Affordable Day Trips from Flores, Guatemala (Tikal, Ceibal, and More)
Flores is a town in Guatemala's northern Peten region. It's on an island on Lake Peten Itza. A causeway connects Flores to its humbler sister town of Santa Elena on the lake shore, which then merges into the even homelier community of San Benito to the west. The three towns actually form one large settlement, often referred to simply as Flores. Flores proper is by far the more attractive base. Flores is known as a gateway to nearby national parks and Mayan ruins. These include the national parks of Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo, with its migratory birds, and Tikal, with its towering temples. In Flores, the twin-domed Nuestra Senora de los Remedios cathedral overlooks Parque Central square. With its cubist houses cascading down from a central plaza to the emerald waters of Lago de Peten Itza, the island town of Flores evokes a Mediterranean ambience. Small hotels and restaurants line the streets, many featuring rooftop terraces with lake views. Residents take great pride in their island-town's gorgeousness, and a promenade runs around its perimeter. With so much to see and do, Flores is a great place to both experience and use as a base for exploring nearby areas, and there are several exciting options available for day trips to help you make the most of your time here.
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Upon arrival a representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to the Tikal National Park. You will have the option to get breakfast on the way. Tikal is the biggest archaeological site and ancient urban centers of pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the Peten region in the present territory of Guatemala, part of the Tikal National Park which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. Tikal National Park is located approximately 45 minutes away. You'll visit the following locations: Complex Q, The Central Acropolis, South Acropolis, Great Plaza, Temple IV and finally the Lost World Complex. After your sightseeing, go to the restaurant within the park for lunch at approximately 1:30pm. Lunch includes 1 drink per person. At 3:30pm the tour departs from the park to the airport. If time permits, visit the Island of Flores. At 5:30pm return to the Mundo Maya Airport, bus station, or hotel accommodation.
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After pickup from the airport or your hotel, you'll be taken to Ceibal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's an approximate 1-hour drive from Flores to Sayaxche, where you will continue by boat for another hour on the Passion River. Once you disembark, follow your guide from the river to the archaeological site, which is about a 30-minute hike through the rainforest. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife that inhabit the river region as you walk. Start your guided tour of Ceibal at the central plaza, the heart of the Mayan world. You'll have several hours to explore the beautifully preserved temples and stelae in this magnificent Mayan city, whose name comes from the national ceiba tree, considered sacred to the ancient Maya. Ceibal was inhabited during two main periods, the Late Preclassic (300 BC-250 AD) and Terminal Classic (830-950 AD), when the site was completely abandoned. Known for exquisite Mayan art carvings, the excavated structures of Ceibal are located in dense forest on the banks of the Passion River. Surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, you'll appreciate the intricate stelae that adorn the buildings, sculpted with the figures of animals and gods. As you view Ceibal's monumental structures, your guide will inform your group about the north, south and central plazas that contain pyramids and a ball court. Admire the hieroglyphic stairway and altars from the 330-foot bluffs. When you've completed your tour, you'll have time to enjoy a complimentary lunch. Afterward, return to Sayaxche and onward, with drop-off at your hotel or the airport in the afternoon.
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Begin your Ixpanpajul Natural Park Zipline and Eco-Adventure Tour from Flores with pickup from your hotel or airport arrival. A friendly, professional driver will collect you around 8 a.m. for this adrenaline and extreme Flores experience. You'll make your way through the scenic landscapes of Guatemala and arrive at Ixpanpajul Natural Park, where the Mayan civilization originated. Learn about these ancient people and the numerous species of trees, birds and mammals that call this stunning landscape home. Head out on the towering skyway, where you'll follow your guide along six suspension bridges that stretch over the jungle canopy. Take a short break in a cozy hammock at Miramas Hill, where you'll have access to uninterrupted 360-degree views of the Peten jungle. When you're fully rested and ready for adventure head out on the 1.5-hour canopy tour through the treetops. You'll shoot around nine platforms in this crossed-cable system that winds through the tallest trees. You'll fly past colorful birds, stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife on this thrilling adventure that keeps your safety and comfort at the front and center at all times. Before your time in the natural park comes to a close you'll have the choice of riding a horse or tractor around the plantation and free time before making your way back to your hotel around 2:30 pm.
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This tour can begin from Flores or El Remate. The tour is designed to visit Tikal, an amazing place to visit. Then on the second day, you will visit the archaeological site of Yaxha, considered both a cultural and natural monument. Start the tour with pick up from your hotel. Transfer to one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan World- Tikal. Its name means 'Place of Voices,' built during the Maya Classic Period. Upon arrival at Tikal archaeological site, your guide will show you the layout of the complex of temples and acropolis. Visit Complex Q and R, then to the central acropolis, Temples I of the Grand Jaguar and the Temple II Los Mascarones, regarded as one of the most important within the complex. You will also make a visit to the Lost World. At the end of the day, transfer from the park to your hotel to rest up for day 2 of your tour. On day 2, departure to the archaeological site of the Yaxha and arrive around 9 a.m. This was the former ceremonial center and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. The facilities have evidence of Teotihuacan influence in their architecture and stelae. Here you will see the only twin pyramid complex outside of Tikal, also known as the Stelae Plaza. At the end of the day, receive transportation back to your hotel or to the airport.
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