basic information about guatemala

May 7th, 2008, 07:05 AM
  #1  
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basic information about guatemala

I will be driving from Austin,Texas to Guatemala the last week of November and the first two weeks of December. I will be entering the country on the Pacific side and leaving on the Caribbean Sea side. I know where and what I want to do in the country, but I have not figured out places to stay or how long. I will be visiting 1) Lake Atitlan, 2) Chichicastanengo, 3) Copan 4) Semuc Champay, 5) Antigua, 6) Tikal, and 7) Rio Dulce Gorge. There are couple of other place I would like to try and see, but not sure if I will have enough time. They are Quetzaltenango, Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua, and Takalik Abaj. I may have planned to much with adding the last three, but the more I read about Guatemala the more places and things I want to do. First am i planning to much to do and should I just do the first seven things on my list and not worry about adding anything else? Are there things on my list that I should drop and add something else? I would also like to ask your help on finding places to stay. All I really care about is if the place is clean, the staff is cool and it is safe. I would be traveling with one other person and would like to keep the prices of rooms to no more then 100 dollars a night. I have been looking on line and have found most places are no more then then about 50 dollars a night, but there might be some cool or interesting place out there to stay at for a little more so I do not paying a little more. I would like to try and stay in places that cost no more then 50 dollars a night or less, but a little more money is ok. Also how long would you stay at each place that i am planning on visiting? One last thing are there any good sites on Guatemala I should check out? Thank you for all your help and information.
matt109 is offline  
May 7th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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I think you will find that you can spend much less than $100 per night and still find some very nice hotels in Guatemala and Honduras(Copan). My favorite place in Guatemala is lake Atitlan where we spend the most time. ChiChi can be done in a day trip from the lake but try to go on market days (Thursday and Sunday). Copan is around 5 hours from Antigua and the roads are good by CA standards. I would only spend a couple days at Copan, the ruins can be seen in one day and the little town of Copan Ruinas is very nice but small. Antigua has many sights to see so may want to spend several days there. While in Antigua, do the hike up Pacaya volcano, an experience not to be missed. Tikal is a wonderful Mayan site, a few days there would be great and spend some time in Flores.
jpan is offline  
May 7th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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I don't think you'll have any trouble finding accommodation in your price range. We spent 11 nights in Guatemala in early December. We had 1 pricy night at the end (Santo Domingo in Antigua - totally worth it for our last night) and that was $116 + tax. But the rest of the time our rooms were under $50 / night.
SusanInToronto is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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My 2 cents worth - I would plan to overnight in ChiChi the night before the market (there are 2 market days - Sunday is larger, I believe). I liked the activity and the atmosphere of the night before versus arriving after the market is in full swing.
wintersp is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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wintersp,
Any suggestions for hotels in that area. It sounds like fun.
ttraveler is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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I'm really glad we chose to stay overnight in Chichicastenango. It was a blast seeing the set up and hanging out on the balcony above the gorgeous produce market in the commercial building. We enjoyed the morning market and church activities and headed out before the day trippers arrived. My photos and travelogues are below if you're interested. Happy trails!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Hopeful,
You helped me so much with my last trip.. and most likely will this time too. Where did you stay in Chichi? Do you remember. I just looked up a few places on trip advisor. Did you get a transfer from where you were staying?
Just planning our trip. We still need to get our flights and the prices seem to be going up. I am hoping to take my 16 year old neice and friends. We will only be there six nights so I am just planning on Antigua and of course the lake. What would you suggest for six nights? I have already been to Tikal so I think we will skip it this time. We are also on a bit of a budget. We are planning on going in August. How is the weather at that time? Thanks in advance.
ttraveler is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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I stayed at Hotel Chuguila (in LP guide) - a mid price colonial spot with a courtyard and a pretty good restaurant. I was interested in the posting above that mentions 'hanging out on the balcony and watching the activities'. Before I read that, I was very happy with my above hotel!

We had a streetfront room very near the office and I remember being awakened by the clop-clopping of horses, or whatever pack animals. VERY early in the am. So be aware.
AND - they have many other options for rooms that aren't next to the sidewalk.
wintersp is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Just checked out your pictures hopefulist and enjoyed them very much. My SIL previously stayed at Hotel Giron and liked it.

If you only have 6 days, maybe 2 in Antigua (maybe the first and the last) 2 at Lake Atitilan and overnight at ChiChi.

All this talk is making me want to go back!
wintersp is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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I don't think I'd overnight at Chichi if I only had 6 nights - too much moving around. You could take in the produce market even if you didn't overnight; it was a highlight of our trip for me. My Guatemala 2007 collection has a travelogue with live links to the places we stayed - loved them all. Happy trails!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Thanks for everyone suggestions.
ttraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 04:28 AM
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Hopeful,
For as many times I have looked at your pictures I had never noticed your travel blog. I can't wait until I get a chance to read it. Are you heading back this year?
ttraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 04:57 AM
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I'm heading back to Copán with a group of educators in tow to study at Ixbalanque, then my husband is flying down and we'll have between 2 and 3 weeks on the Bay Islands. Here's the blog address for that one if you're interested:http://liveandlearninca.blogspot.com/

I'm planning to do a similar trip summer of 2009 but we'll be in Guatemala for the 2 weeks of study, then I'll head to Belize and family will fly down for a few weeks. There are so many countries in Latin America I want to visit but I keep go back over and over to ones I already love!

Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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I try not to repeat countries either but I also have gone back to places I love. Traveling for me isn't about getting a different stamp in my passport but enjoying where I am.. plus everytime I go to someplace I have already been my experience is still very different.
My friends loved Honduras so much that we may go back in Feb. It really is the perfect place to be in a cold winter. I just wish that I could take larger chunks of time but for now a week at a time is really all I can manage.
ttraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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But at least you get to go frequently! I feel so very fortunate to get to travel most summers, but rarely go anyplace fancy in between. Keep us posted!
hopefulist is offline  
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