How to Spend Two Weeks in Guatemala

Guatemala, a country located in Central America is growing more and more popular amongst travellers.  Guatemala offers a variety of attractions, focusing on the natural beauty of the land.  During our two weeks in Guatemala we were able to experiences jungles, volcanoes, beautiful lakes, culture and history.  With everything Guatemala has to offer, we had a magical time!

Indian Nose, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan

Arriving in Guatemala

As Guatemala shares borders with Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador travellers have a few options of arrival.  We crossed over from the Belizean border in the North and worked our way down south.  This journey could easily be reversed if you’re coming from the south.

Two Weeks in Guatemala: Itinerary Breakdown

The following is a break down of the places we stopped during our two weeks in Guatemala.  If you have time, I highly suggest you visit all of these places.  If you’re short on time, you could shave a couple nights off a few locations and still get a nice feel of Guatemala.

Belize Border —> Flores & Tikal (3 nights) —> Semuc Champey (2 nights) —> Antigua (4 nights) —>  Lake Atitlan (4 nights) —> Airport

How to Spend two weeks in Guatemala

Flores (3 Nights)

Island of Flores in Northern Guatemala

Flores is a tiny island located in Northern Guatemala, that sits in Lake Peten.  This island boasts a cheerful demeanour with colourful buildings and views of the lake from just about everywhere.  Given the modest size of the island, you’ll be able to enjoy this treasure, solely on foot.  If you’re visiting Flores, a day trip to Tikal is likely the main reason for your stay.  *If you’re short on time, shave a night off here.

Read Flores: The Island in the Lake

Tikal – Day Trip From Flores

Tikal

Flores makes a great jumping point to visit the remains of Tikal, if you’re not staying on site.  From Flores, you can reach Tikal in about an hour and a half.  Once in Flores, you’ll quickly be able to find a tour operator to take you to visit Tikal.  Popular tour times include a sunrise or sunset visit.  Once you arrive at Tikal you can wander and take in the vast complexity of this ancient Mayan site.  The remaining ruins and views will quickly make you appreciate everything the Mayans encapsulated. 

Semuc Champey (2 Nights)

Semuc Champey Mirador Lookout

Located deep in the Guatemalan jungle, you’ll find Semuc Champey, offering a unique experience in nature.  Reaching Semuc requires many hours to arrive, and to exit this remote location, so be prepared for some transit days.  Given the hours in transit, visitors expect big things from Semuc, and in my opinion, it lives up to all the expectations. 

Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Semuc Champey offers some of the most pristine views into jungle life in Guatemala.  We stayed in the small town of Lanquin, located about an hour from Semuc.  We joined a small tour group and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  Our day was fully packed with candle caving, swimming in waterfalls, river tubing, hiking and swimming in the famous, cascading pools.  Our visit to Semuc was one of my favourite days in Guatemala.

Read Semuc Champey: The Ultimate Guatemalan Adventure

Antigua (4 Nights)

Antigua, the former capital of Guatemala, is the home of many amazing volcanoes and Guatemalan culture. The city is dotted with colourful buildings and cobblestone roads, taking you back in time.  While in Antigua, you’ll become charmed by the people and Guatemalan life. 

Read Antigua: The Heart of Guatemala

On top of the beauty of the city, Antigua is a great jumping point to many volcanoes in the area.  If you’re up for a volcano hike you can do this from Antigua, or you can simply enjoy the views from the city.  *If you’re short on time, shave a night off here.

Read Hiking Pacaya at Sunset 

Lake Atitlan (4 Nights)

Santa Cruz, Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is a majestic lake located a few hours from Antigua.  The lake hosts a number of small communities around its perimeter and three beautiful volcanoes. When planning a visit to Lake Atitlan, it can be deceiving, as the lake is actually quite huge. Depending on what you’re interested in doing, will help dictate where you will stay.

With four nights and five days, we stayed two nights in Santa Cruz and two nights in San Pedro, allowing us to explore a few locations around the lake.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan

The main transportation around the lake is by boat taxi and you can generally get to any community within an hour across the water, and some even quicker.  Boats run regularly during the day making it easy to cross the lake and visit other communities, if you wish to explore.  While at Lake Atitlan the main attractions involve water activities, hiking and just enjoying the natural beauty of the lake.*If you’re short on time, shave a night off here.

For the Love of Guatemala

I must say, Guatemala is amazingly stunning!   Even though some days required us to sit on the bus for hours on end, Guatemala is a fairly easy country to travel.  Some distances are long, but completely worth it, if you have the patience.  We were able to experience so much in two short weeks and couldn’t have been more satisfied, with such an amazing county.

I LOVED all the stops we made along our journey, but my favourite moments include our time at Semuc Champy, wandering Antigua and watching Pacaya Volcano spew lava.

I was also very blessed to have the opportunity to make this journey with my husband and one of my dearest friends .  To my travel mates and Guatemala, thanks for the incredible memories!  I’ll truly cherish all these moments we shared during our two weeks in Guatemala!!

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Other Guatemalan Resources

Hobbitenango – Exploring Magic Near Antigua, Guatemala

Filadelfia coffee plantation

What to Pack for Central America 

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4 thoughts on “How to Spend Two Weeks in Guatemala

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Guatemala is the perfect trip for my wife and I Brittany. So close to NJ and being a little country we can see and experience it just fine within a 2-3 month stretch. Rocking post.

    • Brittany says:

      Thanks! Two weeks was a great amount of time, so 2-3 months would give you plenty of time to slow down and really enjoy yourself! Do you have plans to head to Guatemala soon?

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