Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Table of contents

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

21 pictures

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

1/21
When traveling through Guatemala, you get a racing heart. MOTRORRAD drove across the country in BMWs.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

2/21
Traces can also be found on the picturesque Lake Peten Itzá, but the most important sanctuary is the temple town of Tikal in the middle of the Peten rainforest.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

3/21
Wherever our BMW stops, we are greeted, persuaded to buy chilli, or at least eyed curiously like this girl.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

4/21
There is a spirit of optimism in many places in Guatemala. Entrepreneurs have their shops lovingly hand-painted, motorcycles are a highly respected means of transport, there is great interest in two-wheelers and the pride in small machines is obvious.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

5/21
The Maya legacy is present in the faces of women on the slopes to Lanquín.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

6/21
The motorcycle scene is flourishing as it was in Germany 30 years ago.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

7/21
Flores on Lake Peten Itzá. Because there is no regulatory office or TuV in Guatemala, old vehicles are allowed to be transformed into sheet metal sculptures.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

8/21
The population of Guatemala is made up of many different ethnic groups.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

9/21
Motorized games on lonely beaches.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

10/21
Entrance to Chichicastenango, whose attraction is an Indian market.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

11/21
Slope from Lanquín to Semuc Champey, which later turned out to be impassable due to rainfall.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

12/21
Motorcycles are a popular and inexpensive means of transport, as confirmed by this fisherman on the ferry from La Avellana to Monterrico. The bikes are often subjected to weights that are well above the load limit, and entire families are on the go on 125 cc bikes.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

13/21
River crossings season the slopes, water only enters the air intake of the F 800 GS late.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

14/21
It is not only here that indigenous women who are able to negotiate are selling cloths and carpets, the tone usually remains friendly.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

15/21
As the former capital, Antigua was repeatedly destroyed by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but is now considered a jewel among the cities of Guatemala.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

16/21
The 3763 meter high volcano Fuego erupts from time to time, a fresh lava trail can be seen on the southeast slope. The slope leads through sugar cane plantations west of Escuintla. Sugar is one of Guatemala’s most important export goods.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

17/21
Tikal and the jungle will never be forgotten.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

18/21
The population loves colorful clothing.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

19/21
Public transport of people and goods is done by publicly dangerous, brightly colored buses – the Camionetas.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

20/21
Pigs and dogs like to run in front of the approaching motorcycle.

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Breakable

21/21
The Sumpango Kite Festival is an attraction that will burn forever on your retina.

to travel

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Volcanoes, rainforest and jungle slopes

Anyone who travels Guatemala by motorcycle is immersed in unforgettable worlds. The winding highlands with their 35 volcanoes are just as fascinating as the lower lying rainforest and jungle slopes. Charismatic people, exotic flora and fauna as well as the Mayan culture ensure an increased pulse rate.

Markus Biebricher

December 20, 2012

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Long eyelashes, a bewitching look from brown eyes in the brightly colored feather face. The parrot is beaking its camera lens, curiously examining the strangers in their dusty motorcycle clothes. Heat shimmers over the narrow road from Monterrico to Puerto San Jose, and the Tecuamburro volcano grows out of the horizon like a mirage. A small tienda on the side of the road offers water and cola for parched throats. A young woman is standing next to it. Her bronze complexion shines in the sun, her facial features testify to a genetic connection to long-gone Mayan cultures. Apparently she tamed the parrot and has other exotic birds on offer. Jose communicates devotedly with Vogel and his wife.

Buy complete article

Through Guatemala by motorcycle

Through Guatemala by motorcycle
Volcanoes, rainforest and jungle slopes

14 pages) as PDF

€ 2.00

Buy now

A mixture of flirting and negotiating, because our 32-year-old companion is not only a gifted motorcyclist, but visibly enjoys dealing with his compatriots, regardless of social class. In addition, the childlike joy of handling the F 800 GS penetrates every pore. One could not wish for a better trainer for the specialties of Central American road construction, even as a conflict manager in traffic psychological issues, Jose shows empathy.

