My husband and I are taking a one-week trip to Antigua, Guatemala and are staying at the Santo Domingo Hotel. We're flying in Saturday afternoon and leaving Friday morning, which gives us five full days. We have some questions that hopefully some experienced travelers can answer.
1. We are debating if we should bring our iPhones. We aren't planning to make phone calls or use the internet during our trip, and it would really suck to lose them. We were thinking about getting a couple of pre-paid phones. Has anyone done this and could recommend a good cell phone provider?
2. We were thinking about taking traveler's checks and cashing them in at an Antigua bank. However, I've read that thieves watch for people leaving banks. What is the best way to carry cash? We are hoping to avoid ATMs. Also, do Antiguan businesses take U.S. dollars?
3. Any recommendations for restaurants in Antigua that serve traditional Guatemalan cuisine? What dish did you get?
4. It's my understanding that the Pacaya Volcano tour has the best chance at going close to lava flow. Has anyone booked a tour of the Pacaya Volcano tour through the Santo Domingo Hotel? If so, what was your experience?
5. We'd like to do a one-day tour of Tikal. Debating between Elizabeth Bell agency or the Guatemalan Adventures agency.
6. Are there any nearby nature tours? Would love to do a nature hike and learn about the local animals and fauna.
7. How easy is it to book a tour with a major tour agency of Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango’s Market or schedule a zip line ride with 24-hours notice? I don't want to book every second of our trip in advance, but would like an opportunity to go if we feel like it.
So far we're planning to do a walking tour of Antigua, do a class at the chocolate museum, visit Pacaya and Tikal and maybe one other day excursion. Should be enough for five days right?