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First Time Visit to Guatemala in February!!! SF Chowhound Would Love Excellent Finds in Antigua, GC, and Tikal!

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First Time Visit to Guatemala in February!!! SF Chowhound Would Love Excellent Finds in Antigua, GC, and Tikal!

pats38sox | Jan 30, 2013 12:38 AM

Hello, Hello Everyone!

My traveling party of three passionate diners will be heading to Guatemala for five days in just two weeks! The trip will be very short and very intense as I'll explain in the itinerary. As a former Los Angeles and now SF based food writer, the dining, drinking, and coffee explorations will be very important to me (along with the ruins at Yáxha, Tikal, Lago de Atitlan...) for what should be a tremendous trip!

Here's the planning schedule--
Day 1
Arrive late GC, dinner in GC

Day 2
Day- fly to Flores, rent car, see Yaxha Ruins, night at Tikal

Day 3
Morning Tikal, day Lago Petén Itza, fly to GC, stay Antigua
dinner: Antigua

Day 4
Lago de Atitlan, stay/dinner Antigua

Day 5
Pacaya Volcano, stay/dinner Antigua

It comes down to:
1 dinner GC, 1 dinner Tikal, 3 dinners Antigua (Saturday-Monday)
Lunches at Yaxha, Lago Peten Itza, Lago de Atitlan, and Pacaya

I'm also very interested in interesting bars and cafes for cocktails/wine/coffee in Antigua and also hope to visit a coffee plantation or two. I've been trying to plan with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, and co. here in SF about arranging on-site cuppings at the plantations, but we haven't been able to put together any solid plans yet.

I've been reading all of the wonderful posts in the past by RWOrange, JoanN, and lots of other hounds...very helpful! I used to adore a Guatemalan place near Macarthur Park in LA that made a top notch tamales and a brilliant pepian, but it closed shortly before I moved. So I certainly am looking for some great traditional cuisine, and restaurants of all levels -- from high end to comedors to once a week tamale stalls. But other cuisines are welcome too if you think the restaurants/shops should be visited.

We probably shouldn't have pepian every meal, so a good variety might be nice, but let's see how we can best arrange this dining itinerary!

I'm working initially with--
GC- dinner at Jake's, maybe Tamarindos, or something new and exciting?

Tikal, lunches at the other nature spots- no idea

Antigua-Saberico for sure (for dinner?), the 3rd La Fonda de la Calle Real, Hector's, Bistro Cinq, Panza Verde, Casa Santo Domingo, La Cancha, El Sereno, La Tienda de la Canche, Toko Baru
Drinks- looking for recommendations, at least need eat at the restaurant or go to the bar at Casa Santo Domingo
Bakeries/ Other- San Antonio. Also, do they still do Saturday tamales outside La Repositoria? A must stop for pupusas also?
Coffee- The Refuge, Cafe la Parada, Fernando's...

Thank you so much for your help! I'm so excited for what should be a very spectacular and delicious short trip!!

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