In a few days he will turn from a tour guide into a friend, pointing with his foot or arm at every pothole that is hidden in the shadows of the road like a rim-eating gorge, and teaching us how to deal with the unbelievable number of dogs that stray around and wait so long until the motorcycle is almost at its height and then run purposefully in front of the front wheel. Incidentally, this also applies to pigs and chickens.

Guatemala is full of charms and reasons to hit the brakes for roadside sights. You can hardly get anywhere even on foot. We have this experience in the capital Guatemala City, where Jose introduces us to churches, markets, old town alleys, the colorful people of street vendors, museums, the castle-like police headquarters and the interior of the government palace.

The President Otto Perez Molina has not been in office long. He seems to be popular with his diverse people because he rolls up previous cases of human rights violations, strengthens the weakness of the judiciary responsible for past violence, removes homeless children from the streets, wants to eradicate malnutrition and educational weaknesses and has the corrupt police supervised by the military.

We do not experience a single case of threat or danger, everywhere we are welcomed with warm interest. So also in Antigua. The former capital of Guatemala, located in the highlands, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, has been destroyed several times by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and has been lovingly rebuilt. Today it boasts picturesque shops, jade grinding shops, Spanish schools, colorful architecture on strong foundations, over 50 places of worship and ancient walls that testify to a mixture of Christian and Mayan culture. Several weeks only in Antigua? No problem. Roller coaster streets all around, the awe-inspiring volcanoes Pacaya and Aqua, the smoke-breathing, recently erupted Fuego and other attractions spice up the city of 35,000. Just like “Donna Maria Gordillo”, the most delicious candy shop in the world. Claudia and Jose succumb to seduction.

The ancient cobblestones maltreat shock absorbers, springs and drivers. At some point you will be grateful to swap the clattering for jagged stone slopes on the steep flanks of the Aqua and, in the company of Jose’s friend Pancho, to be enveloped by bird calls and clouds at an altitude of 2500 meters. Pancho conjures up the usual panorama in this enchanted place, but today the weather kitchen shows no mercy.

There is compensation about 100 kilometers further south: A raft-like ferry brings us to the deserted black sand beach of Monterrico. But paradise wants to be fought for, because the wooden board that serves as the access ramp breaks under the weight of the Adventure. Only a courageous burst of gas saves them from a damp grave. Later only we humans immerse ourselves in the wonderfully warm waves of the Pacific, glide in a canoe through mangrove forests and admire the gorgeous flora, caimans, iguanas, turtles, herons, pelicans and snakes in abundant nature.

Subscribe to MOTORCYCLE videos on Youtube


Through Guatemala by motorcycle


Breakable

The Sumpango Kite Festival is an attraction that will burn forever on your retina.

There is also great astonishment in Sumpango, where hundreds of colorful, handcrafted kites soar into the sky in honor of ancient Mayan gods at a folk festival. There is even a celebration in the surrounding cemeteries with their colorful mausoleums. Everywhere people eat, trade, dance and make music. On our further trip, Guatemala shows itself to be an extremely festive piece of earth, as extremely colorful in terms of nature, dwellings, self-painted advertising and the clothing of the people, especially the indigenous people – the native people.

Every 30 kilometers you think you’re coming to a new country, that’s how much Guatemala changes its face. Jose knows the best stretches, he warns us of slippery asphalt and encourages us on better stretches of the route to bravely “keep clean” in the meandering curves that appear in front of the front wheels on the way to the volcano-fringed Atitlán Lake or to the 2300 meter high Quetzaltenango. In one of the most beautiful cities in Guatemala, called Xela by the locals, you succumb to the fireworks of smells and culinary temptations and drift into nightlife. One day later the earth shook here, especially in the neighboring city of San Marcos, 50 people lost their lives, houses and streets were damaged. The tectonic tensions between the North American Plate, the Caribbean Plate and the Cocos Plate were once again too intense.


