Area around the Pier at Puerto Quetzal

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#1
Indianapolis, Indiana
2,036 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We will be on the MS Rotterdam in Feb 2012 with a 1 day stop at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Is there any thing to do/see within walking distance of the port area or do we need to take an organized tour to an area away from the port? Also - is it safe to walk around these areas?
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#2
North Carolina
762 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Hopefully someone with more experience there will chime in with more detailed information.

I recall that there were some of the usual type trinket vendors immediately outside the port but not much else. It's an industrial port. That's the problem with many locations in Central America. The colonial powers liked to build their cities up in the mountains where it was cool and civilized while the coastal lowlands were just farmland so the good stuff is a bus ride away.
#3
Maine
8,013 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
There isn't much around the port. It's an industrial fruit port so not built for tourists. If you head north along the coast there are some nice areas, and it isn't a far busride to Antigua, which is probably the nicest spot in teh country IMO.
#4
Florida
3,622 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I would recommend to go to wonderful Antigua. The port area is uninteresting and far from any town.

We booked the ship's bus to Antigua because we wanted to make sure we would be back in time. Then we explored Antigua on our own. The town is compact and beautiful. Wear walking shoes, the cobblestones are uneven.
#5
Portland, Oregon, USA
69 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
The Celebrity self-guided tour of Antigua starts at 8 am and says it lasts for 8 hours. If we don't want to return to the ship earlier what are our options.
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#6
St. Paul MN
2,976 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
antigua is an hour and a half travel time from the port. I have been to Guatemala before. You never know about traffic. and any slow down on the road. i defintely would take a ship tour to Antigua to make sure you get back to the ship in time.
#7
Portland, Oregon, USA
69 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Actually what I meant to say was if we want to return to the ship earlier what are our options. The description says: "During the whole duration of your stay, there will be staff available at the drop-off/pick-up."
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#8
london
404 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by french fry queen
Actually what I meant to say was if we want to return to the ship earlier what are our options. The description says: "During the whole duration of your stay, there will be staff available at the drop-off/pick-up."
On our cruise on Cunard in January they changed the self guided tour to a guided tour the night before due to safety concerns.
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#9
St. Paul MN
2,976 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Frenchh fry queen,
Your only option if you take the ship transportaion and want to return earlier is to tell the bus driver or the celebrity person with the bus that you will be taking a cab back to the port.
Are you really looking for a half day tour? Antigua would not work. Or are you worried about something else? Maybe being bored or tired before the time to board the bus? If it is the latter you could always find a nice sidewalk cafe and just enjoy some food and beverages and watch the local scene until time to board the bus.

Delongin,
I would love to hear about your tour of Antiqua and what you did?
#10
london
404 Posts
Joined May 2008
We didn't actually do the antigua tour, we did the coffee plantation tour and just stopped briefly for photos in Antigua. We enjoyed the tour and we had police escorts.
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#11
St. Paul MN
2,976 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
delondin,
Hope you bought some coffee. I have been to Coban, Gautemala which is in a cloud forest and had the best coffee ever. It was cold press coffee. It is the elixer of the gods. I am a coffee snob and cannot wait to bring home some coffee beans from my cruise later in the year.

I understand the police escort, especially when you go into the mountain areas.
It is a beautiful country but very poor for most of its citizens especailly for its indigenous peoples.
#12
St Ives, England
2,164 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by iflyrc5
We will be on the MS Rotterdam in Feb 2012 with a 1 day stop at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Is there any thing to do/see within walking distance of the port area or do we need to take an organized tour to an area away from the port? Also - is it safe to walk around these areas?
In case it's of interest I did this from Puerto Quetzal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVg5rzJ1dFI on a HAL tour. I can't remember what it was called but I assume they are still doing it or very similar. It was expensive but I enjoyed the whole thing, and the lunch at Casa Santo Domingo was pretty good.
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#13
Vancouver, BC Canada
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Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Azulann
antigua is an hour and a half travel time from the port. I have been to Guatemala before. You never know about traffic. and any slow down on the road. i defintely would take a ship tour to Antigua to make sure you get back to the ship in time.
Our bus was 30 minutes late getting back and I was glad we took the ships tour.
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