My boyfriend and I are going to do project work in Antigua for a month in August. We are looking to travel around alot of Guatemala at the weekends and then spend two weeks after the project going up to Mexico. We would ideally like to finish in Cancun (cheap flight home!). Does anyone know the best way to get up to Mexico, maybe seeing Mexico City before heading to Cancun? Also, are there any places en route that are a must see?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I did the same sort of thing but in reverse. I saw Mexico City then got a bus to Palenque and then got a combination van, boat and bus to Flores/Guatemala. Then after seeing Tikal I got a bus from Flores to Chetamul (goes via Belize City and leaves very early in the morning). Then on arrival at Chetamul I got the next bus from there to Cancun (it is an extremely long day on buses because I left when it was still dark at 5.00am and didn't reach Cancun until about 9.30pm so I was stuffed by the end of that day! After Cancun I got the bus back to Mexico City which was painfully long.
If you wanted to see Mexico City and Cancun departing from Cancun, you could do the same van, boat, bus tour that I did but get it from Flores-Palenque. I think in Flores it could be arranged through San Juan (the company who also operates the bus to Tikal and the Flores-Belize City-Chetamul bus). After you get to Palenque you'll probably want to spend a couple of days to see the ruins and the other sites around. Then get a bus to Mexico City on ADO bus company. I got it the other way and it was an overnight bus, so I would assume it would also be an overnight bus heading the way you'd need. After 4-5 days in Mexico City then you could get the bus (also with ADO company) to Cancun unless you want to stop at some place in between, because it is a very long journey by bus. The bus from Cancun-Mexico City was almost the equivalent of $100US and went for approx 25 hours so it might pay to spend a little more and get a flight if you could be sure of dates in advance. Someone from Mexico might be able to tell you what would be the cheapest airline(s) that fly that route.
Have a great trip.
The problem with paying an agency to take you from Flores to Palenque is that you miss a lot along the way. Of course, that would fit in with your rush way up to Mexico City and then way back down to Cancun. I think that if you saved Mexico City for another trip, you would easily find enough to keep you busy for two weeks between Frontera Corozal, Mexico and Cancun.
For a good description of how to go from Flores to Palenque without an agency, google - Flores Palenque transit - and look at the top hit.
I agree with the last entry, you'll save yourself a lot of time and get to see much else if you skip Mexico City. I am living in Antigua now, and have been travelling for the last 2 weeks. We first went to Livingston in the east of Guatemala, then to Placencia and Caye Caulker in Belize, followed by Flores (and a visit to Tikal) and then up to Playa del Carmen close to Cancun. The trip from Guatemala to Cancun can be done in a day, but it is long and tiring. And if you want to stop on the way, it's advisable to make some time to see things. We were considering going to Mexico City, but it really doesn't fit in this route as it means going north for MANY hours, then down again if you're flying out from Cancun. But of course, you just have to take in to consideration how much time you have available. Good luck planning the trip! It really is a great country to travel in
[ Edit: Edited on May 20, 2007, at 4:06 PM by Kaia ]
Thanks for all this advice. Think we will be giving Mexico City a miss this time. So...on our way up to Cancun any tips on places to stop? We would like to spend some time in Cancun and see the Maya temples etc. Im so excited, Im really enjoying planning! Thanks again for all your help.
From Antigua take a Shuttle to the city US$6.00 (they pick you up from your hotel)
then you can take Linea Dorada to Flores, Peten, go and see Tikal for the day. I went to see Yaxha (where they shoot survivor Guatemala) and it is just amazing! Imagine the mayan ruins with a stunning lake at the side hearing the roaring monkeys.. I was speachless..
check out some pictures at:
Nombre Línea Dorada Guate
Phone 1 22207990
Adress 16 calle y 10 Avenida
from there you go to Cancun by shuttles but I have never done that trip.
Shuttles from Antigua to Guate used to cost $6 and then $7, but are more like $10 each now. You could however take a second class bus much cheaper right into Zone 1, where the bus stations you would want are. If you can sleep on a bus, an overnighter is best. ADN is cheap, but someone recently told me they also resumed their deluxe service to Flores/Santa Elena. There is also Fuentes del Norte. Most expensive and a bit overrated is the deluxe Linea Dorada.
The route northward depends on how willing you are to pay the $18.75 exit tax each to get out of Belize or would prefer to head to Palenque to see those ruins on the way to Cancun. To get between the two on your own, google Flores Palenque trip.
For an idea on how to cheaply stay near Tikal at night, ride a chicken bus in jungle and see the Uaxactun ruins, see http://www.mostlymaya.com/howto/Uaxactun.html
Yaxha is a pretty good place.