Through Guatemala by motorcycle


Breakable

As the former capital, Antigua was repeatedly destroyed by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but is now considered a jewel among the cities of Guatemala.

Jose and his German compañeros get away scot-free, a wild alternation of curves, passes, mountain and valley swings and gravel roads keeps us in suspense. The Indian market in Chichicastenango with its crowds, its Mayan and Aztec masks, carpets, robes, spices, fruits and imaginative services is just as fascinating as the perseverance of our guide. For half an hour he bargains with an old Indian lady about a hair band for Claudia, everyone bystanders has a lot of fun with it.

The good mood does not go away on the subsequent section of the route towards Cobán. Even if we are almost catapulted from the motorcycle. Because not only here, but all over the country, the so-called Túmulos, speed barriers across the street made of stone, concrete or steel, lurk again and again near the village or town. Sometimes announced, sometimes not at all decisive times. In any case, slowing down the flow of traffic again and again, but important as a traffic education measure, says Jose. It’s not just because of the Túmulos that 50 kilometers in Guatemala feel just as challenging as their 500 in Europe or the USA.

While driving fun on the small streets and slopes is great, on the bigger nerves you need like wire: the camionetas, buses, painted as brightly as showgirls in Las Vegas, seek the life of smaller vehicles. Emitting deep black clouds of diesel soot, they drive like the devil, overtake in dead zones and throw themselves into steep curves with limp undercarriages and ailing brakes. Fully occupied, the roofs loaded, the front and rear windows covered with incantations like “Dios es mi Guía”, the Lord is my shepherd. The Lord God has just as much work to do with protecting these believers as he is with coordinating the even more merciless driving truckers who penetrate the main roads with their American monsters.

At some point you become good at mind reading, and sometimes you appreciate the power of the BMW two-cylinder or ABS brakes that keep you out of the danger zones. Neither power nor ABS are of any use on the slippery slope to Lanquín, where abundant jungle rain has made mud difficult to drive on. While Jose happily slides up and down the slopes beyond any traction, Claudia has to leave the pillion seat of the Adventure so that I have a chance to balance the large enduro, which is still equipped with TKC-80 tires, through the critical sections without it ending up in a ravine, From which not even a helicopter could ever recover them.


Through Guatemala by motorcycle


Breakable

The 3763 meter high volcano Fuego erupts from time to time, a fresh lava trail can be seen on the southeast slope. The slope leads through sugar cane plantations west of Escuintla. Sugar is one of Guatemala’s most important export goods.

The ten kilometers from Lanquín to the major tourist attraction Semuc Champey are the most demanding slopes with steep passages, deep gullies, smooth stones and clay. Juan, whom we met in the jungle hostel, took six hours to cover the ten kilometers. We try, but after a few hundred meters the studded tires are clogged with mud and slide steadily towards the slope. When even Jose loses composure, we turn back.

With a four-wheel-drive pick-up and a local driver we fight our way through the jungle again. On the way, the driver picks up indigenous people dressed in colorful traditional costumes, because the loading area of ​​the Toyota easily holds 20 people. Then we stop at a road construction team who want to pave the slipped slope. Our driver works on large boulders with a sledge hammer. Later, the Toyota gets stuck mercilessly, despite the reduction gear, slips back and almost tips over. But the effort is worth it and we bathe in the waterfall-fed pools of green-blue water in the middle of the jungle and let the cleaner fish nibble on us.

Later we will navigate north. Come through enchanted landscapes, which are shaped by conical mini mountains and small villages. Again and again the rain washed away the slope, again and again I maneuver the Adventure just past the abyss. Again and again we slip, the rear wheel spins unsteadily. Suddenly nothing works anymore. A huge excavator clears boulders aside, we learn that getting through is only possible hours later. Jose stops the big machine and showered the perplexed driver with charming compliments for his virtuoso control of the machine. Suddenly the excavator creates a narrow passage through the mud with almost graceful shovel movements, and we slide through. If you want to go further, you have to be friendly, explains Jose.

