Replies: 19 - Last Post: Aug 30, 2013 10:04 PM Last Post By: BCMum
Aug 15, 2013 11:36 PM
Visiting TikalWe plan to travel from San Ignacio to Tikal on Feb 2, then Tikal to Flores on Feb 4. We would like to avoid paying entrance park fees for three days.
We will depart from San Ignacio and hope to get there mid-day, staying at the Jaguar Inn for two nights. Is the Inn actually within the National Park? Do we have to pay park entrance fees to get to the Jaguar Inn? We are trying to decide if we should plan on an afternoon visit the day that we arrive, followed by a full day visit ...or wait and do a full day visit followed by a second morning visit before heading to Flores. This sounds best as long as we are not paying park entrance fees to stay at the Jaguar Inn the first day. Also, is the museum within the national park or could we see it before entering the park?
How is the security situation these days going from San Ignacio to Tikal by catching a taxi at the border?
Thanks in advance.
Aug 16, 2013 2:48 AM
The fees are charged upon entrance to the ruins not the hotels. I think you can still visit late afternoon and get in free the next day. I do know that the fee has increased. You should have no problem traveling by taxi from the border. The border seems a little chaotic but you will be fine. I would have some twenty dollar bills in my pocket to make change quickly without going into my wallet. The current rate is 1 dollar equals 7.87 quetzales so you should get something close to that at the border. They like clean US bills. You don't want to flash anything valuable. Don't get too many quetzales either just enough for meals at the comedores and a few essentials like maybe your park entrance fee and a guide if you want one. You can pay for the taxi in US or quetzals and you can use a credit card at the hotel and museum. The museum is outside the ruins near the entrance to them. Try to get up before sunrise on one of the days. I went in with a flashlight and was up on a pyramid as the sun was rising. My trip was probably 10 years ago so someone may have newer information.
Aug 16, 2013 4:10 AM
2The 3 lodges are actually in the park, and a few hundred feet from the entrance to the ruins complex.There is a main entrance to the entire park on the main road from El Remante, and also a gate to the ruins complex, once n the park. Have you asked your lodging (Jaguar Inn) about the fees for access to the park, and ruins?
I just Googled 'Tikal Ruins Guatemala Entrance Fees" and got a ton of info.
I hope you can afford a guide, which is a must IMO, for a clear understanding of what you came all the way there for.
Aug 16, 2013 4:34 AM
Aug 16, 2013 3:28 PM
4arrive after 4pm or later and tell the guy who sells the ticket, that you want to purchase a ticket for the next day. This will enable you to wander around the ruins the day you arrive PLUS the following day which you paid entry for. We did this beginning of July and also met travellers yesterday who have done it on August 8th...
Aug 16, 2013 4:00 PM
Aug 16, 2013 4:40 PM
6Thanks for your replies. I've been doing a lot of research and have this information to add. The hotels in Tikal and tour companies in San Ignacio will take you from San Ignacio to Tikal for $35 US per person. I assume that this is just as good as getting to the border of Belize then taking a taxi from there.
The Jaguar Inn is cheaper than Tikal Inn, but Tikal Inn includes supper, breakfast and a sunrise tour so the price is about the same as the Jaguar Inn and includes the pool. I read online that the extra $12 you have to pay to go in before 6 AM or after 6 PM (for sunrise, sunset tours) is waved if you go with an accredited guide, but this is apparently not the case. Seems like they are soaking tourists a bit but I know that they are a poor country...
As far as getting in after 4 PM and using the same ticket the next day, I agree that although this may happen, it is not the official policy and you probably can't count on it. Shuttles to Flores are $30 US person. I'm waiting to hear back from a bus company to see if they are any cheaper. I'm also waiting to hear back from Roxy.
Aug 16, 2013 4:46 PM
7The official rule changed a couple of years ago, for the inane reason that it "caused confusion" but then it changed back (despite what the Tikal Park website seems to say -- this site by the way is a commercial site, not an official government or national park site, though it is a good one). You can now buy entrance (Q150) at 3:30 or maybe 4:00 and get in again the next day without buying another entrance ticket, based on what I was told by officials a few weeks ago and also based on what a number of other visitors told me.
Not saying this is 100% because things change all the time, and hopeful list may be right that it's potluck, but I'd lay odds it's that way currently for almost everybody arriving late in the afternoon. Of course this doesn't include sunrise or sunset tours, for which there is an extra charge (Q100 from memory, but I may be wrong on the price) and a guide is required.
Aug 17, 2013 7:29 AM
Aug 17, 2013 6:39 PM
9The planning continues...
Based upon a little more research, I have surmised that the tours through the Tikal Inn may not be the best. I'm still waiting to hear from Roxy but meanwhile, I am thinking about staying in El Remate (Hotel La Casa de Don David). Sounds like a great place with good access to the park. I am wondering if it is really so important to stay in the park to get the early morning effect. If you enter at 6 AM (in February) my guess is that the wildlife is still pretty active and the ruins have atmosphere even if you miss the sunrise from the top of a temple. It sure would save a lot of money.
Thanks again to everyone who has responded. I feel like I'm making progress.
Aug 17, 2013 8:11 PM
10Head to Mundo Perdido - I love that area in the morning. I still hugely prefer to stay in the park, pass through the jungle and Grand Plaza in the dark, and be there for the sunrise (even if it's misty and I can't see the sun) but I think you could enjoy the morningfrom El Remate and wouldn't really know what you had missed.
Aug 18, 2013 8:21 AM
Aug 18, 2013 9:06 AM
12I enjoyed a quick stay at Hotel La Mansion Del Pajaro Serpiente in El Remate last summer:
Aug 19, 2013 11:08 AM
13All of the excellent advise, as well as my own research, has helped me finalize my itinerary. Day 1 - San Ignacio to Tikal by shuttle. Visit museum then tour the ruins (including a sunset tour). Stay at the Tikal Inn ...including the two meals and the sunrise tour. Explore further and head to La Casa de Don David by collectivo mid to late afternoon. If we need more time at Tikal we can go back again the next day. Alternatively, we will do a day trip to Flores. There will be some built in flexibility. Following a second night's stay at Don David, from in front of the hotel we can catch a bus to Belize City the next morning.
My only question: the Ranchon room seems like the best deal at the Tikal Inn. Apart from there being two single beds instead of a double, is the room in any way inferior? Is the discount simply due to the fact that it is away from the main building and the pool?
Aug 19, 2013 11:43 AM
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