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Is it reasonable to make a day trip to Tikal from San Ignacio, Belize?

by cinemanix Online Now Sep 29, 2010 at 11:16 AM

We will have a 4WD rental car. Is it reasonable to plan a full day trip from San Ignacio to Tikal and make it back before dark.
Do you recommend paying for a tour once at Tikal, or can we enjoy as much on our own, if we read up first on the history. We are good researchers.
If you think it's important to stay overnight at Tikal, can you make a suggestion for a reasonable hotel that is clean and has good standards?
Thanks for your thoughts!

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  • Fluffy_bunny's Profile Photo

    Re: Is it reasonable to make a day trip to Tikal from San Ignacio, Belize?

    by Fluffy_bunny Online Now Sep 29, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Personally, the only reason i can see in staying at Tikal itself is so that you don't have to get up so early in the morning. Tikal is _definitely_ at it's best at opening. The commute is easy enough from Flores, but more difficult from Belize. Chances are you won't be arriving until later in the day when there are more tourist and fewer animals. But to answer your question, YES it is possible to do as a day from San Ignacio, but far from ideal.

    Like any historical site of this magnitude, there are a thousand stories for each stone. A good guide will help understand the place, clarify it's history but perhaps more important, humanize it. That said, if you just want to wander around, climb some pyramids and snap a few pictures, it's absolutely do-able on your own.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Is it reasonable to make a day trip to Tikal from San Ignacio, Belize?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Sep 29, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    The above response is pretty much spot on. It is possible to do in a day from Ignacio, but like FB said, Tikal is best enjoyed in the early morning. I would recommend a overnight in the park for that reason alone.

    As for the guide, depends on your own research, and need for some of the "thousand stories". I may be a bit biased as I was a tour manager for decades, but an informative personal guide for a site like Tikal, can certainly enhance the experience, when it is on a one on one basis. With proper research, you will know enough to ask proper questions, which in turn will give a bit more insights into this amazing place and the history of its people, and as FB said, - humanize it.

    I am fairly sure that there are still only three lodges inside the park. I have been at the Jungle Lodge, both alone and with others. Not great, but certainly good enough. I have seen the other two, and they are also fine, but the JL is the best of the three.

    tikalpark.com/tikalhotels.ht...

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