Most tour operators in San Ignacio can setup your TIKAL tour, some even have Belizean guides who can also do TIKAL tours - the advantage, you get very good English tours - some visitors to TIKAL who have hired guides or tour operators from there complain of the very poor English and that they are normally left to wonder off around certain areas since Guatemalan guides seem to be in a hurry to do another tour, while Belizean guides go with you and even climb the structures with you explaining things and taking their time, as well as, being small tour groups 2 - 6 or 8. I made the mistake of hiring a Guatemalan guide there and after some time - YES, we were left to do some areas on our own.
I know you're loyal to Belize but it's inaccurate to impugn all - or even most - Guatemalan guides as in a rush or having poor English skills. There are many fantastic guides who are native to the area, some with university degrees in archaeology, and most guides from Belize are not able to guide at Tikal legally.
I am going to Belize in December 18th with my husband and my mum for her 80th birthday. Arriving at Belize airport.
Then we have to go to San Pedro to another HOtel. How do i get there ?
If I decide to rent a car should i leave it in san ignacio and fly to san Pedro ? or what is your recomendation please.
I am so confused... a friend told me that is crazy to drive, that i should do tours, but with my husband we love the independance of going around and explore and also is more cheaper than paying tours per person that are crazy prices.
I know that going to Tikal by car is a hessel to cross, but would like to know if there is a way to go to Tikal from the frontier (my english is terrible, I speak spanish better... :)
I've done a lot of research on this and I find driving into Guatemala is not wise. They do not recognize insurance there and only certain rental companies are allowed across the border (only one that I found). It can be extraordinarily difficult. My boyfriend and I have a rental car but I booked a tour from San Ignacio to Tikal. Otherwise the transportation would be very difficult and expensive and I wanted to simplify it. Flying to San Pedro is an option and is a short flight but from what I see it runs around $300 round trip. The tour we booked was through our hotel and includes everything except the border crossing fee (transportation, lunch, park entry, tour guide, etc). It's not common for us to do organized tours but this time it made sense. Especially a place like Tikal you'll want someone with a knowledge of the area and its history.
We just went to Flores early morning today by private car. We took a taxi from San Ignacio, with a stop in Xunantunich for 1.5hrs (he waited for us), then to the border.. we paid 25usd for that. So if you skip Xunantunich, you can probably get to the border way cheaper.
Then we asked the taxi that we took if he knew someone from the Guatemalan side who is willing to take us to Flores for 50usd (we were upfront about the max price we are willing to pay, and we wanted a personal recommendation for safety) and he said he will try to talk to his Taxi driver friend in Guatemala side. So in the end the guy (he is a registered taxi driver with a good modern taxi) from the other side agreed to 50usd. Our Guatemalan driver told us that a taxi to Tikal would be around the same price as th distance is the same too (around 50-60usd one way).
Check with Gem trips to see if they can arrange transport from your hotel. They do offer, though not sure it would be economical for a small number of people.