Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Central America and Mexico

Central America and Mexico Topics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 16 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: london
Posts: 39
Guatamala in a few days.. 20 MARCH


Will be heading to Guatamala in a couple of days for the Central America module of our trip and just wondering as I surf through Horizons if anyone outthere who can give us a bit of a heads-up about the place.
Any tips or tricks for the border?
I hear there is a risk of bandito's, more there than the rest of the region?
I hate the thought of racing through countries 'to get somewhere safe'.

Anyway look forward to hearing from you, or even bumping into you if you're in these parts.

Reply With Quote
Old 16 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 148
Every country will warn you about the danger of the country to the south... Canadians think the US is dangerous. Americans think Mexico is dangerous. Mexicans think Guatemala is dangerous, etc.

It's all a little true, and all a little false. Depends on where you go. Guatemala, for the most part, is fine and I enjoyed my rides down there. Virtually every capitol city in Central America is dodgy, and we avoided them... though, mostly we avoided them because there are more interesting places to see!

Use common sense. Don't ride at night! Some dirt roads in Guatemala (I'm told) have a bandito problem - like the roads on the back side of Lago de Atitlan - but these roads are generally difficult to find.

As for the borders, always ask for a receipt if you have to pay for something. Try to not stand around looking stunned. Have lots and lots of patience. Remember, it's all part of the trip!
Jeremy Kroeker
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Panama
Posts: 133
My favorite "do not miss" place in Guatemala was Samuc Champey. You get to it through Lanquin, near Coban. It is a stunningly beautiful series of turquoise blue pools, with a river running in a cave beneath it. Worth the effort.
Steve Barnett
Panama City, Panama

Reply With Quote
Old 17 Mar 2009
Contributing Member
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 19

Hi Dylan

We were in Guatemala in September 2008.
We only crossed the Guatemala/ Honduras border & it was fine. (4x4 not motorbike)
Your bike will probably be checked for drugs after the border but this is a painless experience & the border guards we met were polite, courteous & more interested in us & our vehicle & where we were from than an actual search.

Guatemala city can be hairy particularly at night. (We got lost hence night/dusk driving). Again the locals directed us to a policeman who escorted us to our destination safely. The locals told us to avoid zone 1.

Tikal is absolutely fantastic & well worth the visit. (Comparable to Machu Pichu!)The views over the tree canopies will never be forgotten. Make sure you take water as once in the reserve we only found two places to buy drinks & the reserve is vast. (In September Tikal was deserted.)

The roads through Guatemala are in good repair surrounded by some fanatic scenery.

We never had any issues with the Police checkpoints, when they realise you are Western they normally just wave you through. (The usual wave & a smile always has a positive reaction). Most of the Police wear “Anti corruption” badges & we were never asked for bribes or fined! (Unlike S America & Honduras)
Hopefully you will enjoy Guatemala as much as we did.

Have a fantastic trip.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: calgary canada
Posts: 127
Am now in Hutulco saw a gs and a ktm today but they just roared by me ,I tried to get their attention,anyway I to will be in Guatamala in 2 or 3 days .
Where are you and where are you going to cross?

I plan to visit Xela for a week and San Marcos San Marcos for a day to see a family I know there, then just kind of bum around.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Mar 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8
While in Guatemala

There are a few nice places in Guatemala, depending on wich border you enter from Mexico those places are closer. Here is a brief list of nice places:

Antigua Guatemala (colonial city funded in 1524)
Pacaya Volcano (active volcano, you could get closser to the lava rivers)
Atitlan Lake (bautiful lake surrounded by volcanos and small towns)
Semuc Champey (strange small lakes with cristaline water that formed like a bridge, where a river passes beneath them)

Regarding security is better to ride during sunlight, if you stay in Guatemala city try to avoid Zone 1, 3 and 8.

If you what more details or where to stay I could recommend you some places.

Reply With Quote
Old 19 Mar 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Forgot to mention that if you need to perform any repair or buy something for your bike like tires, Guatemala City is the place for it in Central America, all major brand dealers are located here and major credit cards are accepted.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Mar 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Reno, NV / Vancouver, BC
Posts: 15
In Guat right now! Semuc Champey is really great - and the trip there is fun. Didn't feel very safe in Guat City, but had a very positive experience at the capable service department at the BMW dealer there. Also had a midnight run in with a +50 person masked vigilante neighborhood protection gang roadblock while in a pickup truck "taxi" on the backside of Lake Atitlan that scared the pants off me - but there ended up being no problems. The roads are fun but the drivers are much more aggressive than in Mexico. Just expect cars coming at you in your lane around every corner and its fine. As for the border, crossed at La Mesilla and it was a quick 30 minute affair - immigration, aduana, bank, aduana, done. $40Q if I remember right. What else, yup, love the roads. Up at 3,000m the clouds blow by you on the CA1 and that is fun. The back road from the Atitlan to Antigua (not back up to CA1) was good fun too! Have a terriffic time!! J
I find being spontaneous requires a surprising amount of preparation!
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Guatamala gregeaton Travellers Seeking Travellers 3 10 Oct 2008 13:35
wrecked in guatamala fastfreddy Travellers Seeking Travellers 0 2 Jun 2008 04:20
Paperwork for Guatamala... jeff akins Trip Paperwork 0 31 Dec 2007 20:52
almost guatamala freedom Travellers Seeking Travellers 1 2 Mar 2007 07:24
Warning about Guatamala jklotz Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 17 9 Mar 2005 01:51


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 23:43.