Copán  can be done in a day or two, while Quiriguá  requires only a couple of hours at most. It makes a good stop on the way to Puerto Barrios . If you really want to see Ipala Volcano and Crater Lake , you can probably do it as a day trip from Chiquimula  or Esquipulas . I would recommend most foreign visitors give the latter town a miss, unless you really want to see the Black Christ statue housed in the town’s basilica.
There is plenty to see and do on the Caribbean Coast. Puerto Barrios merits an hour or two at best, but there’s no need to stay here as there are now better alternatives for exploring the Cerro San Gil and Río Las Escobas  across Bahía de Amatique in Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla . It’s worth at least a half day for exploring, though you could easily spend the night in a comfortable lodge or take a few days to cross the rugged Montañas del Mico to Río Dulce National Park  for the ultimate jungle adventure.
A few days in Lívingston  will allow you time to explore nearby waterfalls, beaches, and rainforests. For a real treat, take a week to go sailing to the Belize Cayes  or explore the remote peninsula of Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge . The latter requires at least one night’s stay because of its remote location. From Lívingston, you can also explore the Río Dulce canyon in a few hours while traveling to Río Dulce , but it’s also possible to stop over midway and spend a night or two at some comfortable lodgings on the Río Tatín tributary. Río Dulce will probably captivate you with its tropical charm and location at the mouth of Lake Izabal . It makes a great place to chill out for a few days before heading north to Petén  or before or after some exploring on the lake.
The eastern department of El Progreso is dominated by the presence of the Motagua River Valley, a region of cactus-studded plains lying between the rain-soaked Sierra de las Minas to the north and the Sierra del Espíritu Santo, along the Honduran border to the east. The Carretera al Atlántico passes through much of this terrain.
South of here, the low-lying departments of Jalapa and Jutiapa have some green hills and a volcano or two, though they are not of the dramatic, conical kind found in the Western Highlands. The Ipala Volcano and crater lake is this region’s best-known geographical feature. East of here, the areas along the Honduran border near Copán  and Esquipulas  have some pretty mountain scenery where coffee is grown.
The department of Izabal is one of Guatemala’s most attractive for those who enjoy coastal environments. There are still large expanses of tropical rainforests, which receive ample rainfall when warm, moist air from the Caribbean Sea rises on mountain slopes. The Montañas del Mico stand as silent sentinels dominating a biological corridor between the Bahía de Amatique and the lazy Río Dulce to the north, which empties into the Caribbean.
Guatemala’s Caribbean coastline lacks the aquamarine beaches of Cancún and Belize, but the peninsula of Punta de Manabique  stands out for its wild and scenic white-sand coastline. Farther out to sea is the tail end of the Belize Barrier Reef and some easily accessible cayes . Inland, Lake Izabal  is a huge body of water with some nice beaches of its own and some impressive wetlands.