Mexico Belize Guatemala Itinerary: Route For 2, 3 Or 4 Weeks

If you are keen to explore culture, beaches, and jungle there is no better option than the Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary. Whether you have 2 or 4 weeks to explore I will let you know the best choices, how to get around, and more!


Are you dreaming of an adventurous journey through three diverse and culturally rich countries? From beaches to ruins to the lush jungle you have no better choice than Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. So, get ready to embark on this Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary.

However crafting an itinerary that seamlessly navigates through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala can feel daunting, with questions about transportation, border crossings, and must-see attractions. But fear not, that is what I am here for!

I have spent over 3 months just in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize alone checking out the top attractions and all the insider tips! Don’t worry, in this itinerary guide, I will just let you know the must see highlights that maximize time and enrich your travel experiences.

Whether you’re a history buff eager to explore ancient Mayan ruins, a nature lover craving adventure in lush rainforests, or a beach enthusiast seeking relaxation on pristine shores, this itinerary caters to you. From solo adventurers to family vacationers, everyone can find valuable information here.

So join me as we embark through the vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and rich histories on this Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary. From what to do, how long to stay, getting around, and more!



🚗 How I Book Transport In Mexico, Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


How Long To Spend On The Mexico, Belize & Guatemala Itinerary

Planning a comprehensive itinerary through Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize involves balancing travel logistics, your personal interests, and the vast array of attractions these beautiful countries have to offer.

Ideally, allocating sufficient time to explore the diversity and richness of each destination can provide a fulfilling and immersive experience. However, I get that a lot of people have to work commitments, or even a little family at home who will be waiting on them.

That is why the bulk of this itinerary will be 3 weeks, however at the end of this article on my Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala itinerary I will also have options for 2 weeks and 4 weeks. For any time less than this, I recommend dedicating yourself to a single country.


How Long To Spend In Mexico

Honestly, you could easily spend months exploring Mexico, it’s a bloody huge country. However, for the purpose of this itinerary where we are a bit more limited on time, we will be focusing on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Mexico portion of this itinerary involves:

  • Fly into Cancun
  • Isla Holbox (Day 1 – 3)
  • Tulum (Day 3 – 5)
  • Baclar (Day 5 – 7)

If you have a little longer in Mexico you can also check out Merida, Valladolid, and perhaps even Planque. Perhaps if you want to spend a month in Mexico itself I recommend also looking into Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, and San Cristobal De La Casas.


How Long To Spend In Belize

Now luckily Belize is a super small country where any travel days just take a couple of hours. Enjoy this before getting to Guatemala where your travel days take a literal day.

The Belize portion of this itinerary involves:

I know this isn’t too long so I totally understand if you want to spend longer in Belize. However, these are the two main highlights of the country. If anything I would recommend staying longer in Caye Caulker.

You could also hit up Ambergris Caye for a bit more upscale resort holiday vibes. However, the main activities from there can also be done in the much more laid-back and chill Caye Caulker.


How Long To Spend In Guatemala

Now out of all countries on this itinerary, you will be spending the longest in Guatemala. This is simply because there are some damn long travel days so you do need some rest in between. Plus Guatemala is incredible, it’s actually one of my favorite countries, so you do need a bit of time to see all the highlights.

The Guatemala portion of this itinerary involves:

  • Flores (Day 11 – 13)
  • Semuc Champey (Day 13 – 15)
  • Antigua (Day 15 – 18)
  • Lake Atitlan (Day 18 – 21)

There are a couple of extra activities such as hiking Acataenago Volcano and town hopping around Lake Atitlan which you could do if you have a little bit more time in Guatemala. If you would like to finish off with some sun and beach vibes you can also head to El Paredon, a couple hours drive from Antigua on the Pacific Coast.


Entry Requirements For The Mexico Belize Guatemala Itinerary

When planning an itinerary that spans Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, understanding the entry requirements for each country is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. These requirements can vary significantly, including visa regulations, and other entry conditions. Below, I’ve outlined the general entry requirements for each of these countries as of the latest updates, but please note that these can change, so it’s important to verify the details closer to your travel date.

Entry Requirements for Mexico Visa Requirements – Most tourists from the U.S., Canada, the EU, and many other countries can enter Mexico visa-free. – Tourists are usually granted a 180-day FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple), which is a tourist card, upon arrival.

Entry Requirements for Belize Visa Requirements – Citizens from the U.S., Canada, the EU, and several other countries do not need a visa for stays up to 30 days.

Entry Requirements for Guatemala Visa Requirements – U.S., Canadian, and EU citizens can enter Guatemala without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. – This is part of the CA-4 agreement between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, allowing for free movement across these countries for tourists.

Keep in mind that for Mexico, Belize and Guatemala a valid passport is required, and it must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay.

Also land borders are pretty relaxed in terms of entry requirements in my experience. However when arriving in Mexico via plane it will be best to have your return flight out. It’s common knowledge that a return flight from another country (eg Guatemala) will not suffice.

In this case myself, and many other travelers use such services as Onward Ticket. The company books a legitimate ticket in your name and cancels it after a certain period. This provides you with an actual ticket for proof of onward travel. I have used them so many times and it’s just so easy!


Start: Fly into Cancun

Starting your Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala itinerary by flying into Cancún offers a perfect gateway to explore the highlights of the Yucatán Peninsula and beyond.

Cancún International Airport (CUN) is one of the busiest in the Caribbean and an ideal starting point due to it being a popular international hub, modern amenities, and proximity to major tourist destinations in Mexico.

You could also easily due this itinerary backwards starting in Guatemala and finishing in Mexico.


Isla Holbox, Mexico (Day 1 – 3)

Isla Holbox is a charming, car-free island nestled in the northern part of the Yucatán Peninsula, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Known for its tranquil vibes, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant street art, Holbox is increasingly popular among travelers seeking a serene getaway. The island’s sandy streets are best explored by foot, bike, or golf cart, adding to its laid-back charm.

Here’s what makes Isla Holbox a must-visit destination:

Natural Beauty and Beaches: Holbox’s beaches are postcard-perfect, featuring miles of soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters that stay shallow for meters, making them ideal for swimming. The island is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, ensuring much of its environment remains pristine. The north beach, or Playa Norte, is particularly famous for its breathtaking sunsets and gentle waters.

Rich Marine Life: The waters around Holbox are teeming with marine life, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and fishing. The island lies close to the Yucatán shelf, where the nutrient-rich waters attract a variety of sea creatures, including sea turtles, rays, and an array of tropical fish. During the summer months, Holbox becomes one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks in their natural habitat.

Vibrant Street Art: One of the most striking features of Holbox is the colorful murals that adorn the buildings throughout the island. These artworks are created by both local and international artists during an annual street art festival, adding a burst of color and creativity to the island’s atmosphere. The murals often feature themes of nature, wildlife, and local culture.

Birdwatching: Isla Holbox is also a prime location for birdwatching, especially on Isla Pájaros (Bird Island), a small island nearby that serves as a sanctuary for dozens of bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and egrets. The best time to visit is during the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are most active.

