You will need at least 2 weeks to have a good overview of the numerous landscapes and heritage of Guatemala. You will land in the capital, Guatemala City, where you can take a bus or a taxi to Antigua (1 hour drive). It is recommended not to dwell on the capital, which has a quite bad reputation. Between Antigua, Chichicastenango, Guatemala City Panjachel, distances are not huge (between 1 to 3 hours). But it will take you a whole day between Antigua, Livingston, Tikal and Semuc-Champay.
Here is our full itinerary in Guatemala:
- Antigua, the former capital where it is pleasant to stroll through its cobbled streets and colorful buildings from colonial type: 4 days, including the ascent of the volcano Pacaya.
- Livingston, a small town in the Caribbean coast only accessible by lancha from Puerto Barrios or Rio Dulce: a full day is enough to go around the city and take a trip to Playa Blanca and the waterfalls. With an extra day, you can take Garifuna cooking classes and go to the Tiger Cave, where you can dive into the water in the dark. Thrills guaranteed, apparently!
- Tikal, spending the night in Flores: a day is more than enough to visit the park of Tikal. You should arrive the day before to get into the park early in the morning and see the sunrise over the Mayan ruins and the awakening of the jungle. Don’t forget to walk along the lake and even swim.
- Semuc-Champey, spending the night in Lanquin : Stay there for two days, to get the time for a trip to the lakes and waterfalls of Semuc Champey and another day to do tubing on the river!
- Chichicastanengo: a half-day on Thursday or Sunday for the craft market. Be careful, you can not go directly from Semuc Champey to Chichicastenango, you should plan to spend the night in Guatemala City or Antigua (ideally).
- Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes and its small villages (Panajachel, San Pedro, Santa Cruz, San Marcos essentially): plan a maximum of two days to visit the villages that you can only achieve by lancha.