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Must see?

Georgia
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338 posts
92 reviews
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Must see?

We are thinking of skipping Tikal on our trip. Just don't want to spend entire trip driving or flying to someplace else. I would rather live in the moment then being on the road. Any thoughts?

Stamford...
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1. Re: Must see?

I am not into ruins and had the same thoughts when was planning a trip to Guatemala.

We did visit Tikal after all and i don't regret it. The sunrise in Tikal was absolutely amazing, you can also do zip lining there. Flores is a nice little town. Since we were set on visiting Semuc Champey driving back to Antigua or going to Tikal was the same distance. What we did is we finished our trip in Belize rather than going back to Guatemala City to save a little on driving/flying.

I guess it depends what you like to do and how much time you have.

Mi Wuk Village...
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2. Re: Must see?

I've visited just about every major pre-Colombian archeological site in the western hemisphere from Mexico to South America. (haven't done the mound builders of the US). Of all the ones, I consider Tikal to be the high light. I'm well versed in the field so admittedly the attraction for me is great. I've been to Tikal several times. Still things to see there. This is a huge Mayan city with liteally thousands of smaller building still to be excavated. The main temples in the center are amongst the largest in the ancient world..both hemispheres. Add the location..what most consider jungle (not exactly). Toss in thousands of birds, monkeys and other wildlife. Don't care for ziplining due to it's disruption of the environment. This isn't supposed to be Disneyland. Going to Guatemala and skipping Tikal is sorta like going to Egypt and skipping the pyramids. Not sure what you mean by living in the moment. Staying at home and channel surfing with the remote? Are you on a very tight budget? Then a night bus each way from Guat. City is an option. Saves you a hotel room. The hotels at the ruins aren't cheap but you have the option of Flores/Santa Elena. If you post your itinerary and budget..dollars not adjectives.. it might be easier to show some options. Beware of touts with links.

Georgia
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338 posts
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3. Re: Must see?

No,no. Not a sofa channel surfer. Not a money issue either. Just wanted to enjoy the places and activities at that moment and not thinking about spend time in car driving to the next activity. Thanks for you advise. You have given me something to think about.

Stamford...
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4. Re: Must see?

great point about animals. LOTs of wildlife.

La Libertad, El...
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5. Re: Must see?

Different strokes for different folks, no harm in skipping Tikal, it's not going anywhere, it will still be there for another trip.

Spend an extra day in Antigua chilling in Café No Sé.

Prague, Czech...
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6. Re: Must see?

Tikal is amazing and definitely worth a visit, as are nearby Yaxha and Flores. However, they are more accessible from Belize than from Guatemala City, so if you are planning a trip to Belize in the near future, you can include Peten in that trip. That's what we did - Cancun to Tulum to Belize and over into Peten for the three places I mentioned. Now I am planning another trip to see the rest of Guatemala.

Wisconsin
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7. Re: Must see?

My daughter and I just came back from a Central America tour. By the time we got to Tikal, I was expecting just another ruin site. However, both my daughter and I were very impressed by Tikal and it became the favorite of the sites we saw. The architecture was distinct from other sites, we saw wildlife that we didn't see at other sites, and the structures were impressive. We also had an excellent tour guide and that added to our experience.

We did the sunrise tour, which had a 5:30 am pick up from El Remate. It was good to go in the morning before it got unbearably hot. I will definitely go back to Guatemala and Tikal. Next time I go, I will do the early early morning tour, so we can be at the top of Temple IV to see the sun come up. I think that's a 2:30 am or 3:00 am pick up. Oy.

We spent a lot of time on the road also, so I can understand trying to cut down driving time. We came via road/boat/dirt road from Palenque. Next time, I will be coming from Belize, as another poster suggested.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Must see?

We did Tikal as a day trip from the San Ignacio, Belize area. 2ish hours there, and 2ish hours back. Completely worth the drive! I do not know when we will be back to that region of the world, and I would have regretted not seeing it. It's an amazing site! I highly recommend going!

Punta Uva, Costa...
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9. Re: Must see?

There is a lot in that area of the country and the way to it that is worth seeing. I didn't consider any of my time in Guatemala wasted, including five hour bus rides across the beautiful and diverse landscape. Near Tikal are Belize, lovely El Remate and it's crystal clear Lake Peten Itza, Flores, other little lakes and stops, Rio Dulce, the Caribbean... the list just goes on and on and on and on.

I did not visit Tikal but ever person I have ever spoken to who did says it is one of the best sites in the world. :)

10. Re: Must see?

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