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Old 12 Oct 2006
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Guatemalan Back roads

Well like the title says, Im very interested in the Guatemalan back roads. In fact, Im OBSESSED with back/jungle roads anywhere. My post in the travel advisory section hasnt gotten any replies, so Ill kinda repost here. My friends and I are taking a trip through Mexico, into Belize. From Belize we will take my car (Toyota RAV4) on the ferry over to Punta Barrios and from there south into El Salvador. Im very curious about the back, dotted black lines (my map refers to them as "seasonal routes") that traverse Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador. How safe are these roads??? We will be coming through in June so rainy season shouldnt be an issue just yet. I really want to explore some of these roads, but naturally Im nervous.

I take the people on this forum to be well traveled and you guys give sound advice. Also you tend to have a little more "cajonas" haha so I like that. Also Im curious about the camping. Im not into much of the "camper rv park camping" thing going on, but if I have to, I will do it. How safe it remote camping, beach, jungles etc? Im also not afraid to ask some friendly locals if we can hole up in their yards/pastures. Anyways, thanks in advance. I cant wait to be on the road!
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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back road.

I was there this summer and went on and off road across the country, to be honest its pretty difficult to d some serious off to go from one point to another because most of the time local don't even know where the road goes and if its ok to ride it. I met few very nice policemen in the jungle and they loved our bike but they every time told us that riding was dangerous ( bandit) local confirm with us the same story . I will advise you to found a nice little hotel and then go for day trip off road ,camping was not really the best things to do in this country , same for Belize with less mosquito.

Good luck.

Hendi Kaf


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Old 13 Oct 2006
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There are 'back roads' in the Peten, many dead end and do not loop/connect.
Aside from the Maya Mtns, the Belice roads/tracks squirt off to various towns from the regular maintained roads. Again, mostly dead ends.

I have no experience with El Salvador.

Carry good maps and a winch if you you're seeking great adventure.
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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Yea my maps show that most of them dead end. There is 1 loop, like a detour through the jungle to this small vilage close to Punta Gorda, Belize. Thats the first one we plan on taking to explore it, better to get lost in a primarily english speaking country first right?

As for the camping, this information is disheartening. We had planned around camping, especially budget wise. Ill have to figure something out along those lines I guess. Yea the back roads look absolutely fun and full of adventure. I cant wait. As for the winch, Im taking a homemade one with a "come-a-long" and some good high load cable. We are also taking an "auger" I believe they are called that has an eye bolt on the top. You drill them into the ground, dirt, sand, mud, etc, and then pull yourself out. Im going to try and blog/video the whole trip so I will definently have some cool footage when I get back.

For whoever is interested, Im gonna spill a surfer secret, hopefully MollyDog wont kill me for this. If you are a surfer, dont spread this please unless you really trust the person. In Mexico along highway 200, heading south from Puerto vallarta or north from Manzanillo, in the state of Jalisco, watch for these
1)km 102-103, there is a dirt turn off, to the right if your heading south, vice versa. Dirt road, pretty good shape, runs through pastures and plantations for around 20 -30 minutes, eventually running straight out onto a BEAUTIFUL beach. Camping is fine, and you can camp under the palapas all the local traveling fishermen build. There isnt much out there and nothing nearby, so come prepared. Its fine to follow the dirt road down past the lighthouse down the coast, we did for a ways.

2) Somewhere between km60-40, turn off again to right if heading south. Sign that says "Arroyo Seco". This is a very small village, super friendly people. No accomidations I dont think, but camping on beach is prohibited. Ask around in town for something. Beach is BEAUTIFUL! Follow main dirt road through and outa town for beach access, when it dead ends into barbwire fence, just open they gate, they allow access.

check out my pictures, www.flickr.com/photos/astraltx
secret spot and secret spot 1 are arroyo seco, secret spot 2 is km102 also known as Penitas.

If you guys have any other advice about Guatemalan/Belize backroads and or camping safety, please let me know. Expieriences are also welcome, Im looking forward to some stories!
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Old 14 Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by txsurfer
........As for the winch, Im taking a homemade one with a "come-a-long" and some good high load cable. We are also taking an "auger" I believe they are called that has an eye bolt on the top. You drill them into the ground, dirt, sand, mud, etc, and then pull yourself out..........
I'd leave the 'auger' at home. Unless it's cleared farm land, there are always a jillion trees to anchor to. If you do go on some long muddy tracks and need winch support, you may find that the come-a-long, after being re-set multiple times in extreme humid conditions...might easily suck away the fun and enthusiasm for further 'exploration' of remote tracks.

The Camel Trophy held there 'x' years ago was considered a pussy/light run by most 4x4 standards.
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Old 15 Oct 2006
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back roads Belize and Guatemala

Interesting that you are planning to take a car by ferry from Belize to PUERTO Barrios in Guatemala .Even this past winter I did not see any evidence there that such a car hauling ferrry service existed in Belize. I don't think you can manhandle your Toyota onto the small launches that some of the motorcyclists are reporting . Perhaps you had better do some more research on the various HUBB sections
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Old 16 Oct 2006
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Well, I guess Ill be cutting that out then haha. I saw the ferry logo on my map, so I figured it was a car ferry.

I really want to check Belize out, but I might just cut it out at this point, its severly out of the way for our trip goals. Ohh btw, hope you guys dont mind that in gerenal, all my posts will be based around bus/car travel. I happen to like it here because like I stated in my previous posts, you guys really travel. I dont mind backpacker sites, but they usually are a bunch of wusses lol. Everyone has their own style, but you guys seem to fit mine a little better than others.
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Old 16 Oct 2006
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I can confirm that there is definately no boat big enough for a vehicle leaving from Punta Gorda bound for Livingston, Puerto Barrios, or Honduras. My GS was a tight fit in the boat I took to Guat earlier this year. Don't let that stop you from making the trip South to Punta Gorda though, it's not that far after all, and it is a neat little town!

Have fun.
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