Oh, Guatemala. You’re beautiful, charming, and full of adventure, authenticity, and history. To see some of the best things the country has to offer, a 7-day, 10-day, or 2-week Guatemala itinerary will get you started off on the right foot!
Guatemala is one of Central America’s most fascinating countries. From Mayan cultures to UNSECO work heritage sites, superb coffee, epic volcano hikes, great surfing, and lush jungles, to say there is a TON of things to experience throughout Guatemala is an understatement!
Almost half of the country’s population is made up of 22 ethnic groups which are direct descendants of the ancient Mayan people – Kaqchikel, Kʼicheʼ, and Tzʼutujil being the most prominent of the 22 groups. After surviving the arrival of the Spanish, the Maya culture formed a national identity of its own. Through their traditional clothing, food, and languages, Mayan culture is still a very present part of everyday life in Guatemala.
When planning your Guatemala itinerary, you should aim for a happy mix. A happy mix of culture, city, and scenery. That’s the secret to any Guatemala itinerary success 🙂 Now, deciding where to go, how long to spend in Guatemala, and what to do can be overwhelming, but for your first-time visit, there are definitely some must-see Guatemala sights! Here’s how to make the most of a trip to Guatemala!
Planning For Your Visit & Guatemala Itinerary
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Is Guatemala Worth Visiting?
Well, if you are looking at a Guatemala itinerary, then you already know Guatemala is WELL worth a visit! This country is FULL of adventure, beautiful scenery, and history. Just ask the 2 million people who visit Guatemala every year.
Guatemala is relatively small, about the size of Tennessee, but this country packs a punch! We’re talking active volcanoes, lush jungles, massive crater lakes, Spanish colonial architecture, amazing Mayan culture and ruins, and not to mention, some of the nicest people in all of Central America.
If you’re looking for quiet and solace, you’ll find it in Guatemala. Looking for outdoor adrenaline adventures? You’ll find it in Guatemala. If you want a nice family vacation or a romantic getaway for two, you’ll find it in Guatemala. Guatemala has something for everyone. So, if you’re like us, you’ll be scratching that head of yours wondering why it took you THIS LONG to visit Guatemala. She’s nothing short of beautiful.
Best Time To Visit Guatemala
When planning your Guatemala itinerary understand that this country has two seasons – dry and wet.
- The dry season in Guatemala is from November to April
- The wet season in Guatemala is from May to October, but in some regions, it can continue into November
Regardless of what time of the year you visit, one of the best things about Guatemala is that for the most part, it always feels like a warm spring day all year round. Why? A lot of the country sits at just above 5,000 ft above sea level.
Temperatures sit in the 70-degree range for most of the year, but once March and April hit (the hottest months of the year), temperatures will go up to around 80-90 degrees in some areas of the country. So if you are traveling to Antigua and then to the beaches (i.e. Livingston), be prepared for both kinds of weather – spring, and summer!
Note: We spent one month in Guatemala from December to January and the weather was amazing! Nice during the day and cool in the evenings. A perfect spring day. Be sure to pack a jacket for the evenings!
Getting To Guatemala + Travel Requirements
Guatemala’s borders touch four other countries – Mexico to its North, Belize to its East, El Salvador, and Honduras to its South. So whether you are backpacking through Central America and plan to enter Guatemala overland through its border crossings, or fly, one thing is for sure, you have options on how you get to Guatemala.
Flying – Guatemala Airports
There are two major airports in Guatemala. The first, and the one you’ll likely fly into, is La Aurora International Airport (GUA), located in Guatemala City. The second is Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS), located outside the town of Flores.
If you are wanting to head to popular spots like Antigua and Lake Atitlan first, then La Aurora International Airport is where you fly into. If you are wanting to start your trip in the north (around Flores and Tikal), then Mundo Maya International Airport is where you should land first.
Guatemala Travel Requirements
Before entering Guatemala, be sure you have everything you need ahead of time. As we are U.S. Citizens, we can only speak to our experience entering and exiting Guatemala. Regardless of what your nationality is, please be sure to reference your country’s entry and exit requirements well ahead of your arrival date so you are prepared.
