travel to guatemala for two - three months in January - March, 2013,

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Two senior citizens - good health and Spanish speaking - want to travel in Guatemala for two to three months or- maybe longer. We want to rent a furnished place in Antigua and also Lake Atitlan - each for a month. We will then travel to other places by bus or other transportation. We would love suggestions of places to visit, stay, and other information about the country. We're just starting our research and finding it exciting and, maybe a little overwhelming. Thanks, Judy

There's a good little company called Otupac Tours based in Guatemala City (www.otupactours.com). They have a interesting itinerary called "The Great Maya River Trade Route Expedition." that you might enjoy, especially if you like Mayan ruins. The owner is retired from Boeing. Both he and his wife are American.

Guatemala is a wonderful, fascinating place. I've been there a half dozen or so times in the last 8 years and will undoubtedly go again. I have traveled with Otupac Tours and can recommend them highly. Enrico himself was our guide; he is extremely knowledgable about Guatemala and a tireless booster for the country. I think he and Lynne might do custom trips. Another resource is Rutahsa Adventures. Ric and Janie Finch do wonderful trips in Latin America and Guatemala is their favorite. They are in the process of retiring, but are doing one more Day of the Dead trip in October 2012. That doesn't fit your time schedule, but you might take a look at their itinerary (www.rutahsa.com) for ideas of where to go, what to see. Ric has set up custom tours for independent travelers, as you appear to be. He might still be in that business. In any case, a look at Rutahsa's website should prove helpful.

Antigua is a lovely place to spend time; it's comfortable and interesting. I love staying at the Mayan Inn in Chichicastenango--it's part of the Chichi experience. Get there the afternoon/night before market day (Thurs and Sun) and plan to have "done" the market by noon, It's wall-to-wall people by then. Posada de Santiago Atitlan is another good place, right on the lake. Hillside cottages are comfortable and the food is quite good. Across the lake is an interesting small hotel, accessible only by boat, Casa del Mundo. In Quetzaltenanango the hotel Bonifaz has the world's best chilaquiles.

Be sure to visit the textile museum in Guatemala City at the beginning of your trip. It will help you appreciate the traje, the native dress of the Maya, different in each village. There is also an excellent anthropology museum adjacent. They're located at one of the universities.