If you remotely have any interest in seeing ruins then it's a requirement to add a trip across the border to Guatemala. The grand ruins of Tikal rivaled our Machu Picchu experience in Peru and the best part is it is easy to get there. Of course you can pay tour groups to coordinate your trip from any major city in Belize but this will cost you hundreds per person. And we all know that isn't needed. We cover how to properly do Tikal and for how long down below:
Key things to take note of:
-Do the sunrise tour
-Budget enough cash since there isn't ATMs (I'd recommend a couple hundred per person) *You'd rather overestimate then run out of cash.
Now how to get there:
*It easiest to go to Tikal from San Ignacio, Belize, another spot we recommend so you are able to explore the ATM cave.
1. Coordinate a taxi with your hotel or walk to a main street in San Ignacio to catch one heading to the border. It should cost no more than 10USD or 20 Belize dollars. The taxi will drive you straight to the border
2. Convert your USD or BZE dollars either before or after crossing the border. There will be money exchanger everywhere. We recommend knowing the exchange rate before going there so you are not taken advantage of. We were able to negotiate a better rate with this knowledge. Remember, you don't have to exchange with the first person you talk to either. **No ATMs at Tikal so you need to budget enough for the taxi, entrance fee, hotel, food!**
3. Walk through the border crossing and pay the exit fee of $18.75pp. You'll have to pay this fee unless you landed and exit the country the same day. If you stay overnight anywhere in Belize, even if it was for less than 24 hours you will have to pay the exit fee.
4. Cross over the border and wait in line to enter Guatemala.
5. You'll then be approached by several taxi drivers, if not dozens that will be more than willing to take you to Tikal. Again don't take the first one necessarily. Ask to see the car before starting to barter but don't expect any luxurious ones. Negotiate your rate and expect to pay anywhere between $40-$60 USD
6. Once you near the park the driver will stop at the entrance for you to buy your tickets. It is cash only and is about $22 dollars plus $13 dollars per person if you are doing the sunrise or sunset tour.
7.Arrive in Tikal and check into 1 of the 3 hotels or start exploring
8. On the return trip there will be fewer taxi drivers and expect to pay $5-$10 dollars more depending on how many drivers are around.
9. Arrive at the border
10. Walk across and catch a cab to your next Belize destination!