If you are traveling Guatemala I’m sure you have a tick list of places you want to go. If you decide to skip a visit to Semuc Champey you will likely be either traveling from Antigua to Tikal or Tikal to Antigua, or from Antigua to Flores by bus. So here is a guide talking you through the different options of how you can travel from Antigua to Tikal.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! Travel insurance has always been high my list of things to get before I travel but now more than ever its at the top of my list.
I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So when looking for travel insurance it’s important to check it covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, Hey Mondo, Passport Nomads, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master all provide cover for this.
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover. You even have the option to start the cover when you are already on your trip, although you won’t be covered for the first 72 hours. For me my favourite feature is their app which offers you a 24/7 Dr chat and the ability to file a claim direct in the app.
Passport Nomads provides the most comprehensive cover for Digital Nomads. The game changer with them is that you have a red card and if you find yourself in need of medical care you just contact them and they will pre load your card with the funds to cover your treatment, meaning you won’t need to pay out of pocket and then put in a claim later.
Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. They have an excess of $250 and it’s simple to make a claim through their website. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy and I like that it renews on a monthly basis, so I don’t have to pay out a big lump sum up front.
I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips.
If you are doing shorter trips or an extended backpacking trip then Hey Mondo or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for Passport Nomads or SafetyWing.
The cheap way to get to Tikal from Antigua- Take a lot of Chicken Buses
It may not look a long way from Guatemala City or Antigua to Tikal, but trust me with the state of the roads in Guatemala it will take you forever. Honestly, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would entertain this! The cost wouldn’t be much less than a tourist bus. There would be a lot of changes and it would take FOREVER!
The normal way to get from Antigua to Tikal – Take an overnight bus from Guatemala City
Get the 1st class overnight bus from Guatemala City. You can book this through GuateGo.
- First, buy a shuttle from Antigua Guatemala to Guatemala city, buy the latest one that departs at 7pm. This will drop you off at the central bus station.
- Then in a separate transaction, you will need to buy your night bus ticket. I recommend booking the one that departs from the bus station at 9 pm or 10 pm.
These are both luxury buses so you will have comfortable semi-bed seats, snacks, wifi, a/c, and a bathroom on board. Yes, it is a little more expensive but worth it. If you don’t trust only on the snacks, get yourself a full meal in Antigua before you depart.
If you are being thrifty you can book a 2nd class bus. The main difference is that the 1st class is a little nicer and it only makes 3 stops. The 2nd class bus will stop many times along the way.
If you don’t believe me read this. It’s an 8 to 10-hour bus journey overnight and you are probably going to want to arrive and then go straight to Tikal once you have dumped your bag. You are going to need the sleep. The bus gets you into Flores around 6 or 7 am.
Top Tip: If you want to save a little money then skip the shuttle to the bus station and take a chicken bus.
The three companies that do this route are:
- FDN- Fuente del Norte
- ADN: Autobuses del Norte<
- Linea Dorada
What is the cost of the bus from Antigua to Tikal
The cost is from 300Q up if you get on at Guatemala City. If you book through GuateGo you will pay more. The advantage of booking online is you are getting a fair price, the company are reputable and have insurance (trust me this is a big issue in Guatemala, I have found myself on more than one uninsured shuttle) and you know they will pick you up (It does happen sometimes that drivers just don’t turn up. For these reasons, I would advise you to pre-book the day before.>
Top Tip: These buses have AC so make sure you wrap up warm as it gets very chilly!
The money’s no object get me from Antigua to Tikal quick way
You can fly from Guatemala City to Flores. The cost of a one-way flight varies from around $108 up to $300. The flight takes 1 hour and both airports have shuttles and taxis that can take you from the airports to your accommodation.
This All Sounds Like Too Much Work Can I Just Book A tour?
Yes, you absolutely can! I recommend booking a small group or private tour of Tikal with Heart of Travel. You can learn more about them by clicking here. Or to enquire about a tour to Tikal from Antigua, simply complete the form below and someone will be in touch with you within 24 hours.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
7 Day Itinerary for Guatemala
Monday 22nd of April 2019
[…] time. (I did not take the overnight bus, but I hear it’s lovely…for an overnight bus. Claire’s Itchy Feet has a great breakdown of ground travel in […]
Friday 19th of April 2019
Hi Claire, we will be in Antigua for a wedding and reception that will go until 11pm. We have a 6:45 am flight out of Guatemala City. Can you give me any ideas on who I can get to drive us safely to the city at that time of night?
Thank you so much, Michelle
Tuesday 19th of February 2019
Thanks so much for all the info. I'm trying to book a bus from Antigua to Guatemala City, then from Guatemala City to Flores like you suggest here. The problem I'm running into is that the place where the bus from Antigua drops you off at is different from the place where the coach picks you up from in Guatemala City.
The only bus that goes from Antigua to Guatemala City in the evening is a shuttle which claims to drop you off at a hotel in zones 9,10,13,14. But the coach that picks you up to go to Flores does so at 17 Calle 8a. y 9a. Avenida 8-46 Zona 1. Do you know the easiest way to coordinate all this? We could just take a bus from Antigua to Flores but that seems to be more hours in the bus.
Thursday 6th of September 2018
Hi Claire, thank you so much for your blog. We are driving from Guatemala city to Lake Peten, and wonder if there's a city in between that you'd recommend spending the night. We need to break up the trip due to a family member 's health and are thinking of Livingston, but it seems that it may be a bear to get there (Livingston) and back to our driving itinerary. Thank you.
Saturday 8th of September 2018
Hi Mayra, I've just had a quick look on the map and I don't actually know anywhere on that side of the country as I didn't get to Livingstone. If you drove the other way you could stop in Coban o Semuc for a night but the drive alone would put an extra 5 hours on your trip! I'd say Livingstone is your best bet. Sorry I can't help more!
Wednesday 30th of May 2018
Like your page, lots of details!
I only have one question. Do you know an travel angency in Antigua where you can book the nightbus from Antigua to Flores?
Monday 4th of June 2018
Hi Thirza I would recommend just booking at your hostel. They will all charge the same price. You will only pay more if you book online. You can nook the same day so don't worry about booking before you go :-)