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Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Tel Aviv
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Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

thanks for all the info we have managed to gather on this forum so far.

We are coming for 12 days August 20th.

We have a private car with a driver.

We are thinking to go to these places - pls. comment:

Arrive GC and go directly to Antigua for 2 nights.

Travel on Thursday to the market in Chichi and head to Casa Del Mundo hotel on Lago Atatilian for 2 nights.

Travel to Xelaju

Travel to Huehuetenango

coban – Semuc Champey

Lago de Izabel – Livingston area

El Peten\Tikal area

From there cross the border to Belize.

Is this possible?

Is it too hectic?

Thanks in advance

The Dalles, Oregon
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1. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Sorry to say, that's insane unless your main travel priority in Guatemala is sitting on your backsides in someone's car. The transitions, even with a private driver, will sometimes take a full day. You have so many places listed you would only have 1 or 2 nights in each place. Since it takes 2 nights to = 1 day to explore and enjoy, even if you stay 2 nights at each place you are effectively moving every other day and exploring and enjoying every other day - really bad trip math in my opinion. Many folks feel they want to cram in as much of the country as they can in the time they have, but with an itinerary like that you are actually diluting your experience, not enhancing it. In general I figure 3 nights to a spot is a good target; sometimes I stay just 1 transition night somewhere, then balance it with longer somewhere else.

By 12 days do you mean 12 nights, or 11 nights? Let us know and we'll be better able to suggest something that will work better.

Tel Aviv
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2. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Thanks for your reply

Any advise will be appreciated.

I believe we will not go to Xelaju...

Our tour has 12 night.

We wish to end with 4 days relaxation in Belize but this may change... According to the weather.

The Dalles, Oregon
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3. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

That means you have 11 full days, so part of what you need to decide is how many of those days you are willing to spend sitting in the car. For example, I don't think you can reach Semuc Champey in a long day in the car unless you travel after dark which I would not recommend; you might be able to reach Coban or it might be better to stay in Antigua overnight and make the trip clear to Semuc in the morning. If you stay 2 nights at Semuc, then spend a whole day cutting across to the Lake Izabal area, your visit to Semuc cost you 3 full days of your 11 but you only had 1 day to enjoy it. That's what I mean by 'trip math' - doesn't make sense to spend so much time in the car to me. It's your trip, though so if you want to push from place to place to place and then relax in Belize, you have a right to do so.

If it was my trip I'd spend 3 days in Antigua, 3-4 on Lake Atitlán, choose between Coban/Semuc Champey and Lake Izabel/Livingston for 2-3 nights, and spend the rest in Petén for Tikal (and Yaxhá, maybe - another awesome Maya site in the same area) before heading into Belize. Have a great trip, whatever you decide!

Bethesda, MD
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4. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

This is way too much to do in 11 or 12 days. I'd drop Xela and Huehue, and focus on Antigua, the Lake, and Tikal, and you'll get quite a bit out of 11/12 days. I'd spend at least one more day at Lake Atitlan -- CDM is very isolated, with very little to do in Jaibalito, so you really just have daylight hours to do things around the lake. There are two main routes to Tikal. Semuc is on one, and Rio Dulce is on the other. Choose one for a stop (two nights) on your way to Tikal.

Tel Aviv
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5. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Thanks!

following some of your ideas- how does this sound:

Arrive GC and go directly to Antigua for 2 nights.

Travel on Thursday to the market in Chichi and head to Casa Del Mundo hotel on Lago Atatilian for 3 nights

Travel to – Semuc Champey ( one full day nature) stay for 2 nights

Lago de Izabel – Livingston area- 3 nights

El Peten\Tikal area- 2 nights

From there cross the border to Belize.

How is this plan?

Is this tour math more logical?

From what we read some of the roads are amazingly beutiful...

Can u give me driving time estimation from one point to the other?

I have based my calculation on bus time travel though we r with a car.

Thanks again for all comments.

The Dalles, Oregon
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6. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Like Craig and I both said, I'd choose between Semuc and Izabal. By trying to do both you are subjecting yourselves to waaaay more time on the road. I think it's faster to go from the lake to Antigua or GC and then to Semuc from there; not really feasible or pleasant in 1 day. There's a back way but the roads can be very bad during the rainy season and I think it would take more than a day. The trip between Semuc and Izabal is another really long travel day.

Do as you wish! You asked for our advice and whether you follow it or not is your call. ¡Buena suerte!

Bethesda, MD
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7. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Your second draft is much better. Here's where I'd be concerned:

Getting from CDM to Semuc in one day is a challenge, especially since you'd really want to arrive while there's still some daylight. First you have to get the lancha to Pana. Then, depending on traffic, it's about three hours to GC, another five to Coban, and two to Semuc. And times change if the weather is bad. The road from Semuc to El Estor and on to RD is supposed to be beautiful, but is also poor and can take seven hours. Or you could go around by the Atlantic highway, but that seems like a lot of backtracking.That's why I suggested choosing one or the other.

Tel Aviv
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8. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

thank you VERY much for your suggestions and comments. Indeed they are very helpful.!

Do you know if it is possible to higher a car from Cuban to Semuc for 1 day tour?

Bethesda, MD
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9. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

That's how I did it when I went to Semuc. I was staying in Coban and my hotel arranged for me to be part of a one-day excursion. I'm sure most hotels in Coban could help you with that.

Tel Aviv
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10. Re: Itinerary in Guatemala- any comments r welcome with a smile

Thanks very much