Travel Help and advice
Replies: 50 - Last Post: Oct 23, 2012 7:01 AM Last Post By: Greggo
Oct 18, 2012 11:07 PM
Oct 19, 2012 3:20 AM
I agree completely with the eternally optimistic Stacey above.
Ok, first of all where do you fly in and out of? Maybe you already said this.
Second, If you have 21 days, please don't forget that your first and last days do not count because the entire time will be either getting somewhere or getting ready to leave from somewhere. This in effect leaves you with 19 days.
Third, 3 nights per place is recommended because travel between places is more than hopping on a slow school bus with a toothbrush in your mouth. It includes getting a good night's sleep, eating, repacking and making travel arrangements.
Forth, Now you can do the math. Divide the 19 days by three and what do you have? Ok, 6.3 days. So you can stay in about 6 different places and still have a reasonably good chance of enjoying each place, doing day trips from your hotels and maybe even meeting people who might be worth joining for a serendipitous day trip. Wow, What a concept!
Finally, I wouldn't overplan your itinerary. Just use a rough outline of the 6 areas you would like to spend time around. Trips are always booked the night before or even the day of the trip. Hotels are always available as walk ups if you are a little flexible. Think about how you will travel between places be it a bus, a boat, a taxi or a plane. Try to remember that things never go as planned but that is what makes it fun!
Have a good Trip! Greg
PS, Oh yes, Most important of all! Travel Light! There are lots of threads on this forum where you can learn how to accomplish this.
Oct 19, 2012 4:07 AM
32Thanks for chiming in, Greg - you inspire me to be more spontaneous. I love the research part and generally book in advance but frequently stay a week or 2 or 3 in a spot and have lots of opportunities to build relationships and venture out on those serendipitous day trips or special dinners with locals once I land in CA. And your 'eternally optimistic' comment is a little ironic but welcomed - I'm sitting bedside with my husband who just had cancer surgery.
Oct 19, 2012 8:26 AM
Oct 19, 2012 2:11 PM
Oct 19, 2012 8:27 PM
Oct 20, 2012 6:31 AM
Oct 20, 2012 12:38 PM
37Q1. Does the below itinerary now look manageable?
Q2. Since we are no longer doing Rio Dulce, we don't have a good jungle canal tour by boat... Any good suggestions for this?
Fly into Guatemala City
Bus to Antigua
Antigua for 4 nights:
--Cultural walking tour
Lake Atitlan for 4 nights:
--Volcan Indian Nose
--Volcan San Pedro
Tikal for 3 nights:
--Maya Ruins at Sunset
--Maya Ruins at Sunrise
Belize for 5 nights:
--Monkey River Tour
--Snorkeling/Sailing Day Trip
--Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve
Mexico for 4 nights:
Fly out of Cancun
Oct 20, 2012 4:22 PM
38Wow - that's WAY better!! The Rio Dulce boat trip is beautiful but I wouldn't call it jungly, not like Monkey River is.
The only problem I see is that you probably have too much on your Belize list for 4 days since you can't really do all those things from the same base. It's too bad to miss out on Caulker which has quicker access to snorkeling; snorkeling from Placencia will be spendy and a full day trip with half of it coming and going the 10-15 miles out in the ocean. Can't do it all, though! You could snorkel reef and cenotes in Mexico in addition or instead of snorkeling in Belize. If you want more days in Belize I think you could pare Antigua to 3 nights and Tikal to 2.
Sounds like a great trip! My recommendations for lodging, guides, tours, etc. are in my blog and travelogue. I've done all those things at least once in the last few years except zip lining (I prefer hiking and sky bridges because I see more) and I have yet to hike volcan San Pedro. Let me know if there's more I can do to help. Happy trails!
Oct 20, 2012 5:42 PM
Oct 21, 2012 1:21 PM
40The Rio Dulce boat trip is beautiful but I wouldn't call it jungly, not like Monkey River is.
I thought the Monkey River Tour was predominantly hiking, so I'm glad to hear this is not so and can count as our boating tour.
The only problem I see is that you probably have too much on your Belize list for 4 days since you can't really do all those things from the same base.
I was actually wondering whether or not our plans here would allow us to stay at one place the whole time; thanks for clearing this up.
If you want more days in Belize I think you could pare Antigua to 3 nights and Tikal to 2.
Good idea! This will give us two more nights in Belize (a total of 7). Where would you suggest we stay to ensure we can do the ATM Cave, The Monkey River and Cockscomb Wildlife Nature Reserve Tours, along with a day trip snorkeling and sailing somewhere, anywhere?
Thanks again for all your help. I'd hate to think how this trip would have gone had we not had your advice.
And thanks to you, too, eddystonelightkeep - the more advice and opinions the better!
Oct 21, 2012 1:52 PM
41I think you could do everything but the ATM cave from either Hopkins or Placencia. Maybe you could do the ATM from Hopkins but I think it would be worth a stay in the San Ignacio area for at least a night; you could get to Hopkins the night after the ATM tour with a private driver, I think. Good snorkeling will be an hour or more by boat from either. The Monkey River trip will be more boat than hiking from either Placencia or (esp) from Hopkins.
If you consider your previous hiking sufficient, you could consider skipping Cockscomb (not near the wildlife you'll see around Tikal imo) and do your snorkeling from Caulker (the reef is just minutes away) and then stop in northern Belize for a trip up the New River to Lamanai - very cool. You can find a photo set for that in the 2009 Belize collection below. Happy trails!
Oct 21, 2012 3:23 PM
Oct 21, 2012 3:37 PM
43Caye Caulker is one of the northern cayes (islands) which are closer to the reef than mainland spots like Hopkins and Placencia. If you snorkel from H or P it would not be to CC.
Alternately, you could consider 2 nights in SI area for the ATM tour, then head to CC for 3 nights for an awesome snorkeling/sailing day with Raggamuffin, then head to Orange Walk for the Lamanai boat trip (instead of the Monkey River trip). You could actually leave from Caulker for the Lamanai trip, giving you an extra day in SI or CC or ?? Happy planning!
Oct 21, 2012 7:44 PM
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