Guatemala city vs Antigua

Old Dec 26th, 2020, 02:14 PM
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Guatemala city vs Antigua

I would like to hopefully go to Guatemala sometime in 2021. For the people that have been to Guatemala I would like to know if you had to do 3 days for one city and 2 days for another city what would you recommend with Antigua and Guatemala city. The reason I am asking is because I might have to do this with one of these cities. From my research it seems like Antigua is a very small city, would you recommend doing Antigua 2 days based on its size. I would have to do one of these 2 cities for 2 days so that I can do a day tour of Tikal.
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Old Dec 26th, 2020, 05:36 PM
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It's been some time since I've visited Guatemala. Obviously, Guatemala City and Antigua are nothing at all alike. Guatemala City is bustling and gritty and lacks lots of the colonial architecture of Mexico's bigger cities, if that's a worthwhile reference. I rather liked it, but for a short trip, 2 days, or even 1 is probably enough for many, as most visitors to Guatemala travel further afield once in country. Indeed Antigua is smaller, but quite charming. And touristy too, which is OK. Wife and I were there twice for 2 weeks at a time, but we were primarily interested in studying Spanish. I might suggest 2 nights/one day upon arrival in Guatemala City. Then decide if you love it or hate it. If the former, you can adjust your itinerary and schedule another day before leaving, provided you're exiting from GUA. By then you'd have spent time in Antigua too, and maybe you'll decide you want more time there instead of Guate.

Last edited by baldone; Dec 26th, 2020 at 05:39 PM.
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Old Dec 26th, 2020, 06:41 PM
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How many nights do you have in all? For a first visit I'd avoid GC altogether but for the airport unless you are heavily into large cities. A day trip to Tikal sounds awful - very early start, lots of waiting and transport, a bit of Tikal during the heat of the day, reverse. I'd stay at least a night in Flores or better yet in the park at Tikal so you can enjoy the jungle and Maya site during the cooler evening and early morning hours when wildlife is active and you practically have the place to yourself. Lots of add'l options - you could easily fill a month if you have more time.My photos with blog links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails!

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Old Dec 27th, 2020, 12:25 PM
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Hi yanksrule

I’ve been to Guatemala City a few times and Antigua once. I like Guatemala City for its big city charms but most visitors prefer not to stick around & head straight for Antigua or Lake Atitlán. Antigua is fun, attractive, colonial and has plenty of tour options. I went to the volcano Pacaya, did a walking tour of Antigua and signed up for a cooking class there last minute. Had 4 nights in Antigua and did not find it too long. In fact 4 nights Antigua—2 nights Guatemala City was how I split my first time to Guatemala but I had a mission to see the Museo Popol Vuh in GC; conventional wisdom more seems to be to split the days instead with Lake Atitlán (never been so can’t speak to that option). Tikal is far—can’t imagine doing just a day there from GC. I’d met more people going to Tikal when travelling in Belize than when in southern Guatemala.

Best wishes,

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