Its official…we will be saying goodbye to Puerto Vallarta on Feb 4th and heading south to Guatemala. Quite frankly I’m super happy to have finally made this decision since there were several options that all sounded equally appealing. This may seem like a good problem to have but for us it can be very time consuming. When you are both blessed with the almost contradictory personality traits of being easy going and open to almost anything plus have the need to research the crap out of things it can take a while to commit to a plan. Imagine daily conversations that fluctuate back and forth between “I’m good with anything, you decide” and “I just read this article and I think maybe we should reconsider and do it this way instead”.
Luckily we did have a few parameters to help give us at least a vague direction.
- We have a house sit on Lake Chapala starting May 2nd so we definitely had to be in that area by the end of April.
- Our six month FM2 will expire April 28th and since we have to be in Mexico in May we would need to leave the country at some point before then in order to start a fresh six month FM2.
- We really wanted to get over to the Caribbean side sooner than later. By the end of April the humidity and heat would be kicking in again and we’d rather be in the highlands of central Mexico at that time where it’s a tad cooler.
- Of course when you’re on a set budget money always plays a big part so we also had to look at what would be the most cost effective route to take. Traveling as opposed to setting up a home base for a month will substantially increase your monthly costs.
So after many discussions and hours of research we have decided on the following rough plan. Of course it’s still always subject to change if a new exciting option comes into play. The only thing we have booked so far is the flight on the 4th
- Feb 4th
We will fly from Puerto Vallarta to Guatemala City via Mexico City (1.5hr layover) and Tapachula, MX (11hr layover). Yes you read right, an eleven hour layover in Tapachula! To make it worse it’s overnight so we will be sleeping in the airport unless we find a super cheap room somewhere close. We looked at taking the bus and making stops all down the Mexican coast which sounded like way more fun but in this particular case it proved to be quite a bit cheaper to fly. Plus we know we will have a chance to explore Mexico further later.
- Feb 5th to 10th
We will arrive in Guatemala City at 10:30am and will promptly hop on a bus or shuttle out of there and head to Antigua. We only have a few weeks in Guatemala and neither of us have any desire to spend that time in that crazy and hectic city! I’m pretty excited to explore the colonial city of Antigua though and we also plan to hike up the active volcano Pacaya to roast marshmallows on the lava.
- Feb 10thth to 15th
Our next stop will be Lago de Atitlan. Aside from exploring the beautiful lake and its villages our to do list includes a trip to the market in Chichicastenango (ChiChi).
- Feb 15th to 17th
To break up the long bus ride north to Flores we plan to make a stop-over at Lanquin and the National Park of Semuc Champey which is home to a series of turquoise pools that descend in a natural staircase formation.
- Feb 17th to 20th
Continuing north we head to Flores and the renowned Mayan ruins of Tikal. We may even camp overnight in the National Park where you can sleep in a hammock amongst howler monkeys, owls and jaguars!
- Feb 21st to Mar 1st
Hopping on a bus headed northeast will take us to Belize. We will only have a few days here as it is more expensive the Guatemala and Mexico but we hope to cram in a ton of sightseeing and some snorkeling on the spectacular Barrier Reef.
- Mar 1st to Apr 30th
Crossing back into Mexico we will spend the next couple of months exploring the Yucatan. We will likely set up a home base in Playa Del Carmen for a month and then decide whether to stay put or spend the second month further north possibly in Merida. April is a very busy time in Mexico as Easter is an even bigger celebration than Christmas so we will likely have to make a decision sooner than later or pay a hefty price.
- Apr 30th to May 26th
This will be a time of focusing on work and living a “normal” life caring for a home and five wonderful dogs. We are just as excited for this as we are for the adventures leading up to it. Although we love our travel life and have no desire to go back to our old “norm” it is still good now and then to have a taste of a stable home and pets…just temporarily It allows us to recharge and refocus and it gives me my doggie fix which is something I do really miss on the road. It also feels great to know that we are giving the owners peace of mind while they travel and in exchange we get to save on some living costs…truly a win/win!
Well there you have it…our next four months of travel life after Puerto Vallarta. Beyond that we really don’t know where we’ll end up although we do have some ideas brewing. If any of you have any advice or questions about our itinerary we’d love to hear from you.
We hope you follow along and Live, Dream and Discover with us!