To enter Guatemala as a U.S. citizen, you will need:
- A U.S. passport that is valid at the time of entry (one page per stamp), and does not expire while you are in Guatemala
- U.S. citizens do not need a visa and are admitted to Guatemala for 90 days for free
- At the time of writing this post, proof of vaccination is not required for entry or exit
As always, please check the latest entry requirements before entering Guatemala well ahead of your departure date.
Best Ways To Get Around Guatemala
While Guatemala is small (when compared to other Latin American countries – like Colombia), it can take FOREVER to get around. Due to poor infrastructure, limited airports, and mountainous terrain, you get the pleasure of bobbing and weaving around the country. When planning your Guatemala itinerary, you should anticipate nothing less than a half-day to a full day of travel time when heading to your next location in Guatemala.
TIP: Never book a tour or additional onward travel during your travel days. Transports hardly ever leave on time, so to avoid any added stress on making a tour or transfer, do yourself a favor and book tours/transfers for the next day. When traveling overland in Guatemala, just be patient, you’ll get there….eventually 🙂
Getting Around Guatemalan Cities/Towns
While in a city or town, your best mode of transportation is your own two feet! A lot of towns and cities in Guatemala are VERY walkable. And when they’re not, call a Uber (yes, Guatemala has Uber) or flag down the nearest Tuk-Tuk to get you to where you need to go.
Getting To and From Guatemalan Cities/Towns
For when you need to book transport to a new destination in Guatemala, your best and really only bet is a tourist shuttle. Tour operators like Atitrans, Coban Travels, or Marvelus provide services shuttle services throughout Guatemala. If you are looking to take a more budget-friendly, local ride, a chicken bus is for you!
Chicken busses are old US school buses painted and decorated with fun colors that take locals (and tourists) throughout Guatemala. Fair warning, they are bumpy and wild but if you’re up for an adventure or need to save some money, a chicken bus may be just what you’re looking for!
If you are over being shuttled and bussed around Guatemala, you have one route you can fly. From Guatemala City, you can save yourself a 10-12 hours bus ride and fly to Flores and Tikal!
And finally, while it’s not the most budget-friendly option, you can opt to rent a car and drive yourself around Guatemala! Finally, we wish it was different, but there are no trains in Guatemala.
Tip: If traveling by bus, avoid the back seats/section of the bus. It’s bumpy and if you are prone to motion sickness, it’ll be your worst enemy. Rather, aim for seats in the middle and the front. And if you can swing it, knab a window seat. It’s nice to have the option to open the window if the bus gets hot or if motion sickness hits.
Is Guatemala Expensive?
The cost of living in Guatemala is, on average, 44.5% lower than in the United States. So your USD can go really far in Guatemala if you play it right. Whether you are traveling on a shoestring budget or looking to live a more luxurious life, there are accommodations and restaurants for every type of traveler.
For a budget traveler, on average you can expect to spend around $35-$50 USD per day. For something a little more mid-range you can expect to spend around $75-$100 USD per day. And finally, if you have no budget, well…have fun! But for real, with $150+ per day, you’ll be living really well in Guatemala!
7-day, 10-day, or 2 weeks Guatemala Itinerary
For the below Guatemala itinerary, we are making the assumption that you are flying round-trip, in and out of Guatemala City. If you are flying out of Flores or traveling overland to another Central American country, you’ll need to tweak the routes slightly to best fit your place of departure.
Also, these are realistic itineraries for Guatemala and account for travel times to and from destinations. There is a lot to see in Guatemala, and our advice to you is to not try and squeeze as much as you can in. Enjoy your day where you are. Don’t exhaust yourself. You can always come back and enjoy the rest of what Guatemala has to offer 🙂
Guatemala Itinerary 7 Days
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua
Bienvenidos to Guatemala!! You just landed in Guatemala City, and have that freshy, fresh new stamp in that passport of yours…now what? Well, it’s time to call an Uber (or you can arrange a ride ahead of time) and start your around 1-hour ride to the historic and former capital city of Guatemala, Antigua.
