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Guatemala in a couple weeks! Honduras or Belize as a side-trip?

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Hi there. We are flying in to Guatemala City on Jan 25th for a 15 day trip. We have a hostel in GC for the first 2-3 days as we explore the city and possibly Antigua.

We travel without many plans; more exciting and fun without a firm itinerary, IMO. The things we for sure want to see:

Ruins (not firm on Tikal...considering Copan, Honduras)

So I have a few questions:

1) TO TIKAL OR NOT TO TIKAL? Initially, seeing Tikal was the reason we chose Guatemala. However, based on my readings, I see SO much to do around the Guatemala/Antigua areas of the country. Is it for sure worth the trip up to see? If so, we'd head to Belize City next. Seems like most of the really pretty areas in Belize are far South? Thoughts?

2) Renting a car in Guatemala City OR busing it everywhere? Thoughts? How easy and safe is it to get around by personal car?

3) Copan, Honduras. Is it easy to cross into Honduras? How is Copan?

4) Hostel or homes for rent in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras. We need to have a kitchen so that I can cook while there! ( Does anyone have suggestions for places to stay with access to a kitchen (reasonably priced and/or discounts please!)?

Basically, we have 15 days to see and do as much as possible. If anyone has suggestions on how to make the most of the trip (while still having it be semi-relaxing), please let me know!


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