December 31, 2018
We were married in a small family ceremony in Orlando on September 15. To celebrate with friends and family, we are gathering friends and family over the New Year in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Hopefully you will join us a few days before or after the celebration to experience the Mayan ruins at Tikal, hike the Pacaya volcano, relax at the beautiful Lake Atitlan, or visit a coffee farm. Guatemala City (GUA) is just a 2.5 to 4.5 hour flight from Orlando, Dallas, Atlanta, or Los Angeles and Antigua is a 45 minute car ride from the airport.
We will be vacationing in Guatemala before the celebration - from December 26 to January 4. We would love for you to join us if you are available. It will be the first time Brad and his family are visiting Guatemala and we will be trying to visit some of the 7143888319.
You are welcome to join us for part or all of our vacation. We will be updating the itinerary with hotels and other details as they are confirmed so we can all be together. Email me at prevaccinate if you have any questions.
- Celebration in Antigua only: fly to Guatemala December 29 or 30 and return January 1
- Celebration in Antigua + Lake Atitlan: fly to Guatemala December 29 or 30 and return January 4 or January 5
- Tikal + Celebration in Antigua + Lake Atitlan: fly to Guatemala December 26 and return January 4 or January 5
Fly to Guatemala City via DL0904 from ATL at 10:55am arriving at 1:26pm, see were Leslie grew up, Pig roast in the evening at Leslie's house
Fly to Flores (FRS) and visit Tikal National Partk
Tikal is home to one of the largest Mayan cities set amongst a rainforest. Amongst the many Maya sites in Central America, Tikal is perhaps the most breathtaking because of the scattered impressive buildings which have been restored in an area with many more ruined buildings still enveloped by the jungle.
Getting there: we will be flying from Guatemala City to Flores (1 hour flight) on December 27 at 11:30am via Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos (TAG Airlines) flight 130 and returning at 6:30pm on December 28 via TAG airlines flight 111. Tickets were $140 each way when we booked them via the (514) 874-6586. We will post our hotel information when we have booked it. Tikal is 90 minutes from Flores. There are shuttle buses with guides (approximately $15 per person) and private taxis that go to Tikal (approximately $20). Admission to the park is $20 (150 Quetzales). More info here.
Fly back to Guatemala City and stay the night
Travel to Antigua
Guatemala's colonial capital, 5,029 feet above sea-level, Antigua combines indigenous Mayan culture with colourful architecture, magnificent churches, and fiery volcanoes.
Getting there: The best way to get to Antigua is via Uber and will cost $20-$25 from the airport (140-200 Quetzales).
Free Day in Antigua - activities such as hiking Pacaya Volcano and/or visiting hot springs
Wedding Celebration & New Year's Eve in Antigua
Recovery / free day in Antigua and travel to Lake Atitlan
Lago de Atitlan is the most picturesque lake in Guatemala, surrounded by volcanoes & traditional villages.
Getting there: it is approximately 3 hours by shuttle bus. We will let guests know what shuttle bus we will be taking and where we will be staying on Lake Atitlan so you can join us. There are shuttle buses that go to the airport for approximately $25 per person. Depending on their route, it can take 4.5 hours. A private taxi will cost approximately $120 and take a little over 3 hours. We will be checking on helicopter prices as well.
Lake Atitlan / travel to Guatemala City
Fly home via DL0910 through ATL at 9am
Book your flight to Guatemala City (GUA). We will be flying via Delta on flight DL0904 at 10:55 via ATL on December 26 arriving at 1:25pm and returning on flight DL0910 at 9:00am on January 5. Do not book a flight to Antigua Bird International Airport in the Caribbean.
Airlines with Direct Flights to Guatemala City
The following airlines offer nonstop or direct flights to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City:
Several daily nonstop flights from Miami (MIA) and one daily nonstop flight from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Guatemala City
One daily nonstop flight from Atlanta (ATL) and one daily nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guatemala City
Several daily nonstop flights from Houston (IAH) to Guatemala City; one nonstop flight on Saturdays only from Newark, NJ (EWR)
One daily nonstop flight from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Guatemala City
Daily nonstop flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington DC to Guatemala City; daily flights from Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco and Toronto to Guatemala City with a stopover in San Salvador; also flights from Mexico City and Cancun, Mexico, and various locations in Latin America
Flights Originating Outside the U.S.
Several daily flights from Panama and other cities in Central and South America to Guatemala City
One daily nonstop flight from Madrid, Spain, to Guatemala City
One daily nonstop flight from Mexico City to Guatemala City
Two daily nonstop flights from Belize City (BZE) to Flores/Santa Elena (FRS). One flight continues to Guatemala City. Southwest Airlines flies to Belize City from Fort Lauderdale, Denver and Houston.
