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Route Palenque - Flores / Tikal - Belize - Chetumal

Germany
Level Contributor
233 posts
5 reviews
Route Palenque - Flores / Tikal - Belize - Chetumal

We would like to do the following route in November

Day 1: Bus ride Palenque to Flores

Day 2: Visit Tikal

Day 3: Bus ride Flores - Chetumal

Now my question:

Is the long, long bus trip worth a day in Tikal?

Or where else could we spend another day on the track?

Thank you for your support!

1 reply
Level Contributor
290 posts
1 review
1. Re: Route Palenque - Flores / Tikal - Belize - Chetumal

I guess it depends on your level of interest in Maya archaeological sites. I happen to love them so for me, yes, it would be worth the trek. The thing about Tikal is that if you are already in the region and you had a chance to go, and you didn't, will you regret it later?

Having said that, if you just have a casual interest and you have already been to Palenque, it may be a little repetitive. Palenque has the great tower, a wonderful museum (see the incredible recreated tomb of Pakal), the palace area (don't forget to enter the underground passageways), and a couple temples you can climb.

I would say Tikal is larger and with more impressive sights including massive pyramids, the Great Plaza with its history and monuments, and peripheral areas such as the "Lost World" and "Plaza of the Seven Temples." Tikal is sometimes called the "Rome of the New World" because of its history of wealth, great rulers, impressive construction, and ability to wage war. So historically, it was a very important Maya city-state, perhaps the most important.

Both are worth visiting but if you have seen enough after Palenque you may want to just spend an extra day in San Cristobal which is a very cool old colonial town with a lot to do and see. It is a very popular vacation spot for citizens of Mexico. Also you can spend an extra day visiting other Maya sites in the Palenque area such as the beautiful murals of Bonampak and the exotic river ruins of Yaxchilán. If you want to see wildlife, I personally have seen more "exotic" animals at Tikal than Palenque. Also, IMO, there are more photogenic opportunities at Tikal.

You can't really go wrong with any of those options or with visiting Tikal. All are quite impressive.

Hopefully that helped a little. You are welcome to PM me if you have more questions.

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