Relaxed Atmosphere: Above all, the pace of life on Isla Holbox is slow and relaxed. The absence of cars, the friendly locals, and the small-town feel encourage visitors to slow down and soak in the surroundings. Whether you spend your days lounging on the beach, sipping drinks by the sea, or simply wandering through the colorful streets, Holbox offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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tasha amy in casual summer attire stands on a sandy pathway surrounded by lush tropical greenery and flowering plants on Isla Holbox. The path is flanked by stone walls and vibrant, densely packed tropical plants, providing a rich, natural environment.
enjoying the many photo ops
Crystal-clear turquoise waters edge a vibrant tropical beach at Isla Holbox. The shore is lined with palm trees and casual beachfront eateries under a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds. A few boats are moored in the shallow water, adding to the serene tropical atmosphere.
hanging out at the beach during the day
A tranquil sunset view at Isla Holbox, featuring a softly lit sandy beach with scattered wooden chairs and tables. Several beachside bars and a wooden pier stretch into the calm sea, under a sky painted with hues of orange and pink. A single cloud floats above the horizon in an otherwise clear sky
beautiful sunset in isla holbox

Where To Stay In Isla Holbox On The Itinerary

Isla Holbox offers a variety of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets, making it a welcoming destination for backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between. Whether you’re looking for a cozy beachfront hotel, a luxurious resort, or an intimate guesthouse, Holbox has options that can cater to your needs.

Personally, while I was in Isla Holbox I stayed at Tropical Suites by MIJ which is a beautiful hotel with a real island vibe. There were many excellent cafes and restaurants within a short walk and they had the most incredible pool where we spent our days.

If you are on more of a budget Tribu Hostel is an excellent choice for backpackers. It offers both dormitory-style and private rooms, with plenty of communal spaces for socializing. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere and regular activities, which makes it super easy to meet other travelers.

Tribu Hostel

Tribu Hostel

The most popular hostel on the island with a great social atmosphere. Prices start from $14.00 per night.

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Barco Verde Hostel

Barco Verde Hostel

The great hostel located a short walk from the beach and to town. Prices start from $20.00 per night including breakfast.

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Casa Sofia Holbox

Casa Sofia Holbox

A beautiful stay with island decorated rooms and just a short walk from town. Rooms start from $70.00 per night.

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Hotel Boutique Naj Casa Holbox

Hotel Boutique Naj Casa Holbox

The perfect stay if you are looking for a bit of luxe without spending hundreds. Rooms start from $80.00 per night

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tasha amy walks down a curved pathway in a lush resort on Isla Holbox. The path is lined with tropical plants, small trees, and a structure with walls adorned with hanging plants. The area is shaded by tall palm trees, offering a cool, green escape.
bali style vibes at tropical suites by mij
In this part of her Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary, tasha amy enjoys swimming in a winding, river-like pool surrounded by dense tropical foliage on Isla Holbox. The pool's turquoise waters contrast beautifully with the vibrant green plants and the bright, sunlit setting.
hanging out at the beautiful pool

How To Get To Isla Holbox From Cancun Airport

Getting to Isla Holbox from Cancun International Airport involves several steps, but the journey is straightforward and part of the adventure when it comes to our Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary.

The distance between Cancun and Holbox is relatively short, yet it feels like you’re entering a completely different world, away from the hustle and bustle of overrated Cancun.


Step 1. From Cancun Airport to Chiquilá

The most economical and convenient way to get from Cancun Airport to Chiquilá, the port town where ferries to Holbox depart, is by bus. ADO, the main bus company in the region, operates direct services from Cancun Airport to Chiquilá. The journey takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.

For a more comfortable and flexible journey, you can book a private transfer or take a taxi. This is especially practical if you are traveling in a group or with lots of luggage. Private transfers can be arranged in advance and will take you directly from the airport to the ferry port in Chiquilá. T


Step 2: Ferry from Chiquilá to Isla Holbox Ferry

Two main ferry companies operate the route from Chiquilá to Holbox: 9 Hermanos and Holbox Express. Ferries depart approximately every 30 minutes during the day, and the crossing takes about 20-25 minutes.

No advance booking is necessary; you can buy your ticket directly at the port. Both companies offer similar services, with the last ferry usually leaving around 9:30 PM, but check the latest schedules closer to your travel date.


Tulum, Mexico (Day 3 – 5)

Tulum is a destination that beautifully blends spectacular natural beauty with a rich historical tapestry. Known for its breathtaking beaches, cenotes, vibrant nightlife, Instagram photo ops, and the iconic cliff-top Mayan ruins, Tulum attracts both adventure seekers and those looking for relaxation.

Tulum Ruins: The Tulum Archaeological Site is perhaps the most picturesque of all Mayan ruins, perched on a cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. These ruins are unique due to their location and the fact that they served as a port for the Mayan city of Coba.

Cenotes: Tulum is surrounded by numerous cenotes—natural sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock, exposing the groundwater underneath. These provide not only a great escape from the heat but also a beautiful spot to relax and swim.

Beaches: Tulum’s beaches are renowned for their soft, white sand and clear, warm waters. Playa Paraíso is one of the most famous, offering a postcard-perfect Caribbean shoreline with palm trees and beach bars.

Vibrant Nightlife and Culinary Scene: Tulum also boasts a vibrant nightlife and an incredible culinary scene. From beachfront dining to jungle-enshrouded restaurants, the town offers a variety of foodie delights that fuse local ingredients with international cuisine. After dark, Tulum comes alive with beach parties and live DJ sets, making it a popular destination for those seeking a lively night out.

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A mouth-watering display of desserts on a wooden table, featuring a waffle topped with fresh strawberries, bananas, and a generous dollop of whipped cream, dusted with cocoa. Accompanied by a frothy iced coffee and a refreshing glass of lemonade, capturing a relaxed dining experience in Tulum.
a cheeky sweet breakfast in tulum town
A picturesque view of Tulum's beach featuring white sandy shores and turquoise waters, framed by lush tropical vegetation and rocky formations. An ancient Mayan ruin sits atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, under a partly cloudy sky. This image captures the unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.
the beautiful shoreline in tulum beach area
A breathtaking scene of a woman swinging on a rope over a cenote in Tulum, Mexico. This natural sinkhole is surrounded by rugged cliffs adorned with hanging roots and lush vegetation. The water reflects a deep, vivid blue hue, creating a serene yet adventurous atmosphere. this is a must on the mexico belize guatemala itinerary.
checking out the cenotes are a must

Where To Stay In Tulum

Tulum offers a diverse array of accommodations that cater to various tastes and preferences, set in distinct areas each with its own unique charm.

Tulum Beach Zone: The Beach Zone of Tulum is the most famous and sought-after area for visitors, known for its picturesque Caribbean shores lined with trendy boutique hotels, eco-resorts, and luxury villas. This area is divided into the North Beach and South Beach

Tulum Town (Tulum Pueblo): Tulum Town is located a few kilometers inland from the beach and offers a more authentic and less expensive alternative to the Beach Zone. The town is vibrant, with a mix of local culture and modern conveniences.

Aldea Zama: Aldea Zama is a newly developed, upscale residential area situated between Tulum Beach and Tulum Town. It is designed to offer a modern living experience with all the comforts of an urban development, set in the lush Mayan jungle.

La Veleta: La Veleta, situated just to the south of Tulum Town, is an emerging residential neighborhood that has become popular with expats and long-term visitors.

