We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
23 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Hello all,

i will be traveling with my boyfriend in January 2016 and we currently are planning on the following itinerary:

Day 1: arrive in Belize City International around noon

Head to Tikal for overnight in park, stopping at Xunantunich on the way

---quoted rate from Belize City to Tikal from Tikal lodge's website is $240 USD for private shuttle

Day 2: Explore Tikal for sunrise/daytime, head to Macal River lodge outside San Ignacio in evening

---quoted rate from Tikal to San Ignacio from Tikal lodge's website $140 USD for private shuttle

Day 3: ATM Cave, overnight at Macal River lodge

Day 4: Head to Belize City for transfer to boat to island, stopping at Belize Zoo on the way

---quoted rate from Macal River lodge to Belize City from lodge's website $175 USD for private shuttle

These transfer rates seem really expensive to me - over $500 in total! Are we being ripped off?

I would gladly use a separate company transfer service instead if it would be cheaper, but unless it is a private shuttle I am not sure that would allow us to stop at Xunantunich on the way and the Zoo on the way back. Does anyone have experience using a shuttle service or private transfer service combined with stops at sites along the way? We would not necessarily want a guide at the Zoo. We have read that it is possible to negotiate with a taxi at the airport - is this safe? We wouldn't want to get stranded at a site if the taxi decided to go back to Belize City without completing our journey. Also, can taxis even drive all the way to Tikal given it is crossing the border?

In general, given the border crossing we are not sure of our options to get to the Tika lodge other than the lodge's shuttle service. Does anyone have experience booking non-hotel transfers from Belize (either Belize City or San Ignacio) to hotels within Tikal, Guatemala - and vice versa for the way out?

Thanks so much - any help will be appreciated! We are looking to book hotels this week and will also ask them but fear they will push us towards their shuttle service which may be more expensive.

Mentioned in this post
Belize City
Belize City
Belize District, Belize
Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park
Peten Department, Guatemala
Xunantunich
Xunantunich
1,160 Reviews
Cayo, Belize
San Ignacio
San Ignacio
Cayo, Belize
Belize
Belize
Central America
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,011 posts
328 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Here are 2 drivers I've had good success with - you could email and see what they say.

William Hofman: www.parrot-nest.com/belize-shuttle.html

Raul Marchand: galmar_48@yahoo.com

Once I hired a Guatemala agency to drive my friends and I from Flores to Belize City, worked well, maybe they'd do your direction.

www.adrenalinatours.com

If you hire a guide, sometimes they provide part of the transportation - you could negotiate about that. Here's my beloved guide - keeps me heading back to Tikal and Yaxhá over and over:

www.tikalroxy.blogspot.com

I've also read that Pacz Tours and Maximum Tours offer transport only from San Ignacio to Tikal and back, maybe worth a look.

http://www.pacztours.net/

http://www.sanignaciobelizetours.com/

If you left off Xunantunich, you could taxi/bus/taxi to the border and negotiate with a driver there - that's what we did our 1st trip to Tikal years ago.

There might be more ideas here:

www.belizebus.wordpress.com

A few more notes. I'd advise against being on the road at night, mainly the Guatemala bits. Since it gets dark at about 6pm, I think you'll need to rethink a little. Stopping at Xunantunich would = driving in the dark as would your 'evening' return.

Happy trails!

Mentioned in this post
Guatemala
Guatemala
Central America
Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park
Peten Department, Guatemala
Pacz Tours
Pacz Tours
499 Reviews
San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio
San Ignacio
Cayo, Belize
Xunantunich
Xunantunich
1,160 Reviews
Cayo, Belize
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
23 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Thanks for the help hopefulist! Will definitely look into these options.

Re: your comment about driving at night, we were thinking if we are in Tikal for the sunrise we will honestly be pretty exhausted from exploring by 2-3pm. In your experience, would that hold true? :) Our plan had been to relax a bit and freshen up at our lodge but if getting right on the road around 2-3pm would get us out of the region by nightfall, we could certainly work to do that. About how long does it take to get from Tikal to a more 'safe' portion of the road?

Mentioned in this post
Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park
Peten Department, Guatemala
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,011 posts
328 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Frankly, I would just plan to be to where you're going before night fall - I think that's just better travel practice. Figure about 2 hours between the border and Tikal although an hour and a half would probably do it.

Not sure how late the border is open - maybe your lodging folks in Tikal or at Chaa Creek (Macal Camp) can tell you.

I think after a sunrise tour and a bit more tromping about (don't miss Mundo Perdido, 1 of my favorite bits, esp early in the day) you'll be ready to rest before lunch. Not sure on the check out time but I'm guessing noon or 1pm, although they'd probably watch your luggage if you weren't ready to leave. I'd just plan to head in from the Maya site, freshen up, eat lunch/check out or check out/eat lunch depending on the time, and head east. Happy trails!

Mentioned in this post
Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park
Peten Department, Guatemala
Ambergris Caye
Destination Expert
for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Level Contributor
2,684 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Teddy Bear Shuttle: San Ignacio Belize City Shuttle Service is a great option.

Theodore Valdes is knowledgeable and fun, makes for a great ride.

http://www.teddybearshuttle.com/

Mentioned in this post
San Ignacio
San Ignacio
Cayo, Belize
belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
Level Contributor
7,373 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

Teddy is grt!

San Ignacio, Belize
Level Contributor
4,770 posts
277 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

William and Teddy are who I recommend the most.

Dawson Creek, Canada
Level Contributor
6 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

We used both Teddy and William on a trip to San Ignacio and then Placencia. Great service from both. We were a group of 6 including our 2 children. Great experience, safe and comfortable.

Mentioned in this post
San Ignacio
San Ignacio
Cayo, Belize
Placencia
Placencia
Stann Creek, Belize
8. Re: Shuttle/Transport help for Belize City to San Ignacio/Tikal

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 December 2016, 13:16