Short Trip to Central America---which country?

Old Oct 5th, 2010, 06:16 PM
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Short Trip to Central America---which country?

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Central America for our winter break, and I'm looking for some advice about which country we should focus our sights on. I've been to Nicaragua and she's been to Panama, and we're thinking about visiting some new territory, but just for a short visit---8-10 days. We'd probably be more into seeing neat cultural and natural sights than bustling/nightlife-filled cities. My first thought is that we should investigate El Salvador and Guatemala. Anyone more experienced in the region have any tips---countries or possible loose itineraries?
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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I wouldn't split your time between 2 countries with barely over a week on the ground. Guatemala would be my pick - the cultural gem of Central America. If you want a laid back time, split your time between Antigua and Lake Atitlán. If you like to run around a bit more and have 10 days, maybe add the massive ruins of Tikal to the mix. Check out my photo collections - blog and detailed travelogue links on the main page of each collection - and let me know if there's anything more I can do to help. Happy trails!
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Old Oct 5th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Ditto to hopeful. There are those that would argue for Costa Rica, and rightfully so. But Guatemala, IMO having visited both, offers more of the "life-changing" experiences that so many travelers seek. Antigua is arguably the most beautiful city in all of the Americas and should not be missed. As a primer, read "A Beauty That Hurts" by George Lovell before you go.
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Old Oct 6th, 2010, 05:11 AM
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CR great wildlife nature adventure

a tad safer but

Guatemala/Honduras for me

exotic/beautiful

www.aroundantigua.com

www.jaguartikal.com

www.lacasadelmundo.com Atitlan

perhaps some Copan Bay Islands if time...

Adrenalina shutlles are great

www.travel.state.gov for safety

www.insuremytrip.com always wise...
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Old Oct 6th, 2010, 05:13 AM
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or head north for great beaches

to Belize from Tikal...

www.cozycoener-belize.com
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Old Oct 6th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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www.cozycorner-belize.com sorry for typo

www.mayan-traveler.com good site with general info...
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Old Oct 6th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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We love Costa Rica, but if you want interesting cultural sites, Belize is a good pick for you. Lots of amazing ruins, and a trip to Tikal in Guatemala was only about two hours from where we stayed in the Cayo District. You can also do caving, etc. and if you want to, spend a few days at the beach and do some amazing snorkeling at Hol Chan.
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Old Oct 6th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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El Salvador is the only country in Central America that I haven't been to so if you do end up going please let me know how it was.
I have been to Guatemala twice and it is jam packed with culture. So many wonderful sites to see just walking around Antiuga. Elizabeth Bell has many good tours but I especially enjoyed her city tour. We also have used Old Town Outfitters for many active tours including a fun bike ride that ended up at the lake.
The food, coffee and great places to stay make it one of my favorite places.
There is also a cooking class which I think would be a lot of fun. I think it's pretty new but I have read a few good reviews about it.
Enjoy
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