We are planning a trip to Mexico and were thinking of flying into Cancun and making are way down through belize to Guatemala.
We're not sure whether it's best to take a flight into cancun and out of guatemala or if it would be easy to get a flight back to cancun. I know I'll hate cancun from what I've read so will escape there asap. but I'm worried we won't have enough time to get down to guatemala city without getting completely knackered.
We have 12 days ...what do you think? too ambitious?
Also is it all chicken buses in guatemala or are the coaches quite decent?
Maybe it's possible to both arrive and depart from Guatemala or maybe fly into Belize City first?
But the first option could be ok. Visit Antigua and surroundings (2 days), then to Livingston/Rio Dulce (2 days) area in the northeast of Guatemala, take the ferry to Punta Gorda (or Puerto Gorda, don't know exactly) and visit central belize (4 days) after that, crossing the border into guatemala to Flores/tikal (2 days. . From there take a domestic flight to Guatemala city again.
So 10 days, plus a couple of travel days, maybe that's an option
thanks for the advice ... I'm guessing that guatemala is more interesting than yucutan? it's hard to judge on logistics!
In Cancun take First Class Mexican Bus to Chetumal:
then There are Luxury Buses that ply from Chetumal, Mexico on the border with Belize to Belize City, then from Belize City to Flores, Peten, Guatemala near Tikal 18.50US Exit Tax by Land from Belize, after you have seen Tikal take the Dorado Bus first Class overnight or daytime (but best to arrive Guatemala City by day) express to Guatemala City, from there ntigua is 45 km. or 28 miles (building a new road from Antigua to Guatemala City so expect 2 hours normally in the traffic), from Antigua nice Pullman Bus Rebuli leaves at 7AM daily for Panajachel on Lake Atitlan or if going to Quetzaltenango (Xela) many pullmans daily 4 hours from Guatemala City, sorry cannot give you any url's on this forum.
PS You can also fly Cancun-Flores (Tikal)-Guatemala City-Cancun if arriving/leaving Cancun and have limited time, you'll only need to take chicken buses in fairly remote areas in Guatemala.
I went Mexico City-Palenque got a cheap van, boat, bus tour to Flores. Then after seeing Tikal which can be done as a day trip from Flores, I got the bus that goes from Flores-Chetamul which stops to let people off at Belize City. Then if you got off the bus at Belize City, you could then get the bus from Belize City-Chetamul (Mexican border town) and then get a bus from there to Cancun. The I got the bus from Cancun-Mexico City (long and not particularly cheap). So you could try doing it the opposite way around to what I did because Mexico City is a really cool city to visit for a few days and less frightening then a place like Guatemala City sounds like.
If you managed to time it to be able to get from Cancun-Belize City in the one day (which I highly doubt you could) on the bus, it is one hell of a tiring journey. I went from Flores-Cancun in the one day on buses and I was really tired by the end having been up since about 4.00am and getting in well after dark. I had to get from Flores-Chetamul(via Belize City) and then get another bus in Chetamul to Cancun and lucky for me I timed it within minutes of arriving in Chetamul so I didn't have to hang about for the next bus.
Instead of flying in to Cancun you could fly in to Mexico City and then doing the same sort of route I did but instead of flying out of Mexico City save yourself the $119US or thereabouts and fly out of Cancun.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 20, 2007, at 3:44 PM by aharrold45 ]
thanks for recommends ... Going to try and blag an extra day off of work so we have some more time to play with.
Think we've decided to do Cancun - tulum - Belize city - Flores - Tikal - then fly from flores to guatemala city - lake atitlan then fly home from guat city ... found a pretty good price.
does anyone know how long it takes to get from belize to flores?
Belize to Flores, First Class Bus or Shuttle service about 7 hours maximum including the time at the border. Several internal flights daily Flores-Guatemala City. You are unable to fly to Lake Atitlan from Guat City, the Rebuli Bus Terminal direct to Panajachel on the Lake, located in zona (Zone) 8 of the city, if arriving in the morning take a taxi to teh terminal, 3 hours one way to "Pana" from "Pana" lanchas (motor boats) every 20-30 minutes to lakeside villages. The Rebuli is a big "chicken bus" so travel light, not too much luggage or it'll go on top! There is also a Rebuli "tourist" Pullman with luggage space below from Antigua every morning at 7AM. $5 one way. If staying overnight in Guatemala City there are lots of B and Bs and Guest Houses around the other---International Airport in Zona 13, about $10-15 a person and they'll arrange transport to Bus terminals in the A.M. for you...Guatemala city is quite dangerous in some areas at night, so if you go out go to nearby Zona viva, Zona 10 Discos, Clubs, etc. to and from hotel in a Taxi. Avoid Zona 1 Downtown area. Antigua is quite safe, with tourist police patrols.
Recently I was in City of Guatemala. I went there without to make many plans. I am adventurous. In City of Guatemala I found an hotel to three or four streets from airport ( zone 13) for $20 a day. This zone is safe and it is near to zone 10, the richest zone of the city. C of G is similar to other capitals in latin-american, there are some modern areas, places with historic buildings, however exists many dangerous areas too, with informality and a lot of disorder. The social-economic difference among people is very evident when you move of one zone to other. I was not a lot of time here.
Since zone 13 I took a taxi to “Calzada Roosevelt” ( main avenue toward Antigua) for $ 5. In Roosevelt took a bus to Antigua for about $ 1,5. The trip is short ( 2 hours), the view is very beautiful, in Antigua there are many hostels since $20 to $100 a day. Antigua is full of tourists, there are no problems of security. After that, I took a fly to Flores for $210 (CG-Flores-CG). I paid $ 65 of airport to TIKAL ruins with a travel-agency. I stayed in Flores because it was a nice place for $15 a day. Finally I left CG y went to San José, Costa Rica, but it isn’t in your itinerary, is it?
also ... we arrive in cancun at about 21.15 on a saturday night - does anyone know how late the buses run? We were thinking of going straight down to Tulum.
Remember it takes some time to get through Customs and Immigration, then a taxi to the Bus Station, Cancun is quite a large spread out city. Google/Search 'Bus Info Yucatan Peninsula' or 'travelyucatan dot com' gives all info and schedules on their Bus Info. page.as well as the schedules of the mini buses (combis) that run direct to Tulum from Cancun. If you do happen to arrive Tulum very late at night, affordable hostels and hotels may be booked, this is high season, best to stay on Cancun's budget side, away from teh beach, overnight and leave for Tulum very early next a.m. Have you traveled before?