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Seeking Advice on Itinerary for Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala Trip

Seeking Advice on Itinerary for Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala Trip

Old Jun 28th, 2024, 09:09 AM
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Seeking Advice on Itinerary for Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala Trip

Sure, here's a draft for your forum post

Hello fellow travelers,

My friends and I are planning a 19-day trip to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, and we would love your advice on our itinerary. We are a group of seven males, aged 39-40, looking for a mix of beach relaxation and nature adventures. Our budget is around $2,000 per person for the entire trip (excluding flights).

Here’s our current itinerary:

**Day 1 (Jan 19): Arrival in Cancun, Mexico**
- Arrive in Cancun at noon, settle in, explore briefly or relax.

**Day 2-3 (Jan 20-21): Tulum, Mexico**
- Travel to Tulum (2-hour drive from Cancun).
- Enjoy Tulum's beaches, explore cenotes, visit Tulum ruins, and experience nightlife.

**Day 4-5 (Jan 22-23): Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico**
- Travel from Tulum to Bacalar (approximately 2 hours).
- Spend 2 days enjoying the lagoon, kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming.

**Day 6-8 (Jan 24-26): Caye Caulker, Belize**
- Travel from Bacalar to Belize City (bus to Chetumal, then water taxi to Caye Caulker).
- Relax on the beaches, snorkel or dive in the Barrier Reef, and enjoy the laid-back nightlife.

**Day 9-10 (Jan 27-28): San Ignacio, Belize**
- Water taxi to Belize City, then bus or shuttle to San Ignacio.
- Visit Mayan ruins (e.g., Xunantunich) and enjoy activities like cave tubing or jungle tours.

**Day 11-14 (Jan 29-Feb 1): Flores and Tikal, Guatemala**
- Travel from San Ignacio to Flores, Guatemala.
- Explore Flores and Lake Petén Itzá, visit Tikal National Park, and explore Mayan ruins.

**Day 14-16 (Feb 1-3): Trekking in Northern Guatemala**
- **Option 1: Uaxactún to Tikal Trek (3 days)**
- Day 1: Travel from Flores to Uaxactún, start the trek.
- Day 2: Continue trekking, camp overnight.
- Day 3: Arrive at Tikal, explore the ruins, return to Flores.
- **Option 2: Petexbatún Region Trek (3 days)**
- Day 1: Travel to Dos Pilas, start the trek.
- Day 2: Explore Aguateca, continue trekking.
- Day 3: Visit Ceibal, return to Flores.

**Day 17 (Feb 4): Relax in Flores**
- Spend a leisurely day in Flores, relaxing after the trek.

**Day 18 (Feb 5): Return to Cancun**
- Fly from Flores to Cancun, settle in, and enjoy a final night out.

**Day 19 (Feb 6): Departure**
- Depart from Cancun at noon.

**Questions*
1. Is this itinerary feasible within the given timeframe?
2. Do you have any recommendations or changes to make this trip more enjoyable?
3. Should we consider visiting Lake Atitlán for trekking and cultural experiences, or is it too much of a hassle given our current itinerary and geographic constraints?
4. Any specific tips for the places we plan to visit, especially for the treks in northern Guatemala?

Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions!
tk3760 is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2024, 09:26 AM
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I can share info on the San Ignacio, Belize portion of your trip.

Assuming you arrive in San Ignacio sometime during Day 9, arriving from Caye Caulker that day, you could squeeze in a trip to Xunantunich or Cahal Pech that day (possibly both if you leave CC early and take a shuttle vs. the public bus).

For Day 10, you could do one of the following
  1. the ATM Cave Tour
  2. Caracol & Mountain Pine Ridge (which includes Rio Frio Cave, Rio on Pools and Big Rock Falls)
  3. combined Xunantunich & Cave Tubing Tour
There are night hikes available at Elijio Panti National Park. There are also so many other things to do. Possibly search online for Belize Vacation Blogs, as some will have sample itineraries that might provide you with additional ideas.

Hope that helps.
LuckyDreamerLodge is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2024, 08:52 AM
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When you say "travel to"... how are you getting around? Sometimes you mention a rental car but others you don't say how this "travel" is happening.

I've only ever been in Mexico, but to me 3 countries in less than 3 weeks seems like an awful lot of ground to try to cover. A lot of time moving around without too much time in places.
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 09:43 AM
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Hi tk3760

The only leg is your journey I’ve done that you are asking about is the Chetumal-Caye Caulker-Belize City leg. I was a little confused about the way you wrote it since in your first subheading for day 6-8 you say “travel from Bacalar to Belize City” but it seems the actual plan is to take the bus from Bacalar to Chetumal and then catch the water taxi from Chetumal to Caye Caulker (which does not involve Belize City at all)? If so, be aware that this water taxi is just one a day; it might be do-able but if so requires a very early start out of Bacalar. Don’t know if it’s changed since I was there last, but going from Mexico to Belize when I did it last required going through Mexican immigration to pay exit fees, so consider that plus the time from Chetumal bus station to the dock (20 minutes?) when planning. If you were to miss the water taxi, it is possible but more tedious to get to Caye Caulker from Chetumal to Belize City by bus and then water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker but having done both, the water taxi from Chetumal is a more pleasant way of doing that journey.

If it were me, I’d overnight in Chetumal the night before the water taxi to Caye Caulker.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tk3760
3. Should we consider visiting Lake Atitlán for trekking and cultural experiences, or is it too much of a hassle given our current itinerary and geographic constraints?
Being in Belize positions you well for visiting Tikal and northern Guatemala. You will be a long way from Lake Atitlán. I wouldn't attempt it on this trip.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 10:26 PM
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Must you return to Cancun? Multi-city routes (flying into one city and out of another) aren't necessarily more expensive than round-trips, especially when you consider the time and money it takes to return to your starting destination.
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