Want to see the best of Guatemala in 1 week? 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 see Guatemala in 1 week.
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.
The best of Guatemala in 1 week 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.
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.
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 Wiltcho and Charlies or Lemon Tree if you are looking for a hostel. Alternatively, if you want a B&B I can’t recommend Donde Rita enough. She is a good friend and has opened up the most stunning Moroccan style B&B. If you go be sure to say hi from me!
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.
I have written a lot on Lake Atitlan which you can read to decide what you want to do while you are there.
Need accommodation in Lake Atitlan? Stay here with my friends Julia and Joel in there amazing AirBnB!
Day 7 Take a Shuttle to your next country
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!
Looking for things to do in Guatemala? I have a who load of ideas for you here.
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