Guatemala Section

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by adventureplanet, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    That's some useful info right there. I plan to see both towns next time. Will def stop by your place as well. Got a couple wanting to ride down later this year.
  2. Mekongfrank

    Mekongfrank Adventurer

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    Thanks for the advice guys!

    For what it's worth: I crossed the border from Honduras to El Salvador yesterday at El Poy. No hassle, no helpers, no demand for money, not even copies needed. The Salvadorian customs officer actually found me, not vice versa and he used the aduana copy machine. Everyone on both sides was very friendly and helpful. Maybe too friendly. I had a chat with each and every official I met - so it took me 1 1/2 hours to cross, but mostly for that reason. Best border so far in Central America.

    I'll be in Guate in a week to get my US visa. I'll probably go to Antigua while I wait for it to be issued. Thanks for posting the coordinates, Chris. I'll drop by some day after 1st March.
  3. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    Ok, we'll be crossing back into Guatemala from Copan on Sunday and then heading to Rio Dulce to visit friends for a few days. Then I'm thinking we'll be heading north to the Tikal area and then to ???. Is there a border crossing at Frontera Echeveria? Or how else to get into Mexico from that area without going into Belize, into Chiapas and then to Palenque and where ever.
  4. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    I was in Flores & Tikal 2 days ago and asked some van drivers and guides about the road west to the border crossing at El Ceibo. I was told it's paved the whole way and in good condition except it has well over 100 speed bumps (tumulos in Guat, topes in MX). It's a full-service border. The nearest MX city is Tenosique. DanTop
  5. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    I'll confirm that report.
  6. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Having just been on that road, it isn't much different than any other highway in Mexico or Guatemala. Nothing unusual in the amount of tumulos.

    It is a full-service border crossing, except on the Guatemala side, don't get there anywhere around noon, or you'll wait for the lone aduana guy to return from lunch. A long lunch.

    On the Mexico side, note that Banjercito is closed on Mondays. Can be factor if you need a fresh TVIP. Not much of a factor for tourist cards since you'll get issued one, but you won't have the corresponding payment receipt. Solved that one by paying for it as I exited Mexico at the Colombia bridge at Laredo.
  7. Mekongfrank

    Mekongfrank Adventurer

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    Thanks again folks for the helpful info.
    I stayed in Guatemala longer than planned. Here's why, and some general observations:
    I got a tourist visa for the US - application process sucks big time, the actual interview was short and very pleasant. That was my first week in the country.
    On Lago Atitlan, just before the last left curve into Panajachel is a turnoff to the right where I found a pleasant and cheap (Q125 = $16) hotel called Vision Azul. Stayed there 5 days and did a few day trips, among them round the lake.
    Got free police escort from San Pedro to Santiago. (Tipped the officer Q50 for his trouble) The steep downhill part behind the Volcano is 3km deep bulldust and big rocks.
    From the lake to Huehuetenango clutch problems started. Next day, 70km west of Coban, I had to load the GS on a pick-up truck. 250km to Guate, Q900 = $120. Turns out the auxiliary pump of the clutch was f@cked.
    Time to change the clutch anyway after 50.000 miles. BMW in Guate actually had 4 of the 6 needed parts, which is much better than what I experienced at the dealerships in South America where they generally have absolutely nothing.
    Still I had to wait 10 days for parts from Germany which I passed pleasantly being chauffeured around by my couchsurfing host. Including several trips to Antigua, where I also met Chris from the Moto-Cafe.
    Test ride with the new clutch was last Sunday with the local Harley club. Good event, and they don't mind the odd BMW tagging along.
    When I finally left Guate last MondayI took a shortcut from Guate to Coban/Lanquin/Semuc Champey. Lots of dirt, front tire picked up a nail, and I had my most difficult river crossing to date. If you think that's too much of an adventure for your taste better take the long way round via Sanarate and avoid the Churrancho/Salama road.
    If you like party and a young crowd go to the Zephir Hostel in Lanquin. Book ahead, they're full most of the time. The 11km from Lanquin to Semuc Champey are steep but doable when dry. S.C. is well worth the trip!
    For Tikal, I couldn't find anything with parking in the pretty town of Flores. In El Remate, 33km on and half-way to Tikal, I stayed in a very acceptable cheapy called Hermano Pedro, but there might be better options - I arrived at night.
    Tikal was great, not too many tourist there.
    Today I left for San Ignacio, Belize. Border crossing was easy, less than an hour. Insurance is needed in Belize: 1day US$ 8, 3 days US$10, 1 week US$15, 2 weeks US$23, 1 month US$30 if I remember correctly. I took 2 weeks, I was told I would get a refund if I leave the country earlier. Alas, no luck with acceptable hotels in San Igncio, so now I'm in another sub-optimal place (pricy at US$25 for a single room with shared bathroom - but the situation in San Ignacio was worse) called Sea Breeze Guesthouse in Belize City.
    Now you know. Keep your mirrors up!
  8. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    I crossed the border at La Mesilla on Friday. It was an interesting trip from Hueue to La Mesilla. About 30 miles from the border there was a confrontation between the authorities and some locals. The military was fairly heavily armed (1 technical and a dismount machine gun squad, plus a number of squaddies with AK's) and the handful of federal police had what looked like MP5's. The irate locals were armed with rocks and, according to the other drivers at the scene though I saw none, some shotguns. They had the road blocked with rocks and were not letting anyone pass.

    I took some photos and that incensed the leader of the protesters who grabbed my camera and starting shouting at me Spanish. I and a local managed to calm him down, and we just deleted the last photo and he went back to shouting at the police. Then, after about another 20 minutes, I was allowed to leave, but I was the only one allowed to pass on the road.

    I'm sure it is clear now, but it was an interesting experience. I should have listened closer to the leader of the protesters as I'm sure I could have learned some choice swear words.

