Guatemala 10-night itinerary
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jul 8, 2012 1:56 PM Last Post By: sailornyanko
Jun 26, 2012 9:11 PM
Guatemala 10-night itineraryHello
Having never been to Central America, I'm very seriously considering spending ten nights later this year in Guatemala. (Alternatively, I'm also considering Costa Rica as an alternative.) I realise that's not much time, but I'm hoping I would still be able to see a few different places, culminating with the ruins of Tikal. Based on a flight I'm thinking of buying, I've scratched out the following:
29-Nov: arrive at 2200 in Guatemala City, and hopefully arrange for airport pickup to take me to Antigua
30-Nov: sightseeing in Antigua
01-Dec: sightseeing in Antigua, take overnight bus to Panajachel, Lago de Atitlan
02-Dec: sightseeing around Lago de Atitlan, night in Panajachel
03-Dec: sightseeing around Lago de Atitlan, night in Panajachel
04-Dec: sightseeing around Lago de Atitlan, night in Panajachel
05-Dec: sightseeing around Lago de Atitlan, take overnight bus to Flores
06-Dec: sightseeing in Tikal, night in Flores
07-Dec: sightseeing in Tikal, night in Flores
08-Dec: fly to Guatemala City
09-Dec: fly home
I'm very eager for whatever feedback you could provide. The above can certainly be tweaked - remove a day here and add it there. I'm interested in culture, taking photos, walking around, and finding some time there to relax a bit. Seeing Tikal would definitely be the highlight.
It seems, based on the distances, that overnight bus is the preferred means of transit? Are there any domestic flights available, or is it only between Flores and GC?
I really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!
Jun 26, 2012 10:53 PM
1The Antigua to Panajachel trip is only 2 and a half hours so you won't find an overnight bus on that route. The overnighters are popular for the GC to Flores route, though. the flight back to GC is a good way to save time on buses if you can swing the extra cost. I'd consider staying at least 1 night in the park at Tikal, maybe your 1st night, then stay in Flores the 2nd night to be closer to the airport. Roxy Ortiz is an awesome guide. Loads of photos and ideas below. Happy planning!
Jun 27, 2012 5:37 PM
2Completely agree with hopefulist - better spend 1 night in the park so you can see Tikal in the afternoon and early in the morning without traveling back and forth.
And what do you think about spending just 1 night in Pana and the other nights in different towns around the lake (Santiago/ San Pedro/Santa Cruz/San Marcos)?
Jun 27, 2012 5:55 PM
Jun 28, 2012 7:56 PM
Jul 8, 2012 1:56 PM
5Are you interested in doing the Pacaya volcano trip? It will take away 6 hours but it's SOOOOO worth it if you are physically healthy enough. I'd probably choose to stay one more night in Antigua to do Pacaya and then head off to Panajachel at 6 or 7 am the next morning. There is a chicken bus from Antigua to Pana every morning at around 7 am for only 35Q, the road is safe highway and not dusty dirt road and you will arrive at Pana at 10:30 am. Shuttles cost about 80Q and arrive 30 minutes sooner.
I personally didn't stay that long in Lake Atitlan, I wanted to visit other parts of the country much more, but the Chichicastenango market tour is good if you want to buy a Maya Huipil. There are shuttles that can take you to Coban from Pana and from there that's another 4 to 5 hour bus. The more expensive but faster alternative is to take the 3 hour bus trip back to Guatemala City and take a 30 minute flight to Flores, but airplane tickets sell out fast so book in advance. I didn't stay long in the other Atitlan lake villages but they seem much more quiet and laidback than noisy & boisterous Pana.
With so little time you won't have much time to enjoy much else of the country unless you'd like to take a few day trips from Coban to Semuc Champey or visit the quetzal national park. Iximche is only 2 hours away from Panajachel, very enjoyable pyramids without foreign tourists everywhere.
Have a great trip.
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