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Puerto Quetzal Excursions


bandmp
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Dear Bucky3 and bandmp,

just saw your questions and thought i'd lend you a hand. i travel to Guatemala very often. in fact, i'm getting married there next spring. I can recommend "Go with Gus Tours". Just go to their website: http://www.gowithgustours.com - and you'll find plenty of information. They're trustworthy and very genuine. If you'd like to contact the main man himself, you can reach Gus at - gustavo@turcios.com. If for any reason they can't help you with precisely your needs, they will direct you to someone who can as Tour operators usually have a network they rely on. Finally, if you look through the threads on this site, you'll find several reviews on Gus' tours. Especially in the livingston / Puerto Santo Thomas sections. Good luck and pleasant travels... Evenkeeled

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I have used Nancy with guatemalareservations dot com for trips when I have flown into Guatemala. Never from a ship----she has VERY good drivers which is awesome because of the roads. She will work with you to make sure you get what you want. Her drivers are punctual if not early----somewhat unheard of! :) I have used her for trips from Guatemala City to Antigua, GC to Pana / Lake Atitlan and around GC. I also know many others that use her when they fly into GC. and they highly recommend her.

 

In Antigua, she offers a tour to a weaving cooperative---skip it---tourist trap----but the Coffee Finca was wonderful --- the ladies gardens were spectacular. If you like coffee ----Guatemalan Coffee rules---and I am not a coffee drinker----but it is good.

 

In Antigua---the Jade factory tour is interesting---very short---but interesting.

 

We did our own walking tour of Antigua---I had a great guide book and just followed it.

 

Make your you go to the once Monestery now Hotel---beautiful grounds.

 

I saw that someone used her from PQ this past spring! Good luck!

 

Enjoy!! I wish I was going there SOON!

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  • 1 month later...

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala: This was a most delightful day and another highlight of the canal transit. Just about a perfect port call and a private tour with two great tour mates from our Cruise Critic Roll Call to the Guatemala Highlands and the Spanish Colonial city of Antigua. The tour was with Turansa (evadeguardia@turansa.com) a superb private tour for 4 at one dollar more than the Princess tour on your own to Antigua.

 

Setting off on Guatemala’s excellent road network for the approximately 1.5 hours drive to Antigua we fell prey to a snag about 20 minutes into the trip. We spotted a plume of dark gray/black smoke and soon came to a halt. A gasoline tanker explosion/fire closed the road and there was a huge backlog of traffic. However, Alejandro, our driver, managed to cross the median and retrace our route and took us on an alternate road leading to the highlands. Along this new route we were extremely fortunate to spot smoke emanating from Fuega, one of three active volcanoes in this area. None of us had ever seen an active eruption and even though it was spewing only smoke and ash, it was an awesome sight not to be forgotten.

 

We all noted a huge difference between the roadside sights in Guatemala as compared to Nicaragua. Guatemala appeared to be much more prosperous, active, and industrious than Nicaragua. We were pleasantly surprised that we did not see abject poverty along the 90 minute drive on safely paved roads toward Antigua as we had in some other Central American countries.

 

Another remarkable change was the weather. In the port we were in the tropical lowlands that were typically hot and humid. As we climbed the 5000 feet to Antigua the weather changed quickly to a drier and cooler with a pleasant breeze. It is no wonder that the Spanish colonists choose this temperate area as the capitol of their kingdom rather than the hot humid lowlands.

 

A UNESCO site, Antigua, is a bustling restored area of a city initially built in 1543 as the capitol of the Spanish holdings in Central America. Over the years, the city of 60,000 grew and prospered until struck by devastating earthquakes that led to moving the Capitol to Guatemala City where it remains today.

 

Now a busy city drawing tourists from all over the world, it graphically demonstrates the life and times of 16th century Spanish colonialism in this part of the world. Our tour guide led us to the town square, the remains of the grand Merced cathedral, the Spanish government buildings, and past hundreds of homes, most of which now are shops, boutiques, hotels, and restaurants.

 

We took advantage of one of the restaurants that Luis, our tour guide recommended and we had an excellent meal in what had been a large Spanish hacienda. After our lunch we took the shorter and now re-opened route back to the port passing the scene of the explosion this morning. We were back in time that we could stroll through the area of local vendors set up in the port area and then call it a full and enjoyable day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We were in Guatamala on Thanksgiving. We asked for Manual and Jeremy at the taxi site outside the terminal area. Jeremy is from Antigua. He speaks excellent English. There were 6 of us and we paid $30 each for 4-1/2 hours. It is about an hour to Antigua. We saw a smoking volcano on the way as well as a rock shaped like a face. There were excellent roads to Antigua and we saw soldiers along the way and in Antigua. Jeremy said they are always out in force when a ship is in port to assure the safety of the tourists. We went to a hotel that had been a nunnery. We roamed the beautiful grounds and had drinks in the restaurant. We went to the main plaza and wandered the shops around the square. We also went to the big yellow church - La Mersed I think. It was gorgeous inside and outside too. The English couples we were with wanted to see where the locals shop, so we went to a huge building with the local shops in it - everything from bread to blankets, etc. We had lunch in a local restaurant that was semi-open to the outdoors. We had a wonderful large lunch. We stopped at the local marina on the way back to the ship - our English couple are fishermen in England. We saw many sugar cane fields on the way to and from Antigua in different stages of harvesting. We also went to the Jade factory and had a private tour because the regular tour was in Spanish at that time. It was a wonderful day and we got to see what we wanted to see. We want to return to The country and spend more time there.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks Roses2 for your tour description. We have signed up for a Panama Canal Cruise next year which includes Puerto Quetzal, and we have been looking for information on what to do. This tour sounds like an ideal day out for us, as it has a fair bit of variety.