A day later, the sun hits Tikal, the most important sanctuary of the Mayan culture. The huge temple city lies in the middle of the jungle, a magical place. Snakes, lizards and jaguars move through impenetrable undergrowth, spider monkeys swing from branch to branch, exotic trees grow into the sky. While we admire the tropical rainforest from temple four, we hear a noise as if a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex would attack us in the next moment. It is a herd of howler monkeys that gives you goose bumps. Get used to it? It does not work.

A lap around the idyllic Peten-Itzá lake, a coffee in Flores, a fine road to Rio Dulce. Here we visit a BMW meeting. Motorcyclists from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala do the honors, but celebrate more than just driving. The active BMW Club President Ricardo Crowe shows us Lake Izabal with his boat, later also with his twin-engine Piper Seneca. We visit the bizarre port city of Livingston, which can only be reached by water and which is completely different from the rest of Guatemala. Jose shows us an ingenious slope from Rio Dulce to Punta de Palma, the most beautiful Caribbean beach in Guatemala. The Adventure masters the most slippery passages with dignity, while Jose thinks he has to win an enduro race. We cross five rivers, the last one I get too deep. Just don’t tip over now, pure stress, but also pure admiration for the beauty of nature. The heart starts racing, the heart racing with happiness.

Travel information


Through Guatemala by motorcycle


Werel

Travel time: 21 days. Distance covered: 2750 kilometers.

Guatemala is a dream for motorcyclists and offers the whole world in one country: mountain roads, jungle slopes, only off-road or only on-road, nice people and wild, exotic flora and fauna. Be sure to plan!

General:
Guatemala is in Central America, bordering Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. The country has two coasts: in the east a narrow entrance to the Gulf of Honduras on the Caribbean Sea, in the southwest long Pacific beaches. The northeastern part of Guatemala, Peten, is lowland with almost continuous tropical rainforest. In the center of Guatemala lies the highlands with 35 volcanoes of up to 4220 meters. At least four of the different types of volcanoes are constantly active. Not least because of several climate zones, the beauty and diversity of flora and fauna are breathtaking. The people of the country are made up of various ethnic groups, around 40 percent are indigenous descendants of the Mayan ethnic groups. Spanish is the official language, another seven – mostly Mayan languages ​​- are recognized. Around 55 percent of the population are Catholic, the rest belong to Protestant churches, although many Mayan rituals have generally been incorporated into Christian folklore. The most important economic factors are textiles, coffee, sugar, cotton, bananas, tobacco, rubber, essential oils, bicycles, rum and, increasingly, tourism. A civil war raged in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996, the scars of which have not yet fully healed. Like most Latin American countries, Guatemala does not have a long democratic tradition, but the party landscape is stabilizing.

Security:
The security situation has improved significantly, the economy is growing again, a strong police and military presence does not mean a state of emergency, but reassurance. The cases of brutal vigilante justice that recur in the European media are on the decline. One of President Otto Perez Molina’s first official acts was the announcement that all drugs would be legalized in Guatemala. The Guatemalans consume alcohol, but no other drugs, so Molina could take this step seriously and pass the buck to the USA. Guatemala is one of many countries in transit for drugs from Colombia to the USA. But if you don’t want to buy drugs, you usually remain unmolested. Tourists can feel safe, the website of the Foreign Office with a travel warning to Guatemala has been revised.

Getting there:
There are currently no direct flights from German-speaking countries to Guatemala City. Stopover are either the USA (think of the ESTA form) or Madrid. The cheapest offers from Germany are from Frankfurt. American Airlines, Delta, British Airways and Lufthansa regularly fly to the Guatemalan capital. Depending on the season, you pay between 850 and 1300 euros for a ticket. Iberia flies direct to Guatemala City from Madrid.

