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need help with 2 months Guatemala, Nicaragua and maybe Honduras

need help with 2 months Guatemala, Nicaragua and maybe Honduras

Old Oct 17th, 2015, 12:19 PM
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need help with 2 months Guatemala, Nicaragua and maybe Honduras

Mr. Glover and I had planned to go to Australia and New Zealand for our winter (jan feb) trip this year.
But looks like we'll have to do that in 17 for a number of reasons.

So instead we've decided to go to 2 or 3 countries in Central America we've not yet visited: Guatemala, Nicaragua, and possibly one location in Honduras.

Here's what we're thinking so far: perhaps a few weeks each in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. A few nights in Tikal of course. Perhaps a week or two in some place like Granada or Leon in Nic. Maybe a week birding trip in NIcaragua and then maybe several nights at Pico Bonito Lodge in Honduras.

Have started looking at vrbo places in Antigua, the Lake, and Granada. There appear to be some nice possiblities. Lean toward doing that rather than hotels for longer stays. Definitely need outdoor space for coffee in am and wine in pm. Will probably sign on for some Spanish classes here and there. Also may stop for a few days in Panama coming or going, as we're likely to fly Copa - and most flights go through there. We've been to Panama several times on long trips and really enjoyed it - Costa Rica too. But Guat and Nic will be new for us. . .. . .

Would love to have comments on proposed itin, as well as any suggestions re neighborhoods to choose in these locations. thanks all. . .
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 01:24 PM
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Just returned from Nica yesterday. While we are not retired like you, I can't imagine spending more than a few days in Granada. It is a fairly small town. From persons I spoke with, Leon isn't much better. Antigua, Guatemala is a bigger town and would be worth spending more time. I loved Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, but the towns surrounding it seemed to gear their activity towards tourists. You did not mention Belize. We found that there was much to do in the inland jungle, including Mayan Ruins as spectacular as Tikal, but without the tourists. Don't know much about birding, but the birds and wildlife we saw on the Pacific coast of Nica did not compare to what we saw on a previous trip to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica...
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Old Oct 17th, 2015, 09:25 PM
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A week would be a long time for me in Antigua but we finally had a little home away from home built in San Pedro on Lake Atitlán because we enjoy it so much. I started attended language school there in 2007 and now return a few times a year. Here's the school:

The different towns around the lake are really varied and some of the VRBO or AirBnB-type places are between villages, secluded. Just know that every village has a traditional heart if you get away from the docks and the main roads leading uphill from them so take the guidebook descriptions with a grain of salt.

You might consider a stop in Copán, Honduras, too - some good birding there. My photos with blog, travelogue, and review 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 Oct 18th, 2015, 06:38 AM
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We spent a few days in Grenada several years ago. We really enjoyed it. I could spend several weeks there easily. It's a great jumping off point for near by volcanoes and such. That said, we aren't big city people and prefer small, walkable areas.

We spend our winters in Belize. On the beach, on Ambergris. Not what you're looking for, it doesn't sound like, but, I'd second the suggestion of inland Belize for birding, Mayan sites and caves.
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 05:31 AM
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Paul, No advertising on Fodors.
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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Thanks all for the comments! Maybe we'll consider Belize too. We've never been, having always considered it as more of a diving, beach vacation than we're aiming for. Also we always enjoy practicing our Spanish, which we can't do in Belize. But it would be "convenient" on our thus far proposed itin.

As everything other than the Jan/Feb window is up in the air at the moment, wonder if anyone who has traveled frequently among these destinations has suggestions about how best to order the itin? Guess we would be looking at flying from DC to Guatemala City, then eventually from there to San Pedro Sula (for Pico Bonito lodge) then from SPS to Managua and then back to DC. Could add Belize City in there as well.
Or reverse order.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2015, 04:49 PM
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Hi glover! We've been to Guatamela twice quite a few years back. We really enjoyed Antigua and on our second trip spent a week there. Have you looked into doing a trip to the Rio Dulce? That was enjoyable and quite different. If you are into markets be sure to consider going to Chichicastengo market.
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