise and daytime. Our guide was a nice man who had many interesting stories and made our visit to the ruins very nice. In any case, we recommend a guide. The park is immensely large and because its in the middle of the jungle, getting lost is easy. Our guide told us some horror stories about people who got lost and wandered around for weeks. Sometimes they were saved, but often not. Especially when it is dark, you do not just want to walk through the park. We were with a group of seven people and paid per person Q160 for these three different tours. This is relatively little, but because we booked with five people we got a nice discount.
At local travel agencies, you can book a tour in addition to your bus ticket. The price is between Q100 and Q150. We didnt do this because we wanted to arrange a guide ourselves that would take us the next day. Do you want to go back and forth on the same day, then it is advisable to book a tour. During the daytime, it is not mandatory to have a guide. It is however mandatory before sunrise and after sunset.
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Short History Of Tikal National Park Unesco Site
The ancient Mayan city of Tikal has a long history dating back as far as the 4th century BC, having originally been a small city that was conquered and rose over time to become one of the most powerful and feared of all the ancient Mayan kingdoms.
Based on archeological records its reign lasted for over 700 years from 200 to 900 AD, , and during this time Tikal dominated the political, economic and militarist spheres of Mayan civilizations through a relationship with the Teotihuacan state near to modern-day Mexico City.
The collapse of Tikal was relatively rapid, and in the course of a 100 or so year, the city was abandoned and reclaimed by the forest for the next thousand years its demise directly linked with that of Mayan civilization in general.
The reasons for this abandonment are still debated but are likely to include intensive agricultural practices, unsustainable population growth, agrarian failure, and cataclysmic climate change. Indeed some evidence suggests that Tikal was entirely abandoned due to persistent drought!
A mystery for the ages, and one that continues to intrigue and inspire even today.
After the downfall of Tikal, it was lost to the jungle for the next thousand years. However, as is often the case with substantial ancient ruins , local people never forgot about the site, and knowledge was passed down through the generations.
More Travel Options In Tikal National Park
Whether you are traveling to Tikal National Park for a romantic getaway, business trip, golf, or a family vacation, Tikal National Park has great hotels which can fulfill all your needs.It’s important to select the right hotel, motel, or resorts based on your trip goals.When traveling, some amenities can be the decision-maker on your vacation, business trip, or family getaway.Imagine reserving a hotel for a business trip that doesn’t provide free Wi-fi for its guests.You can narrow down your hotel search and get everything you want by viewing accommodation types like motel, resort, inns, B& B, and lodge that provides amenities like pet-friendly, free breakfast, and gym or by different activities like golf, beach, ski, or casino.
Tikal National Park Hotels by Amenities
How much does a cheap hotel in Tikal National Park cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star economy hotel in Tikal National Park has been as cheap as $56.00 per night.
How much does a 3 star average hotel in Tikal National Park cost per night?
The average room rate for a 3 star hotel in Tikal National Park have been as low as $74.00 per night.
How much is a hotel in Tikal National Park for this weekend?
On average, the price per night for a good 2.5 star to 3-star hotel in Tikal National Park for this weekend can be as low as $74.00.
Noticias Del Parque Tikal
El Parque Nacional Tikal YA está abierto. Durante el cierre debido al Covid19 el Parque Tikal no dejó de sorprender. Gracias a los esfuerzos del equipo de comunicación del parque nuestra comunidad de viajeros pudo continuar apreciando el amanecer y el atardecer en Tikal, sorprendentes avistamientos de vida silvestre y otros fenómenos.
Los arqueólogos continuaron trabajando y procesando los datos recabados utilizando tecnología LiDAR. Estos descubrimientos revelaron recientemente que los antiguos Mayas construyeron enormes ciudades, que albergaban poblaciones aún mayores de lo que se creía, como nos lo presentóNatGeo en su serie de 2019 “Secretos de los Mayas”.
Staying At Jungle Lodge Inside Tikal National Park
If youre considering staying at the park, the best hotel in Tikal is, hands down, the At around $200 a night in mid-November , its also the priciest option at the park but well worth it. Please take into account that this hotel is deep in the jungle. There is no wifi, and during the day, electricity is only available in the rooms at certain hours. However, the accommodations are very comfortable.
Staying at Tikal National Park will allow you to get in early and have the place all to yourself. It is ideal if you plan to do sunrise or sunset tours. Also, if you like to take photos and dont want people in them, you better go early in the morning. The park doesnt get crowded, but I love to be the only one on the trails, enjoying the jungle and ruins. And the fewer people in the park, the higher probability you have of encountering wildlife!
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Best Guide To Visiting Tikal: The Most Spectacular Mayan Ruins In Guatemala
One of the best things to do in Guatemala is to visit the Mayan city of Tikal. This guide to visiting Tikal includes everything you need to know before seeing the most spectacular Mayan ruins in the world. What makes this the best guide to Tikal is that it is full of helpful information. It is based on countless visits to Tikal from the point of view of someone who grew up in Guatemala and has visited since childhood. Unlike the multiple guides to Tikal written by tourists and travelers who have only seen this Mayan site once, this guide gives you all the information you need from an insiders point of view.
The Tikal Mayan ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site and should be on any Guatemala travel itinerary. Surrounded by dense tropical jungle in the remote region of Peten and dating back to around 300B.C., the ancient city of Tikal boasts some of the most spectacular Mayan ruins in Guatemala and the world. However, getting there may take some planning as this destination is not close to any major cities and is far from other tourist attractions.
