Route out of Semuc Champey

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by klebs01, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had a bit of a rough go today getting to Semuc Champey from El Remate. The roads were great until somewhere on RN-5 where it turned to steep loose babyhead rocks. Bike ended up taking three naps. My plan was to take 7W out of here to Quetzaltenango but it looks like 7w might be really rough too. Anyone have any insight on current conditions? Thx.
    #1
  2. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    GA/Guatemala/NY
    What kind of bike are you riding, guessing on the larger side? Did it get rough before Pajal or only the last 10kms or so from Pajal down to Lanquin.

    Last time I was up in the area (Jan this year), everything from Uspantan to the west on 7W was paved. Could be some construction here and there but shouldn't be too bad. Getting all the way to Quetzaltenango "Xela" in one day would be optimistic if you ask me.
    #2
  3. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm on a super tenere. So it's big and heavy. Wish I bought a dr650, but this is what I had and it was paid off.

    I was coming from the north and it got rough way before Pajal. It was just after turning on to 5 from Frank's TransVerdal del Norte. Really rough until just before Pajal. I didn't think the bit from Pajal to Lanquin was that bad. Or even to Semuc Champey compared to 5.

    Interesting that getting to Xela is too optimistic. Wondering if I should just go the long way to Antigua and skip Xela.
    #3
  4. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    GA/Guatemala/NY
    Ah. Okay from San Bartolome down, makes sense.

    My $.02 would be Antigua over Xela. Theres even a moto hostel in town, check out Jose's place, moto café.
    #4
  5. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    GA/Guatemala/NY
    A
    Apologies for the short reply... sent from my phone on the way into a dinner. Happy to share more information if you're still around.
    #5
  6. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I am. Still trying to figure out what to do. Emailed Jose's Place and Greg responded. Said 7w wasn't nearly as bad as 5. I would be curious why you would skip Xela. I am still planning to spend a couple days in Antigua even if I go to Xela.
    #6
  7. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    GA/Guatemala/NY
    Ah, if you were coming to Antigua anyways that makes more sense. I was thinking it was more of a decision of one or the other.

    In terms of the route from Semuc to Xela, I'm sure it's doable in one day but it will be a long day. You're also on a bigger bike than what we're used to here (200-350cc) so you can cover some ground when the road opens up here and there. I'm sure you've seen though that Guatemala doesn't have that much in terms of straight-away open highway type routes, lots of fun twisties and smaller towns to cross, eats up some time. All that being said, if you're able to fit in Xela AND Antigua, even better.
    #7
  8. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,187
    Location:
    Calgary
    Xela is not as touristy as Antigua. Visit both to see the difference.
    #8
  9. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Made it to Xela today from Semuc Champey. It was about 8 hours riding. The rough 27km wasn't too bad and only took about 50 minutes to an hour to get through. Their were a ton of potholes, but otherwise the section was decent gravel and dirt. It was a lot easier than the road to Semuc Champey and RN5.
    #9
    Cal likes this.
  10. 175grams

    175grams Old Town Outfitters, Antigua, Guatemala

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    GA/Guatemala/NY
    Solid day (8 hrs) - good to hear it went well. Nearby Xela (~10-15 min from the center) is Cerro Quemado, cool local hike up the volcanic rock with lots of Mayan cermonies always going on. Could be worth checking out if you have the time.
    #10
  11. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,187
    Location:
    Calgary
    Another great hike out of Xela is Volcano Santa Maria I used a guide from Viajes Adrenalina who had hiked the volcano 160 times We started at 11.30pm under a full moon and arrived for the sunrise!
    #11
    Tricepilot likes this.