Motorcycling:
The traffic in metropolitan areas and on the main roads often seems hectic and dangerous, but with a bit of caution and experience, motorcyclists from Germany can handle it with ease. There is pure driving pleasure on side roads and the numerous natural slopes.

Organized trip:
Aventura Tours, a subsidiary of the BMW importer Bavaria Motors in Guatemala City, offers the described trip through Guatemala with all the highlights. Further trips are in preparation, the tour planning is variable (custom-made). The tours are led by either Jose Andres Pinto or Jose del Busto, another experienced tour guide who is currently in charge of Bavaria Motors’ marketing department. Both guides speak English and Spanish, understand some German and keep learning. Information, prices and dates at
www.bavaria.com.gt or jose.pinto@bavaria.com.gt or jose.delbusto@bavaria.com.gt or phone 00502/23 86/80 00 or www.aventuratours.com.gt

Overnight stay:
From the simplest guesthouse to luxury hotels, there are many options on the route. We recommend: Palacio Doña Leonor in Antigua, www.palaciodeleonor.com. Nana Juana Yacht Club in Rio Dulce, www.hotelmarinananajuana.com. For Tikal: Camino Real on Lake Peten Itzá, www.caminoreal.com. For Lanquín (but at backpacker level): El Retiro, El Recreo or Zephyr Lodge, www.zephyrlodgelanquin.com or email zephyrlodgelanquin@gmail.com

Maps / literature:
world mapping project, Guatemala, Belize, 1: 500000, 8.90 euros. “Guatemala” travel guide by Barbara Honner / Rene Meier, Reise Know-How Verlag, 23.90 euros.

Addresses:
www.inguat.gob.gt, www.visitguatemala.com, www.botschaft-guatemala.de

  • Out and about in Crete – by motorcycle on the Greek island

    Breakable 16 pictures Breakable 1/16 Out and about in Crete. The motorcycle paradise attracts with curves over the sea, mountain passes, gorges, dramatic…

  • With the motorcycle through national parks and desert

    Breakable 14th pictures Breakable 1/14 Wild West – With a BMW R 1200 GS on secondary routes through national parks and deserts. Breakable 2/14 The…

  • Motorcycle trip to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy

    Daams 23 pictures Daams 1/23 Grasses in the evening breeze: like the hair of young fairies (or Silvio’s playmates …) Daams 2/23 Pilgrimage site: Sunday…

  • Motorcycle tour Himalaya Ladakh

    Photo: Lohse 32 pictures Lohse 1/32 Lohse 2/32 … must not rely on perfect conditions. But a lot can be mastered on the Enfield. Lohse 3/32 Lohse 4/32…

  • Motorcycle tour Altiplano Chile and Bolivia

    Biebricher, Werel 23 pictures Biebricher, Werel 1/23 The plateau is more than 3300 meters above sea level. This is not only felt by the human body, but…

  • MOTORCYCLE On the Road: Tunisia

    Huh to travel MOTORCYCLE On the Road: Tunisia On the way: Tunisia Wind, sand and stars Tunisia attracts with beach and sun. Those who only go on vacation…

  • Motorcycle tour Japan

    Dentges 40 pictures Dentges 1/40 Failing on an 8000 is no shame. But not to pack Mount Fuji, which is barely half as high in Japan? That is weak. Dentges…

  • With the motorcycle in Sweden – Lapland

    Lundgren to travel With the motorcycle in Sweden – Lapland The gravel paradise for enduros With the motorcycle in Sweden – Lapland Sweden is a sparsely…

  • With the motorcycle in Colombia

    Markus Biebricher, Claudia Werel 45 pictures Markus Biebricher, Claudia Werel 1/45 An additional security feature is the use of common sense. Markus…

  • Motorcycle trip in Iceland

    Deleker 29 pictures Deleker 1/29 Black sand, lakes and glaciers. Iceland has an incredible landscape to offer. Deleker 2/29 With this rich green ……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.