maxtraveling Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
U-Haul propane refill station

Propane refill station at the U-Haul. There's a big vertical propane tank near the office. Just ring the bell and someone will come. They accept cash and credit cards.

Banjercito US-Mexico - vehicle permit

Went there to cancel my FMM visa and vehicle importation permit. Easy and fast process.

Then went to the "international bridge", which is the eastern one (don't go to the wrong bridge).

I crossed without any issues. They asked a lot of questions about why I was traveling and where I was going, but did not even ask to see my driver license, vaccination card, or PCR test.

Banjercito US-Mexico - vehicle permit

Went there to cancel FMM visa and vehicle importation permit. Easy and fast process. Then crossed the border at the "puente international". They asked a lot of questions about why I was traveling, where I was going and so on, but they didn't even ask to see my driver license or vaccination card or PCR. They just want to make sure that you are not going to the US to find work and don't seem to care about anything else.

Quinta Poveda

Decent hotel. Probably one of the nicest in town. AC, wifi, swimming pool. 350 pesos. They have a gated parking lot right across the street with a camera pointed at it. You could even ask for a room with a view to your vehicle.

Augustine / Douglas d’Silva

Good place to spend the night inside the park. You need a permit from the forestry office to stay there. This way the guards will know you're coming and will cleanup the place, turn on the water and so on.

SMART speednet SIM cards

They sell SIM cards for 15 bzd. Comes with 600MB valid for 3 days. You can recharge / prepay any amount you want.

Guatemala to Belize

We crossed the border today in our camper van. We had no issues.

Fees:
50 Quetzals to cross the bridge (cash only).
8 Belize dollars for vehicle fumigation (cash only).
100 Belize dollars (or 50 USD) per person for the PCR test (cash only). They don't accept PCR test results that you bring in, you have to take the test at the border. They just swab your nostril and don't go deep into your nose so it's not too bad.
30 Belize dollars for vehicle importation (cash or credit card).

You must show "Gold Standard" hotel reservations for the entire duration of your stay. They will only let you stay in the country for the number of nights that you have booked. You need to book a minimum of 3 nights. We booked a hotel with free cancellation and canceled as soon as we crossed the border. You can extend your stay by booking more nights later on and visiting the immigration office in Belize City.

Visit belizing.com for official and up to date information.

Good luck!

La Casa de Don David

Very nice restaurant with a view of the lake, amazing sunsets, and some cool stuff like a cable that transports food to the lakeside terrace, and bird feeders close to the dining area that are enjoyed by both exotic birds and iguanas! The food is good and reasonably priced. Fast wifi, power plugs at tables, and spotless bathroom. The owner is American and has lived in El Remate for 40 years!

Playa Biotopo Cerro Cahui

Unfortunately this place has been closed for over a year because a crocodile has moved into the area and the authorities have closed the park to protect the reptilian...

Restaurante Las Orquídeas

Delicious indeed! Such good tagliatelle!
It is a tad pricey (~70q pasta) but it's authentic Italian cuisine. The value for money is actually very good.

El Arbol

We looked for it but couldn't find it. It seems that it has turned into a different restaurant.

Aguateca nacimiento (spring)

I'm really glad I checked this place out!

Carlos lives there with his family and takes care of the area. He is a humble and educated fellow who tries to protect the jungle and wetlands from deforestation. Unlike other places you won't see a lot of trash there because he cares about nature and picks it up. By visiting Camp Aguateca you're helping Carlos in his endeavor.

A small river passes by right next to the camping area. The water is clear and refreshing. Howler monkeys and spider monkeys hang out all around the camp.

Carlos can give you a tour of the Aguateca ruins for 100Q. It's really worth it. He is a great guide and knows the history very well.

The road to get there is a bit rough but any car or van will make it, no problem. During the rainy season there's a few patches that are muddy but easily negotiable anyway.

Hope Country

Small restaurant with a pond. It's a nice place to eat outside and relax. The food is good and prices are reasonable.

