Are you going to travel through beautiful Guatemala? Then the journey starts with making a good Guatemala itinerary. To help you make your perfect itinerary, we provide our ideal Guatemala itinerary. You can use our Guatemala itinerary as a basis. We have written for each destination an article where we give you all information. This article contains tips, fun activities to do, and our favorite places to stay. Most travelers usually take 2 to 3 weeks for Guatemala. This gives you enough time to discover this diverse country. During your trip, you will visit many diverse destinations, get acquainted with the Mayan culture, and discover the rich history of the country. Traveling through Guatemala still feels like traditional backpacking, because tourism has not developed as far as other countries. Guatemala is easy to travel for all types of travelers. Are you curious about Guatemala? Then read this itinerary and the articles.
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How many weeks do you need for Guatemala?
You need at least two weeks for our Guatemala itinerary below. It is recommended to do this route in three weeks so that you have more time in a certain place. Traveling between different destinations in Guatemala takes a lot of time because the roads are not great. If you want to spend more time in Guatemala it is interesting to discover more of the region The Highlands. If you like this you need to travel from Lake Atitlan to Quetzaltenango. If you love hiking you can do the 5-day jungle hike called El Mirador. We didn’t do it due to time constraints. During our trip, we heard good stories about both so check for yourself if you want to add this to your itinerary.
How much budget do you need for a trip through Guatemala?
Guatemala is extremely cheap to travel through. If you have a tight budget, $24 – $36 will suffice. An average traveler can expect from #36 – $97 per day. If you want to know more about Guatemala and travel costs, you should read this article: “Guatemala trip cost”. Here we explain in detail how much you spend on different parts for a trip through Guatemala. You can also read how much we ourselves spent on this itinerary to give you a good estimate.
Best places to stay in Guatemala
During our trip through Guatemala, we went looking for special places to sleep. In our opinion, the nice and special accommodations where you stay give your trip an extra dimension. We have managed to find those places in Guatemala and are happy to share this with you. We share two unique tips per destination. In this article, we give you an overview of the best places to stay in Guatemala.
We have written an article about each destination that gives you a lot of information and ideas about what to do in a certain place how you get there, where to stay and personal tips. Curious then click further to the articles.
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala and is likely to be your starting location for your trip. Guatemala city is often avoided by tourists. The capital is known as a big, dirty dangerous city. Most tourists, therefore, move directly to Antigua. We also recommend this, because Guatemala city is very boring and is not worth a visit at all. There are so many more beautiful places in Guatemala, so skip it! When you arrive at the airport take outside a taxi directly to Antigua, this ride takes about 45 to 60 minutes and costs you about $24 to $36.
Antigua is a picturesque village and is the most visited place in Guatemala. This is entirely justified because Antigua is a beautiful colonial village. You will find many old colonial buildings and experience a cozy Latin village atmosphere. From Antigua, you can do one of the best excursions in all of Guatemala: climbing the mountain Acatenango. Read all the best things to do in Antigua in our article.
Lake Atitlan is known as the most beautiful natural spectacle in Guatemala. Lake Atitlan is an incredible environment even for seasoned travelers. This is because the lake is surrounded by large volcanoes. The beautiful vistas and small villages around the lake make sure you don’t want to miss this. Are you curious? Then read all things you can do in Lake Atitlan.
Do you want to add a nature reserve to your route? Do you want to see the most beautiful natural landscape in Guatemala? Then Semuc Champey is for you! The highlight of your visit is the natural pools above a river. Over the years, the river has formed limestone, which, together with the turquoise water, has a beautiful appearance. You can enjoy swimming here and explore the beautiful area. Read our Semuc Champey ultimate travel guide here.
After Semuc Champey, leave the center of Guatemala and continue your journey north. In the north, you will find Flores, a colorful small island in the middle of a lake. Flores is especially popular to visit the ancient Mayan city called Tikal. In Flores, you can lounge by the lake and enjoy the many good restaurants with rooftop bars. If you like a cocktail you are in the perfect place. You can read our top 5 things to do in Flores here.
Tikal is the number 1 reason for many visitors to travel through Guatemala, Tikal needs to be included in your Guatemala itinerary! Tikal used to be the center of the Mayan civilization. Where Mexico has the world wonder Chichén Itzá and Peru has the world wonder Machu Picchu, Guatemala has Tikal. Simply put, a visit to Tikal should not be missing from your itinerary. Tikal is easy to visit as a day trip via Flores. You can also consider staying overnight near the park because this allows you to visit the city when it is quieter. Read our Tikal travel guide, to make your visit a success.
Rio Dulce / Lívingston
After you have visited Tikal you can travel to Belize and Mexico or stay in Guatemala and head towards the east coast to Rio Dulce and/or Livingstone. This choice is highly dependent on the number of days you have left after you have visited Tikal. If you want to see more of the nature of Guatemala you can extend your stay to one of these two places. In Rio Dulce, you can enjoy the river with the most beautiful accommodations. Banana Palms Hotel is recommended. Lívingston is a small city on the Caribbean coast. This place is special because there are few inhabited areas along the coast of Guatemala. It is also a special place because the Maya, Garifuna, and Ladino culture are visible at this place. You can discover beautiful beaches with special accommodation options. Casa Nostra is recommended.