The New York Times did a really great article titled “36 hours in Antigua” which really helped us make the most out of our short time here. While we didn't do everything on the list, we thought we’d review what we DID see, and add in our own recommendations.
We pulled in to San Marcos la Laguna with only about an hour of daylight left. With nowhere to stay, we decided to pull into Hostal del Lago when the road ended and ask about their availability. They had no space for us to park the car but had plenty of beds available in the dorms. For us, parking the car in a safe place was more important than a bed, and we knew we wanted to camp soon anyway.
Leaving San Cristobal, it’s a pretty clear drive via the CA 1/ Pan-American Highway into Guatemala. Our trusty iOverlander App warned us about the 4 military checkpoints that might take up some time, plus the anticipated 30min-2hour border crossing depending on the lines. Add an 8-hour drive to lake Atitlan from San Cristobal de las Casas, and we’re really pushing an arrival after sunset. Our nerves had pretty much dissipated at this point, but driving at night was still something we wanted to avoid.