Personally, I stayed Les Suites Calle 2 by Galian in Tulum Town. It was a nice stay and a super easy walk from the ADO bus station, however it did lack the true Tulum vibe being right in town. I feel like next time I would stay at the beach zone, even though it is pricey, I feel like this is the one place on the Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala itinerary that is good to splurge on.

Mayan Monkey Tulum

Mayan Monkey Tulum

A more luxe hostel with a pool and plenty of social events! Pod style dorms start from $15.00 per night.

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Hostel Oryx Tulum

Hostel Oryx Tulum

A great choice for a hostel in Tulum Town with daily tours where you can meet other travelers. Dorms start from $14.00 per night.

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Les Suites Calle 2 by Galian

Les Suites Calle 2 by Galian

Large and fully equiped apartments in Tulum town with a pool and beautiful landscaping. Rooms start from $56.00 per night.

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Hotel Casa Tortuga Tulum - Cenotes Park Inclusive

Hotel Casa Tortuga Tulum – Cenotes Park Inclusive

A affordable resort with modern amentities and even 5 exclusive cenotes on the property! Private rooms start from $80.00 per night.

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How To Get To Tulum From Isla Holbox

First, you need to leave Isla Holbox by ferry basically the same way you arrived here. It’s pretty straightforward with the ferry service running regularly between Holbox and Chiquilá every 20-25 minutes.

Once you arrive in Chiquilá I recommend taking an ADO bus to Tulum. This bus journey can take approximately 3 to 4 hours depending on connections. Once again I recommend booking this bus in advance as they do sell out.

Try to arrive an hour before your bus just in case there are delays on the ferry. There are plenty of restaurants around where you can grab breakfast while you wait for the bus.


🚗 How I Book Transport In Mexico, Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Bacalar, Mexico (Day 5 – 7)

Bacalar, often referred to as the “Lagoon of Seven Colors,” is a stunning destination located in the southern part of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state.

This enchanting town is named after its breathtaking lagoon, famous for its crystal-clear waters in varying shades of turquoise, blue, and deep indigo. Bacalar offers a more laid-back, tranquil alternative to the bustling tourist hotspots of Cancun and Tulum.

Bacalar Lagoon: The centerpiece of any visit, Bacalar Lagoon is renowned for its strikingly clear, multicolored waters, which change shades based on depth, sunlight, and the sandy bottom. The lagoon is perfect for swimming, kayaking, and sailing.

Cenotes: Bacalar is surrounded by numerous cenotes, which are natural sinkholes exposing groundwater underneath, often linked directly to the lagoon. Cenote Azul, one of the deepest cenotes in the Yucatán Peninsula, offers a unique swimming experience with its dark, cool waters contrasting the warm, shallow waters of the lagoon.

Fort of San Felipe: Built in the 18th century to protect the town from pirate attacks, the Fort of San Felipe now houses a museum detailing the history of the region. The fort itself offers panoramic views of the lagoon, making it a picturesque spot for history enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Sailboat Tours: One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Bacalar Lagoon is by sailboat. These eco-friendly tours allow for peaceful exploration of the lagoon’s vast expanse, visiting remote areas that are less accessible and more preserved.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding: For water lovers, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) offers a unique way to explore the lagoon. It’s not only a fun activity but also a great workout, and doing it in such a scenic setting makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

Stromatolites Viewing: Bacalar is one of the few places in the world where you can see living stromatolites. These ancient organisms are responsible for the presence of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere billions of years ago.

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A colorful signpost on a wooden dock in Bacalar pointing to various destinations including Cancun, Cenote Esmeralda, and Caye Caulker. Each arrow is painted in a different vibrant color, adding a playful touch to the dock scene with a backdrop of cloudy skies and calm turquoise waters.
looking out to bacalar lagoon
A serene view of a clear, flowing river surrounded by lush tropical vegetation in Bacalar. The water is crystal clear, revealing the sandy bottom, and is bordered by vibrant green palms and assorted tropical trees under a clear blue sky
enjoying a local spot for swimming
tasha amy board a sailboat on the bright turquoise waters of Bacalar. She is leaning on the netting of the catamaran, dressed in a floral dress, with her hair blowing in the wind. The sky above is partly cloudy, emphasizing the vivid color of the water.
enjoying a sailing trip around bacalar lagoon

Where To Stay In Bacalar On The Mexico Belize Guatemala Itinerary

Bacalar offers an assortment of accommodation options ranging from luxurious lakeside resorts to cozy guesthouses and luxe hostels.

I have visited Bacalar a few times over different trips and stayed in a mixture of hostels and guesthouses.

No doubt my favorite, and the best hostel in Bacalar is the Yak Lakehouse. This place perfectly encompasses the backpacker scene in Mexico and is a great place to make new friends. One of the staff explained to me that the owner wanted to build a resort style hostel that has everything guests need, and I couldn’t agree with this more!

It’s right on the waterfront, and has a delicious onsite restaurant, weekly parties, and plenty of social activities. They run cocktail-making classes, catamaran trips, sunrise paddle boarding, and more.

In terms of guesthouses, I also stayed at Posada Antonia Bacalar which is definitely a no frills accommodation a couple of blocks back from the lagoon. This is a good option if you are looking for a private room that is clean and comfortable.

The Yak Lake House - Hostal

The Yak Lake House – Hostal

My absolute favorite hostel in Bacalar ft a waterfront location and epic social scene. Prices start from $20.00 per night for a dorm room.

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Che Bacalar Hostel & Bar Adults Only

Che Bacalar Hostel & Bar Adults Only

Another great hostel with spacious dorm rooms and a beautiful pool. Dorm rooms start from $32.00 per night.

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Posada Antonia Bacalar

Posada Antonia Bacalar

A clean and affordable option right in the township of Bacalar. Prices for the no frills stay start from $40.00 per night.

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Agam Hotel

Agam Hotel

A great hotel in a good location with a modern design and pool. Private rooms start from $80.00 per night.

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vibrant mojito-making class by the sea in Bacalar, Mexico. A group of tourists, of various ages and backgrounds, is gathered around a colorful table covered with a traditional Mexican "sarape" tablecloth. They're actively engaged in learning how to make mojitos, using ingredients like fresh limes and mint, displayed on rustic wooden chopping boards. The scene is lively and festive, set against a backdrop of sailboats moored in the turquoise waters of Bacalar Lagoon, enhancing the tropical and social atmosphere of the experience.
learning to make mojitos at the hostel
Inside a yak lakehouse hostel in Bacalar, featuring a row of bunk beds with privacy curtains. The hostel's interior includes high ceilings with fans, and a large window that offers a view of a sunny beach scene outside, providing a unique and inviting atmosphere for travelers.
view from my dorm room

How To Get To Bacalar From Tulum

Traveling from Tulum to Bacalar is a straightforward journey that is approximately 220 kilometers

The bus is one of the most economical and convenient ways to travel from Tulum to Bacalar and is what I recommend. ADO, the main bus company and my personal favorite, offers regular services between Tulum and Bacalar. The journey typically takes around 3 to 3.5 hours and the buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, and equipped with onboard Wi-Fi.

For a more comfortable and flexible option, you can book a private transfer. This service is especially valuable if you are traveling in a group or with a lot of luggage, as it provides door-to-door service from your accommodation in Tulum to your destination in Bacalar. While more expensive than taking the bus, private transfers can be customized to your schedule and often make for a quicker, more direct trip.