Antigua is stunning. Spanish colonial homes and ruins of churches line its cobblestone streets in a valley surrounded by three volcanoes (Agua, Acatenango, and El Fuego). Sitting at 5,069 ft. (1,545 m), Antigua was founded by the Spanish in 1524 and during its early days, Antigua was the Spanish capital of Central America. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the Maya called this region home for centuries. So, it goes without saying, but this place has some history!
Learn how to spend 3 amazing days in Antigua, Guatemala!
Now, depending on what time you check into your Antigua accommodation, you may just want to rest and relax. BUT, if you want to get out and explore, definitely plan on heading to Antigua Brewery to catch the sunset from their rooftop and grab a bite to eat and drink a few of their craft beers.
Our favorite thing about Antigua is how walkable it is, so regardless of where you stay in the city, you can get around really easily. Some top-rated and recommended Antigua accommodations are below:
- Budget-Friendly: Hospedaje El Viajero | Maison Bougainvillea | Yellow House Hostel | Ojala
- Something In Between: Cacao Boutique Hotel | Hotel Las Farolas | Hotel La Galeria | Posada El Antano
- Luxury: Meson Panza Verde | Hotel Museo | Camino Real Antigua | El Convento Boutique Hotel
For more places to stay in Antigua, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
Day 2: Exploring Antigua
You’re starting your two full days in Antigua, Guatemala with a morning walking tour! The best way to explore Antigua is by foot. A walking tour will take you down cobblestone streets, past the colorful Spanish colonial houses, and to some of the best and most historic sites in the city! Really, a walking tour is a great way to kickstart your first day in the city. You’ll see loads and learn a lot!
After the walking tour, plan to grab some lunch at either Cactus Taco, El Local, or Los Tres Tiempos. Or, head to a coffee shop for a little pick-me-up. A few of our favorite coffee shops in Antigua are Fat Cat, Cafe Estudio, Union Cafe, and Cafe Boheme.
Enjoy the rest of the day as you wish, but for sunset, plan to walk or take a tuk-tuk to Cerro De La Cruz, a scenic overlook North of the city. From here, and on a clear day, you can see expansive views of Antigua and the towering Volcan De Agua looming in the distance.
After you had your fill of the views, grab dinner at Por Que No? (RESERVATIONS ARE A MUST) or nearby Como Como, Fermento, or Angie Angie Cafearte. If you are just swooning over Antigua and not ready to call it a night, head to Ulew (a speakeasy cocktail lounge), The Snug, or El Illegal for a nightcap.
ALT OPTION: If you want to jump right into the culinary delights of Guatemala, consider an evening street food tour
Day 3: Visiting Antigua’s Markets, Coffee Farms, and Volcanoes
Now, you have a few options on how you want to spend your second day in Antigua. You can spend it in the city or explore the surrounding areas – i.e. hiking to a volcano!
Day 3 Option 1: Antigua Cooking Class, Chocolate or Coffee Tour
If you are staying in the city, we suggest starting your day off with breakfast or brunch at Caobo Farms, a farm-to-table restaurant. After brunch, head to a few markets to see what you can find – Nim Po’t, Mercado de Artesanías, or Mercado Central Antigua Guatemala.
In the afternoon, you can opt to take a cooking class, learn how to make chocolate, or tour a coffee farm where you’ll learn everything about coffee from start to finish, and of course, taste it! We took a coffee tour with De La Genta (a local NGO) and LOVED it!
For sunset, head to the AMAZING rooftop of Cafe Sky. Pop up for a drink or two and catch the last rays of the setting sun from this three-story Antigua rooftop. After drinks, grab dinner and enjoy your last night in Antigua. If you’re like us, you’ll be really sad to leave!
Be sure to check out the 25 Best Things To Do In Antigua, Guatemala
Day 3 Option 2: Hiking El Fuego or Payaca
Okkaaay! If you are looking to squeeze some adventure in and want to see an erupting volcano, you have to do a hike to El Fuego! It’s a long day, starting at 4 am and finishing around 5 pm, but it’s worth it! OX Expeditions, who we hiked with, offers a day hike up to El Fuego. It’s a challenging hike, but seeing El Fuego erupt from around 1,000 feet away is truly a core memory we’re sure you won’t soon forget! Not to mention, from Fuego’s ridgeline, you’ll have epic views of the villages below, as well as views of the other two volcanos, Agua and Acatenango.
