My husband and I (in our early 60's) recently returned from an 11-day (9 days on the ground) trip to Guatemala and Copán, Honduras.
I will start this report with an overview of what we did and add to it as I have time. If anyone has specific questions about the places we visited (Copán in Honduras and Quiriguá and Puerto Barrios/Livingston in Guatemala, plus overnights in G City at arrival and departure) before I get to more detailed descriptions, please feel free to ask.
Our reason for traveling there at this (hot!) time of year was to connect for part of the time that our younger son (age 21) was doing research for his senior thesis. The main focus of his study is Quiriguá, a Mayan site in Guatemala, and he also wanted to visit Copán which was closely connected historically and artistically to Quiriguá.
We had seen Quiriguá on a family trip in 2009, and knew that it is a fairly small --though important-World Heritage site without much in the immediate area other than the huge Del Monte banana plantation that surrounds the archeological site. Our son originally estimated that he needed to spend 4 to 5 days in Quiriguá which I thought was going to be too long. We decided to set aside 3 days there with the thought that my husband and I could take a day trip to Puerto Barrios/Livingston before we all headed to Copán. Then our son could return to Quiriguá if he thought he needed more time there. As it turned out, the work at Quiriguá site took only two full days so the three of us went to Puerto Barrios/Livingston together in between time at the archeological sites.
We used The Rough Guide to Guatemala and the Moon Handbook to Guatemala (both have a chapter on Copán, too) and while in Copán also used the Rough Guide to Honduras which was in the library at our B & B.
Last year I had bought Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico by Ronald Wright at a library sale for our son. He brought this book with him on the trip. I borrowed it to read about the sites the author visited in Guatemala and my husband then took over the book from both of us. It is well written and interesting, and I would recommend it.
We also dipped into various books about the Maya at the Copán B & B. For anyone looking for good general information on the Maya these would not be needed--the guide books mentioned have good sections.
We agonized about whether to rent a car. We had done this on an earlier trip to Guatemala and were not too excited about repeating the experience. (See my TR for that trip for more discussion of how it worked out.) My husband was also convinced we would have trouble trying to cross the border into Honduras with a rental car. Finally we decided to do the trip with public transportation and/or shuttles. This turned out pretty well and was less stressful than driving.
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