English-speaking Belize offers you an easier starting point than Spanish-speaking Guatemala. Those who wish to see the ancient ruins of Tikal can book a day trip from the town of San Ignacio in western Belize.
Many travelers enjoy the convenience and comfort of the lodgings in San Ignacio, such as at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. You can book a tour from the hotel, and a journey to Tikal only requires 90 minutes of travel.
Let’s look at some tips to get the most from the experience.
What to Bring
- Comfortable clothing
- Comfortable shoes
- Bug spray
- Spare Cash
- Extra water
Tip #1: Crossing the Border
The border crossing from Belize into Guatemala is relaxed and not necessarily the most difficult crossing. However, with an English-speaking hotel-appointed escort who has done the trip hundreds of times, it becomes less stressful. Don’t question strange border policies here since it simply makes things harder. You can relax and let the private tour guide handle the exchange of cash and the stamping of the passports. The next part may sound obvious, but people have forgotten it. Don’t forget your passport. You will need it to cross, or you’ll be stuck at the border.
Tip #2: Soak in the Vibes from Belize to Tikal
Enjoy the whole journey—even the ride there. Tikal belongs to the Peten region of Guatemala and has some dense tropical jungles. Throughout the setting, mystery and beauty dance to create one of the most impressive Maya archaeological sites. Tikal once boasted over 3,000 buildings making it the largest city in the region. UNESCO recognizes it as a world heritage site.
Tip #3: Prepare for Exercise
You must set the right expectations for the exercise required. It demands a moderate amount of exercise to get to Tikal, and the humidity and heat can get to you, so bring extra bottles of water. You will exert more energy than you planned.
Tip #4: Climb All the Towers
The steps pose a challenge, but all the towers are worth climbing. They come in various heights, meanings, and designs making each one unique. Closer to the top, you will have a more intimate view of Tikal.
The day trip from Belize to Tikal is one of the most popular trips and for good reason. Belize, a relatively small country of around 400,000 people, sits close to Guatemala making a memorable day trip easy.