best way to spend 20 days in CA? Perhaps Guatemala y Honduras?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jul 16, 2012 11:29 AM Last Post By: jyfeliz
Jul 10, 2012 5:17 AM
I've researching many posts that have similar time frames (2-3 weeks) but haven't been able to make up my mind with the amount of info.
i want to go to any country but Nica as I've already been, for 20 days at the end of August.
At first I was thinking starting in Cancun then making my way down to Belize or spending it in Guatemala. However, yesterday after researching scuba certifications in Bay Islands I really would like to include this in my trip, it doesn't have to be Honduras but that seems to be the cheapest.
So I was thinking
Flying in to GC
Then checking out Antigua, Coban, Tikal, and the Lake Atitlan and coming down to Honduras sneak Copan if it's not too crazy, scuba diving for 4 days,and then flying out of San Pedro Sula?
Does this seem too packed? What do you recommend- any other country trip ideas sound good too?
thanks so much!
Jul 10, 2012 7:55 AM
1With only 2-3 weeks, I'd usually recommend spending the whole time in just one country. However, two may be possible, you'll just have to prioritize. Guatemala/Belize and Guatemala/Honduras are great combinations, but it may feel rushed if you don't plan carefully.
It seems to me that diving certification is important to you. In Guatemala, I'd try Tikal, Antigua, and Lake Atitlan. Coban is great, but for a first visit I'd recommend the other three over it. Then, you could go to Copan and then make your way to the Bay Islands.
However, it may be more convenient to start in Belize and go down through Guatemala.
Jul 10, 2012 8:46 AM
2Yeah, I would either do your diving on Caye Caulker, Belize and visit Tikal and some of Guatemala or visit Copan and the Bay Islands for your diving. A good rule of thumb for me is 3 days minimum in each place unless it is just a transit spot.. Otherwise you will be leaving as soon as you get checked in. Cancun is only good if you plan to spend time visiting Mexico. Mexico, maybe Palenque and Belize would work too.
Jul 10, 2012 10:30 AM
3I agree about going to one country, in my tentative itinerary, I would only go to Utila in Honduras, while the rest would be mostly spent in Guatemala. Time starts to get lost going from Antigua to San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba to Utila, or maybe I should go to San Pedro Sula from Flores?
The diving certification would be an awesome start or end to my trip but if it gets in the way of most efficiently enjoying a country, it can wait.
Diving in Caye Caulker would make this trip more doable but its almost twice as expensive in Belize.
I guess, my real question is, what country can I enjoy most thoroughly in just 20 days, and doing it/them the most justice.
Jul 12, 2012 9:48 PM
4Ahh, thanks for listing so many other places that seem awesome!
Thanks all.Flights are starting to get full so i have to make up my mind, but I still can't decide.
I've decided to skip Copan, but i'm still trying to see if I can tweak this so i can go to both Tikal and get my diving certificate. Is there really no efficient way to do this. i can do an open jaw flight. if i do go from Guatemala to honduras, would it be easier/faster to go from Tikal to Utila or from Antigua to utila, of course, with their corresponding stops.
Jul 12, 2012 9:51 PM
Jul 13, 2012 2:58 AM
6I think you need to take a good look at a map. Geographical locations will dictate what you can do in 20 days more than the countries. For Example, Tikal is in Guatemala but is way closer to Belize and a easy trip to Caye Cualker but nowhere near Honduras. Keep in mind that the Copan ruins are spectacular and easy to do in a day with a great little town a short walk away.
Jul 14, 2012 7:50 PM
7Yeah, I know, you are very right about the map, haha.
I came up on this based on skipping Copan Ruinas and having an open jaw ticket. Let me know your thoughts, as hardheaded as it seems I'm being, I'm open to criticism =]
Flight arrives in Belize at 11AM take 2:30pm bus to Flores, get hostel at 7pm and rest up =]
Tikal/Flores/ and around the area all day
Tikal to Coban
Coban,Semuc Champey or Lanquin
Coban to Antigua 9AM, afternoon to check out Antigua
Antigua and/or Volcan Pacaya
Lake Atitlan and back to Antigua at 3pm-ish
Antigua to La Ceiba,
06:30amhedman bus and 4pm to Utila
UTILA,28,29,30,31(Scuba OW Certification)
Return back from Utila to La Ceiba to SULA
Flight Back from SULA
I think I can even fit Copan Ruinas for a day or two if I spend less time in Lago Atitlan, or in other places.
