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Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
58 reviews
Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Hi our trip to the region is coming up soon and while we have an idea on where we we wish to go, nothing is set in stone.

Plan is to head to Antigua, Lake Atitilan, Copan, then Tikal and finally head to Belize! We have about 10 days to cover these places. Does it sound realistic and doable? For instance is there a connection from Antigua to Copan then from Copan to Tikal, Tikal to Belize city ? How much time does one need to do a trip to Copan ? Rather is it possible, or worth it even considering Copan on this trip ? Many thanks

27 replies to this topic
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,847 posts
331 reviews
1. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Way too much for about 10 days. Is your time in Belize within the 10 days or in addition to? Either way, I'd save Copán for another trip - it's ~6-7 hours from Antigua to Copán and at least 1 day from there to Tikal, basically wiping out 2 of your precious days with extra time sitting on your back sides (and Copán is worth at least 3 nights imo).

If you're willing to share how many nights and if Belize is in the count, maybe we can help you better.

UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Hi, it's excluding Belize. Hence thought Copan maybe possible, given am not sure if we will head that way again just for Copan. So if you have any suggestions on navigating that route or ideas, be very grateful. Thanks

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,847 posts
331 reviews
3. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

How many nights? For some, 10 days = 9 nights and for me, 11.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,246 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Unless you enjoy sitting for long hours in minivans or busses, I’d save Copan for another trip. If archeological sites are your priority, you can use the extra day or two to spend more time at Tikal or to visit nearby sites like Yaxha.

UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

9 nights, 10 days. Thanks

UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
58 reviews
6. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Understand what you are saying. Although I read Yaxha is quite complicated to get to, too. Similar to Calakmul in Mexico,we spent a whole day to and fro in a private taxi.

Yucatan Peninsula...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
9,609 posts
7. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Do a search and you'll find several posts about transportation from Tikal to Belize.

There are no direct buses from Tikal to Belize, but there are a few daily express buses from Flores to BC. You can go to Flores to get the bus, or wait at the intersection south of El Remate, and board the bus there.

From Tikal, you can get a taxi to the border, or find a shuttle returning to Belize, or use colectivos/buses to get to the border.

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
7,950 posts
20 reviews
8. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Start with Lake Atitlan (3 nights which hopefully means 2.5 days), Antigua 2 nights, Copan 2 nights, Flores one night, Tikal one night. You pass Yaxha on the way to Belize. By public transport it is doable but more complicated and will take longer but if you can afford private transport you can visit Yaxha easily on the way to the border.

If you just want to go from Tikal to the border you can take any minibus heading to Santa Elena/Flores but get off at El Cruce Ixlu, just south of El Remate, and flag down any bus going to the border.

Copan to Flores will be a whole day of travel and you will have to start early (minibus to the border, bus to Chiquimula, bus to Rio Dulce, bus to Santa Elena/Flores). It would be nice to have a day (or more) at Rio Dulce for the boat trip to Livingston and a night in a hotel on the river like El Hotelito Perdido, Finca Tatin...

How many days/nights do you have for Belize? Any chance you could add some more days to Guatemala?

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,847 posts
331 reviews
9. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Ok, so for me that's 8 full days. Going to Copán means an early start and at least half a day getting there from Antigua or Guatemala City and a full day from there to Flores, so you'll effectively be 'losing' almost 2 of your 8 full days instead of using all of those hours enjoying and exploring one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Obviously it's your trip, but if I only had 8 full days in a country, I wouldn't use almost 2 of them getting to another country. Plus you'd need at least a night or 2 there to make it worth the visit and suddenly you're using 3 or 4 of your 8 full days for that one stop. It's just bad trip math imo.

Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and Tikal will easily fill your 8 full days. 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!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

UK
Level Contributor
99 posts
58 reviews
10. Re: Antigua, Copan, Tikal, Belize

Thanks all for your very detailed and kind suggestions, I get the picture to drop Copan. Which we probably will, given the time consuming trip it is. Belize we wish you spend 3 days in Caye Caulker to enjoy the barrier reef. Would you know if it is an appropriate time of year for snorkeling ? Thanks

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