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Guatemala
  | North - peten | tikal national park
     
   

Travel Tips Tikal with Kids

Spend more than one day – There are three hotels (also restaurants) inside the park, walking distance to the ruins. Staying overnight (or two or three nights) gives you an opportunity to explore the ruins on kids' time. You'll want to take an hour or two, just walking around the ruins in the late afternoon or early morning, when a golden glow envelopes the jungle and the animals are most active. In the heat of the day, go back to your hotel and relax, take a nap, or go for a swim in the pool.
      If the hotels inside the park are fully booked, El Remate on Lake Peten is half an hour away, and there are several convenient hotels, restaurants.
      Tip: Flores has plenty of hotels, but it's an hour away from Tikal. At the end of a day exploring the ruins, it's a long ride back to Flores.
Climate Visit the ruins early in the morning or late in the afternoon to beat the heat. Wear light clothing, it's warm and humid. April and May are the hot months, and the summer can be rainy. December to February are the cooler months, and a light jacket is useful in the cool mornings.
Drink lots of water – When you're walking around the ruins, have plenty of bottled water.
Don't feed the animals – The coatimundi's look very cute, but they are wild animals and people food isn't good for them, or any of the animals.
Signs in the ruins Signs marked "No rayar" means no graffiti. "No subir" means don't climb. "No pasar" means no entry.
Bathroom breaksThe park covers a large area, look on your map to see where the three restrooms are located (near the East Plaza and Temple III), and outside the park at the Visitor Center. It's not really a good idea to pee in the forest (there are poisonous snakes, spiny trees, biting ants).
What to bring
      Wear sunscreen and hats. Although you are shaded in the trees at lot of the time, the sun is intense, and it doesn’t take long to get a royal sunburn.
      Late in the day, insect repellent is useful (and anti-itch cream, if you do get bitten.)
      Have binoculars ready to spot monkeys and birds in the trees.
      Lunch in the park. Bring a picnic (sandwiches, fruit, cookies, water, box lunch from your hotel). There are picnic tables around Tikal.
      Bring flashlights to run around the dark passageways in some of the palaces, especially the Palacio de las Murcielagos ( “Bat Palace"). And, if you're staying in the hotels inside the park, electricity isn't available at night.
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