14 days: Guatemala only, or add a few days in Belize

Old May 5th, 2022, 12:30 PM
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14 days: Guatemala only, or add a few days in Belize

The primary purpose of this trip is to explore Guatemala.... That being said, the real draw about adding Belize is that I would like to take an opportunity to scuba dive this trip. I was certified a year ago and would like to stay current! (It would only really be one day, where I know a lot of people spend many days diving in the Belize Barrier Reef.) Ultimately not crucial, as I would not want to take away from a rich experience where I can really appreciate Guatemala. And perhaps, Belize deserves a separate trip on its own where I can spend multiple days scuba diving and exploring the rest of Belize.

Guatemala only:
Days 1-4: Land in Guatemala City to Antigua; spend 4 nights
Days 5-9: Lake Atitlan; spend 5 nights
Day 10-11: Fly to Flores, Tikal
Day 12: Day trip from Flores (?San Ignacio across the border), or another day in Antigua or Atitlan; or other suggestion
Day 13: Day trip from Flores (?San Ignacio across the border), or another day in Antigua or Atitlan; or other suggestion
Day 14: Fly out Guatemala very early morning



Guatemala and Belize:
Day 1-3: Land in Belize City to Ambergis Caye vs Caye Caulker; spend 3 nights
Day 4-5: San Pedro to San Ignacio, explore then ATM cave the next day
Day 6-7: San Ignacio to Flores; explore then Tikal the next day
Day 8-10: Fly Flores to Guat City, then immediately to Antigua; spend 3 nights
Day 11-13: Antigua to Lake Atitlan; spend 3 days, 2 nights -- latest shuttle to Guatemala City
Day 14: Fly out Guatemala very early morning

Follow up questions:
-If I go to Belize, Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker -- I am interested in taking a day for scuba diving

Thanks in advance!
getran is offline  
Old May 7th, 2022, 07:13 PM
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There's no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what interests you.

For your option #2, flying into one country and out of the other will probably be more expensive than in and out the same place.
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Old May 7th, 2022, 10:57 PM
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Belize deserves a separate trip on its own where I can spend multiple days scuba diving and exploring the rest

Yes. I'd vote for two trips, if that is something you are able to do. Two weeks for an entire country is certainly not too much time.
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Old May 8th, 2022, 04:27 AM
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In 2009, I spent two weeks in Guatemala with almost the same itinerary as your Guatemala only itinerary. I had a chance to stay four more days after Flores and go to Belize but did not do it. I’ve regretted it ever since.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip. Guatemala is a beautiful country and Tikal is amazing.
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Old May 8th, 2022, 12:25 PM
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I agree with Suze that you can easily fill up 14 days with either country.

I'm in Belize right now, updating a couple of chapters of the Fodor's guide. The book contains a 20-page "Side Trip to Guatemala" chapter dealing with Tikal and the Peten region. That part of Guatemala strikes me as an easy add-on to a Belize trip (it's so close) much easier than the reverse. If the focus of a Guatemala trip is Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and the Highlands (all phenomenal places), then getting to Belize from there is more of a production.
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Old May 8th, 2022, 02:39 PM
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We really loved Belize. We only snorkeled, but Hol Chan was amazing - colorful tropical fish, large rays, sea turtles. Also went to another area and saw eels and lobsters. I'm sure the Blue Hole would be amazing. We stayed on Ambergris. Also did a side trip to Tikal from the San Ignacio area.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 05:07 AM
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As noted, easy to fill 3 weeks or more in either country but it's your trip and you can choose. You could focus on Guatemala this trip or, as noted above, focus on the highlands this trip and add Tikal to a Belize trip in the future. We fly 'open jaw' tickets (into one country and out another) most of the time and it's generally cheaper than whichever country would be more expensive at that time. You could also plan to combine Guatemala over and over with either Belize or Honduras, something we've done many times because I'm a diver, my husband is a flyfisherman, and we both love seafood and snorkeling. We have a little home in Guatemala for longer visits and have combined with El Salvador and México, as well.My photos with blog links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.

Happy trails!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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