How to Get There
Get in – The park’s main gate opens at 6:00am, and officially closes at 6:00pm. Buses and minibuses come in from all surrounding areas on a well maintained road.
The San Juan Travel Agency has a virtual monopoly on the minibuses that will pick you up from your hotel in Flores in the morning on the hour and costs Q60 roundtrip or Q35 one way leaving hourly from 4 to 10am, and then one more at 2pm (travel time: 75 mins). Return trips are at 12:30pm, and then hourly from 2 to 6pm.
Regular 20Q second class buses leave from the Santa Elena bus station to Tikal at 6, 6:30, 7, 8:30, 10, 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM, arriving two hours later. Later ones leaving at 1 and 3 PM continue onward to Uaxactún.
Flores is the nearest gateway city and airport.
Fees/Permits – Adult tickets are Q150 ($20US). Children under 12 are free. There are no ATMs in Tikal, so be sure to bring enough cash to cover expenses.
- Maps are available outside the Visitor’s Center for Q20 ($2.80 US) or (if you have a digital camera) just take a photo of the sign with the map on it shortly after you pass the ticket box.
- Walking trails wind through the temple complexes.
- There are buses to Uaxactun that leave around 3 and 6pm (times approximate). The price is Q15 for the bus and Q25 for park entry. The buses return at 5 and 6am the following day, and can be well worth it if you are planning to camp at Tikal anyway. Take food, water and sleeping gear with you (a hammock or sleeping mat and mosquito net should be adequate).
There is a bus to Uaxactun that leaves at 4pm, the price is Q15 for the bus and Q25 for park entry, the bus returns at 6am the following day, well worth it if your camping at Tikal. Take food, water and sleeping gear with you (a hammock or sleeping mat and mosquito net should be adequate).
Accomodations – Many people prefer to stay in the park and wake up with the jungle to the sounds of birds and nature rather than the rickshaws of Flores, and staying here is the only way to be in the park for sunrise. Unfortunately the park options are not the cheapest, and demand often exceeds supply. Many stay in Flores and take an early shuttle bus to the park. There are also several cheap lodges lakeside in El Remate, where your hotel can arrange a shuttle pick up for you.
Hotels – Three hotels located next to the park entrance provide decent but basic accommodation. All three cater to Western travellers and their amenities and prices reflect this. For those on a shoestring, try asking if you can rent a hammock, or just a spot to hang your own, under a palapa roof.
Camping – For the budget traveler there is a camp site (Q30 per person). They have tents you can rent if you didn’t bring your own Q50. At the Jaguar Inn, you can get into the jungle mood by renting hammocks (with a mosquito net, access to showers and toilets), or a place to hang your own. Sleeping in a hammock is a surprising comforatable way to sleep. Many of the locals do it.
If you need your bags kept securely there is an additional Q5 ($0.80 US) fee. There are alot of insects that bite, mosquitos aren´t that bad during the dryer months but there are other nasty insects about. Keep the fly wire screen on your tent zipped tight and get in and out of your tent as quickly as possible. A can of bug spray would be very helpful. There are a lot of bees on the lawn in the camp area so wear something on your feet.
The Kingdom of the Maya • Locations & Activities