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-   -   Advice on Guatemala (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/advice-on-guatemala-868903/)

danlotec Dec 6th, 2010 07:34 PM

Advice on Guatemala
 
My wife and I are looking to get away in late January for 7-10 days and we are thinking about Guatemala. We have both been to Costa Rica and are pretty adventurous. We are both 40 and in good shape. We would like to do some hiking, sight seeing and a few days on the beach or by a pool would be good too. We aren't opposed to renting a car - I've done that in Costa Rica and had no issues. We don't want to spend a ton of money but don't want to stay in hostels either. If anyone can recommend a 10 day trip with 3 or 4 stops we would appreciate it. We are from Chicago and we are wondering the best way to get there as well. What would be the best 10 days?

Jeff_Costa_Rica Dec 6th, 2010 10:37 PM

A good guidebook would give you some ideas if you're at the planning stage and truly don't know how you'd like to spend your time.

Guatemala is not known for its beaches. Beach tourism and "lay by the pool" tourism are not well developed at all. If those things are important to you, you should choose another destination.

Most first-time visitors take in colonial Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and a day at the market in Chichicastenango. The ruins at Tikal are about 10 hours overland from Guatemala City or an hour-or-so flight.

American, Delta, Continental, TACA, and Spirit Air fly to Guatemala City. From Chicago, you'd have to connect through their hubs.

qwovadis Dec 7th, 2010 05:33 AM

www.travel.state.gov Guatemala

for a heads up not wise to rent a car...

do something like

www.quintadelasflores.com

www.jaguartikal.com

www.lacasadelmundo.com

my top 3 places

Per Jeff Guate not too beachy head up to Placencia

www.cozycorner-belize.com for that

www.aa.com www.spiritair.com my top 2 out of Chi Town to GUA

Camino Real GC for hotel/pool luxury experience

but lots of $$$ www.spg.com 7000 points/per nite

FREE if you get their AMEX card have done that B4

Have fun,

hopefulist Dec 7th, 2010 06:50 AM

I'd do as Jeff suggests - fly into Guatemala City, head to Antigua, see the lake, maybe with a stop at Chichi between if it's a market day, maybe fly GC to Flores to GC for an overnight in the park at Tikal. The order would depend on your flight dates and times. Do go for 10 instead of 7 if you can and do get a guidebook; I like the Rough Guide and the Moon Handbook. You can see my photos with blog and travelogue links here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Good luck!

baldone Dec 7th, 2010 08:17 PM

Agree with all of the above. That said, Guatemala is a fascinating & beautiful country, as are the people. I would say it is not for the typical Fodorite. It is not Costa Rica. It's not far removed from years of a brutal civil war, and in many ways is still recovering. But if you go, you will not be disappointed. Another book well worth reading is "A beauty that hurts: Life and death in Guatemala" by George Lovell, if you can find it. Look forward to your trip report.

baldone Dec 7th, 2010 08:20 PM

PS. Try Marina for some good advice on Guate: http://travelexperta.com/
She lives in Antigua, and she helped us with a trip to CR.


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