 

thanks again .

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  • 3 weeks later...

We did a Panama Canal Cruise in January & February of this year. Based on the positive review of Roses2, we booked a tour to Antigua with Turansa. The tour was wonderful. We thank Roses2 for the writeup and recommend this tour to anyone else who might have a day at Puerto Quetzal.

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  • 8 years later...
  • 1 month later...
I see that the posts on this thread are almost ten years old. Does anyone have any experience with the Hot springs and thermal circuit with lunch excursion ?

 

This is a nice trip, but to long on my own opinion because go to Antigua first and then to Hot Spring Waters for lunch.

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  • 2 weeks later...
This is a nice trip, but to long on my own opinion because go to Antigua first and then to Hot Spring Waters for lunch.

I would say 'Go to Antigua' on the standard Motorcoach Shuttle from Puerto Quetzal's dock. Trouble-free and you will have a nice day, see some smoking Volcanos, wander Antigua and do it all for $$Cheap$$. Zip in Puerto Quetzal unless you are into cheap beer cantinas a Mile up the Coast. LocoLoco1

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  • 4 weeks later...
I would say 'Go to Antigua' on the standard Motorcoach Shuttle from Puerto Quetzal's dock. Trouble-free and you will have a nice day, see some smoking Volcanos, wander Antigua and do it all for $$Cheap$$. Zip in Puerto Quetzal unless you are into cheap beer cantinas a Mile up the Coast. LocoLoco1

 

The bus sounds like a good idea for our group of six. Easy to find at the port? Also, can you be more specific in your reference to "cheap beer cantinas a mile up the coast." We have beer drinkers in our group!

 

Thanks!

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The bus sounds like a good idea for our group of six. Easy to find at the port? Also, can you be more specific in your reference to "cheap beer cantinas a mile up the coast." We have beer drinkers in our group!

 

Thanks!

Well, BRUCEnLYNN.... where to start, So.... 1. How sketchy can you handle 'things'? If black volcanic sand, cheap Bucket o' Beer and fried fish etc. with locals on a surfie beach is the your deal...go NORTH by cab up to Nautilus Beach Cantina. Write NAUTILUS CANTINA on a piece of paper, walk out to local tourist helper kiosk under the big thatched Pier Pavilion. Point and say, 'TAXI?. If 1/2 way there, your gal-pals say 'too sketchy' and need '$$Better$$...turn back and take the Greyhound tourcoach to Antiqua and fergitaboutit at Nautilus. 2. Or. Take the charter Greyhound for about 90/min up into swell Volcanic mountain city of Antiqua. Wander aimlessly, then find this damn fine inner-courtyard restaurant, LaFonda de la Calle Real on street 3a Calle Poniente, 2blks uphill from Town Square, back toward yer Bus, for beer and ambience n GREAT food. Right Next to Mayan Boutique weaving studio. They have 3 locations, so... Your call.... Locomotiveman Tom

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Well, BRUCEnLYNN.... where to start, So.... 1. How sketchy can you handle 'things'? If black volcanic sand, cheap Bucket o' Beer and fried fish etc. with locals on a surfie beach is the your deal...go NORTH by cab up to Nautilus Beach Cantina. Write NAUTILUS CANTINA on a piece of paper, walk out to local tourist helper kiosk under the big thatched Pier Pavilion. Point and say, 'TAXI?. If 1/2 way there, your gal-pals say 'too sketchy' and need '$$Better$$...turn back and take the Greyhound tourcoach to Antiqua and fergitaboutit at Nautilus. 2. Or. Take the charter Greyhound for about 90/min up into swell Volcanic mountain city of Antiqua. Wander aimlessly, then find this damn fine inner-courtyard restaurant, LaFonda de la Calle Real on street 3a Calle Poniente, 2blks uphill from Town Square, back toward yer Bus, for beer and ambience n GREAT food. Right Next to Mayan Boutique weaving studio. They have 3 locations, so... Your call.... Locomotiveman Tom

 

Great description, Tom, of what to expect! We are all about doing things on our own as opposed to ship's excursions; however, many have warned about the trip to Antiqua on your own. Being 90 minutes away I guess the traffic could cause a delay returning and potential to miss the ship. I say the ship tour buses will be in that same traffic ...... Any thoughts on using the charter Greyhound at the port?

 

I appreciate your help!

 

Lynn

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