Want to know how to get to Tikal National Park? There are a few different ways to get to Tikal depending on where you are traveling from and what type of budget you are traveling Guatemala on.

Getting to Tikal involves a bit of planning and a lot of time, as Tikal is located in northern Guatemala, in the Peten region. In this article, we’ll go over all the best ways to get to the ruins of Tikal, and at the end of the post I’ll add any useful tips that will aid you in a trip to Guatemala.

How to get to Tikal National Park in Guatemala

For full transparency, I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post which gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. As always, I would never recommend a product or service that I didn't truely believe in. If you find this post useful, you can also treat Jess to a cup coffee by clicking the icon on the bottom of the page. This will allow me to continue to create more content for you to enjoy ☕️. 

✋ But first, are you in a hurry? The cheapest way to get to Tikal or Flores, (Flores is the town you’ll be booking transportation to) is via tourist shuttle.

Getting to Flores is usually a long, sweaty, bumpy journey via bus. Tourist shuttles to Flores are frequent and leave from all major towns in Guatemala. This is a long and exhausting ride but the most economical option.

Look up Bus Times →

The quickest way to get to Tikal is to fly which can only be done from Guatemala City. This will be domestic flight  to Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS) in Flores. This is also the most expensive option to get to Tikal.

Look up Flights to Flores →

Santa Catalina arch the most popular thing to see in antigua

How to Get to Tikal from Antigua

The distance between Antigua and Tikal is over 200 miles. Travel time can vary depending on the mode of transportation chosen.

By road, it typically takes around 8 to 10 hours drive depending on traffic conditions, road quality, and any stops along the way. This time frame is referring to traveling  in a rental car or with private transportation.

If you are traveling by bus the journey can take hours longer depending on how many people they are picking up to begin the journey and number of stops, I recommend traveling with Guatego, they are a reliable transportation company that operates through Guatemala.

By air, flying from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City to Mundo Maya International Airport near Tikal takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and these domestic flight are pretty economical.

Book Bus Transportation to Flores →

How to Get to Tikal

How to Get to Tikal from Guatemala City

Guatemala City to Flores Bus

An economical option to get to Tikal is on an overnight Guatemala City to Flores bus. Bus companies offer overnight buses and the journey takes around 8-10 hours which will put you in the small town of Flores early morning.

Buses typically depart from the main bus terminals in Guatemala City. You will arrive in Flores, from where you can take a taxi or shuttle to Tikal. Bus tickets should cost around $45 USD.

A tourist shuttle/bus is a great way to get to Tikal from Guatemala City if you are traveling Guatemala on a budget and you have the stamina to hit the ground running when you arrive in Flores. If you have ample time, I recommend spending a few days in Flores to recover from that overnight bus ride.

Book a Shuttle to Flores →

Flights to Tikal

The fastest and most convenient way is to fly from Guatemala City to Flores. TAG Airlines and Avianca offer daily flights to Tikal from Guatemala City every hour and are very affordable, with flights costing around $60 USD’s and up.

Flights last about an hour and you will fly from La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City to Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS) in Flores.

It’s advisable to book your flights in advance, especially during peak tourist season. From Flores airport, Tikal is about an hour’s drive away. You can take a taxi, shuttle bus, private, transfer, rent a car, or book a group tour to visit Tikal.

Book a Flight to Flores →

Church in Antigua Guatemala
Standing in Tikal

Tikal from Guatemala City by Car

If you prefer driving, you can rent a car and drive from Guatemala City to Tikal, which is about 330 miles. The drive takes around 8-10 hours. Take CA-9 (Carretera al Alantico) north, then switch to CA-13 in Rio Dulce, and follow it to Flores.

Ret a Car Today →

Lake Atitlan Guatemala

How to Get from Lake Atitlan to Tikal

  • 🚌 Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City: Shuttle or private taxi (3-4 Hours)
  • ✈️ Guatemala City to Flores: Flight (1 Hour)
  • 🚍 Flores to Tikal: Shuttle or taxi (1-1.5 Hours)

How to get from Lake Atitlan to Tikal involves a combination of road and air travel due to the significant distance between the two locations. First, you’ll have to travel from Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City via the road. You can do this two ways.

You can take a shuttle service from Panajachel (the main town on Lake Atitlan) to Guatemala City. The journey takes about 3-4 hours. Alternatively, you can hire private transportation, which will be faster and more comfortable, but more expensive.

From Guatemala City, you can fly to Flores as I mentioned earlier. Of course you can also book a shuttle to Flores from Guatemala City but this makes an even longer and exhausting travel day.

Book Private Transportation to Guatemala City →

Boat Tour around Lake Peten Itza

How to Get to Tikal from Belize

Traveling from Belize to Tikal involves crossing an international border and can be done through a combination of road and possibly air travel. The most popular option to get to the ancient ruins from Belize is as part of tour groups.

