I'm excited to be planning a trip to Guatemala since I was lucky enough to win a Mystery Auction to Casa Palopo. Prior to this auction, Guatemala wasn't even on my radar! So I'm quickly trying to get up to speed on my research. Some of the Community posts and blogs have been quite helpful.
First some background, it looks like my husband & I will be going on this trip - and that will be amazing! You see, he's a homebody, doesn't like to travel - too far or for too long. Additionally, because of family and pet medical problems, we haven't been able to travel together for about 7 years. Those situations are gone so now we can travel together. Unlike me, he hasn't done much international travel. In planning this trip, I need to make this the BEST experience so he'll want to do more travel in the future! I'm aiming for early March for this trip.
Ok, first question....rent a car or what? For those of you that have gone to Lake Atitlan, it seems most of you did not rent a car. I think I'm leaning towards that direction. Kyshel, I think you rented a car. Would you do so again?
No to renting a car. Please contact Elizabeth Bell of Antigua Tours. She provides private or group drivers. Highly recommended. Home - Antigua Tours She will also provide accommodation choices in other regions. Please review her web site. Also, think about adding Antigua to the trip.
I agree with BJ - no need to rent a car - Eliz Bell is great we used her the last time we went to Guate
Definte to Antigua and if you get a chance fly up to Tikal and see the ruins!
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I sent Elizabeth an email yesterday and am looking forward to her responses.
I'm planning on a couple days in Antiqua but I don't think we'll be able to do Tikal - 7 days may be it. Hubby does't like to be away for too long.
In Antigua,, we have stayed at Casa Concepcion (there is a minimum amount of nights on weekends) and Cissus Boutique Hotel. Both were quite lovely!! Elizabeth Bell is owner of a great place that I think D stayed. We were able to use this property between transfers.
We stayed at Casa Concepcion in Antigua - Elizabeth arranged it for us and her son is the manager - great service, great included breakfast and they did my laundry for free and let me use their computer to check my airline tickets, etc. before our return to the US - great all around!!
OOPs....I made an error! I have stayed at Casa Encantada!!! They have a minimum night to stay on the weekends!! I have also stayed at Cissus. Elizabeth let us use the Casa Concepcion to freshen up on our journeys. Great property. We toured the rooms.
Well, our hotel staff thought we were NUTS to rent car. If so, get 4 wheel drive. It really depends on rain/road conidtions --GSP is pretty useless (ditto maps) Probably not do it again...an advanture in itself!!!
We stayed at Encantada and it was quite nice. Take time to see/do what you can and be very flexible.
Thanks for all the tips and advice everyone!
One disconcerting topic - money and ATMs in Guatemala. In reading the Trip Advisor forums, it sounds that it is not safe to use ANY ATM in Guatemala. What's been going on there this past year with ATMs is alarming - people getting thousands taken out of their US bank accounts months after their Guatemala travels.
ATM, Credit Card usage, and safety in Antigua - Antigua Guatemala Forum - TripAdvisor
Did you use ATMs there?
The only alternative I can come up with is a pre-paid VISA card (or 2) with nominal amounts loaded. I think AAA offers these?
Hi J...I never use the ATM abroad. I bring the BA credit card so I don't have foreign or country transaction fees. Be cautious of the prepaid visa card abroad. I have had a few clients have problems using his card. It does work better in the US. I also bring small denomination USD.