Is It Safe To Travel To Tikal Guatemala
While Belize, like many areas, has occasional crimes against tourists, our family felt safe there, walking or golf-carting to markets, restaurants, beaches, boat landings and bars. Tikal, too, felt safe, although seeing the Guatemalan narcoterrorism paramilitary police in their black pick-up trucks was a bit unnerving.
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Wildlife You Might Encounter At Tikal National Park
Although most people focus on the Mayan ruins, Tikal National park is full of local wildlife and is the best place to see wildlife in Guatemala. The Tikal National Park is part of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve. This protected area is home to many animals, from coatis and monkeys to ocelots, foxes, and a myriad of birds, amphibians, snakes, and insects.
One of the most amazing experiences Ive had in Tikal was walking around the temples early in the morning. I got a chance to witness a large band of coatis hanging out in the trees around the main plaza. But the most amazing thing for me was seeing a small group of spider monkeys climbing one of the main temples. Its something you dont see every day.
If you take the sunrise tour of Tikal, you will hear the howler monkeys howling with the break of dawn. Their loud noises, more like a big cat roar than a sound coming out of a monkey, can be heard throughout the jungle and are quite rackety.
However, you may get lucky as you see some less common animals. So keep your eyes and camera ready for tapirs, ocelots, margays, tamanduas, and many beautiful birds.
Further Things To Consider Before Any Adventure
Now you’re all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you’re after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and – of course – booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more general travel guide since we couldnt possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles – they go a long way – and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don’t forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on , , and …I’d love to hear from you!
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Mayan Temple & Monuments In Tikal
There is a total of 6 main temples in Tikal National Park. They are:
1) Temple I/ Temple of the Great Jaguar serves as the tomb for king Jasaw Chan Kawil
2) Temple II/ Temple of the Mask was dedicated to the wife of Jasaw Chan Kawil
3) Temple III/ Temple of the Jaguar Priest was the last great pyramid to be built at Tikal National Park.
4) Temple IV is currently the tallest standing structure in pre-Columbian in the Americas. It is dedicated to Yikâin Chan Kawil, son and successor of Jasaw Chan Kawil
5) Temple V is dedicated to an unidentified ruler
6) Temple VI/ Temple of the Inscriptions
Some several smaller structures and temples lay around Tikal park.
I took a seat on the ground in front of the Temple of the Great Jaguar. It was around 10:30 am and tour groups were starting to trail in. The sky was a tad cloudy and the weather humid and hot.
I watched groups of people strolling through the temple grounds and chatted with a local guide under a tree.
Tikal National Park is a mysterious place. The steep stone steps create a steady pathway towards the top of the temples. Much of these structures withstood the test of time.
In-between trees and grass, Coatamundis came out sniffing and playing. They were clearly the real boss here.
Time flew by. It wasnât long before we headed back and met the shuttle that brought us home.
I passed out for a glorious nap on the ride back
How To Get To Tikal
Given its remote location in the jungle, understanding how to get to Tikal is a crucial element to planning your trip. Tikal is located in northern Guatemala not far from the border with Belize, this means you have a few options on where to base yourself. Most visitors travel to Tikal from the closest town of Flores, however some people choose to visit Tikal from San Ignacio in Belize instead.
Due to its position in the jungles of Peten, public transport is really only an option if youre coming from the town of Flores. Chicken buses run fairly regularly with the first bus leaving to Tikal at 3.30 am and the last bus returning to Flores at 5:30 p.m. Travel time between Flores and Tikal is roughly 1 ½ hours.
The most common option for getting to Tikal is to go with a tour. While many tours to Tikal include a guide as part of them, some provide the option only to pay for the shuttle there and back, leaving you to your own devices during the day.
Again, the most common route is to take a tour from Flores, however there are also tours leaving from cities in Belize like San Ignacio and Belize City. Believe it or not, there are even tours which will fly you from Guatemala City to Tikal as a day trip.
If you are visiting Tikal from Flores, we can highly recommend this full-day tour with lunch. The guides speak good English and are very knowledgeable and passionate about Tikal National Park.
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Warning About The Scams And Coyotes Operating In Flores
Speak to almost any traveler who has been through Flores, and you will be regaled with stories of fast-speaking ticket touts, many with perfect English, who promised the world and delivered well nothing.
They have been known to swarm incoming uses from Mexico and Belize, hassle tourists on the streets, fake phone calls to popular hotels and selling bogus or over-priced tickets to Tikal National Park for a Tikal Day Trip, shuttles or buses for onwards destinations.
I was twice sold buses with air-conditioning etc. at exorbitant prices only to find both were mini-vans. Book anything you might need online or in advance, or through your hostel, if you do opt to stay in Flores.
One of the worst is San Juan Travels and should be avoided at all costs though they do change their name or operate out of other outfits, so be careful and do not book one of their Tikal Day Trips at all costs!
The best advice is truly to stay at Hotel Tikal Inn and organize all outbound and inbound shuttles through them for a more enjoyable experience I meet a lady who was beside herself after being sold a three-day package including sunrise tour, only to never have here guide turn up and to find out she only had a one day ticket, not two.
Tikal National Park is entirely worth it, so dont let this put you off but please keep your guard up and wits about you!
Oh, dont forget to check out that Tikal Star Wars Scene before going to get you excited!