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Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

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Atlanta, GA
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Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

I'm leaving for Guatemala on Saturday -- it's a little bit last minute, I know. I still have a lot left to plan (OK, everything) and was wondering if someone could be kind enough to take a peek at my itinerary.

I wanted to go to Copan (loved Tikal 2 yrs ago!) but wondering if it will be worth the time in a van. I know this is a lot, but is it unreasonable?

Sat 12/1 - GUA to Antigua

Sun 12/2 - Leave for overnight to Copan & Quirigua (early)

Mon 12/3 - Return from Copan (late)

Tues 12/4 - Antigua (walking tour, etc.)

Weds 12/5 - Antigua

Thurs 12/6 - Chichi --> San Pedro La Laguna (Atitlan)

Fri 12/7 - San Pedro/Atitlan (visiting a friend)

Sat 12/8 - San Pedro/Atitlan

Sun 12/9 - San Pedro --> GUA (early afternoon flight)

Alternately I could cut out Copan and just do San Pedro --> Chichi overnight --> Antigua. That would be a lot easier for sure, so just trying to figure out a few things --

- Is Copan worth it?

- Could we reasonably get to San Pedro if our flight arrives ~13:00?

- In Antigua, is Quinta de las Flores generally safe to walk to at night? (Taking the usual precautions, no flashy stuff, no staggering intoxication, stay alert, etc.)

Bethesda, MD
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1. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Looks like a good plan; it is do-able. I presume you have a Copan tour in mind? Copan is still on my to-do list, so I can't comment if it's worth it or not.

It's possible to get to San Pedro around dark with a 1:00 landing in GC, but only if you have direct (and probably private) transportation. I always overnight at Casa Cristina in Antigua and head to the lake the next day. Can't comment on Quinta de las Flores.

Atlanta, GA
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2. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Thank you, DC!

I was looking at this tour: turansa.com/paginas/…archeologicalcopan.htm

I know from reading through the forum that Hopefulist recommends Adrenalina and Rainbow -- it kind of looks like Rainbow may do a Copan tour, but I can't find any information on it on their site, and Adrenalina doesn't seem to go there. Was considering using Adrenalina for shuttles based on the recommendation of Hopefulist and others.

Atlanta, GA
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3. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

BTW, my alternate itinerary is a little more relaxed:

Sat 12/1 - GUA to San Pedro/Atitlan (visiting a friend)

Sun 12/2 - San Pedro/Atitlan

Mon 12/3 - San Pedro/Atitlan

Tues 12/4 - San Pedro/Atitlan

Weds 12/5 - San Pedro/Atitlan --> Chichi

Thurs 12/6 - Chichi --> Antigua

Fri 12/7 - Antigua

Sat 12/8 - Antigua

Sun 12/9 - Antigua --> GUA (early afternoon flight)

Any Mayan/archaeological sites worth visiting that are closer than Copan or Tikal?

wix
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4. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

I live in Copan, and would be happy for you to visit. The Mayan ruins are really great. But it is six hours on a bus each way from Antigua.

Unless you are keenly interested in archeology, I recommend Antigua and San Pedro. Both are very fine places to visit. Definitely do the Pacaya volcano hike one morning.

The Dalles, Oregon
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5. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Copán is worth at least 3 or 4 days and would definitely NOT be worth it to me on your time frame. The other places you name are wonderful - why give away those 2 days on the road for only hours in Copán when you could be spending those days doing things you (probably) enjoy much more than sitting in a shuttle van. Would cut costs, too.

You could maybe spend some of that savings on a private shuttle leaving in the morning for the lake and ask for a stop at the Iximché Maya site. It's not huge like Tikal but it's a lovely setting, rarely visited. Historically it's very significant.

I normally overnight at Casa Cristina in Antigua, too, before heading to the lake, but I usually arrive at night. There are some good options close to the airport in GC, too, if you want to overnight there.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't plan to head from San Pedro to GC for an early afternoon flight. It would <<probably>> be ok, but if there's a problem on the road it would be a bummer to miss your flight.

I just booked my next Guatemala trip half an hour ago. :-D

Edited: 28 November 2012, 03:26
Atlanta, GA
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6. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Thanks for the advice!

I do love some archaeology, but I'm not an expert on it or anything. Copan, Palenque, and Calakmul are all on my "someday soon" list. That said, maybe I should save Copan for sometime when I can hang out longer (thanks, wix!).

Maybe I'll go with my second itinerary above, except to stay the first Saturday night in Antigua as you and a few other people (including our friends in San Pedro) have recommended.

To go to Iximché, would I want to take the shuttle to Pana instead of directly to San Pedro, and then take a boat across? If so, do you know how often the boats run? And how long would one plan to spend at Iximché? An hour, maybe? It does look small.

Can you rent a phone for the week, say, from the GUA airport?

The Dalles, Oregon
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7. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

The share shuttles don't stop at Iximché - you'd need to hire a private shuttle for that. It's just about 15 minutes of the Pan American so shuttles heading to anywhere on the lake would go that close. An hour would be plenty, maybe even counting the time heading there from the Pan Am.

The boats head out when they're full enough - lots of boats a day but not on a specific schedule. Be aware that the captains will try to convince you to pay more for a private shuttle saying the next public boat is hours away. Unless you're really in a hurry, just say you'll wait for the public boat. The cost should be 25 quetzales.

You can buy cheap cell phones in Antigua for $20-25 with some minutes included and reload as needed at most pharmacies. Happy trails!

Atlanta, GA
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8. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Thank you for the advice on the boats, the phones, and the private vs. shared shuttles! I think a local phone would be most helpful on this trip.

Our friend in San Pedro says this time of year the wind kicks up over the lake some days, making the small boat trips sometimes not so pleasant (today, for instance). I may do a weather check Sunday AM before deciding whether to go Antigua --> Iximche --> Pana --> boat to San Pedro VS. Antigua --> San Pedro in a van.

Maybe we can swing Iximche as a half-day trip from the lake on a calm day, since I got 2 days back by removing Copan from the itinerary. :-)

The Dalles, Oregon
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9. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

It's true that the lake can get choppy. Mornings are usually better for crossing than afternoons. Have a great trip!

Atlanta, GA
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10. Re: Itinerary for next week - Antigua - Atltlan - Chichi - Copan

Thank you all for your help with my itinerary. I'll report back when I return!