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3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

Auckland, New...
2 posts
3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

Hi there,

I am currently planning a holiday for two with the aim of visiting Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. I would love any advice about how long to spend at each place or if 3 weeks makes this schedule unrealistic.

We were thinking of flying into Guatemala and starting at Antigua, then going to Lake Atitlan and finally Flores/ Tikal. Would love to go to Semuc Champey but I'm not sure if there would be any time?

After that, travel to Caye Caulker or San Pedros (or both) for a few days and then getting the water taxi to Chetumal and make our way to Bacalar. Then up to Tulum for a few days. Then visit Chichen Itza and end up in Playa del Carmen / Cancun where we will fly out.

Please help!!

4 replies to this topic
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,602 posts
331 reviews
1. Re: 3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

I think you have time for Semuc Champey, you'll just have to decide if having one day there is worth a full day to get there and a full day to your next stop. If it was my trip I'd do some caving in western Belize (google ATM cave), stop at the Belize Zoo, and end up on Caye Caulker. That would leave less time for México; I'd fly out of Belize or just focus on the beaches in México for a few days before flying home.

My photos with blog links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.

Happy trails!


Yucatan Peninsula...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
9,025 posts
2. Re: 3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

If you're more of an adventure traveller, you might want to do a cave tour in Belize. San Ignacio would be a good place to overnight if you need to.

You only need a few nights on the cayes. AC is more developed and gets more tourists & retirees, while CC is smaller, quieter & more laid-back. I like both of them, but I don't know which one you would prefer. If you want to see both, spend a couple of nights on CC and 1 night on AC.

I prefer Playa del Carmen over Cancun. ADO airport buses run every 20 to 30 minutes. Buy your bus ticket a day before you travel because these buses can be full.

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
7,539 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: 3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

I think it is a lot with only 3 weeks. There is so much to do and see in Guatemala and it is an amazing country. You could easily spend all 3 weeks there. I like Semuc Champey and it would be nice if you could take the time to travel there and then on to Flores and visit other places on the way. But as you don't have time you can visit Semuc if you have 3 days and don't mind 2 travel days: one day to get there, one day for Semuc, one day to get to Flores.

So: Lake Atitlan 3 days, Antigua 1 day, shuttle from Antigua to Lanquin for Semuc 1 day (I would go to the lake first and then Antigua as the shuttle from Antigua takes 8-10 hours but it would be even longer from the lake), Semuc 1 day, shuttle to Flores 1 day, Tikal (and maybe Yaxha) 2 days, San Ignacio (ATM cave) 2 days, Caye Caulker 3 days, Mexico 7 (?) days. If you like to hike a volcano climb would be nice. Acatenango overnight is spectacular but then you have to add 2 days to Antigua.

Level Contributor
283 posts
1 review
4. Re: 3 weeks in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico

I think it is possible and would be a good trip. You will see a lot but also miss a lot.

I would suggest making a ranking list of "must see" vs "would be nice to see." It might help you to streamline your plans.

For instance, Maya archaeological sites seem to be important to you since you have three on the list. Just north of Tikal in Mexico, is the incredible Maya site of Palenque with its fantastic Palace of Pakal The Great. In your current itinerary you will miss it, but that might be okay if other things have a higher priority. Having that priority list will make a lot of your decisions easier.

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