We’re lucky enough that our location independent business means that we can travel extra slow. If this is an option to you, we strongly recommend that you take your time, really getting to know and appreciate each country you’re in rather than try to cram as many passport stamps as you can into a few months. We would advise at least one month in each country in Latin America, perhaps with the exception of Panama which has less going on. However, that’s not always possible, as we are often asked by people who only have a 2 week holiday from their jobs where we would prioritise in the given time. So behold! Here is our 2 weeks Guatemala itinerary for anyone who is tight on time but still wants to soak up the best that this incredible country has to offer. Don’t forget to also check out the Ultimate Guatemala Backpacking Bucketlist for ideas on what to do if you’d like to design your 2 week Guatemala itinerary.
This is one of the few countries in Latin America where night buses are not common. This means there are quite a few travel days spent on the road, unfortunately. However, minibus shuttles are pretty cheap (and waaaay safer than local ‘chicken buses’), and tend to be fairly comfy.
As this is a 2 week trip, we assume that you are beginning and ending your 2 weeks Guatemala itinerary in Guatemala City. A popular option is also to add on a week in Belize, and spend some time sunning and diving in Caye Caulker. Buses from Flores on the Belize-Guatemala border are easy and plentiful.
Where to stay
Fly into Guat City, go straight to Antigua via colectivo minibus ($7-10USD) from Arrivals, or Uber if you land after 6pm
Hike up to Cerro de la Cruz mid-morning when the clouds are clearer, visit the ruins of Catedral de Santiago, skip under the Santa Catalina Arch, soak up the coffee culture in one of Antigua’s best coffee shops.
Visit the Mayan city of Tikal. Either hike around yourself or splash out on a private tour guide – the cheap group ones tend to be a bit uninspiring. Either way, book a flexible return bus ticket with a tour company. Only do the sunrise tour outside of rainy season.
12 – OPTION 1
Shuttle to Antigua
Party with the expats at The Snug, Reilly’s and The Londoner, party with the locals (on Saturdays) at El Barrio, Las Palmas or Las Vibras de la Casbah.
Either hike Pacaya Volcano, or take the official Hobbitenango shuttle/ rent a car from Alamo (around $15 a day via Priceline) and explore Hobbitenango, San Juan del Obispo and surrounding areas to see real Guatemalan life
12 – OPTION 2
Shuttle to Xela
Note: only take this option if your flight from Guat City isn’t in the morning
Use the 2 weeks Guatemala itinerary but spend a few more days in Antigua and do the Acatenango hike if you’re into physical torture for the sake of great views. Then after Flores visit Lívingston and Río Dulce for 2 days each. The bus back from Río Dulce to Guatemala City or Antigua will take the best part of a full day, so make sure to factor that in. We enjoyed staying at Casa Rosada in Lívingston (don’t miss the Siete Altares!) and Hotel Kangaroo y Las Mexicanas in Río Dulce.
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