Guatemala is a country in Central America that is squeezed between neighboring Mexico in the north and Salvador and Honduras in the south. It is a diverse country where you’ll find anything from tropical forests with hidden Mayan ruins (a lot of them still unexplored!) and refreshing waterfalls to colonial towns, surrounded by mighty silhouettes of (active) volcanoes. Lake Atitlan with small villages is breathtaking, but if you’d like to visit a seaside, there’s plenty of that as well. On the top of it, with its colorful markets, delicious coffee and friendly people, Guatemala becomes a country you can easily fall in love with. We certainly did. 😊 Below is our 14 day Guatemala itinerary, which we prepared on the basis of our travel and research.
We have not (yet) seen and experienced all of it – but we certainly don’t mind that since Guatemala made it to our list of countries to which we want to return. So it’s good we left something for the next time! 😉
HERE IS YOUR ULTIMATE 14 DAY GUATEMALA ITINERARY (day by day):
Day 1: If you come by land from Mexico / Belize, your first stop would be Flores (for more information regarding this route click here). The usual arrival by air takes you to the capital of Cuidad de Guatemala. You can give it a day for exploring the museums, but if your time is limited, we recommend that you head to other (more beautiful) places. By the way, if you’d like you can also turn this 14 day Guatemala itinerary upside down and go the opposite way as we did! 🙂
Day 2: Take a domestic flight or a bus to Flores (if you are not already there). Explore the cute island on the lake, which is connected to the mainland by the road. In the afternoon there is a bunch of stalls with local food along this road. There are tacos, burritos and tortillas with countless different fillings, desserts and sweet juices. Sold? Sold. For a total of a couple of dollars. 😉
Our lodging in Flores: Hotel Posada Tayazal (write to them that you’d like to be in the room with a terrace! We had the most beautiful view on New Year’s Eve 🙂 )
Day 3: Visit the Mayan ruins of Tikal. Tip? Go on a tour early in the morning (departure at 4.30am), because there will be less people and you won’t be exposed to strong sun at midday.
Tikal was definitely one of the highlights for us in this 14 day Guatemala itinerary!
Day 4: Take a bus from Flores to Laquin (it will take most of the day, unfortunately).
Day 5: Trip to Semuc Champey (we skipped this one though!). Natural waterfalls and swimming pools which resemble Krka national park in our neighboring country Croatia and all travelers are extremely excited about this place. We are definitely going to see it next time! Then take a night ride to Cuidad de Guatemala and then to Antigua (book your whole route, including a shuttle to Antigua – from the bus station in the capital where bus drops you off, there are no buses to Antigua!)
Day 6: Get some rest than walk around the city in the afternoon and tuck yourself in one of the many cafés in town (or go from one to the other and try how much caffeine you can take in :P)
Our lodging in Antigua: Hotel Casa Maria Eunice (we liked it here so much that we prolonged our stay 3 times!)
Day 7: Find one of the chocolate shops in the city and join the chocolate class – you can make your own chocolate, yummy! In the afternoon walk to the Cerro de la Cruz – a viewpoint above the city. Admire how the sun rays spill over the old buildings, while the sun slowly descends behind the glorious volcanoes surrounding the city.
Time flies, you are already in the middle of your 14 day Guatemala itinerary! 🙂
Day 8: Time for volcanoes! If you are used to hiking and you are in a good shape, go on a two-day tour to the Acatenango volcano (departure in the morning and return midday the next day). At sunset and sunrise there are incredible views of the neighboring Fuego, active volcano erupting lava almost every day.
But the hike is definitely not to be underestimated – if your “sport level” is similar to the one of your neighbor’s pug, you should skip Acatenango and rather go to the Pacaya volcano instead. There is only an hour and a half of (rather steep) ascent to the top and at sunset the views are simply amazing. There are no words to describe the feeling when you see lava for the first time in your life. The volcano is also interesting for children (small and big like us 😉 ), because you bake marshmallows in a couple of weeks old lava at the top. 🙂
Day 9: In the morning go on a tour to see coffee plantations (with obligatory testing of coffee at the end of course). In the afternoon visit a local market – west from the central park (10 min walking) there is a huge marketplace where they sell everything from food and clothing to souvenirs. It is cheaper than in the city center. Finish your day on the terrace of the craft brewery Antigua Brewing Company – a beer overlooking the blowing Fuego volcano? Definitely worth those 6$ 😀
Are you already loving this 14 day Guatemala itinerary? Wait, the best is yet to come! 😛
Day 10: Head from Antigua towards Lake Atitlan. Prepare the camera, the views on the way down to the lake are magnificent!
Day 11 – 13: Explore Lake Atitlan and its surroundings – I wrote about this magical place and what can you do there (including accommodation tips), in this post.
Day 14: From Atitlan Lake there is a shuttle service directly to the airport of Cuidad de Guatemala. Time to go home (until next time! 😉 ) …or further to El Salvador or Honduras perhaps?! 🙂
By the way, info for mountain bike enthusiasts – did you know that mountain biking is huge in Guatemala? We’are already planning how we will bring our bikes next time. 😀 And how we will climb Acatenango. And take a dip into clear waters of Semuc Champey! And make some more chocolate!!
Oooh, we have barely left this beautiful country, but we can hardly wait to return again! 😊
How much do I have to save for such trip?
Visa: for EU & USA free (included in the plane ticket price). But if you leave Mexico overland, it’s good to be prepared, because they will try to charge you an exit fee! Read here how to avoid this.
Insurance: depending on the insurance company you choose (we use Slovenian company WIZ tujina), but otherwise we hear good things about WorldNomads!
In our 14 day Guatemala itinerary above we included our accommodations to get the idea (around 25-30$ per night for a double room with a shower). To see a detailed overview of our travel expenses in Guatemala, check out our post about Guatemala travel budget.
What do I need to pack?
Guatemala is not as hot as its neighboring countries, and it can also be chilly in the evenings, so you do not need a bunch of swimsuits with you. 😊 It’s good to pack some sport clothes since volcano trekkings are waiting for you!
• Clothes: 6x underwear, 4x socks (1 for sport), 1x swimsuit, 5x t-shirt, 2x long sleeve t-shirt, 2x shorts, 1x leggings/sweatpants, 1x jeans, warm jacket / fleece, winter-proof jacket, scarf / buff, towel
Note this! If you are planning to climb the Acatenango volcano, then take with you also: thermal underwear and socks, good walking shoes, beanie, thick sweater, gloves
• Shoes: sneakers, sandals
• Toiletries (you know what you have in your toilet bag, do you? )
• Medicines (click here to see what you should pack in your travel medical kit), repellent, sunscreen
• Documents, credit cards and money, health insurance
• Gadgets (phone, camera, mp3, chargers, memory card, etc.)
• Other: a day bag / backpack, sunglasses, lockers for backpack, protective bag for backpack, torch, pen + paper (if you are “old school” like us and want to write down your ideas), adapter, a good book (the last one I read was Hippie from P. Coelho! 🙂 )
We hope this 14 day Guatemala itinerary will help you plan your perfect trip! 🙂