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
---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.