Palenque to Tikal via moto; possible?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by srileo, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Eduardo

    Eduardo Eduardo

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    I found these photos of the new Mexican aduana in El Ceibo, and in another search found a bunch of stuff on the bids for construction of the Guatemalan SAT/Aduana office. The bids were opened up in September, so knowing Guate, I don't expect the permanent office will be done by this winter, a mobile office sounds more likely. Still looking though. Saludos

    [​IMG]

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    #21
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    do what ever it takes to get to Tikal!
    it IS one of those place you MUST see before you die.

    [​IMG]

    Flores is a way cool town/island to stay in/on

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. Eduardo

    Eduardo Eduardo

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    Amen. Tikal is definately a "bucket list" site, and when the crossing at El Ceibo is completed with full services, it will be the ideal route from Palenque for those heading further south or to the east through Belize and onto Chetumal and the Mexican Caribbean. Saludos

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. randyisanomad

    randyisanomad Adventurer

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    Confirmed that the border office on the Mexican side has full services. Banjercito is closed on Mondays though, so you can't cancel or obtain a vehicle importation permit on a Monday.

    Still no SAT office on the Guatemalan side. I'll try to get the Flores SAT to give me an importation permit ... and if not, I guess I'm going to Belize.
    #24
  5. Eduardo

    Eduardo Eduardo

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    Thanks for the confirmation. Let us know about the SAT office in Flores and the importation permit. It's only an hour and a half from Flores to Menchor, but I'll be heading south from Flores and would rather avoid the round trip to the Belize border. Saludos
    #25
  6. randyisanomad

    randyisanomad Adventurer

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    The SAT office in Flores wouldn't do the permit. They said it has to be done at a border. It's been raining almost non-stop for a week, and the road to Melchor isn't fully paved yet (about 30 km unpaved) so I skipped the border run. I'll try the SAT office in Antigua on Monday, and if they won't do it, I'll see what happens at the Salvador border next week. Wish me luck! To date though, there hasn't been a single police/army checkpoint that I've passed in Guatemala.
    #26
  7. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Thanks for the updates.
    The SAT officers can be really annoying sticklers for protocol.
    Like I said earlier , your best bet is to head for the Florido Copan crossing to Honduras where the guys are much more understanding as they deal with a regular stream of tourists.
    Sorry if that messes up your plans for El Salvador, but from Copan you can still head south to Santa Rosa Copan and south of there enter western ES.
    Do NOT try using the Aguas Caliente crossing to Honduras , where I encountered the big annoying problem with SAT this spring.
    [​IMG]

    This is my picture of the El Ceibo entry from Mexico[​IMG]

    This is downtown business district of El Ceibo ,Guatemala, old town up on hillside
    #27
  8. randyisanomad

    randyisanomad Adventurer

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    Here's the word about SAT offices after crossing at El Ceibo. Any old SAT won't do. It has to be one with an Aduanas (customs) office. Aduanas are ONLY at the border stations and in GC. So, if you cross at El Ceibo, plan on going back out there, heading to Belize, stopping in GC (ugh! I'd almost rather go to prison!) or seeing what happens when you hit the border on the other side.

    On the positive side, I've crossed Guatemala from one side to the other without being stopped by police for any reason, and without passing by a single military check point. So, getting to another border station is entirely realistic imo.
    #28
  9. randyisanomad

    randyisanomad Adventurer

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    Last comment here. The Guatemalan border officers didn't give me any trouble at the San Cristobal crossing. I asked the guys at the aduanas office if I needed to get the permit before leaving, and they said no ... to just go ahead and leave. But that I was lucky that I wasn't stopped by police.
    #29
  10. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    This thread has been very helpful. I am sitting on Lago Peten Itza, sipping coffee and trying to determine how to get back to Mexico. The unpaved, gnarly under-construction and deconstructed roads from Huehuetenango to Coban to Flores just sucked, and I really don't want to re-traverse that route.

    I am going to try the Frontera Corozal / El naranjo route. I still have Mexico TVIP, so I can just ride in with that. I don't expect much problem by not canceling my Guate TVIP. Famous last words.

    I went to Tikal yesterday. Had to buy some gas on the way, so I only had Q80 ($10). I thought, that's got to be fine, Tikal can't charge more than ten bucks to get in. It was only $2.50 or something at Palenque. I rode 40 miles, early in the morning, to get there.

