Avoid the dirt road from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro in Guatemala

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by daveg, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    Be unAmerican...:D
    Do the Euro trash, hippy scene.
    #41
  2. daveg

    daveg no longer homeless

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    789
    Location:
    KC MO
    I'm looking for it. I just need to learn to sleep without air conditioning. I got spoiled in the mountians of guatemala :vardy.

    I'm going to head to Monteverde where I hear it is cooler.
    #42
  3. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I'm in Antigua, yesterday I rode from San Pedro Atitlan. Every person I asked about that road toll me that was full of bandidos. Even the locals don't take that route.
    BTW the other route is very steep full of potholes big like craters and there is 17 ultra tight turns .
    #43
  4. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Scottsbluff, NE
    Just to bring this thread current, Im in costa rica right now, sitting with a uk fellow of a gs and he got robbed a couple weeks back on this road. Same type of situation, 3 guys with guns and balaclavas, took everything and even knew about 'safety wallets' and found that.
    So anyways, heads up to stay off that road.
    Phil
    #44
  5. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    132,497
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    thanks for the 411. :thumb
    #45
  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    In what direction was he traveling? From Santiago to San Pedro?
    #46
  7. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    My money says he was coming from Santiago.

    Might also be the same guys hanging out on the road into San Marcos as well. I was going to ride into San Marcos in a about a week or so to see a hot little spinner that I met in Xela, but I might just take the boat in light of the robberies on that road as well.
    #47
  8. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    An early morning shoot-n-go (no pun intended) run should be OK, but it ain't moi that's there right now. Personally, I wouldn't stop for nutting, and think it's the obvious intimidation that they're using.

    Nobody there, especially them, want any shot touristas. Counter productive...
    #48
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    I agree with you, but right now I'm not willing to bet my life on it.

    Guess I could always loft the front wheel and let em shoot at the skid plate before I run one of them over.:lol3 I wish the locals that depend on tourism would get together and lynch these ass clowns. A proper beating, soak em in gasoline and light em off. assholes.

    I'm going to chew on this one a little more.:scratch
    #49
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,898
    Where exactly is that spinner?

    My personal experience is 2 years old, but back in '08, the cops were in cahoots with the bandits. The episode of the truck tipped over, cops suddenly there, bad guys with guns- what Barb and I saw doesn't make sense unless the cops were in on it. And this was on the main road between Huehuetenango and Lago Atitlan, not a back dirt track.

    Fwiw, Barb rode dirt out of the town by Lago Atitlan, on the shortcut to Guatemala City, and she didn't get robbed.
    #50
  11. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    132,497
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    I'm glad to hear all this happening where I'm headed. :clap
    #51
  12. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,898
    There really is only one known danger area, roughly between Huehuetanango and Guatemala City. Consider all of Guatemala City a danger area.

    A guy I know, riding a 650 GS in Guatemala City, was pushed over by a taxi, then, pinned under his bike, his right arm was run over by a bus. (Yes, imagine the worst, but he got to keep his arm.)
    #52
  13. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    132,497
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    i can handle a little friendly nudging in traffic, hell i was moved by a truck in Delhi traffic, just some bent racks here and there. no biggie. that said, i have no desire to go to G City.
    #53
  14. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Only one known danger area in all of Guatemala? It seems you may be confusing Guatemala with somewhere else.

    Dangerous between Huehue and Guate? Thats the Pan American. I must have ridden that route back a forth at least 30 times and other bikers have as well, never heard of any problems.

    There are however places/roads that would be prudent to avoid as a motorcyclist, Two I know of are around Lago Atitlan. You have to talk to folks when you get there and figure it out, but its not that big of a deal. I'll run a route by some locals that have done it, ask a few of them and see how the stories stack up. Unless you have actually spent some time in Guatemala (not just riding through) you wouldnt have any idea of what places to avoid, but yes, they are there and there is more than one.

    About Guate, no, not all of the city is a danger area. If you ride through zombies wont come out and rip you off the bike and eat your eyeballs. But, you better know where the hell you are going in Guate and do the research before riding around there as you can wind up in some very bad places. Dont ride in the city much after dark when you dont know where you are going.

    Also ping dtop1 as he has probably spent more time riding around and living in Guatemala than many of us.
    #54
  15. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala
    I have been riding in Guatemala for over 25 years , I am riding 3 days a week all over the country , I make aprox. 500 km every week and I do a good part of my riding solo . So far I never ever had a single security related problem .
    Just use COMMON SENSE !!!
    San Pedro - Santiago : Just stay behind a bus
    Guate - Huehuetenango : There are no hold ups
    Guate City : traffic is a bitch , but name me one big city where it is not

    Outside of some bad neighborhoods in Guate City , there is not one single place in the whole country that you can not go to because of security reasons .
    #55
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,898
    Yes, I'm talking about the Pan American. Two years ago Barb and I actually saw a holdup. So I know they exist.

    Although bad things can happen anywhere, Guatemala seems to be the most dangerous country. I won't rank Guatemala City as The Most Dangerous, but it's at least tied with the worst of the worst. And as I contemplate another ride, my biggest individual concern is the Pan American out of Huehuetenango to Lago Atitlan and Guatemala City.
    #56
  17. daveg

    daveg no longer homeless

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    789
    Location:
    KC MO
    Heh, I find it funny that this thread resurfaced the day before I bought a plane ticket to Guatemala. I never made it to San Pedro but will this March!
    #57
  18. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    I think youre worried about nothing. There, that said next time I leave Xela headed down the Pan American I will get robbed. :rofl

    But seriously, given what I have seen from riding back and forth since Mid December, thats not likely to happen at all.

    Your chances of having problems between Huehue and Guate is very remote, in the daytime. At night, all bets are off.

    However if you ride from Santiago to San Pedro, your chances of getting robbed is probably close to 90%, if you dont follow a bus like Guaterider suggested.

    I've thought a lot about Lone Rider's comment and I'm inclined to try it out.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is that its a bad idea to tell people when and what route you are taking somewhere. Also a bad idea to post anything about when and where you will be going. The internet is everywhere. If you dont think some of these ladrones read forums and ride reports you are mistaken.
    #58
  19. JPSpen

    JPSpen At Large

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,186
    Location:
    Keeping up with the Joneses, OK ?
    Sounds like perhaps a small group of properly motivated and armed riders need to go and clean up this little area...

    Good luck with that...:eek1

    John
    #59
  20. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,898
    +1

    Not just ladrones and banditos, but mad girlfriends.

    I followed this policy starting in San Cristobal de las Casas, on account of being woken up by an ex-girlfriend who was getting concerned that I was spending too much time with Barb. How did she find me in San Cristobal de las Casas? 1) Reading the ride report. 2) She once lived in San Cristobal de las Casas. 3) She called every hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas, until she found me. 4) She asked the clerk, in her perfect Spanish, how many rooms we'd taken.

    I often tell casual acquaintences that I'm going in the opposite direction. If I ask directions, I ask for directions to several places, and from several different people.
    #60