Are you thinking, “meh, that’s a bit too much for me”? No worries. There is another volcano located some 15 miles (25km) drive southeast of the city of Antigua called, Pacaya. Sitting at 8,000 ft. (2,500 meters), Pacaya Volcano is one of the most active in all of Guatemala and a significantly less challenging hike than hiking El Fuego. You can opt for a public hiking tour or private hiking tour up to Pacaya, or take ATVs up to the top! Plus, you get to roast marshmallows over its lava!
Whichever volcano you choose to conquer, it’s one heck of a way to send it on our last day in Antigua!
Day 4: Antigua to Lake Atitlan
It’s time to say goodbye to Antigua and head to your second stop on your Guatemala itinerary! You have Lake Atitlan to get to! There are three shuttles that run daily from Antigua to Panajachel, one of the main hubs/towns right on the lake. The ride takes around 3-4 hours (they say 2.5 hours, it took us closer to 4 hours :)) so choose the best time departure time that works for you.
You can opt for the early afternoon departure, which gives you time to pack and get some food in the morning before starting your commute to Lake Atitlan. You’ll arrive at Lake Atitlan (Panajachel) late afternoon, giving you plenty of time to get settled into your accommodation and head out for dinner.
NOTE: If you are not staying in Panajachel (or Pana as the locals refer to it), you’ll need to catch a Lancha (a boat) to the town you are staying in on the Lake. The shuttle from Antigua will drop you off right by the docks in Pana, so getting a boat from Pana to your final destination on the lake shouldn’t be an issue. Alternatively, if you are staying in either San Pedro or San Marcos (two other popular towns located on Lake Atitlan), you can book buses directly from Antigua to San Pedro or Antigua to San Marcos.
Day 5 – 6: Exploring & Boating Around Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan reminded us a lot of the Italian coast. This place is nothing short of stunning. It’s so stunning that it is widely considered to be the most beautiful lake in the world AND was nominated as one of the seven wonders of the world. So yeah, to say this place is gorgeous is VERY accurate.
There are 12 towns and villages that scatter the shores of Lake Atitlan.
- San Lucas
- San Antonio Palopo
- Santa Catarina Palopo
- San Pedro
- San Juan
- San Marco
- San Pablo
- Santa Cruz
Of these 12 towns, Panajachel, San Pedro, San Juan, Santiago, and San Marco, tend to be among the most popular on the lake. So, what do you do on Lake Atitlan?! Well, explore the towns, hit the water, and get a hike in! Basically, just be outdoors 🙂
What Do To On Lake Atitlan
- Explore the painted town of Santa Catarina Palopó and visit the Centro Cultural where you can learn about the local Kaqchikel Maya
- Go handmade ceramics and pottery shopping in San Antonio Palopó at Ceramica Palopo Multicolor
- Head to San Marco (the Yogi town on the lake) where you can take a yoga class at Eagles Nest, get a massage, or jump into the lake from “The Trampoline” within Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve
- Take a traditional Maya cooking class in Santa Cruz where you’ll not only devour amazing dishes but have exceptional views of the lake. Also, this is a great place to rent a paddleboard and get out on the waters of Lake Atitlan!
- Walk the decorated streets of San Juan and visit a women’s weaving cooperative where you can pick up some handmade blankets and clothing
- Santiago is the largest town on the Lake with a very traditional feel. We recommend taking a tour so you can visit the main church, the mirador over the Lake, art shops, shop at the Sunday market, and learn about the Tzu’tujil Maya god, Maximón.
- San Pedro is definitely the more touristy and more of a party town on the lake. It’s also a jumping-off point to hike Rostro Maya (formally and incorrectly named Indian Nose) as well as hiking to the top of Volcan San Pedro, one of the three volcanoes located on the lake.
- While not on the Lake, we need to add Chichicastenango market to the list of things you can do in the area. Located around 2.5 hours away, Chichicastenango (ChiChi) is the largest market in Central America and on Thursdays or Sundays (the main market days), you can visit the chaotic, vivacious, and oh-so-colorful Chichi market.
