Visiting Tikal Maya Ruins from Belize 

by Reyann Garcia
tikal from belize

Since 1979 Tikal has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is very important to Guatemala’s tourism. And being that Guatemala borders Belize, it’s easy to visit these ruins in a day from Belize. So not only can you experience the wonderful world of the ancient Mayas in Belize, but you can also experience them in Guatemala. In order to fully plan your trip here’s some information about the Tikal Maya Ruins: 

Where is Tikal located? 

Tikal is located in the northern district of El Peten at the Tikal National Park. The location is set in very dense jungle areas so that when you’re walking from one plaza to the next there is an entire jungle canopy covering you. However, the temples themselves are cleared from the growing vines and trees.  

Things to know about Tikal 

  • This is one of the largest Maya sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization.  
  • Tikal used to be a wealthy city and home to approximately 100,000 Mayas. 
  • It was also used as an important scientific, religious, and political center 
  • The name Tikal comes from the Yucatec Maya word “ti ak’al”, meaning “at the waterhole”. 
  • Some archaeologists say, Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that eventually became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Mayas. 
  • The site where Tikal is located is made up of 222 square miles of jungle and hosts many wildlife such as pacas, armadillos, ocellated turkeys, and tyras. 
Photos by Sofia Ortiz
tikal from belizetikal from belize

Belize to Tikal Maya Ruins 

  • Normally the trip would leave from San Ignacio or Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo district since this is closer to the Belize-Guatemala border.  
  • It takes about 1.5 hours to arrive in Tikal. 
  • This tour can be booked through tour companies or through the hotel/resort that you’re staying. 
  • There’s a bus that leaves Belize City or Belmopan that goes to Benque Viejo Del Carmen which is right on the border; then you’d just have to cross the border and catch a bus to Tikal (if you want to be spontaneous and do it on your own). 
  • Take enough money with you because there are no ATMs near Tikal. 
  • If you choose to travel through a tour operator then the price ranges from $125-$150 USD per person. 
  • There is an entrance fee to enter Tikal which is $25 USD. 
  • When at the border you’ll need your passport, and a fee of $18.75 USD will be charged for the border management fee. 

Written by Reyann Garcia

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