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Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

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Melbourne, Australia
posts: 6
reviews: 1
Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Hi there

Posting this in Guatemala forum as we plan to spend a decent period of our holiday there and I can't find a broader forum for Central America.

Arrive in Cancun tonight (13th Aug) and fly out the evening of 31st Aug. Have nothing else booked as yet and are a couple on honeymoon! Have come up with the following loose itinerary but interested in feedback and suggestions. We are interested in adventure activities, beach/pool side relaxing and Mayan culture.

1 night x Cancun - Cancun and maybe a trip to Coco Bongo niteclub!

3 night x Isla Mujeres - Go swim with the whale sharks, relax by the pool, maybe a little kitesurfing

3 night x Cuba - FLY from Cancun to Havana and chill there for 3 nights

3 night x Antigua area - FLY Havana to Guatemala city and travel straight out to Antigua. Check out the city and then do a hike up a volcano

2 night x Semuc Champey - Go by bus to Semuc Champey. Chck

2 night x Tikel - bus up to Tikel to check out the Mayan ruins

2 night x Beach - Bus/fly from Tikel/Flores to Cancun. Little beach side time in Cancun or Playa del Carman or Tulum before flying out from Cancun on the 31st!

Okay so interested to hear what you think! Anything you recommend we should drop either completely or in favour of something else and any accom suggestions along the way? Did plenty of back packing in the day so not fussed about anything too top end but don't think we'll be dorming it either given the occasion!!

Many thanks for your help.

Cheers John

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 6
reviews: 1
1. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Sorry, posted twice. Internet connection dropped and didn't realise it actually managed to submit the post.

Prague, Czech...
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Prague
posts: 1,915
reviews: 72
2. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

I just got back from 16 days of traveling which took me from Cancun to Tulum to Orange Walk to San Ignacio to Tikal/Flores/Yaxha and back along the same route. Tulum was awesome - I definitely recommend chilling out on the beach there at the end of your trip. We stayed at Las Palmas Maya, which is a very nice, romantic place on the jungle side of the beach road. I highly recommend it. We stayed one night in Tikal at the Jaguar Inn (OK for one night), did the sunset tour with Roxy Ortiz (she gets lots of good press here - well deserved) and stopped by Yaxha on the way back (it was my favorite Mayan site). We stayed at Casona de la Isla in Flores and had a romantic dinner at La Villa del Chef - both highly recommended. You can read all of my reviews by clicking on my profile.

The only thing that I would recommend is spending some time in the Belizean jungle. We stayed at Black Rock Lodge and loved it. Also perfect for a honeymooning couple. But I don't know what I would cut out, since everything in your itinerary sounds awesome. Personally, I would not go to Havana just for a few days, so I would replace that with more time in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, but I imagine that you are determined to go there.

Good luck with your travels and congratulations on your wedding!

Edited: 4:07 pm, August 13, 2013
Bethesda, MD
posts: 1,822
reviews: 24
3. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Considering all the distance you're traveling, it seems ashame to spend so much time in the Yucatan and not go to Chichen Itza. Or Lake Atitlan during your time in Guatemala.

Mi Wuk Village...
posts: 1,602
4. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Nothing wrong with it. Doable. I hope you realize how much time you will be spending traveling. Beware of touts with links.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
posts: 6,841
reviews: 137
5. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

That itinerary has waaaay more transitions than I would tolerate. Many of them will be full day transitions so you've effectively created a plan where nearly half your days will be devoted to that special combination of hassle and sitting on your backsides that transition days entail. Unless that's what you like to do most on vacation, you might want to leave out some places so you can be doing other things - like hiking, shopping, kayaking, snorkeling, lying around on beaches or hammocks, and exploring Maya sites.

I think I'd leave out Cuba and Semuc Champey in favor of time on Lake Atitlán and choose 1 spot in the Yucatán instead of the 3 you have listed. My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails! flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

San Francisco...
posts: 1,173
reviews: 122
6. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Agree with Hopefulist. Your plan (at least for me) is too much. Have you traveled in CA before? Distances may be short in miles but getting to them is a different story. At the beginning of our "travel careers" we all want to see it all but we end up getting glimpses only. Personally, I would take out Cuba and save that for a longer trip. Since you are arriving and leaving out of Cancun, I would focus on Yucatan/Mexico the entire trip. There is so much to see there, many wonderful ruins, and beautiful beaches. Isla Mujeres is great for a few days. Also, remember, you are going during a very hot/humid time, so you may slow down due to heat. Just my two cents. Have a wonderful trip and Happy Honeymoon.

Deerfield Beach...
posts: 2,535
reviews: 12
7. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

I suggest you check this site out www.passplanet.com/guatemala lots of good tips for moving around guatemala. Good luck.

Panajachel...
posts: 165
reviews: 4
8. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

One thing you will need to take into account is that this is rainy season and Sept/Oct are hurricane season! Many highroads will be constantly blocked by the odd landslide, so travel times will be even longer probably. Definitely do not try the back road from Semuc Champey to Tikal...I'm not sure how doable it is even in the dry season by public bus...if you had no time limits then go for it for the landscapes are spectacular and the people you'll meet along the way wonderful and welcoming!

I too would stick with Yucatan and then come to Guatemala and the Highlands, if you come down via Tikal then stop at the Rio Dulce before goint to Guate City and Antigua and the Highlands - and don't for sure miss Lake Atitlan - the birthplace of Mayan culture, the lake is the belly/tummy button!

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 6
reviews: 1
9. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

Thank you so much all. You've all been so helpful and even though it sounds so exciting to try and do it all we are taking your advise and focussing on a couple of the highlights and will just have to come back again to see the rest hopefully at a more leisurely pace!

Thanks again :)

JM

10. Re: Central America inc Guatemala with nothing booked!

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