How To Get Around Lake Atitlan
There are only a few places on the lake you can get to by road. From Panajachel, you can get to Santa Catarina Palopó and San Antonio Palopó via tuk-tuk, and while in San Pedro, you can get to San Juan by tuk-tuk too.
However, the best way to get around Lake Atitlan is by a lancha. Lanchas are essentially boat taxis that shuttle tourists and locals to all 12 towns on the lake. You can opt to book a private ride (around 150Q to 300Q total) or opt for the public lancha costing around 25Q per person.
The only difference between a public and private lancha is when you leave. The boats are the same, but a private lancha takes you and your group directly to the town you wish to go to. Whereas with a public lancha, the driver leaves when the boat is full and stops at various towns and villages along the way, so your departure time and arrival time can be a little unpredictable.
Overwhelmed by which town to stay in? Try narrowing it down by what vibe you are looking for. If you are looking for a very low-key location, consider Santa Cruz. Looking for something more lively? San Pedro or Panajachel is for you. If you want to practice yoga and chill, stay in San Marcos. If you are looking for a little more of a local feel, San Juan. Regardless of where you stay, you can easily get around to any other town on the lake, so don’t stress!
- San Pedro: Sababa Resort | Mandala’s Hostal | Mikaso Hotel | Mr. Mullets Hostel
- San Marcos: Lush Atitlan | Eagle’s Nest Atitlan | Baraka Atitlan | Hotel Berena
- Panajachel: Selina | Posada don Miquel | Dreamboat Hostel | Hotel Atitlan
- Santa Cruz: Treehouse Retreat | Arca de Noé | Lake Front Retreat | Atitlan Sunset Lodge
- San Juan: Chirris Hostel | Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan | El Cuarto Juez | Eco-Hotel Mayachik
For more places to stay on Lake Atitlan, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
Day 7: Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City; Fly Home
The worst day of any trip is departure day! Whether you are leaving Guatemala or heading to another country in Latin America (we recommend Colombia!), we sure hope you fell in love with Guatemala as much as we did!
NOTE: If you have a morning flight out of Guatemala City, you’ll either need to book an early morning private car or arrive in Guatemala City the night before (day 6). Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City takes anywhere from 4-5 hours in a tourist shuttle, so to ensure you don’t miss your flight plan accordingly! There are several shuttles that run daily from Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City, so catching a ride shouldn’t be an issue. If you are nervous, you can opt to book a private car that will get you to Guatemala City Airport much fast than a tourist shuttle will be able to.
Guatemala Itinerary 10 Days
Day 1 – Day 6: Antigua & Lake Atitlan
For this 10-day Guatemala itinerary, you’ll follow the above 7-day itinerary for days one through six.
Day 7: Lake Atitlan to Lanquin (Semuc Champey)
After two amazing days on Lake Atitlan, it’s time to head to the jungles of Guatemala! You’re off to see the turquoise cascading waters of Semuc Champey. Now, to get from Lake Atitlan to Laquin and then to Seumc Champey, it will be a full day of travel.
From Lake Atitlan, you’ll hop on a shuttle for about 9-10 hours before arriving at the town of Lanquin. Once in Lanquin, you can either stay here or opt to get closer to Semuc Champey, which we recommend! From Lanquin, you’ll take a bumpy 45-minute ride down into the jungle. BUT, it’s so worth it as you’ll be that much closer to Semuc Champey – which is why you are here!
As we said above, you have two options on where to stay when visiting Semuc Champey 1. Lanquin (45 minutes from Semuc Champey entrance) or 2. Down closer to the monument entrance. Since you only have one full day here, we REALLY recommend staying as close as possible to Semuc Champey. It’s so nice to be able to walk to the National Monument (Semuc Champey) vs. having to take a 45-minute ride down to Semuc Champey and then back up to Lanquin.
Place like, Greengos Hotel, Utopia Eco Hotel, El Portal De Champey, and Ch’i Bocól Community Hostel are all locations close to Semuc Champey. If these places are not available, a little further away from Semuc Champey is Mountain Nest.
