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“Excellent Tikal Tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of PACZ Tours

PACZ Tours
30 Burns Ave, San Ignacio, Belize
00501.824.0536
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New Orleans
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent Tikal Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

We chose this tour based solely on TripAdvisor reviews and PACZ Tours did not disappoint us. Our tour guide Hugo explained the border crossing procedures thoroughly (both in and out of Belize). It only took 20 minutes to leave Belize and 25 minutes to re-enter later that afternoon. Hugo is very knowledgable about Tikal and Guatemala. He speaks English and Spanish fluently, which was great for the two Spaniards in our group. Remember to wear comfortable shoes because you'll do a lot of walking and some climbing at the ruins. Bring snacks and bottled water. It was almost 3PM before we made it to the restaurant for lunch. Lunch is included in the price of the tour. We had a great time and highly recommend PACZ Tours.

Visited November 2013
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Calgary
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Tikal, Guatemala using PACZ Tours”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

This is difficult to assess this activity, as it is more about the tour operator, than the attraction. However I will break this assessment into two ratings.

PACZ Tours Review
The guys at PACZ Tours were easy to deal with via email before I arrived in Western Belize. The responded the next day, and I decided to book the Tikal tour with them. They stated the total cost of $145 US ($290 BZ) and no hidden charges. The tour went as expected with a shuttle pickup at my hotel and then off to the Guatemala border. Everyone gets out of the shuttle and walk through to be processed at the border. You must give your passport to the PACZ tour guide, in this case it was Juice. Juice takes care of everything for you, including the obtaining the entry stamp into Guatemala. Juice was very good at explaining what to do, and when to do it, you can tell he knows his stuff quite as you will experience for yourself when you get to Tikal. Going through the border was probably the slowest part of the trip. Note that you will switch shuttles once you cross the border and proceed through a decontamination spray. This is important, ensure your windows are closed and the A/C and fan are turned off not to pull in vapours/fumes from the decontamination spray into the cabin of the vehicle. After this part, it is a matter of sitting back and enjoy the ride... everything else you will experience (all positive) is best left for you to experience for yourself when you get there. I wouldn't recommend gringos to do Tikal on your own, be safe and travel with a tour operator.

PACZ Tours Rating: Very Good


Tikal Guatemala Review
Tikal is a must do for any traveler. I read many reviews and travel guides, and Tikal is ranked at the top for being the most magnificent of the Mayan ruins. To do a day trip in Guatemala and see the culture, landscape, nature, and a strong military presence was an experience I will never forget. Tikal itself was incredible, and I highly recommend everyone to experience this Mayan ruin site.

Tikal Guatemala Rating: Excellent

Visited November 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Great Group---Day Trip to Tikal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

My boyfriend and I booked a day trip to Tikal, Guatemala with Pacz Tours before our arrival to Belize. To make a reservation with Pacz was very easy--al was done via email and Pacz was always very quick to respond.

We were staying at Black Rock Lodge and Pacz was very prompt in picking us up--it's good they're familiar with the road to Black Rock Lodge.

Our tour guide was Hugo aka "juice" and he was GREAT! On our day trip, there was another couple. We enjoyed the tour group was small (perhaps it was timing since it was just at the end of rainy season). Pacz will drive you to the Belize/Guatemala border, you must walk through Belize immigration and then get into a different car on the Guatemala border. Hugo then took our passports to the Guatemala border control to be checked/stamped. From there it was about a 2-2.5 hour drive to Tikal National Park. Along the way we stopped at the side of the road near some lake to see the women washing clothes.

Hugo knew EVERYTHING about the Tikal temples as well as the natural landscape. He would show us different plants that grew in the area--very interesting. The trip is tiring but worth it. We must have walked ~5miles at the park alone with the end of the tour a walk up A LOT of stairs to the top of temple 4 but the view is well worth it (DO IT!).

On the way back to Belize, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch (which is included in the tour price) which is next to a souvenir shop. The food was okay, but we were very hungry as it was about 2:00PM. Be sure to eat breakfast or bring snacks.

Overall, Pacz tours was very professional, convenient, and the service was great! I would definitely recommend Pacz tours for a day trip to Tikal. I spoke with others that did not use Pacz and some other operators were unorganized. I always felt like I was in good hands with Pacz tours.

Visited November 2013
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Omaha, NE
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Excellent Time in Tikal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

We chose PACZ Tours for our trip to Tikal based on other TripAdvisor reviews. Although we did not book a private tour, it was low season when we went and it ended up being just my husband and I. Our guide was very informative and helpful during the border crossing. While we were in Tikal he walked us around telling us many stories. He was also always on the lookout for wildlife. We saw howler monkeys (although they were being really quiet), a fox, a coatimundi looking in the trash for lunch, and many types of birds.

Tikal is a very large area and it was nice having someone who knows the way to show us around. After we were done we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch and a nearby shop where we got some jade bracelets for gifts.

Visited October 2013
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Durham, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Extraordinary overnight trip of a lifetime.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

It's hard to write a review for what ended up being a life-changing experience.

I'd been to Actun Tunichil Muknal before with Francisco (aka Pancho), and it was such an extraordinary experience that I came back to Belize specifically for the cave, to see it again...and again...and again. The last time I went, I signed up for the special overnight tour. I was expecting to go into the cave at night, which would be magical all on its own; but the trip that PACZ planned far, far exceeded my expectations (so much so that I'm coming back AGAIN next spring to re-visit all the places I saw on the overnight tour).

First, it must be said that Francisco is the consummate guide. He is kind, patient, good-humored, and has years upon years of experience. After a shopping trip for camping goodies, and the walk to "Hotel Xibalba"--the clearing just uphill from the cave--we set out, not to enter the cave through its mouth as usual, but hiking far above a sinkhole and rappelling down into it. I've never rappelled before. I'm also afraid of heights. But Pancho has handled all types in his career--including shaky neophytes--and so actually, I felt perfectly safe.

The cave itself is a miraculous experience, so much so that I'm writing an entire novel about it, so that'll be some 90,000 words down the line. But what I want to focus on here is what made the overnight trip so special. All of our needs were seen to: tent, food, safety, libations, warmth from a fire. I slept much more soundly than I expected to. In the morning, after breakfast, Pancho led us on a hike through the jungle. The area around Actun Tunichil Muknal is full of Maya temples and other habitations, now overgrown; it was like being on another planet, or somehow outside of time. We went to Actun Nak Beh, a very different cave from ATM, in that it was dry, with narrow labyrinthine passages, like a giant natural playground. We crossed the river and went to Actun Uayazba Kab, which commanded a kingly view of the jungle below, and is pocked with caves that are filled with human markings, most especially handprints. All throughout, Pancho was patient, helpful, and eager to share his encyclopedic knowledge of everything around us, whether it be native birds, Maya custom, or archaeological research.

When we packed up and left, my head was spinning. I felt euphoric; it was so much to take in. If you have the means--or heck, even if you don't, because you're in Belize and you only live once--inquire with PACZ about their overnight tours, and ask for Pancho. I recommend him, and PACZ, with nothing but the highest regard.

Visited February 2013
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