If you are on a tight budget, colectivos (shared minivans) run regularly from Tulum to Bacalar. This option can be less comfortable and less direct than a bus or private transfer, as colectivos make several stops to pick up and drop off passengers along the route. However, it can be a cost-effective way to travel, and it offers a more local experience.


Caye Caylker, Belize (Day 7 – 9)

Welcome to Belize, the second country on our itinerary! Caye Caulker, a small limestone coral island, is a charming and relaxed destination known for its motto, “Go Slow.” With its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and stunning natural beauty, it offers a quintessential Caribbean experience.

The Split: One of the most iconic spots on Caye Caulker is The Split, a narrow channel that divides the island into two parts. This happened as a result of Hurricane Hattie in 1961, which literally split the island. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and socializing, and features a bar called the Lazy Lizard where you can enjoy cold drinks and great food with excellent views.

Snorkeling and Diving: Caye Caulker is a gateway to some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, lies just a short boat ride away. Visitors can explore vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside stingrays, and nurse sharks at the famous Shark Ray Alley, and check out the incredible Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Manatee Tours: For a unique wildlife encounter, take a manatee tour to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat. The Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, a short boat ride from Caye Caulker, is a protected area where you can observe manatees swimming and feeding in the wild.

Enjoy Local Cuisine: Caye Caulker’s cuisine reflects the rich cultural blend of Belize. Seafood is a staple here, with dishes like grilled lobster, conch ceviche, and red snapper featuring prominently. Don’t miss trying the fry jacks, a local breakfast favorite, and be sure to enjoy some freshly made coconut bread from one of the island’s bakeries.

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An underwater view of several nurse sharks swimming in the clear turquoise waters off Caye Caulker. The sharks create a dynamic scene as they navigate through the sparkling Caribbean waters, showcasing the rich marine life that the island's waters have to offer.
about to jump into the water at shark ray alley
tasha amy takes a selfie with a radiant smile, with the shimmering sea of Caye Caulker in the background. She wears a floral-patterned cover-up, and her joy is evident, capturing the laid-back and blissful vibes of the island.
enjoying beach days in belize
An aerial view showcasing the stunning beauty of Caye Caulker, Belize, highlighting a narrow waterway known as The Split which divides the island. The surrounding waters display various shades of turquoise, and a few boats can be seen in the distance. This tropical paradise is a key highlight in a Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary, offering a picturesque escape.
the impressive split separating the two sides of caye caulker

Where To Stay In Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker offers a variety of accommodation options perfect for all types of travelers. From cozy guesthouses and budget hostels to upscale hotels and private beachfront cabins

Personally, I stayed at Bellas Backpackers. It has a great social atmosphere and I met plenty of cool people. The rooms have also been updated since I last visited and the dorms now have air conditioning, which is a huge bonus cause it gets super hot!

You should also know Bellas isn’t actually the best hostel in Caye Caulker, instead, this is Go Slow Guesthouse. It has an excellent family vibe and there are some awesome communal spaces with hammocks to relax in.

If you can afford something a bit more pricey I recommend checking out Iguana Reef Inn. It was a little out of my budget when visiting, but this is a nice hotel with a beautiful beach. Around the pier, you can spot seahorses and in the evening they even hold stingray feeding!

In terms of location, you can’t really go wrong anywhere in Caye Caulker. It is a relatively small island and everything is a bike ride away.

Bellas Backpackers Caye Caulker

Bellas Backpackers Caye Caulker

The most popular hostel on the islands. Rooms start from $14.00 for a dorm and make sure to upgrade if you want air-con.

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Tropical Oasis

Tropical Oasis

The best hostel in Caye Caulker, and a popular choice for travelers. Dorms start from $21.00 per night.

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Sea And Sun Guesthouse

Sea And Sun Guesthouse

A comfortable stay for travelers who want a private room. The rooms here start from $40.00 per night.

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Blue Wave Guesthouse Caye Caulker

Blue Wave Guesthouse Caye Caulker

An excellent choice if you want a bit more privacy. Fan-cooled rooms here start from $30.00 per night.

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How To Get To Caye Caulker From Bacalar

Now this is our first border crossing of the Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary, and it does require a few different steps:

Travel from Bacalar to Chetumal: Your journey will start from Bacalar to Chetumal, located right at the border with Belize. Bacalar is approximately 40 kilometers away from Chetumal and you have a few different options to travel including ADO bus, colectivo, or taxi.

San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi offers a direct ferry service from Chetumal, Mexico, to San Pedro, Belize. The ferry schedule can vary, typically with at least one departure daily. The journey from Chetumal to San Pedro takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the terminal. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during high season.

When departing from Chetumal, you’ll go through Mexican exit immigration procedures. Make sure you have your passport and any necessary visas or documentation. Belizean immigration officials will board the ferry at the maritime border to handle entry procedures.

Upon arrival in San Pedro, you can easily catch another quick water taxi to Caye Caulker.

Alternatively, you can also travel from Bacalar to Belize City and then connect to Caye Caulker at the ferry terminal, however, this is a longer travel day. However with the ADO bus now operating directly to Belize City it is also quite straightforward.


San Ignacio, Belize (Day 9 – 11)

San Ignacio, located in the western part of Belize, is a vibrant town known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and proximity to some of Belize’s most interesting archaeological sites and natural reserves. This bustling town serves as a hub for eco-tourism and adventure travel in Belize.

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins: One of the most impressive Mayan sites near San Ignacio is Xunantunich, which stands on a ridge overlooking the Mopan River. Visitors can explore this ancient city, which includes several plazas and a notable 130-foot tall pyramid known as “El Castillo.”

Cahal Pech: Located just a short distance from the town center, Cahal Pech is another significant Mayan site. This smaller yet fascinating archaeological site was once a royal acropolis and is one of the oldest recognizably Maya sites in Western Belize.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: For a more adventurous experience, the ATM Cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal) offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore a cave that was once used for Mayan rituals. Inside, you can see calcified skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware left as offerings to the gods.

Green Iguana Conservation Project: This conservation project, located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, is dedicated to the preservation of the endangered Green Iguana. Visitors can learn about and interact with these fascinating creatures, understanding more about the efforts to conserve them and the opportunity to participate in a hands-on encounter.

San Ignacio Market: The local market in San Ignacio is a lively spot where you can experience local life and culture. Open daily with the biggest market days on Saturdays, you can find everything from fresh produce and spices to handicrafts and souvenirs.

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tasha amy stands in front of a small but well-preserved Mayan ruin in San Ignacio. The structure, covered in vines and surrounded by lush greenery, rises against a clear blue sky.
enjoying the underrated cahal pech ruins
A pathway leading through an ancient Mayan archaeological site in San Ignacio, nestled in a forest setting. The ruins feature stone walls and archways that frame a clear sky, surrounded by dense trees, offering a glimpse into the past civilization
some of the impressive structures in cahal pech
A group of adventurers navigating through a dark limestone cave in San Ignacio, Belize, illuminated by a single light source. The explorers, equipped with helmets and headlamps, carefully traverse along a narrow ledge above a water-filled cave, showcasing the thrilling underground activities available in the region as part of a Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary.
exploring inside of the atm cave

Where To Stay In San Ignacio On The Mexico, Belize, & Guatemala Itinerary

San Ignacio offers a wide array of affordable accommodations, from friendly hostels and welcoming guesthouses to campsites and nature-focused eco-lodges.