For more places to stay near Semuc Champey, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
Day 8: Relax at Semuc Champey
Semuc Champey is one of those places that doesn’t seem real. Sure, you’ve seen pictures, but once you’re there, it still looks like you’re looking at a picture. It’s serene. Cascading clear, blue pools in the heart of a lush and mountainous Guatemalan jungle. It’s a setting that makes your 10-12 hours journey to get here, BEYOND worth it.
Our advice for Semuc Champey is to get to the park right when it opens at 8 am – you’ll have the place to yourself for a little bit. Which is just magic. Outside of enjoying the pools of Semuc Champey, you should also hike to the mirador, take a cave tour, raft down the river, and see if you can spot any Howler Monkeys.
Or, scrap all the above, and just enjoy the pools 🙂 Bring a book, relax on the rocks, and enjoy your day.
Day 9: Semuc Champey to Guatemala City
After one beautiful day in Semuc Champey, it’s time to head to Guatemala City. Since the ride from Semuc Champey is so long, we strongly suggest getting to Guatemala City the day before your flight. You can make shuttle arrangements directly with your Semuc Champey accommodation or online.
Once in Guatemala City, plan to say in Zona 10 and grab some dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. We opted for drinks at Cadejo Brewing Company followed by dinner at Fridas Restaurant, before heading back to the hotel and calling it a night.
Day 10: Leave Guatemala
Now, depending on what time your flight is, you may have the opportunity to squeeze one last thing into your Guatemala itinerary and do a little sightseeing around Guatemala City. If so, we recommend the Social Justice Guatemala City Tour with Alfonso from Four Directions Travel. You’ll be driven around the city learning about the important sights, politics, and history of Guatemala and Guatemala City.
After the tour, you can grab an early lunch at La Maison Restaurant, before grabbing your bags and heading to the airport.
Guatemala Itinerary 2 Weeks
Day 1 – 10: Antigua + Lake Atitlan + Semuc Champey
For this 2-week Guatemala itinerary, you’ll follow the above 10-day itinerary for days one through ten.
Day 11: Semuc Champey to Flores
It’s time to say goodbye to those beautiful waters and jungles of Semuc Champey and head North! You’re on your way to the northern Petén region of Guatemala. You’re on your way to Flores, an island on Lake Petén Itzá.
From Semuc Champey you can arrange transport directly to Flores with your accommodation (coordinate with your accommodation well ahead of time) or opt to book online. Regardless of how you opt to book, you’ll be in for another travel day (6-8 hours).
When you arrive in Flores, get settled into your accommodation, grab some dinner, and rest up for your next two days of exploring!
- Budget-Friendly: Casa Ramona | Hostal Don Cenobio | Hotel Petén Express | Los Amigos Hostel
- Something Inbetween: Hotel Peten | Hotel Casazul | Hotel Casona de La Isla | Hotel Casa Turquesa
- Luxury: Hotel Isla de Flores | Villa Maya | Hotel Quinta Maya | Bolontiku Boutique Hotel & Spa
For more places to stay near Semuc Champey, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
Day 12: Explore Flores
After a long travel day yesterday, it’s time to have a low-key day exploring the oh-so-small island of Flores. It’s so small, you the entire town can be walked in an hour. But just because this place is small, doesn’t mean there are not amazing things to do!
- You can spend your day at Jorge’s Rope Swing, a small restaurant and bar located on Lake Peten Itza where you can spend a few hours relaxing, swimming, and of course swinging via rope swing into the water!
- Wander around Flores. Walk the cobblestone streets, take in the colorful buildings, and of course take in the views of the lake.
- Watch the sunset from The Sky Bar, a rooftop restaurant and bar
- Rent a canoe and get out on the water
- Walk up to El Mirador Del Rey Canek to see some of the best views in all of Flores
- Shop and peruse the local markets and shops
Last but not least, bird watching. If you’re into “Birding”, you’ll love Flores! The region of Petén is one of the most important birding destinations in Guatemala with 60% of the bird species of Guatemala located in this region. Book a birding tour that takes you to Tikal to not only enjoy the fascinating ancient Mayan ruins but to also view some of the best species of birds on the planet.
