Located in the very north of the country, Tikal National Park is 350 miles (564 km) from the old colonial city of Antigua, and just over an hour from Flores—the nearest transport hub. Visiting Tikal can require a little planning, but it will pay off tenfold when you capture your first glimpse of the historic temples rising from the jungle.
There are several ways to get from Tikal National Park to Antigua, including flying to Guatemala City and then heading to Antigua from there, and taking an organized tour, private transfer, or shuttle bus. Whilst you can stay in the park itself, the majority of people stay on Flores and visit Tikal on a day trip. Unless you are on a tour or taking a private transfer, you will have to go to Flores or the airport before you can begin your journey south to Antigua.
If the 11 hour minimum driving time is too long then you might want to consider breaking up the journey with a night or two in Rio Dulce.
By Private or Group Tour
Duration: varies. Minimum 3 days
Whether you’re pushed for time, trying to maximize your Guatemalan experience, or simply interested in finding out more about this fascinating country, joining a tour takes the stress out of getting from A to B, so you can focus on making the most of your visit without worrying about anything else.
An organized tour will also include an English speaking guide, all your transfers, and plenty of interesting inclusions like a cocoa tour in Antigua or a candle-lit cave tubing trip in Semuc Champey.
Duration: <1hr + travel time from Tikal to Flores and Guatemala City to Antigua (approx. 6+ hrs)
Flying is definitely one of the easiest ways to get from Tikal to Guatemala City, even if it does involve taking a taxi, a shuttle, or a bus from Tikal to Flores airport, and from Guatemala City to Antigua.
You can find out more about how to get from the airport to Antigua here.
There are over six daily flights connecting Flores to Guatemala City, and the flight time is less than an hour. I would factor in an hour and a half minimum to get from Tikal to the airport and at least 1.5-3 hours to get from Guatemala City to Antigua.
Some tours also include flights from Tikal to Guatemala City.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 11+ hrs (traffic dependent)
If flying seems like a bit of a hassle with transfers and time spent waiting around at the airport, you might want to consider taking a private car from Tikal all the way to Antigua. Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Flores or from Tikal National Park and drop you at your door in Antigua, but, with breaks, your journey will take at least 11 hours, if not closer to 12.
Given the distance and time spent driving, you will be better off taking a private car with a driver or organizing a transfer rather than trying to take a taxi or use a ride-sharing app. It will be much safer, more comfortable, and considerably less stressful.
By Shared Shuttle
Duration: 12+ hrs (traffic dependent)
Alternatively, you can take the tourist shuttle from Flores all the way to Antigua. You will need to find your own way from Tikal to Flores, where you will meet your bus and then hit the road. You can choose between overnight and day bus, with several different bus classes to choose from.
The long-distance big buses are much more comfortable than the smaller minibusses, with AC, a toilet, WiFi, and charging ports. Some even have fully reclinable seats so you can get a good night's sleep and wake up in Antigua feeling refreshed and ready to explore the beautiful colonial city.