Adv Riders in Guatemala

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by richsuz, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    There are many cajeros within eye sight of the central square. Here is how you do it....sit on the park bench, look around and when you see one walk over to it.:D
    GuateRider and SkizzMan like this.
  2. Stromtom

    Stromtom Been here awhile

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    Ha ha ha. Funny thing is I stumbled into el centro where the Sunday morning (maybe every morning) market was going on and was completely smothered by humanity. It was foot-paddling to keep going and not run over someone. After going around a bit I parked, looked over, and was right next to one. The kid at my hotel said there weren't any. That's why I asked.


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  3. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    The big 3 story Mercado on the south side of the plaza has a few stores that sell Guatemala decals for you bike. Ask around as they are behind the counter. I think they are called calcamonies in Spanish? My spelling may be off. I took Spanish lessons here and it has the head office for Habitat for Humanity, which I worked for for 3 weeks.
  4. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Very close.

    Calcomaas. Emphasis on ní.
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  5. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Guidance sought from the Guatemala crowd:

    I'll be entering Guatemala in a few days from Palenque via the Ceibo (MEX) border and heading towards Tikal, probably staying in Santa Elena. Then down to Lanquin/Semuc Chimpey via Hwy 5. Then to Antigua and probably Lake Atitlan before heading back east and to Honduras.

    I've spoken with various people that have or do live in Guatemala---an Aussie that used to live in Antigua, two Spanish graduate students currently studying in G. City, and a French woman who lives in Antigua now---but can't seem to get clear info on safety. Add to that lots of stories online, many of them old, of motorcyclists getting held up around Atitlan, including on a known bad stretch of road between S. Pedro and Santiago Atitlan.

    Amid this confusion, I'd be very grateful from some clarity from locals. What is the current situation and best practice? How safe is Atitlan area? Anything on my aforementioned route that I should be aware of or reconsider?

    Thanks.
  6. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Hanging in Panajachel right now, and just spent a few nights in Antigua.
    Couldn't feel more comfortable
    Very relaxed, touristy vibe in both places
    Kind of funny Panajachel is full of old hippies that don't want to make eye contact with any gringos
    Like they have traveled to the end of the world and are pissed that there are other white folks here
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  7. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    I admit I am kind of slow on picking up on some of the local nuances, but I have noticed on some restaurant bills,
    But not all of them there is a 10 % fee added.
    Is it a tax or is it a tip for services?
  8. sintegua

    sintegua Principiante

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    Yes, that 10% is the tip for services. Most of these places charge directly this tip, because with it they pay the waiter' s monthly payment.
  9. sintegua

    sintegua Principiante

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    You can get into Atitlan by 3 different routes... via cuatro caminos, Chimaltenango or Cocales. As far as I know the one from Chimaltenango it is not recomended. There you will find the best landscapes but it is not safe to travel.
    infinityjellyd likes this.
  10. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Actually there are 6 roads leading to Lake Atitlan
    1) CA 1 - Los Encuentros -Solola- Panjachel
    2) CA 1 - Patzicia - Patzun - Godinez - Panajachel
    3) CA 1 - Las Trampas - Godinez - San Andres Semetabaj - Panajachel
    4) CA 1 - KM 148 - Santa Clara - San Pablo La Laguna
    5) CA 2 - Cocales - San Lucas Toliman
    6) CA 2 - San Bernardino - Samayac - Santo Tomas La Union - San Pedro La Laguna

    Route # 6 had some issues in the past and it's been a while since I went there . All the other ones are completely safe . I just did # 2 and 4 last week and the only danger were the potholes ;-)
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  11. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Heard a funny story today about the road from San Pedro to Santiago . A fellow told me a few months ago the locals complained so much to the government officials that the road was dangerous due to bandits on the road. that an official drove the road to see for himself and he was robbed.
    I don't know if it is a true story, but i rode as far as the village past Santiago and turned around and backtracked to Panajachel
  12. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Holy geez the road from Raxruha to Lanquin was exhausting. Perfectly smooth asphalt and then it just stopped and immediately jumped into 50km of just rocks and mud.

    But I'm a wimp compared to the locals riding two up on it nearly as fast as I was going on my DR650. Bravo!
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  13. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Have long suspected the houses lining the dirt stretch also housed the bandits.
  14. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    I spent this last summer in Guatemala, and I took Spanish lessons for 3 weeks in San Pedro. The owner of the hotel I stayed at said there is a family of ne'er do wells on this route that have been robbing people for years. She said one or more is in jail at any given time, but the clan has enough personnel that the road is basically never safe. My first motorcycle trip to Guatemala was in 2003, and this was a known hotspot then. I don't know why they can't clean it up.
  15. earthtraveler

    earthtraveler Adventurer

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    Looking for some help. In Puerto Barrios Guatemala now. I've either misplaced or left my iPhone charger and cord in Flores. Anyone know where I might get one here. I've tried searching apple site etc. Poor Spanish skills of course is not helping. Tried searching locally but cannot locate one. It was suggested locally to try "Tengo" phone store but no luck. Any help would be appreciated
  16. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    You can get a NON original one on the street , in every mercado , around some of the bigger gas stations there are always guys selling them .
    Or you can buy the real thing with the official apple distributor for Guatemala
    http://istore.com.gt/



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  17. earthtraveler

    earthtraveler Adventurer

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    Thank you. I did finally find one. It must have been just bad luck that the first few stores I checked didn't have one and led me to believe that I probably couldn't get one in Puerto Barrios.
  18. mike89061

    mike89061 Been here awhile

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    So I'm planning on a trip to Guatemala at the end of March and having concerns about the safety there . Seems allot of trouble going on in Mexico these days . Any recent issues going on in Guatemala I should be aware of ?
  19. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

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    Are you riding down or flying in and renting a bike? I've been a 'gringo' riding around Guatemala for 6+ years now and safety hasn't been a big issue for me. Of course common sense and be knowledgeable on where you're going is always a good idea. That being said, I've ridden through Mexico a few times too, I would say the same there. I really enjoyed my MX trips, met great people, and enjoyed the cheap beer and food.

    There are several ADV guys in town at the moment; "moto.phil", another guy Sean, and a couple others. Hopefully they'll respond here as I'm betting they would tell you that you'll like Guatemala more than you expect, they've bee "stuck" here longer than they planned for sure.
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  20. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    mike,

    Jump on your bike and ride down!

    I've been touring around Mexico the last 5 weeks (mainland to the Yucatán and now working my way back north). I unfortunately didn't have enough time to make it into Guatemala.....will go there next winter. In any event, "touching wood", I've not had any issues. Nothing but fantastic people, food, and scenery. Keep your wits about you and be street smart (just like anywhere in the world) and you should be fine.

    Enjoy!!!
    mike89061 likes this.