Day 13: Wander Through Tikal
While in Flores, you must visit Tikal, a National Park, and a UNESCO World Heritage site inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. Today, you’ll find iconic and ancient remains of Mayan temples, grounds, and palace ruins. Tikal is home to many temples and places, one of which (Temple IV) stands at 230ft (70 meters) making it the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas.
Climb to the top of Temple IV to see the other four massive temples peaking from the jungle canopy as well as the vast Mayan jungle surrounding you. A view you won’t soon forget! Also, see what birds and monkeys you can spot from above as well!
There are a few ways you can explore Tikal – a sunrise (private or group tour), daytime, or sunset tour. Sunrise tours to Tikal are definitely the most popular. You beat the heat of the day and get to watch (on a clear morning) the sunrise over this ancient and historic site.
TIP: Know what you are paying for. Some tour prices do not include the park entry fee which is around 150Q per person. In addition, if you opt to take a sunrise or sunset tour, you’ll need to pay an extra fee to be allowed into the park before opening or after closing – 100Q to 150Q.
Day 14: Fly from Flores to Guatemala City, Leave Guatemala
After two amazing days in and around Flores, it’s time to pack up and say goodbye to Guatemala. From Flores, you can get a flight to Guatemala City where you’ll be flying out of the country from. Plan your flight from Flores to Guatemala accordingly so you have plenty of time to board your connecting flight home.
Alternatively, if you are wanting to explore other areas in Latin America, flying from Flores to other countries or, traveling overland to Belize is easy! Wherever you are headed after your 2 weeks in Guatemala, we wish you safe travel and happy adventures!
Guatemala Itinerary – What About Guatemala’s Beaches?
Yessss, there are beaches in Guatemala! If you would like to add one of these beaches to your Guatemala itinerary, you’ll need to replace it with an existing location or extend your time in Guatemala 🙂 El Paredon (great for surfing), Monterrico (volcanic black sand beaches), and Livingston (home to the Garífuna people and on the Caribbean coast) are all top-rated towns to get some beach time in at.
Aside from beaches, nearby Livingston, you’ll find Rio Dulce. Rio Dulce is a 27-mile-long river that stretches between Guatemala’s largest lake, Lago Izabal, and the Caribbean Sea. Spend your days boating and hiking ad enjoying the natural beauty of this lesser-visited Guatemalan destination. From Rio Dulce, you can coordinate a 2-hour boat transfer to the beaches of Livington.
Map of Guatemala Itinerary
Use the + and – sign on the map above to zoom in and out to get a sense of where each location is in our recommended Guatemala itinerary. Plus, we also plotted a few alt locations (beaches – in yellow) for you as well!
Tips For Visiting Guatemala
- Sunscreen: Use it! You’ll be at high elevations so protect that skin of yours.
- Opt for Visa: Mastercards don’t really work here, so to avoid having ATM issues use a visa instead.
- Cash Rules All: The national currency is the Quetzal, and while credit and debit cards are taken throughout the country, cash is king. Make sure you have some on you at all times as cards are never a guarantee
- The Tap: Avoid it. The tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink.
- Culture: There are 22 different groups of Maya, all speaking different languages, throughout Guatemala.
- Layer up: Now, this is totally dependent on the time of year and your location but for the most part, it gets warm during the day, and then once the sun sets, temperatures drop! So be sure to have a jacket or sweater with you.
- Brush up on your Spanish: If you don’t speak Spanish, have Google Translate handy.
- Have Buffer Time: When traveling to new cities/towns in Guatemala, allow extra time. Your ride will never leave or arrive on time so avoid booking any tours or onward transportation on travel days.
- Tipping: Most of the time, the tip on your bill is included, but double-check. “Propina” is the Spanish word for a tip. 10% is standard, but feel free to give more.
You never know what’s going to happen when you head to a new country. Not to be bearers of bad news, but accidents happen. We frequently use travel insurance as an additional means through World Nomads. There is no better peace of mind than knowing you’re covered if the unexpected happens! World Nomads has definitely come in handy for us a time or two!
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PIN IT FOR LATER – Guatemala Itinerary!
For more travel tips, guides, and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, and follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus, Pinterest, and Facebook. Oh and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, leave us a positive note!
– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)