By Road

Option 1: Private Shuttle or Tour Service

  • Tour Operators: Various tour operators in Belize offer shuttle services to Tikal, often as part of a day trip or multi-day tour package.
  • Departure Points: Shuttles can be arranged from popular locations such as Belize City, San Ignacio, or Caye Caulker.
  • Duration: The journey from San Ignacio (on the border of Guatemala) to Tikal takes about 3-4 hours, including border crossing time.
  • Cost: Prices vary but expect to pay around $50-100 USD per person for a round trip, including park entrance fees and guided tours.

Book a Shuttle from Belize to Tikal →

Option 2: Public Bus and Taxi

  • Bus to Border: Take a bus from Belize City or San Ignacio to the Belize-Guatemala border at Benque Viejo del Carmen. The bus ride from Belize City to the border takes about 2-3 hours, and from San Ignacio, it takes about 30 minutes.
  • Crossing the Border: After crossing the border on foot, you can take a taxi or a colectivo from Melchor de Mencos (the Guatemalan side of the border) to Flores or directly to Tikal.
  • Duration: The taxi or colectivo ride from the border to Tikal takes about 1.5-2 hours.
  • Cost: The bus ticket is about $5-10 USD, and the taxi or colectivo fare from the border to Tikal is around $30-50 USD.
Im Jess Traveling in Flores Guatemala
Blue Hole in Belize from Above

By Air

Flight to Flores

  • Airlines: Tropic Air offers flights from Belize City to Flores, Guatemala.
  • Duration: The flight takes about 1 hour.
  • Cost: Prices vary but generally range from $200-300 USD.
  • From Flores to Tikal: Once in Flores, you can take a shuttle or taxi to Tikal.
Tikal National Park Travel Guide

Tips from the Journey from Belize to Tikal

  • 🚌 Border Crossing: Be prepared for the border crossing process, which involves exiting Belize, entering Guatemala, and going through immigration. There will be a $20 USD exit fee that you will need to pay at the Belize border.
  • 🛂 Documents: Ensure you have your passport, and check visa requirements for both countries. Some nationalities might require a visa to enter Guatemala.
  • 💰 Currency: Carry some local currency (Belizean dollars and Guatemalan quetzals) for small expenses and border fees.
  • 📍 Tour Packages: Booking a tour package that includes transportation, park entrance, and a private guide will allow you to have a hassle-free experience.

🚌 Read Full Post: Border Crossing Flores, Guatemala to Caye Caulker, Belize

Boats on Lake Peten

How to Get to Tikal from Flores

Getting from Flores to Tikal’s archaeological site, is relatively straightforward. Here are your options to get there.

Shuttle Service to Tikal

  • Tour Operators: Numerous tour operators in Flores offer shuttle services to Tikal. These are convenient and often include a guided tour of the Tikal ruins.
  • Departure Times: Shuttles leave early in the morning (around 4:30-5 am for sunrise tickets) to allow travelers to explore Tikal during the cooler parts of the day. There are also mid-morning and afternoon departures.
  • Duration: The shuttle ride takes about 1-2 hours.
  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the tour operator and whether a guided tour is included, but expect to pay around $20-50 USD for a round-trip shuttle

Book a Shuttle to Tikal from Flores →

Taxi to Tikal from Flores

  • Private Taxi: You can hire private transport for a more flexible and comfortable journey. This option can be arranged through your hotel or you can prebook private transportation here.
  • Cost: Taxis are more expensive than shuttle, costing around $80-150 USD for a round trop.
  • Duration: Similar to the shuttles, the journey takes about 1-1.5 hours.

Book Private Transportation to Tikal →

Flores from the Lake Peten

Rent a Car

  • Rental Services: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Car rental services are available in Flores.
  • Road Conditions: The road from Flores to Tikal is well-maintained and easy to navigate.
  • Cost: Rental prices vary, but expect to pay anywhere from $30-90 a day depending on the vehicle you hire and the amount of people you are traveling with.

Reserve a Rental Car Today →

Public Bus to Tikal from Flores

  • Colectivos: Local minibuses (colectivos) run between Flores and Tikal. They are the cheapest option but less comfortable and take longer due to multiple stops.
  • Departure Times: Colectivos (public transport) leave from the Santa Elena bus terminal and other pick-up points in Flores.
  • Cost: Around $3-5 USD per person.
  • Duration: About 2 hours or more, depending on stops.
Temples in Tikal
Tikal National Park

Tours to Tikal

Many tour operators in Guatemala City and Antigua offer organized tours to Tikal, including transportation, tour guide, and sometimes accommodation. Tours can be one-day trips or multi-day excursions. This option provides ease and convenience, as the tour company handles all logistics.

📌 Here are a few top rated Tikal Tours to check out:

Join the Newsletter

Subscribe for Hawaii Travel Tips, my Latest Content and Much More.
 
