Roads in Guatemala are either very good or very bad. The main highway linking the country east to west is for the most part in very good shape. If you venture a little off the beaten track things can get a little sticky (muddy dirt roads). Areas to avoid in the rain are the road from Huehuetenango to Todos Santos Cuchumatan (dirt and steep), the road from Uspatan to Coban (currently under construction, lots of mud high up in the mountains), and the road to go to Lanquin (dirt).
Like Mexico, Guatemala has speedbumps (“tumulos”) but these are more clearly identified. Nevertheless, surprises do happen once in a while. Be careful.
- The road from Huehuetenango to Todos Santos Cuchumatan (mentioned above) is one of the more scenic routes in the country.
- Another fun road is from Huehuetenango to Coban. If you take this road when it isn`t raining you will be treated to some incredible views. If it is raining make sure your insurance is up to date as there is a part under construction!
- The road from Coban to Lanquin is another great one for incredible views and lots of twisties.
Police, military and other check points:
We have had no problems whatsoever with either the police or the military.
The road to go to the Petén region in the north has a checkpoint to make sure that you do not bring fruits and vegetables in. Everybody has to stop and they will likely ask to check your bags and panniers.
We have been told that there is a BMW shop in the capital city of Guatemala. Thankfully we did not need it but if you do, it is located in Zone 9.
Border crossing: La Mesilla
Cost for bike: Fumigation (2 quetzals), importation permit (40 quetzals)
Cost for us: Free, you get a 90 visa called a CA-4 which is good for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua
Time it took: 1.5 hours
Comments: Avoid crossing during the weekend.