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How far out to reserve hotels

Madison, Wisconsin
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How far out to reserve hotels

We're planning a March 2014 trip to Guatemala (not over Semana Santa, which I believe is in April in 2014). How far out should we book our hotels?

Lake Atitlan
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for Lake Atitlan
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1. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

Semana Santa actually starts with Ash Wednesday (40 days or so before Easter). It is high season during that entire time. It gradually builds from the start, but every hotel room is booked the last two weeks of the Good Friday/Easter time. So it depends on where you are in that time frame. I would recommend at least putting in a "request" before to long.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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2. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

It also depends on whether you have your heart set on a particular place. When that's the case with me, I book a year out if I know my dates. If you don't really care much then you could wait longer, knowing that something would turn up, it just wouldn't necessarily be the coolest or best value place. Happy planning!

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

Thanks, that's very helpful. I won't wait too long, then.

Panajachel...
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4. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

March will be a great time to come down next year as it is not even near Semana Santa week which is like the 18th April! BUT, March is high season, but it is certainly worth investigating where you want to stay. I presume you are talking about Antigua, but anywhere else is less busy.

I would also recommend you think about a rental as an alternative. It is often a cheaper option and makes you feel more at home and independent.

I don't think you need to think about booking until about 6 months before. A lot of places (except the big hotels) won't really be thinking that far ahead, except for the week of Semana Santa, and again that is really only Antigua that gets booked up way in advance for Semana Santa.

I reckon you have plenty of time to do lots of interesting research and not worry about making a booking until Sept, as most people are looking at July/Aug right now and Nov/Dec as they are the next high seasons here!

BC
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5. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

I was in Guatemala in February and March this year, flying home just before Good Friday after a week in Mexico.

I booked most things in October and early November, and really felt I was booking early, but wanted to have my long trip all arranged by the end of November.

There were lots of empty rooms at all the places I stayed. Flores was particularly quiet and empty. I visited Xela, Panajachel, Santiago Atitlan, Jaibalito, Antigua, Guatemala City, Coban, Flores, and Tikal. From my experience, Panajachel is the only place to think about booking earlier on, especially if you have one particular place in mind.

6. Re: How far out to reserve hotels

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