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“Tikal, Guatemala using PACZ Tours”
Review of Pacz Tours

Pacz Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Pacz Tours Belize leads daily tours Actun Tunichil Muknal, Cave Tubing and to all of the known Archaeologocal sites and quite a few unknown ones as well. Pacz Tours pride themselves on having the most experienced and knowledgeable tour guides in San Ignacio, Belize.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
358 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Tikal, Guatemala using PACZ Tours”
Reviewed 12 January 2014

This is difficult to assess this activity, as it is more about the tour operator, than the attraction. However I will break this assessment into two ratings.

PACZ Tours Review
The guys at PACZ Tours were easy to deal with via email before I arrived in Western Belize. The responded the next day, and I decided to book the Tikal tour with them. They stated the total cost of $145 US ($290 BZ) and no hidden charges. The tour went as expected with a shuttle pickup at my hotel and then off to the Guatemala border. Everyone gets out of the shuttle and walk through to be processed at the border. You must give your passport to the PACZ tour guide, in this case it was Juice. Juice takes care of everything for you, including the obtaining the entry stamp into Guatemala. Juice was very good at explaining what to do, and when to do it, you can tell he knows his stuff quite as you will experience for yourself when you get to Tikal. Going through the border was probably the slowest part of the trip. Note that you will switch shuttles once you cross the border and proceed through a decontamination spray. This is important, ensure your windows are closed and the A/C and fan are turned off not to pull in vapours/fumes from the decontamination spray into the cabin of the vehicle. After this part, it is a matter of sitting back and enjoy the ride... everything else you will experience (all positive) is best left for you to experience for yourself when you get there. I wouldn't recommend gringos to do Tikal on your own, be safe and travel with a tour operator.

PACZ Tours Rating: Very Good

Tikal Guatemala Review
Tikal is a must do for any traveler. I read many reviews and travel guides, and Tikal is ranked at the top for being the most magnificent of the Mayan ruins. To do a day trip in Guatemala and see the culture, landscape, nature, and a strong military presence was an experience I will never forget. Tikal itself was incredible, and I highly recommend everyone to experience this Mayan ruin site.

Tikal Guatemala Rating: Excellent

Visited November 2013
Thank digitalroc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great Group---Day Trip to Tikal”
Reviewed 27 December 2013

My boyfriend and I booked a day trip to Tikal, Guatemala with Pacz Tours before our arrival to Belize. To make a reservation with Pacz was very easy--al was done via email and Pacz was always very quick to respond.

We were staying at Black Rock Lodge and Pacz was very prompt in picking us up--it's good they're familiar with the road to Black Rock Lodge.

Our tour guide was Hugo aka "juice" and he was GREAT! On our day trip, there was another couple. We enjoyed the tour group was small (perhaps it was timing since it was just at the end of rainy season). Pacz will drive you to the Belize/Guatemala border, you must walk through Belize immigration and then get into a different car on the Guatemala border. Hugo then took our passports to the Guatemala border control to be checked/stamped. From there it was about a 2-2.5 hour drive to Tikal National Park. Along the way we stopped at the side of the road near some lake to see the women washing clothes.

Hugo knew EVERYTHING about the Tikal temples as well as the natural landscape. He would show us different plants that grew in the area--very interesting. The trip is tiring but worth it. We must have walked ~5miles at the park alone with the end of the tour a walk up A LOT of stairs to the top of temple 4 but the view is well worth it (DO IT!).

On the way back to Belize, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch (which is included in the tour price) which is next to a souvenir shop. The food was okay, but we were very hungry as it was about 2:00PM. Be sure to eat breakfast or bring snacks.

Overall, Pacz tours was very professional, convenient, and the service was great! I would definitely recommend Pacz tours for a day trip to Tikal. I spoke with others that did not use Pacz and some other operators were unorganized. I always felt like I was in good hands with Pacz tours.

Visited November 2013
Thank victoriad1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, NE
Level Contributor
78 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Excellent Time in Tikal”
Reviewed 20 December 2013

We chose PACZ Tours for our trip to Tikal based on other TripAdvisor reviews. Although we did not book a private tour, it was low season when we went and it ended up being just my husband and I. Our guide was very informative and helpful during the border crossing. While we were in Tikal he walked us around telling us many stories. He was also always on the lookout for wildlife. We saw howler monkeys (although they were being really quiet), a fox, a coatimundi looking in the trash for lunch, and many types of birds.

Tikal is a very large area and it was nice having someone who knows the way to show us around. After we were done we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch and a nearby shop where we got some jade bracelets for gifts.

Visited October 2013
Thank lolabana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Extraordinary overnight trip of a lifetime.”
Reviewed 27 November 2013

It's hard to write a review for what ended up being a life-changing experience.

I'd been to Actun Tunichil Muknal before with Francisco (aka Pancho), and it was such an extraordinary experience that I came back to Belize specifically for the cave, to see it again...and again...and again. The last time I went, I signed up for the special overnight tour. I was expecting to go into the cave at night, which would be magical all on its own; but the trip that PACZ planned far, far exceeded my expectations (so much so that I'm coming back AGAIN next spring to re-visit all the places I saw on the overnight tour).

First, it must be said that Francisco is the consummate guide. He is kind, patient, good-humored, and has years upon years of experience. After a shopping trip for camping goodies, and the walk to "Hotel Xibalba"--the clearing just uphill from the cave--we set out, not to enter the cave through its mouth as usual, but hiking far above a sinkhole and rappelling down into it. I've never rappelled before. I'm also afraid of heights. But Pancho has handled all types in his career--including shaky neophytes--and so actually, I felt perfectly safe.

The cave itself is a miraculous experience, so much so that I'm writing an entire novel about it, so that'll be some 90,000 words down the line. But what I want to focus on here is what made the overnight trip so special. All of our needs were seen to: tent, food, safety, libations, warmth from a fire. I slept much more soundly than I expected to. In the morning, after breakfast, Pancho led us on a hike through the jungle. The area around Actun Tunichil Muknal is full of Maya temples and other habitations, now overgrown; it was like being on another planet, or somehow outside of time. We went to Actun Nak Beh, a very different cave from ATM, in that it was dry, with narrow labyrinthine passages, like a giant natural playground. We crossed the river and went to Actun Uayazba Kab, which commanded a kingly view of the jungle below, and is pocked with caves that are filled with human markings, most especially handprints. All throughout, Pancho was patient, helpful, and eager to share his encyclopedic knowledge of everything around us, whether it be native birds, Maya custom, or archaeological research.

When we packed up and left, my head was spinning. I felt euphoric; it was so much to take in. If you have the means--or heck, even if you don't, because you're in Belize and you only live once--inquire with PACZ about their overnight tours, and ask for Pancho. I recommend him, and PACZ, with nothing but the highest regard.

Visited February 2013
Thank MonicaByrne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Pretty awe-inspiring”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

Before I get on to the cave, a word about our guide, Juan Carlos.

What can I say? Philosopher. Poet. Raconteur. There is literally nothing the man does not know (that, or he's a very convincing liar).

Anyway, the ATM cave is quite breathtaking. Every time you think it can't get more spectacular, you step into another cavern with even more beautiful rock formations. It's not very hard going at all, my wife had never done caving before and managed to do all the swimming and scrambling without incident.

The only downside was that we got absolutely bitten to shreds by mosquitoes, since you're not allowed any type of bugspray, since it damages the calcified rock.

Visited August 2013
Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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