Thanks again =]
Jul 15, 2012 1:46 AM
8Although an open jaw makes things a bit more possible, I still think it is way too much. For instance your first day you will do well if you can just get to San Ignacio You have to figure in long hot bus rides, transfers, making connections, eating, finding a room, sleeping and re-packing. This is not to mention the possibility of meeting new people, hanging out, listening to live music, changing plans. It is not about how many things you can fit into 20 days but how much you will really get to appreciate the 4 or 5 that you chose. I only count 19 days. Besides this your first and last days are entirely taken up by travel so they don't even count. This leaves you 17 days. I certainly would not want to spend most of that on buses.
Jul 15, 2012 9:28 AM
9Thanks, Greggo! after more thinking(haha) I've decided to listen to ya'll since you all have more experience making itineraries and traveling in this area. I am going to drop the idea of diving in Utila, and will instead be doing an open jaw trip arriving in Belize and departing from Guatemala City, or viceversa.
I was hesitant in doing this because the dive shops I was finding in Caye Caulker(belize) were around $475 but I found 2 more reasonable around $375.
Where to start?In consideration of what you said about being open minded and serendipitous, I was thinking of starting in Guatemala(straight to Antigua) and just making my way to Tikal and only if time allows heading to ATM or Caye Caulker(if the budget allows as well) and then flying out of Belize.
I hope and think this is better! Thanks for the patience and advice! Let me know your thoughts!
Jul 16, 2012 1:21 AM
Jul 16, 2012 5:30 AM
11Well this is what I had decided more or less yesterday and was actually about to book the flight, but parental are not feeling it since I would be traveling as a solo 21 year woman.
I guess I didnt consider those type of fees regarding Belize.and you are right booking a flight via Antigua is actually cheaper, so I can definitely do that, since open jaw flights are about $400, 8/15 Arrive in GUA at 1pm, take shuttle to Antigua
8/18-8/20 Lake Atitlan
8/21 Fly GUA to Flores, arrive in the AM
8/21- 8/22- Tikal and surrounding areas
8/23-Coban and Semuc Chambe
8/24-Coban and Semuc Chambey area
8/25- Return to Antigua from Coban
8/26 Antigua to La Ceiba,Honduras 4pm ferry to Utila
8/27-8/31-Scuba Diving if time allowed it
9/02 Flight back
*The Coban and/or diving parts of the trip entirely, I'm entirely open to leaving out, if plans change over there,etc.
This was my GUA-BZE Itinerary
Arrive in GUA, take 12pm bus to Antigua and check out the town and decansa
Antigua and Volcan Pacaya wuhoo
Antigua and shuttle to Lake Atitlan at some point
Lake Atitlan or nearby Areas
Lake Atitlan to Coban/Semuc Champey
Coban/semuc champey to Flores/Tikal
Tikal and/or surrounding areas All DAY!
Tikal/Flores to San Ignacio,Belize if possible
ATM, Belize TOUR, only if possible
Other tours or ruins around the area
San Ignicio to Belize City->Get to Caye Caulker and ready for tomorrow
8/28-9/01- Diving in Caye Caulker
9/02-Take 7:30AM water taxi(1hr) to Belize city for 12pm departure
I am at this point where flights are getting full, my loved ones are not really supporting the trip, and time is ticking, so I don't even know.
Jul 16, 2012 11:05 AM
12You plan on traveling almost every single day? What about having fun? Antiqua alone deserves at least 3 days. You can do what you like but this is not something I would ever do. Why don't you just buy your plane tickets and take it from there? You can't possibly know what it will be like until you are doing it.
Jul 16, 2012 11:29 AM
13Thanks for this, nicoleelsal, that means a lot, as it actually stopped me from booking that flight which is now full.
Greggo, I mostly made the day by day itinerary when I was trying to compare the best airport flights for the open jaw ticket. My musts are Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Tikal, everything else is just if I happen to have a chance. Although I'm hoping to be able to fit in the diving,like i mentioned,but if not, I plan on returning in the future.
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