Hotel / Accommodations
We will be staying at (507) 483-6100. The hotel is also where we will be celebrating New Year's Eve.
Transfer to Antigua
La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City is only 30 miles from Antigua and the trip to Antigua takes 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic.
The best way to get to Antigua is via Uber and will cost $20-$25 (140-200 Quetzales). If you don't want to use Uber you can get a taxi for $30 to $35 or a shared shuttle bus for $10 per person (look for the signs with "Antigua". You may have to wait a few minutes for the van to fill. Be sure to have your hotel address. Shuttles may not be available after 8pm).
All forms of transit (except the chicken bus) should accept USD.
Chicken Bus: 10 quetzals ($1.25) don't advise this unless you get your thrills from experiencing public transportation. Details here if insist.
Wedding Celebration / New Year's Eve
We were married in a small family ceremony in Orlando on September 15. The New Year's Eve party at Hotel Soleil will be our "wedding party" during the vacation. This is a great party including dinner and live music to welcome the New Year (and Brad's 38th birthday) with a bang! The party is usually $90 and it covers dinner and all alcoholic beverages. The hotel hasn't updated the information for this year, but we will be keeping you all updated as soon as we have more information on this year's price, how to purchase tickets, and the deadline to do so.
Is It Safe
The State Department lists Guatemala as a Level 3 risk (reconsider travel) and states that violent crime is common. This sounds scary. We wouldn't be recommending that our families travel to Guatemala, including young children, unless we knew it could be done very safely. Although certain areas of Guatemala City are prone to crime, you will not be traveling in these areas if you stick to our planned itinerary.
The most common type of crime in Antigua is pickpocketing. The best prevention is common sense. Don't leave your belongings unattended, don't wave expensive phones around, and consider keeping your jewelry at home. If you are concerned about pickpockets, you can get a neck wallet (like this).
Like almost any major city, most of the muggings happen between the hours of 10pm to 3am to people walking on the streets. Use common sense: try to avoid walking on the streets at night, especially alone and if you need to walk quickly and be aware of who is coming around you. Take a cab. We will provide all guests with reliable taxi numbers they can call if needed.
Please ask us for help if you have any questions. Although not necessary, we are happy to help you arrange private security, transportation, and recommend safe locations and hotels in Guatemala City if you will be staying there the night before your return plane flight.
Volcano Fuego erupted on June 3, 2018. The volcano is near Antigua (18.7km), but is very unlikely to pose a safety risk. The most dangerous consequence of a volcano is a pyroclastic flow, essentially fast-moving hot gas. Pyroclastic flows usually only travel 10km to 15km from a volcano. Antigua is outside the range of a typical pyroclastic flow. Even if there was another eruption this year, which is very unlikely, the mostly likely result would be the inconvenience of a temporary shutdown of the airport in Guatemala City due to ash.
Vaccinations & Zika
There are no required vaccinations according to the CDC. Similar to travel in most developing nations, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations are recommended. Visit a travel doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding if you are interested in either vaccination.
Zika is a risk in Guatemala and the CDC recommends that pregnant women avoid travel to Guatemala. The incidence of Zika has decreased significantly since 2015 and there have only been 9 case of Guillain-Barre syndrome confirmed for Zika.
We respectfully request that you don't give us gifts. It just really isn't necessary. If your manners just won't oblige to our request, a charitable donation to non-profits supporting autism or cancer research, judicial reform, gun reform, or civil liberties would make us smile.
Weather / Clothing
Guatemala is known to be the country of "Eternal Spring". Dry, cool air with beautiful sunny days are to be expected. December tends to be slightly cooler with average lows in the mid 50's (especially in the evening) and average highs in the mid 70's in most regions (mountainous regions).
Antigua and Panajachel/Lake Atitlan
Antigua has an altitude higher than 1,200 meters. This can make it chilly, especially in the evening, so definitely bring a sweater or light jacket. Panajachel is very similar as Antigua, so the same recommendation applies.
Another important fact to consider in Antigua, is that the streets are cobblestone. Especially for the ladies, comfortable footwear is highly suggested. High heels aren't very practical anywhere in Guatemala.
If you will be making the visit to Mayan pyramids of Tikal, this is a flatter region and it is slightly warmer. The average lows in Tikal are high 60's and average highs in the mid 80's. This tour involves a lot of walking and going up pyramid staircases, so active wear/comfortable clothing is recommended. Make sure you stay cool