Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Tikal and Flores

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Tikal and Flores

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. So here is a guide talking you through the different options of how you can travel from Antigua to Tikal.


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 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 220Q up if you get on at Guatemala City. If you book through GuateGo you may pay a little more. The advantage of booking online is you are getting a good 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. Make sure you check Skyscanner for your flights to get the best deals.


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Planning a Trip to Guatemala? You might be interested in these articles:

How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Is it safe to visit Guatemala? Safety Advice for Solo Female Travelers

The night I thought I was going to die in Guatemala

Things to know before visiting Antigua, Guatemala

11 things to know before visiting Guatemala

The Top 5 Tours in Guatemala | The Best Tours in Guatemala in Guatemala

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Tikal and Flores



Are You Traveling soon?

Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly


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  1. March 13, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Hello Claire,

    First of all I would like to express my gratitude of your blogs as they provide a lot of detail information step by step.

    A friend and I are going to be visiting Guatemala from March 24th to April 1st, 2019. We will be landing in Guatemala City and have few things in our itinerary to see/do which consist of Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tikal, Semuc Champed and the volcano hiking in Antigua. I’m pretty sure we’re squeezing a lot of things in such short period of time but wanted to get you opinion as I’ve read your blog on getting to Tikal from Semuc Champed was a “hell” lol. I think we wouldn’t mind taking the flight both way but I’m afraid we will miss Semuc as its sort of in the middle of the country or have to take another 10 hour bus just to go that way. Would you suggest us to take the flight to Flores from Guatemala city and take a First class bus from Flores to Semuc to Antigua on our way back? Do you happen to know if they even have First class that goes in that route?

    Also, we will be there week leading to Easter(april 1st) which I’ve read is the biggest Easter festival in the word, which is the main reason of our trip to explore the culture and traditions.

    We would like to visit Tikal early(March 25th would be perfect) and work our way down so it gives us more time in Lake Atitlan and Antigua and visit the places,restaurant and bars you’ve recommend(I’ve read all of your blogs on Guatemala so I feel like I’m pretty well prepared with all your tips :D).

    Any and all of your suggest are greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • March 16, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      Ah so much! OK so the sus to Semuc is HELL and there are no 1st class options as it is only the minibusses that can get down the roads. Some companies will charge you ‘extra’ for AC, but half the time it doesn’t work. So it is just luck really!

      If you have the time 100% go to Semuc as it is totally worth it! Tikal you can get a 1st class night bus there or fly (the airport is right in the city) and then travel back to Antigua via Semuc.

      Antigua is INCREDIBLE during Semana Santa but, be warned, you will NOT be able to move there and you must book accommodation before you get there as it will all be booked by Guatemalans traveling there for the celebrations. On main days all of the roads are closed meaning there is NO transport in the city. So if you want to leave you will need to walk with your backpack to the outside of the city for the bus to pick you up.

      If it were me I would go to Semuc and skip Tikal. But I’ve seen a lot of Mayan Ruins haha!

      I have lots of friends still in Antigua so I’m heading back there, but not until June. It’s an incredible country and I hope you have the most amazing time!

  2. Thirza
    May 30, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    Hoi Claire!

    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?

    • June 4, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      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 🙂

  3. Mayra
    September 6, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    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.

    • September 8, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      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!

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