Subscribe
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Tips for the Getting to Tikal

  • ✈️ Book in Advance: Whether flying or taking a bus, booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons to avoid last minute hassles.
  • ⏰ Timing: Plan your trip to ensure smooth connections between shuttles and flights.
  • 🛖 Accommodation: Consider staying in Flores or near Tikal to explore the ruins early in the morning when it’s cooler and less crowded.
  • 💸 Belize Exit Fee: If you are traveling to Tikal from Belize, the immigration procedure to leave Belize requires you have to pay the departure tax $20 USD.
  • 💰 Local Currency: Ensure you have Guatemalan Quetzales (GTQ) for expenses, as not all places accept credit cards.
  • 🚌 Travel Agencies: If you prefer convenience, use a travel agency to arrange the entire journey.
  • ⛑️ Travel Insurance: Consider getting travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and travel delays.
How to Get Tikal National Park Tickets

Tips for Visiting Tikal

  • 💰 Entrance Fees: The entrance fee to Tikal National Park is around 150 GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzal), and additional fees will apply for a sunrise tour and a sunset tour.
  • 📍 Guided Tours: You must visit Tikal with a guide for sunrise and sunset hours. Guides can be booked in advance or hired at the park entrance.
  • 🎒 What to Bring: Tikal is a tropical area, so bring breathable clothing, water, snacks, Sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring the ruins.
  • ⛺️ Did you know that you can stay inside Tikal National Park? There are a few hotels and campsites located inside the park which makes it very convenient to do a tour of Tikal for sunrise. Stay at the Jungle Lodge and wake up to the sound of howler monkeys echoing through the dense jungle.

Tikal National Park is one of the best places to visit in Guatemala, make sure you read my article below about everything you need to know before visiting this historic park.

How to Get to Tikal FAQs

How to Get to Tikal FAQ’s

What is the Best Way to Get to Tikal from Guatemala City?

The most efficient and easiest way to get to Tikal from Guatemala City is to fly. TAG Airlines and Avianca offer daily flights to Tikal from Guatemala City every hour, with flights costing around $60 USD’s and up.

How far is Tikal from Guatemala City?

Guatemala City to Tikal Distance is about 330 miles (530 kilometers) north of Guatemala City.

Best Time to Visit Tikal

The best time to visit Tikal is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. The weather is drier, with sunny days and lower humidity. This season is much more comfortable for hiking and exploring the Tikal Mayan ruins.

Just keep in mind that Tikal is a popular tourist destination in Guatemala, so during dry season and around major holidays, visitor numbers increase. If you want a less crowded experience, the shoulder months of November or April are best for that.

April and May are the best months for watching sunrise in Tikal, just prepare for the heat.

What Luggage to Travel Guatemala With

I travel the world full time and I use this Carry-On Roller Suitcase and this Travel Backpack/Camera Bag and I absolutely love these brands.

No, I am not sponsored (not yet at least 🙌🏼, Goals) but these pieces of travel gear have withstood me rolling, dragging, carrying, stuffing, and banging them around for two full years of travel all over the world. Still haven’t had to replace them.

Colorful Door in Flores Guatemala
Driving motorbikes onto a boat in Flores Guatemala

Flores Travel Guides

Flores Travel Guide – Everything you need to know about Flores including what to do, where to eat, stay & more.

Best Places to Stay in Flores – 15 Best hotels to stay in Flores.

Tikal National Park – Everything you need to know before visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

30 Guatemala Travel Tips to Know Before you Go – 30 Practical tips to know before you go.

15 Cool Places to Visit Guatemala – 15 of the coolest places to visit in Guatemala.

20 Epic Things to do in Guatemala – Find out 25 epic things to do in Guatemala.

Guatemala Travel Vlogs

Would you rather see for yourself what it’s like to make the long journey to Tikal? We filmed a vlog of our experience riding a tourist shuttle from Semuc Champey to Flores as well as many other vlogs exploring Tikal and Flores.

Check it out after you read this post and please subscribe or give us a thumbs up. It doesn’t cost you anything and really helps us be able to continue creating free content for you to enjoy 🙂.

Final Thoughts on How to Get to Tikal

Those are all the ways to get to Tikal from all the major tourist hubs in the country. The journey to Tikal can be grueling and time consuming deepening on the mode of transportation you choose but it will be worth it as you explore one of Guatemala’s most impressive ruins.

If you found this article useful, let fellow travelers know in the comments below 👇.

Guatemala Travel Guides ↓

📍 Planning a trip to Guatemala? Check out the guides below for inspiration and tips to help plan your trip to this epic country in Central America.

10 Adventurous Things to do in Lake Atitlan 

Acatenango Volcano Overnight Trek | Everything you need to Know Before you Go

Best Things to do in Antigua Guatemala 

El Paredon Travel Guide | What to do, Eat, & Stay 

Enjoy this Post?!?! Pin in for Later ↓

How to Get to Tikal National Park
How to Get to Tikal National Park
Best Ways to get to Tikal
2 Shares
Share
Pin2
Share
WhatsApp