The owner is very nice and told us she was working on adding showers and an area to camp. There is a flat parking spot so this is already a decent place to spend the night at.

Parqueo @Manolos House

We camped there and hiked up with Antonio. He is a good guide, has lots of stories to tell and will show you plants, rocks, and such. We normally prefer to hike on our own but it was worth going with him since he knows the area well. We've done more than we would have on our own.

The parking area is fine, there's one or two flat spots. 25q per van.

Blue star Shower

The water isn't hot. Not cold, but not warm either. It's barely lukewarm.

La Estancia (bad!!)

Insipid food and they charge 20% propina (tip)... It's a tourist trap. The restaurant looks good and the food also looks good, but it's just canned food with a nice presentation.

Car Ferry El Paredon to Sipacate

We paid 150Q for a large van. I think it's fair given our van's size compared to a car. It's a fun little adventure. The boats are there all day, but if you want to make sure they are available you can try calling one of the numbers below: 4005-9980, 5326-7105, or 5118-6708.

Hotel Pelicanos Surf Place

Location seems to still be wrong. Actual coordinates are 13.9159633, -91.0719472

We went there and asked for the price. They said 100Q per person + 100Q per tent or van.

Needless to say, we didn't stay. Besides, this hotel has quite bad reviews online, and it seems to be a bit run down.

Hotel El Pacifico

This is a very nice place. We couldn't ask for more. It's really close to the beach, has a nice swimming pool, good restaurant, wifi, and the owners are really nice. The parking lot doesn't have any shade but wasn't unbearably hot. They currently charge 50Q per van. We spent a very relaxing week there.

Texaco none potable water

Still there, still free! Just fill up and ask for water.

Sanitarios Premium

Cold showers for 10Q. There were only three tiny streams of dripping water coming out of the men's shower. Women's shower seems ok. Anyway, don't waste your time and money there.

Antigua Brewing Company

The beer is good. The food is average and kind of expensive. 65Q for a tiny hamburger, +8 for bacon, +8 for cheese, +5 for avocado. That's an 86Q burger. Nice place for a drink though. Beer is in the 25-45 range.

Café Rocio

It's permanently closed.

.

Sanitarios Premium

Cold showers for 10Q, clean, but cold...

Jade Museum

Free museum with a boutique at the end of the tour where you can buy jewelry. The guide that gave us the tour was excellent and made it really interesting. A great way to learn more about Mayan and Aztec culture. There is a workshop and they explain the process of working with Jade, the different types, colors, where it comes from, and so on.

Showers in Hospedaje Santo Domingo

The price hasn't changed, still Q5. However the showers are just warm, not hot, and far from very hot. Also those are electric showers, with sketchy wiring (not earthed), so use at your own risk.

Café Lounge

This place is permanently closed.
......

Quetzaltenango McDonalds

This place is great!

McDonald's for toilets and wifi. Some tables even have power sockets so you can work there all day. Speedtest: 10ms ping, 3 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up.

Commercial center Pradera (including Walmart) is 5 minutes away walking.

There's plenty of restaurants nearby and the traffic is fairly light in this area.

The grassy field is pretty much flat and level.
We spent 3 nights there and nobody said a thing.

Natura Spa

30 minutes sauna + showers for Q50 per person. The sauna can fit two, so by paying 50 each you get 1 hour of it. It looks like they are just getting started so it's new and clean. They have another address in Zona 1 that appears on Google maps, but they only have massages over there. Don't get mixed up. Phone number (and whatsapp) is +50255788907

Santa Maria Volcano

For those who don't want to park in that village there is also the option of taking the bus at Terminal Minerva. The direction is Llano de Pinal. The bus goes almost all the way to the trail head. Costs Q5.

Yet another option is to take an uber for ~Q30. That's what we did so we could leave our van at the McDonalds parking lot (free) and be at the trail head at the crack of dawn.


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