On my visit, I chose to stay at Bellas Backpackers, since I had such an awesome experience at their Caye Caulker branch where I had made numerous friends. Expecting a similar vibe, I was surprised to find the San Ignacio location much quieter than its island counterpart.

During my three-night stay, I was the sole occupant of my dorm room, and the guesthouse typically hosted between four to six guests each night. Despite the low occupancy, the atmosphere at Bellas Backpackers was unexpectedly cozy. Evenings were spent in the communal kitchen where the few of us shared travel stories, cooked together, and planned our upcoming adventures.

For those seeking a livelier social scene, Old House Hostel is reputed to be the primary gathering spot for backpackers in San Ignacio. I had the chance to meet a few travelers who were staying there; they described it as bustling and vibrant, offering a stark contrast to my hostel.

Bellas Backpackers

Bellas Backpackers

A chill family-style hostel in the center of town. Dorms start at $12.00 per night.

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The Old House Hostel

The Old House Hostel

The most popular hostel in the town. Dorm rooms start from $12.00 per night.

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Yellow Belly Backpackers

Yellow Belly Backpackers

Another lovely hostel in a great central location. Dorms here start for around $12.00 per night.

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Nabitunich

Nabitunich

A beautiful countryside farm stay for a unique experience. Private rooms here start at $60.00 per night.

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How To Get To San Ignacio From Caye Caulker

Step 1. Travel from Caye Caulker to Belize City: Your first step is to get from Caye Caulker to the mainland. This is done by water taxi and can be booked online in advance. The ride takes about 45 minutes, and ferries run frequently throughout the day.

Step 2. Belize City to San Ignacio: Once you arrive in Belize City, you have a couple of options to continue to San Ignacio:

Public Buses: Taking a bus from Belize City to San Ignacio is the cheapest option, however, be aware that the Belize City bus terminal is known for petty theft and is somewhere travelers generally avoid. These buses depart regularly from Belize City’s bus terminal to San Ignacio taking about 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the type of bus service (express vs. regular stops).

Shared Shuttles: Several companies offer shuttle services from Belize City to San Ignacio. This option is more expensive than taking a public bus but offers a more comfortable and direct journey. I recommend booking online using the form below:

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🚗 How I Book Transport In Mexico, Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Flores, Guatemala (Day 11 – 13)

Flores, Guatemala, is a charming island town located in the middle of Lake Petén Itzá in the northern part of the Guatemala, not far from the border. Renowned for its picturesque beauty, rich history, and proximity to some of the most significant Mayan ruins in the region, Flores serves as a popular base for travelers exploring the Petén area.

Petite and Picturesque Island: Flores itself is a small, vibrant island connected to the mainland by a causeway. The town is characterized by its colorful, colonial-style buildings, cobblestone streets, and friendly atmosphere. It’s compact enough to explore on foot, and a walk around the entire island can be done in less than an hour

Lake Petén Itzá: The lake is a central feature of life in Flores. Visitors can enjoy a range of water activities such as swimming, kayaking, and boat tours. The lake is also home to several small islands that can be visited on day trips.

Proximity to Tikal National Park: Flores is the gateway to Tikal, one of the largest and most impressive Mayan archaeological sites. Located just about an hour’s drive from Flores, Tikal is famous for its towering pyramids, ancient temples, and rich jungle environment that is teeming with wildlife, including monkeys, toucans, and coatimundis.

Shopping and Handicrafts For those looking to bring home a piece of Guatemala, Flores offers various shops where you can buy traditional handicrafts, including textiles, pottery, and jewelry made by local artisans. The markets here are less hectic than in larger cities, providing a more relaxed shopping experience.

Jorge’s Rope Swing: Located a short boat ride from Flores, Jorge’s Rope Swing is a popular spot for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy a fun and refreshing way to cool off in Lake Petén Itzá. This simple yet exhilarating attraction consists of a wooden platform built beside the lake with a rope swing that launches you into the clear, fresh waters.

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A meal set up on a beachfront restaurant table in Flores, including a hearty open sandwich topped with avocado, scrambled eggs, and tomatoes on crusty bread. A glass of iced coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit salad complement the meal, set against the backdrop of a serene ocean view, making it part of a memorable Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary.
enjoying a delicious breakfast with an incredible view in flores
tasha amy standing in front of a massive Mayan temple at Tikal, part of a historical site near Flores. The temple rises dramatically against a backdrop of lush greenery and overcast skies
checking out the insane tikal mayan ruins
A sunny street scene in Flores showcasing the traditional architecture with bright-colored facades and tiled roofs. The street is quiet with minimal traffic, lined with various small shops displaying local crafts and goods under a clear blue sky.
cobblestone streets and colorful buildings in flores

Where To Stay In Flores

Flores is quite small, and pretty much anywhere on the island itself is a good location.

My stay at Los Amigos was enjoyable, although it might not be the best spot if you’re looking for a vibrant social atmosphere outside of the party scene. They have a quaint hangout area with hammocks, but it was generally quiet, with most guests preferring to listen to music on their own.

One cute aspect of Los Amigos was the presence of a few friendly bunny rabbits that roam around the property—they were a charming addition and quickly became my little buddies. Also booking my Tikal Tour through the hostel was a good move as it allowed me to connect with other travelers staying there.

I opted for an air-conditioned dorm room which was incredibly comfortable, though the air conditioning was only turned on at night. The hostel also boasts an excellent on-site restaurant which was particularly convenient after a day at Jorge’s Rope Swing. As a solo female traveler, I appreciated having a safe and welcoming place to eat in the evenings without needing to venture out after dark.

shark hostel

Los Amigos

The perfect stay for backpackers. Dorm rooms start from $25.00 per night.

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shark hostel

Hotel Peten Express

Enjoy this modern hostel with incredible pool views. Dorms start from $20.00 per night.

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shark hostel

Hotel Isla de Flores

A beautiful hotel with incredible rooftop views. Rooms start from $79.00 per night.

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382884061 Hotel Casazul

Clean and modern blue-themed hotel. Rooms start from $70.00 per night.

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A close-up image of tasha amy smiling at the camera, with a brown rabbit resting beside her against a teal and white wall. She wears a floral-patterned cover-up and sunglasses atop her head, sharing a moment of joy with the rabbit in a casual setting.
friendly hostel bunny
A vibrant and artistic courtyard in Flores featuring a green bicycle parked on a gravel ground, colorful hammocks, and a large mural of a blue octopus on the wall. The scene is embellished with various hanging decorations and plants, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.
hanging out at the communal space at los amigos hostel

How To Get To Flores From San Ignacio

Traveling from San Ignacio, Belize, to Flores, Guatemala, includes crossing an international border, so it’s essential to prepare accordingly.

Your journey begins by getting from San Ignacio to the Belize-Guatemala border at Melchor de Mencos. Since it only takes about 15 minutes I recommend just taking a taxi, bonus if you link up with travelers to share it with.

Once you arrive at the border, you will need to go through immigration procedures to exit Belize and enter Guatemala. Ensure you have all necessary documents ready, including your passport and any required visas. Be prepared to pay a small exit fee from Belize, which is around BZD$40 or USD$20.

Honestly, it was a pretty straightforward border experience with clear instructions on where to go. The only thing is I did stump the border agent with my New Zealand passport, but after explaining the country name to Spanish I was all good to go.

