Guatemala is famous for it’s Maya history. So I had to visit one of the best Maya ruins and temples there. I visited Tikal and Yaxhá in the north of Guatemala. Yaxhá is less known and I was virtually alone there and enjoyed the camping near the ruins!
I stayed a few days in Antigua. And the must do tour there is to hike the Acatenango volcano! It‘s a two day hike with a beautiful view to the Fuego volcano. The tour costs only about 40$ 😁
My AfricaTwin needed some new tyres. But they are hard to find in Centro America. Fortunately I got a contact in Guatemala City. He’s name is Cisco and he rides a BMW 800GS. After some calls he found a rear Heidenau K60 Scout in San Salvador and he still had a front Heidenau for his own bike but sold it to me 🙂
So I put on the back one in El Salvador and the front in Guatemala.
I don’t really like those Heidenau Scouts, they vibrate a lot and the front wiggles pretty hard some times. But they do a lot of kilometers, should easily go for 20000km!
Unfortunately my front forks started to leak again! It’s already the 5th time! But fortunately Honda had them on stock! So a quick visit in Guatemala City to replace he seals and I also got some spares for the next time!
I crossed at Las Chinamas/Valle Nuevo, as I don’t like the big crossings on the Pan Americana.
Make sure you have at least to copies of the TIP of El Salvador (and all your other important papers, as usual).
Exiting El Salvador (20min)
At the first checkpoint an officer want to see just the TIP (Temporary Import Paper), no passport or anything.
Then you drive down to the right before the bridge and enter the immigration. They don’t give you a stamp in the passport, but a small printed note which you have to keep. I had an issue with my stamp of Nicaragua: they didn’t write how many days I was allowed to stay (usually 90 days). And as this is the CA-4 area (Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala), the first country defines it for all four countries. Nicaragua didn‘t write anything on their stamp and El Salvador doesn’t give you a stamp, so they said, I have to get it ‚fixed‘ with the Guatemalan stamp (which they did).
The aduana is in the same building on the other side (drive around the back of the building), but they sent me by foot up to the bridge first to get me registered and stamped the TIP and a copy of it.
Then back to te aduana to check your vehicle out of the country. they keep the copy, you get back the original.
Free to go over the bridge to Guatemala.
Enter Guatemala (1h)
Immigration comes first, normally no issues there. They also fixed my issue with the 90 days since Nicaragua, they wrote the remaining days to their stamp and I was ‚legal‘ again.
But then aduana wanted a copy of the new stamp. There is a copy shop about 100m to the south on the left (direction to El Salvador) in the orange building (1q per copy).
Back at the aduana I gave copies of all the usual papers and the new stamp.
You have to sign three copies and they give you a slip to pay 160 quetzales (about 20$) at the bank, which is just another counter right there. They don’t accept USD, but there are plenty of money changers around.
Give back the payed bill to the aduana (they do a copy of it! But they didn’t want to make the copy of my passport!) and you‘ll get your Guatemalan TIP.
Welcome to Guatemala!
The road to Guatemala City is good, but I suggest to drive directly to Antigua.