A friend and I will be making our 7th annual trip to Guatemala and have a brief 36 hours of free time to do "something", with a starting point being GUA. I KNOW we're crazy, but we've done this several times in the past and had a GREAT time and covered a lot of ground.
In the past we have done the following with our free days:
1. Overnight hike on Acatenango (FANTASTIC! Managed this with 36 hours of free time)
2. Tikal (managed this also with 36 hours of free time...again, AMAZING!)
3. Xela to Lago Atitlan 3 day backpacking trip (5 days were needed, but we gained SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE of the country and the Maya people and had a GREAT time)
We definitely like adventure, and seeing the country. Things that are on our list for future trips (when we have more time than this year) are Semuc Champey/Lanquin Caves and a 3-day horseback riding trip in the Cuchamatanes mountains. That gives you some idea of what we like.
Since we're going before our work trip this year, we've been instructed not to do anything to liable to produce injury, LOL!
Three things we're considering with our very short time frame:
1. Flying straight out to Flores the day we arrive and seeing that area, which we missed on our very short trip to Tikal a few years back. Our concern is that it's super "touristy"....what might we enjoy in the area? (Adventurous? Involving wildlife and the outdoors? Something uniquely Guatemalan?) We have zero interest in shopping, bars, or relaxing, LOL. :)
2. Heading out to the Pacific Coast....Montericco? Kayaking? Again, same concerns....overly touristy, or just kind of "meh".
3. Talk to a local guide we know pretty well in Antigua and ask him to set up "cool local things to see" in a 36 hour span and have him pick us up at GUA and drop us off again there to meet our group 36 hours later. Any thoughts on what could be seen in that time frame that would expand our horizons of the country?
THANK YOU so much! The advice we received on this forum was extraordinarily useful in planning our previous jaunts.