After crossing the border, continue your journey to Flores. You have a few options, but the easiest are by taxi, if you are looking for a stress free experience, or colectivo if you are on more of a budget.

Taxis are readily available at the border and can take you directly to Flores. Be sure to agree on a fare before departing. You can also arrange for a private transfer service to pick you up from the border and take you to your destination.

Colectivos operate from the border to Flores. This is a shared ride, making it more cost-effective than a private taxi while still offering a direct route to Flores. One thing to note is the collectives terminate at the bus station on the mainland. You will then need to take a 5 minute taxi to the island of Flores. You can exchange leftover Belizean dollars for Guatemala Quetzals at the border as you will need some cash.


Semuc Champey, Guatemala (Day 13 – 15)

Semuc Champey is a stunning natural wonder located in the heart of Guatemala, near the town of Lanquín. This destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, adventure, and the opportunity to relax in one of Guatemala’s most picturesque settings.

Natural Limestone Bridge and Turquoise Pools: The main attraction at Semuc Champey is the natural limestone bridge that stretches over about 300 meters. Above it, a series of tiered pools filled with crystal-clear mountain water creates natural swimming spots. The pools vary in depth and size, making them perfect for a refreshing dip or simply enjoying the serene beauty of the area.

Hiking to the Mirador: For the best views of Semuc Champey, take the hike up to the Mirador (viewpoint). This moderately challenging trail leads to a lookout point that offers a panoramic view of the limestone bridge and pools against the backdrop of dense jungle.

Cave Exploration: Near Semuc Champey, there are several caves that can be explored, adding an element of adventure to your visit. The K’an Ba Cave is one of the most popular, where you can wade and swim through water-filled passages, climb ladders, and see impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Tours often include candle-lit exploration, which adds to the cave’s mystical appeal.

Tubing on the Cahabón River: Another popular activity is tubing along the Cahabón River. Relax in a tube as the gentle currents carry you down the river, surrounded by the natural beauty of the rainforest.

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A first-person perspective showing a woman's legs as she sits on the rocky edge of a natural pool in Semuc Champey. The clear green waters stretch out in front of her, bordered by lush greenery and a vibrant forest scene, reflecting a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
drying off after a swim
A serene setting featuring a cup of tea on a saucer, placed on a wooden table with a view of dense jungle foliage. The cup is labeled 'A cup of tea is all you need,' emphasizing a moment of tranquility amidst nature.
enjoying a quiet cup of tea in the jungle
An idyllic view of Semuc Champey's natural limestone pools, nestled in a lush jungle setting in Guatemala. The vibrant turquoise waters are surrounded by rich green vegetation and a rugged mountain backdrop. People enjoy the serene environment, swimming and relaxing along the water's edge
the incredible pools at semuc champey

Where To Stay In Semuc Champey

When it comes to choosing where to stay in Semuc Champey you have two options; staying in the nearby town of Lanquín or closer to the natural monument itself.

For those looking to immerse themselves in local culture, Lanquín is highly recommended. The town provides a more authentic Guatemalan experience with a variety of restaurants and generally more amenities such as air-conditioned rooms, constant power supply, and Wi-Fi availability.

Accommodations near Semuc Champey tend to offer a resort-like atmosphere, even in hostel settings. These places are designed for convenience, providing almost everything you need on-site and minimizing the need to venture out, except perhaps for organized tours, which are typically arranged through your accommodation.

I opted for Greengos Hostel during my stay and it was a fantastic choice for budget-conscious travelers. The hostel provides transfers from the shuttle drop-off point, boasts two swimming pools, an on-site restaurant, and offers organized tours. It’s located in a stunning setting, just a 10-minute walk from Semuc Champey, making it easy to access the park on your own. The limited amenities like intermittent Wi-Fi and power are small trade-offs for the beauty and calm of the surroundings.

Greengos Hostel

Greengos Hostel

A short walk from the entry of Semuc Champey and the perfect backpacker resort. Prices start from $20.00 per night.

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Zephyr River Lodge

Zephyr River Lodge

A party hostel perfect for those wanting to let loose and make friends. Prices start from $25.00 per night.

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El Retiro Lanquin

El Retiro Lanquin

Walking distance from town and set right on the river, the best of both worlds. Prices start from $9.00 per night in a dorm or $36.00 for a private.

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Guayaha

Guayaha

Enjoy resort-style living with a glamping stay in one of the beautiful tipi tents. The super affordable tents start at just $25.00 per night.

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How To Get To Semuc Champey From Flores

Traveling from Flores to Semuc Champey is quite a long journey, so you have to believe me when I say it is worth it!

Several shuttle services operate direct routes from Flores to Semuc Champey. This is perhaps the most convenient option as these shuttles are specifically geared towards tourists and will drop you off directly in Lanquín where you can then transfer to your accommodation.

The ride takes about 8-10 hours depending on road conditions and stops along the way. It’s advisable to book these shuttles in advance, especially during peak tourist season. I use GuateGo when booking shuttles in Guatemala and the shuttle for this route starts from $40.00.

If you are interested in taking the chicken bus I have a whole post on all methods to travel from Flores to Semuc Champey. However, I recommend the chicken bus for shorter travel days.


🚗 How I Book Transport In Mexico, Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Antigua, Guatemala (Day 15 – 18)

Antigua is one of Guatemala’s most beloved tourist destinations, renowned for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, vibrant culture, and stunning volcanic landscape. This former capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala offers a unique blend of historical significance and contemporary lifestyle.

Stunning Colonial Architecture: Antigua is famous for its colonial architecture, characterized by colorful buildings, cobbled streets, and historic churches. The city is so well-preserved that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Impressive Churches and Ruins: The city is dotted with numerous old churches, convents, and monasteries, many of which are in ruins due to past earthquakes but still stand impressively.

Vibrant Markets and Handicrafts: Antigua is a great place to shop for traditional Guatemalan handicrafts, including textiles, pottery, and jewelry. The Mercado de Artesanías is an artisan market where you can find hand-woven fabrics and other local crafts perfect for souvenirs

Surrounded by Volcanoes: Antigua is nestled between three stunning volcanoes: Volcán de Agua, Volcán de Fuego, and Volcán Acatenango. These volcanoes provide not only a dramatic backdrop but also opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hiking Acatenango is a popular activity, offering breathtaking views of the active Fuego volcano and the surrounding landscape. Another option is the shorter and easier hike of Pacaya volcano.

Hobbitenango: Hobbitenango is an eco-park inspired by the fantasy world of “The Hobbit”. The park offers a delightful escape for fans of the series and anyone looking to immerse themselves in a fairytale-like environment.

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tasha amy stands on a uniquely designed viewpoint that resembles a hand, located on the edge of a hill in Antigua. Below, a panoramic view of a lush valley dotted with small buildings and patches of agriculture extends into the distance, framed by a sky filled with light clouds.
crazy photo spots at hobbitenango
tasha amy standing on a mountain peak, observing a nearby active volcano emitting a plume of smoke in Antigua. She is dressed in outdoor gear and holding colorful prayer flags, which add a vivid touch against the rugged volcanic backdrop. This adventurous experience is a notable highlight in the Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary
watching fuego volcano erupt from acatenango
The historic Cathedral of Antigua, Guatemala, captured in the early evening with a muted sky in the background. The church's elaborate white facade features intricate sculptural details and classical architectural elements. The scene is set on a cobblestone street, enhancing the old-world charm of this colonial city.
the impressive cathedral of antigua in the afternoon sunlight

Where To Stay In Antigua

I absolutely adore Antigua—it’s hands down one of my top picks in Guatemala, and honestly, I could totally see myself living there, surrounded by those majestic volcanoes. It’s pretty common to come across hotels and restaurants that boast jaw-dropping views of the valley, where, if you’re lucky and the night is clear, you can catch Acatenango Volcano putting on a spectacular show.