    They charge Q25 for locals. however, extranjeros must pay Q150! 600% markup! Eff you guys. I left, and won't go back. I can say I have been to Tikal. Just the gate. And I'll show my pictures of Palenque, remembering being screwed by el gobierno de Guatemala. It should make for a better story, anyway. Why should someone need fifty bucks in their pocket to go see a pile of rocks?
    #30
  11. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    You must be kidding. You would pass up the opportunity to see Tikal "a pile of rocks" simply on principle? :huh
    #31
  12. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    What are we without our principles?

    Yeah, I call that gouging, and I am tired of being on the defensive. Perhaps this is a good sign that six months on the road is enough for me. But I was just so P.O.'d at the scene at Tikal, after all I went through to get there, that I won't submit to any more. I made my effort. There are no shortage of Gringos who will pay, so I don't think my patronage will be missed.

    Imagine the outcry if US parks and services had the "Us vs. Them" pricing structure. Cries of racism and insensitivity would never cease. I understand that those who can pay to preserve things should, but this is outside of my threshold. And they have you as a captive audience once you get all the way up there. It was a dishonest ambush, in my eyes.
    #32
  13. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Your loss Bouldergeek, Q150 at 8 to the US dollar is till only around $18.50 Try getting into the big US parks for much less nowadays.Bet you didn't spend nearly as much for a hotel the previous night as you would have in the US--- it all averages out.

    The dual pricing is nothing about discrimination nor an ambush. The locals are not as rich as us tourists , and it IS their own heritage and country. Lots of other countries do it also , preferential rates for their own countrymen. and besides if they live nearby they will come more often .
    You were perhaps just having a bad day and did not think it through rationally.
    #33
  14. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    Understood 100%. That doesn't change that I was turned back for insufficient funds. And, you're right, now I have a bad attitude.

    The lake is nice, however. I had a chance to go to Tikal in 2001, too, and I passed. So, perhaps I am not meant to go there.

    What are your thoughts on El Ceibo versus Frontera Corozal (Exteverria), for an easy exit?
    #34
  15. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    The magic words from Mr. Wizard to Tooter Turtle:

    :D

    I violate my principles every time I pay these exorbitant US taxes! :eek1
    #35
  16. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Fontera Corozal will be more of the hassels that you were getting frustrated with- need to wrestle bike onto a boat,pay, hire possible helpers, pay some more and a gravel road to get there on the GT side..
    To El Cibo it is all clear sailing on paved roads into Mexico. Now don't get all into a mood to rush back home because you are heading back into - oh :cry horrorrs!- winter .That season is so easy to forget when riding around the tropics. Can you stretch your tolerance for mild weather -and finances-another couple of months?
    #36
  17. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Locals pay Q25

    Foreigners pay Q15, not Q150

    I just got off the phone with the Tikal ticket office and confirmed this.

    :lol3 just kidding.

    But to me, being at the gate of Tikal and not entering is almost like being on the steps of the Louvre and not going in. I would have broken out the harmonica and passed the hat to get the money to go in there. It might have taken a month, because I suck at the harmonica, but I would have seen the place if I were anywhere near it.
    #37
  18. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

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    Why you gots to do me like that, Hoss?

    In another ironic twist, it is funny you should mention that. I have been to the Louvre three times, and never gone in.

    Twice it was closed, once was while on a road bike, riding around Paris before the finale of the Tour de France.

    So, perhaps that "I was almost there" vibe is my legacy.

    I just wasn't about to ride 85 miles more to go get money and come back for it. Meh. Bah. Humbug.

    Thank you so much for the info on the two ports, Sjoerd. That was what I needed.

    Though, I am getting very used to the barco/lancha thing for river crossings. That isn't so much of an issue. If I never have to be yelled at or treated like an imbecile by a tramitadore again, that will be a blessing.

    Regarding returning, it is because my Mexico paperwork expires on January 5. Insurance and TVIP. yes, I know I could extend both. But, as noted, I think that I have played out my enthusiasm for being the gringo. I completed this project, and now I have others that I want to do. How many 'platos tipicos' can one enjoy?
    #38
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    :rofl :rofl :rofl

    :baldy

    Come home, and re-charge

    :freaky
    #39
  20. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    It's like Chevy Chase's Vacation all over again! :D

    Don't worry about it, you made the trek and got to see and do a lot. Safe riding on the way back :thumb
    #40