Adventures in Guatemala – 1 week itinerary

exploring ancient Mayan ruins entangled in vines and strangled with roots, jumping from the edge of a waterfall into crystal limestone waters below, dancing and sweating the night away in the colonial city of Antigua

1 Week Itinerary in Guatemala

who: Callie & Ian
what: quick trip backpacking through Guatemala
when: March 2016
where: Guatemala- Flores, El Remate, Tikal, Lanquin, Semuc Champey, Antigua
why: to explore a tiny slice of Guatemalan culture as well as its natural and historical wonders

Day 1: fly into Ciudad de Guatemala late at night
Day 2: flight next morning to Flores, explore Tikal
Day 3: drive 10 hours to Lanquin, unwind that night at the hostel
Day 4: hang around the hostel, walk around the town
Day 5: take a day trip to Semuc Champey
Day 6: drive 7 hours to Antigua
Day 7: explore Antigua
Day 8: fly out of Ciudad de Guatemala late at night

For Spring Break 2016, unlike many of my fellow American college students, I didn’t want to lie on a beach for seven days, soaking up sunshine and booze: otherwise known as “vacation”. I would much rather travel than vacation. But to each his own. A trip to Guatemala seemed perfect for what I am interested: a conglomeration of culture, outdoor activities, and a little bit of a party. Plus I would get the chance to practice a little bit of Spanish. It’s impossible to pack in the country’s best sites into a multi-month trip, so a one week trip would be even more limiting, but I definitely thought it would be worthwhile.


We took planes and minibuses and met some wonderful people along the way. There was a little bit of hiking and a few late nights. I got really sick for about 24 hours and was confined to a hostel bed with no air conditioning — but I guess that is probably my own fault for drinking the water… For once, the legendary cold hostel showers really came in handy as I tried to find relief from the heat of my own body and the sweat dripping down my back. Throwing up the Thai food you ate for dinner in the middle of the night is never fun, though.

S E M U C  C H A M P E Y

In spite of those hours of misery, the trip was amazing. The group that took us under their wing was absolutely hilarious. They were all following the Gringo Trail from Mexico/Belize towards the south while we were just doing a portion of the same trail, but we ended up headed in the same direction. This trip really left me wanting to go back to Central America, but next time for months and months and without any real plans or a strict itinerary. Hopefully I can make this dream come true.


Guatemala is the perfect place to travel to; whether you are just looking for one or two weeks getaway or months of backpacking through the region, the country has enough vibrant culture, interesting history, natural wonders, delicious food, and friendly people to make memories that last a lifetime – not matter how long you stay.



  1. That’s a very good first Youtube upload. I muted the music, and it would be really nice with a little narration, but that’s a whole lot more trouble. It was enjoyable as a silent movie. That’s really cool that you got a procession with a Paso. The paso was really cool with the kids carrying it. Not at all like the giant Pasos I saw in Madrid, Spain.


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