Antigua’s hostel scene is pretty awesome too, and surprisingly high-quality. You’ll find hostels with pod-style dorm beds, Netflix-ready common rooms, bars on-site, kitchens for when you feel like cooking, and some even flaunt swimming pools.

That said, a heads-up if you’re traveling here during the warmer months—it can be tough to find a dorm with air conditioning, and it does get pretty toasty.

I ended up staying at Maya Papaya hostel, and it was perfect. I loved it so much that I booked four separate stays during my month in Guatemala. The staff are wonderful, the beds super comfy, and there’s a spotless kitchen all set up for you to use. Plus, it’s in a great location with some really chill hangout spots.

Just a note, though—the nicer hostels can be a bit on the expensive side, sometimes over $20 a night. When my partner joined me halfway through my Guatemala escapades, we figured out it was often cheaper to snag a nice guesthouse instead of paying for two hostel beds, especially if you’re booking last-minute.

Hotel Maya Ik

Hotel Maya Ik’

Large and comfortable rooms in an awesome location. Prices start from $40.00 per night.

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Hotel Vista Al Cerro

Hotel Vista Al Cerro

Cheap and cheerful accommodations in Antigua. You can find private rooms here with a shared bathroom from $25.00 per night.

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Maya Papaya Hostel

Maya Papaya Hostel

My favorite hostel in Antigua. You can enjoy modern dorm rooms and a delicious breakfast from $20.00 per night.

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Ojala Hostel

Ojala Hostel

A relatively new hostel to the Antigua backpacking scene. Enjoy a glampacker stay here from $25.00 per night.

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How To Get To Antigua From Semuc Champey

Traveling from Semuc Champey to Antigua is unfortunately another long travel day, so just relax and watch the world go by.

No doubt, again, the most straightforward way to travel to Antigua is by shuttle bus. Numerous companies operate daily shuttles that travel directly from Semuc Champey to Antigua, with the journey taking about 8 to 10 hours depending on road conditions and traffic.

These shuttles depart early in the morning to ensure you arrive in Antigua by the evening. I actually recommend booking this shuttle through your accommodation once you arrive. This way you can ensure they transfer you to the pick up spot at the correct time.

If you are interested in taking the chicken bus I have a whole post on all methods to travel from Semuc Champey to Antigua. However, in this case, it would be a multi day journey which would be unnecessarily long.


Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (Day 18 – 21)

Lake Atitlán, nestled in the highlands of Guatemala and surrounded by volcanoes, is often cited as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and is the last stop on the Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary. This breathtaking natural wonder is not only a scenic delight but also a cultural hub, home to various indigenous communities that maintain a lifestyle rooted in traditions and the natural environment.

Stunning Natural Beauty: Lake Atitlán is renowned for its natural beauty, with its sparkling blue waters set against the backdrop of three imposing volcanoes: Atitlán, Tolimán, and San Pedro. The lake is actually a volcanic caldera, formed by an eruption over 84,000 years ago.

Charming Villages: The lake’s shoreline is dotted with a dozen villages, each with its own unique character and culture.

Cultural Experiences: Lake Atitlán is not just a place of outstanding beauty but also a cultural epicenter. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local customs and traditions through village tours, textile workshops, and cooking classes.

Outdoor Activities: For those seeking adventure, Lake Atitlán offers many activities. Hiking opportunities abound, including treks up the surrounding volcanoes and through various nature reserves where you can enjoy spectacular views of the lake and its environs.

Spiritual and Wellness Retreats: The tranquil environment and majestic scenery have made Lake Atitlán a center for spiritual and wellness retreats. Numerous facilities around the lake offer yoga, meditation, and wellness programs that cater to those looking to rejuvenate both body and mind.

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tasha amy sits on a wooden dock overlooking Lake Atitlán, surrounded by majestic volcanoes under a clear blue sky. Her contemplative pose captures a moment of peace as she gazes out over the calm waters, framed by the natural beauty of Guatemala. This picturesque setting is a serene highlight on the Mexico, Belize, Guatemala itinerary.
looking out towards the volcanos
A tranquil scene at Lake Atitlán with several small boats moored along a wooden pier, set against a backdrop of lush green hills and a calm lake surface. The clear skies and peaceful water reflect the serene and untouched nature of the area, inviting exploration and relaxation.
peaceful landscapes around lake atitlan
A panoramic view of Lake Atitlán, captured from a lakeside spot where boats are tied up to a rustic wooden dock. The lake is flanked by towering volcanoes and hills, with trees overhanging the water's edge, presenting a perfect blend of natural elements and serene landscapes.
boats tied up at santa cruz la laguna

Where To Stay In Lake Atitlan

There are plenty of lovely villages around Lake Atitlan where you can stay. I recommend choosing a couple you would like to visit and then checking out accommodation options.

Panajachel: Let’s start with the main city around Lake Atitlan called Panajachel. There always seems to be a constant stream of shuttles arriving and departing, with travelers walking on down to the docks. I would say it is worth spending a couple of days here. It is an easy place to book tours and organize transport. There is some awesome shopping to be done down the main street called Calla Santander.

Santa Cruz la Laguna: Another popular spot is Santa Cruz la Laguna. This has grown quickly in popularity with backpackers over the last couple of years thanks to the affordable hostels on offer. You can find the popular Free Cerveza which gives summer camp vibes, and it is pretty cool you get to sleep in a teepee. Secondly, there is La Iguana Perdida which was the first hostel in the area and has a really homely feel. One thing Santa Cruz is known for is its incredible views, from the lake, the volcanos, and the picturesque village, it is a feast for your eyes.

San Pedro La Laguna: This is another popular town worth checking out. It is no doubt quite a backpacker hub with plenty of hostels and affordable cafes and restaurants. This is the perfect town to position yourself in if you are planning to hike the San Pedro volcano or if you are perhaps looking for an easier hike you will also find plenty of tour agencies offering the popular Indian Nose Hike.

San Juan La Laguna: Undoubtedly this is the place to experience the arts of the area and is also a great place to do some shopping and buy some authentic souvenirs. There are definitely fewer tourists here than in other villages around the lake, so it can be nice to get away from all the crazy and come here for a breather.

San Marcos la Laguna: Now if you are more of a free-spirited type of person or quite into the yoga scene you may want to think about basing yourself in San Marcos. There are so many accommodation options here, and truly some are incredibly beautiful with amazing views out to the volcanos. This is also an excellent spot for some delicious vegan and vegetarian food.

selina lake stitlan

Selina Atitlan

The perfect stay for backpackers and digital nomads. Dorm rooms start from $22.00 per night.

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mr mullets hostel

Mr. Mullets

A party hostel perfect for those wanting to let loose and make friends. Prices start from $12.00 per night.