    Later I hit a rock slide with a lot of mud, and a huge line of cars and trucks waiting to get through. The military guards along the backup would not let me filter to the front as I usually would, so I lost about an hour there.
  9. colacho

    colacho n00b

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    Hello guys, this is my first message on Advrider and i still don't really know how it works and if i'm posting at the right place but... i give it a try !

    I am travelling from Canada and i hope to go untill Brazil for next summer. Unfortunately, my mono-shock broke in Mexico and i drove with it untill GUatemala because i had to be out of Mexico (visa finished).

    Now i'm in Antigua and as i have a new visa i have more time to look for a cheap mono-shock for my KLR 650. Does anyone can help me ? Because for a question of budget, the one i have found so far is costing me 600 USD !!!

    Thanks for help, see ya !

    nicolas
  10. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    Have you talked to the guys at Moto Cafe, owner Dave, which is next to the the small park, Tanque La Unión in Antigua? tel 7832-9638 & 5571-7279. They would know what your options are. Also a couple of blocks away from them is a moto mechanic, an Italian guy I believe. The Moto Cafe guys can point you in his direction. Dan

  11. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    $600 is nuts. how bad is your current shock? possibly not too bad since you rode it from mexico. if you can make it to nicaragua i can bring you a shock from miami.

    did a quick ebay search and there are plenty of used ones pretty cheap. or you can go with a new progressive suspension shock for around $370.

    if you want me to bring the shock the only condition is, if i have to pay import duties on it, you must reimburse me. other than that, glad to help a fellow rider.
  12. motomundo antigua

    motomundo antigua Tukker Motorsports

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    Guys, 600$ IS the price of a NEW monoshock for a KLR, from kawasaki itself its even 695$.
    But we were able to fix a the monoshock.
    And i am not Italian, I AM DUTCH, hehehehe, AND WE ARE IN THE WORLDCUP NEXT YEAR !!!!!
    cheers
  13. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

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    Can anyone advise me re the road between Chiquimulilla and Cuilapa, is it pavement or dirt?
  14. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Antigua , Guatemala
    It's all paved , but still a beautiful ride :evil
  15. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

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    Thank you,
    it looks twisty enough:clap
  16. MayaStrada

    MayaStrada Guatestrom

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    May 6, 2013
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    Location:
    Antigua Guatemala
    there's a sulfur lake off that road, not sure of the name, that is a dirt road in but I hear not so bad, be worth checking out
  17. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala
    It's the Laguna de Ixpaco , only a few KM off the pavement, on a very easy dirt road .
    The lake is on the road that goes to Pueblo Nuevo Viñas .
  18. El Explorador

    El Explorador Radical Explorer

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    Location:
    Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
    Alguien me podria ayudar con informacion sobre la entrada a Panama con pasaporte guatemalteco? Entiendo que no se necesita pagar el visa de turista de $5, pero si hay algunos otros requisitos... quizas seria mejor entrar con mi pasaporte Canadiense!
  19. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    I will be traveling through Guatemala beginning this weekend and wanted to check on road conditions/safety for a couple spots.

    Zaculeo Ruins
    I'm crossing at La Mesia then riding to Huehuetenango and to Zaculeo.

    Queztaltenango to San Pedro La Laguna
    Once I get off the Pan Am Hwy, is the road to Santa Clara then to San Pedro safe? Any robberies on that stretch?

    I read many reports that the road around the south of the lake is high risk for robbery, but is it the highlighted road seen in the map below or a smaller local road?

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=Quezaltenango,+Quetzaltenango,+Guatemala&amp;daddr=San+Pedro+La+Laguna,+Solola,+Guatemala+to:Antigua+Guatemala,+Sacatepequez,+Guatemala&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=Fbxh4gAdWXyL-ik_ncg__peOhTEPAA8fAf-nOw%3BFXA24AAdwEyP-ik3hFBZyLWOhTFrlIIY9WIfXw%3BFT0R3gAdaX2X-ikVCyWwdA6JhTE9cgMpK7qG9w&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=Antigua&amp;sll=14.836156,-91.521959&amp;sspn=0.191161,0.305214&amp;mra=ls&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=14.726498,-91.128865&amp;spn=0.344462,0.787365&amp;t=m&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Quezaltenango,+Quetzaltenango,+Guatemala&amp;daddr=San+Pedro+La+Laguna,+Solola,+Guatemala+to:Antigua+Guatemala,+Sacatepequez,+Guatemala&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=Fbxh4gAdWXyL-ik_ncg__peOhTEPAA8fAf-nOw%3BFXA24AAdwEyP-ik3hFBZyLWOhTFrlIIY9WIfXw%3BFT0R3gAdaX2X-ikVCyWwdA6JhTE9cgMpK7qG9w&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=Antigua&amp;sll=14.836156,-91.521959&amp;sspn=0.191161,0.305214&amp;mra=ls&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=14.726498,-91.128865&amp;spn=0.344462,0.787365&amp;t=m" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    Thanks for any tips. I'm really looking forward to experiencing Guatemala.
  20. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    In 2012, I spent a month in San Pedro and rode this stretch at least 4 times without any trouble at all. I read within the last month, on Lonely Planet, that there was an armed robbery with shots fired of a tourist shuttle between Santa Clara and San Pablo, in the switchback area going down the hill. No one hurt, but everyone on the van got robbed. I think the odds are heavily in your favor, but anything can happen.


    This is the road. I personally know two people that got robbed on this stretch, one on a motorcycle. The police in San Pedro are aware of this, and will escort you past the trouble spot if you ask. Please tip them if you use this. Of course, many people have gone through alone without incident also. I have not gone the other way, from Santiago, so I don't know if the police there do the same thing.