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How to spend 1 week in Guatemala

Want to know how to spend 1 week in Guatemala? You got it. I arrived in Guatemala planning on staying for just under 3 months… I ended up there for 9! It’s an amazing country and I would recommend spending more than a week in Guatemala if you have the time. But If you are on a tight timeline, and only have a week I’ve put together this guide to help you see as much of the good stuff as I can to help you plan your 1 week in Guatemala.

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Travel in Guatemala

Because you only have a week you are going to want to spend as little time on a bus as possible and as much time exploring Guatemala. For all of your transport needs in Guatemala, the only website that you can book shuttles, buses, tours, and Spanish classes is GuateGo. I also wrote a survival guide to bus travel in Central America you can read here.

1 week in Guatemala

1 Week In Guatemala where to begin

Depending on where you are coming from you can either start in Flores or Guatemala City. If coming from Belize or East Mexico you will start in Flores anywhere else start in Guatemala City and head straight to Lake Atitlan.

Guatemala Guides | The best of Guatemala in 1 week | How to spend 1 week in Guatemala

Day 1 Tikal

Spend your first day exploring Tikal. I have written a whole post on it here where you can find out everything you need to know.

How to see Tikal in Guatemala - The ultimate guide to what not to do

Day 2 Flores

I didn’t have much time in Flores, but there is plenty to do!

Book yourself on the night bus to Antigua. It will first take you into the city and then you will get a shuttle to Antigua. I would advise you to pay a little extra if you can for a nicer seat. There isn’t much in it and it’s worth the extra. Also, make sure you take warm clothes to wear if you have AC as it will be like a fridge in there! Take a read of my guide on how to survive long bus rides here.


Day 3 and 4 Antigua

I love Antigua and I’m sure you will too! I’ve written a guide to see Antigua in 2 days which you can read here. There is plenty to do it will just depend on if you want to relax and enjoy some downtime or go on a volcano hiking adventure!

Accommodation in Antigua

There are 3 places I recommend Selina or Yellow House Hostel if you are looking for a hostel. For hotels, I recommend Hotel Mesón de María, Barbara’s Boutique Hostel, or Hotel Paseo de la Merced.

1 week in Guatemala
This one was taken from Volcan Acatenango. The flat bit you can see is the knife ridge, where I was stood the night before while it was exploding!

Day 5-7 Lake Atitlan

Book yourself on the first shuttle to Panajachel for the morning of day 5. From Pana, you have a few choices. You could spend the day exploring Pana, they have a great market so if you want to buy any gifts do it here. But it isn’t the nicest place on the lake so my advice would be to take a walk down the main street, have brunch and then take a launch (boat taxi) to San Pedro and use there as your base for the next few days.

Guatemala Guides | The best of Guatemala in 1 week | How to spend 1 week in Guatemala

Word of caution – don’t be tempted to get a shuttle direct to or from San Pedro or any of the other villages around the lake. Always go to Pana and then take the launch. The roads aren’t great and it will put hours on your journey. The road down to San Pedro is pretty crazy, I’ve taken it twice and that’s enough for me!

13 Things to know before visiting Antigua Guatemala