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la iguana perdida

La Iguana Perdida

A lovely homely hostel right by the pier. Dorm rooms start from $11.00 per night.

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free cerveza

Free Cerveza

Enjoy summer camp vibes and tipi dorm rooms. Prices start from $16.00 per night. BOOK NOW

How To Get To Lake Atitlan From Antigua

Traveling from Antigua to Lake Atitlán is a common route for visitors in Guatemala, offering a scenic journey through the highlands that can be completed in several ways.

By Shuttle Bus: The most popular and straightforward method is to take a shuttle bus. Numerous companies in Antigua offer direct shuttle services to Panajachel and San Pedro. These shuttles are relatively inexpensive, comfortable, and convenient. The ride takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, and you can book tickets from any tourist office in Antigua or often through your accommodation.

By Chicken Bus: If you’re looking for a cheaper option and a bit of an adventure, you can take a “chicken bus” (the local name for brightly painted school buses that serve as public transport). To reach Lake Atitlán this way, you first need to take a bus from Antigua to Chimaltenango and then switch to another bus headed for Panajachel. This option is more time-consuming and less comfortable than a shuttle but offers a glimpse into local life.

By Private Transfer: For those preferring a more comfortable and personalized option, private transfers can be arranged. This is particularly appealing if you are traveling in a group or with lots of luggage, or simply want the convenience of a door-to-door service. While more expensive, private transfers allow you to travel at your own pace and on your own schedule.

If you are keen to book in advance you can do so through GuateGo. It’s perfect for those busy periods as you can book when you haven’t even arrived in the country yet! This means you can relax knowing all the planning is taken care of.


End: Flying Out Of Guatemala City

Wrapping up your journey in Guatemala and heading home from Lake Atitlán involves traveling to Guatemala City, where you’ll find La Aurora International Airport, the country’s main international gateway.

The most hassle-free way to get from Lake Atitlán (specifically Panajachel) to Guatemala City is by using a tourist shuttle. The journey to Guatemala City takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It’s advisable to choose a shuttle that gets you to the city well ahead of your flight time, considering potential delays.

For a more comfortable and flexible journey, you can book a private transfer. This service will pick you up directly from your accommodation by the lake and take you to the airport. While this option is more expensive, it offers the convenience of traveling on your schedule and accommodates any extra luggage or companions.

Honestly, I would choose booking a private transfer over a shuttle, especially if you plan to travel on the same day. This will just give you extra peace of mind and you won’t have to wait for other travelers who may cause unnecessary delays.

Aim to arrive at the airport at least 3-4 hours before your international flight. This should give you ample time to check in, pass through security, and navigate any potential delays at customs or immigration.

Keep in mind that traffic in Guatemala City can be unpredictable, especially during rush hours (early mornings and late afternoons). Plan your departure from Lake Atitlán accordingly.

La Aurora International Airport is equipped with various amenities, including duty-free shops, restaurants, and currency exchange services. It’s a good spot to grab a meal or pick up any last-minute gifts before your flight.


Have 4 Weeks For Your Mexico Belize Guatemala Itinerary?

If you have four weeks for your Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala itinerary you’re in for an incredible adventure filled with diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. Here’s my suggested route to make the most out of your month-long trip across these three captivating countries:

  • Isla Holbox, Mexico (Day 1 – 3)
  • Tulum, Mexico (Day 3 – 6)
  • Bacalar, Mexico (Day 6 – 8)
  • Caye Caylker, Belize (Day 8 – 11)
  • San Ignacio, Belize (Day 11 – 13)
  • Flores, Guatemala (Day 13 – 15)
  • Semuc Champey, Guatemala (Day 15 – 18)
  • Antigua, Guatemala (Day 18 – 21)
  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (Day 21 – 26)
  • El Paredon, Guatemala (Day 26 – 29)
  • Guatemala City / Antigua (Day 29 – 30)

The above 4 week Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary is relatively similar to the 3 week, however with extra time spent in some of the highlights. This will allow you to travel at more of a relaxed pace and break up some of those long travel days.

You will also finish off the trip with a beach stay in El Paredon where you can experience the Pacific Coast and embrace a bit of holiday vibes before you head back to reality.


🚗 How I Book Transport In Mexico, Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Only Have 2 Weeks For Your Itinerary?

Now 2 weeks or 14 days isn’t a long for a Mexico Belize, and Guatemala itinerary. Therefore I do recommend NOT cramming 3 countries in such a small period of time.

Instead you are best off concentrating on Mexico and Belize or only visiting Guatemala.

Here are two different possible routes:

Mexico & Belize 2 week itinerary:

  • Isla Holbox, Mexico (Day 1 – 3)
  • Tulum, Mexico (Day 3 – 6)
  • Bacalar, Mexico (Day 6 – 8)
  • Caye Caylker, Belize (Day 8 – 12)
  • San Ignacio, Belize (Day 12 – 14)

Guatemala 2 week itinerary:

  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (Day 1 – 2)
  • Flores, Guatemala (Day 2 – 4)
  • Semuc Champey, Guatemala (Day 4 – 7)
  • Antigua, Guatemala (Day 7 – 10)
  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (Day 10 – 14)


Have A Short Trip: Can You Do 1 Week In Mexico Belize Guatemala?

Honestly no again I would not try cram 3 different countries in to one week of travel. Instead this time around I would just stick to one coutry.

Mexico 1 week itinerary:

  • Isla Holbox, Mexico (Day 1 – 3)
  • Tulum, Mexico (Day 3 – 6)
  • Cancun, Mexico (Day 6 – Day 7)

Belize 1 week itinerary:

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize (Day 1 – Day 3)
  • Caye Caylker, Belize (Day 3 – 5)
  • San Ignacio, Belize (Day 5 – 7)

Guatemala 1 week itinerary:

  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (Day 1 – 4)
  • Antigua, Guatemala (Day 4 – 7)

FAQs About Traveling Mexico, Belize & Guatemala

How long to spend in Guatemala and Belize?

Determining how long to spend in Guatemala and Belize largely depends on your interests and travel style. However, I recommend at least 2 weeks in Guatemala and 1 week in Belize to fully experience the rich cultural experiences, stunning natural landscapes, and unique adventures.

Can you visit Guatemala from Belize?

Yes, you can easily visit Guatemala from Belize. The most common route is traveling from Belize City or San Ignacio to Flores, Guatemala, via shuttle. Flores is close to major attractions like Tikal and serves as a great first time in Guatemala.


Wrap Up: Mexico Belize Guatemala Itinerary

This grand adventure on the Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala itinerary will enrich you with vibrant cultures, breathtaking natural landscapes, and the mysteries of ancient civilizations.

From the bustling beaches of Mexico to the serene waters of Lake Atitlán and the historic ruins of Tikal, each country presents a unique chapter of excitement and discovery. This itinerary blends the highlights of three countries seamlessly, offering an unforgettable mix of exploration, relaxation, and adventure.

Now you know how long to spend in each destination and how to get around your adventure will be one to remember. So strap on that backpack or get out your suitcase and get ready to explore some of the best of the Americas!


Any Questions? Let Me Know In The Comments!


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If you are keen to explore culture, beaches, and jungle there is no better option than the Mexico Belize Guatemala itinerary. Whether you have 2 or 4 weeks to explore I will let you know the best choices, how to get around, and more!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.


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