Wednesday (Miercoles) 8th September, 2010
Day 544

Amatitlan, Guatemala
Amatitlan, Guatemala
Miles: 52,816
N 14.43324°
W 90.65528°

The 70 km drive into Copan this morning showed lots of evidence of the impact of recent rains on the roads. We passed many landslides and there were many places where the road surface had been torn up by water.

We spent about an hour and a half at the ruins with a tour guide named Maury. He spoke pretty good English and gave us the whirl wind tour, at our request. The ruins were really quite impressive. As always at these places there is far more information than one can absorb in 1 or 2 hours.

From Copan it was a short drive to the border crossing described below.

The road to Guatemala city was generally in OK condition but did show damage from recent rains with many land slides and wash outs. However it deteriorated noticeably approaching the city.

We approached Guatemala city from the north east and our intended camping place was south of the city hence our route required that we traverse the city from north to south. We were more than a little apprehensive about this as we had heard horror stories from other travelers about the maze of roads in Guatemala City.

Fortunately we had our trusty GPS and those free maps plus a detailed map of Guatemala City that we had been given by Ollie and Sabina ( that we had met in Quito. With these aids and a bit of luck we managed to cope with the rough pot holed streets, pushy bus drivers, broken down 18 wheelers and crazy toyota drivers and arrived at our camping place just before dark. Like most Latin America cities Guatemala is a strange mix of modern up market office buildings and shopping malls mixed in with the most desperate poverty and ramshackle housing.


Automariscos is a water park, restaurant and RV park between Amatitlan and Palin on CA-9 just south of Guatemala City. Has electricity, water, dump, toilets and cold showers.

A 100 yard farther south is the Red Trailer park. We did not try this one, it also seems to be a water park.

Honduras-Guatemala Border at Copan and El Florida

We did not use any helpers at this border, there were none around and the process was pretty straightforward. However the border area was chaotic. The roadway is very narrow, there is no parking space on the Honduran side and trucks were parked everywhere blocking the road. Oh - and by the way there was road work and building construction underway just to add to the chaos.

From the Honduran side one approaches the border down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill on the right there is a small office building where one gets the Honduran exit processing for the vehicle performed. A big stamp in the owners passport.

After that go about 100 yards and park in the big area on the left. Come back to the office building on the right and get immigration processing done for both Honduras (exit - at window number 1) and Guatemala entry at window number 3.

About 10 yards farther down the road at a SOAT building set a little farther back from the road get the Guatemala processing of the vehicle done. After filling some forms and handing them back to you the officer inside the window will instruct you to go to the bank and pay a fee (US$6). The bank is to the right of the immigration windows - look for the armed guard. Once paid go back to the same officer at the window. He will eventually give you back one copy of the permission paper and a sticker for your vehicle window. You will need to show the paper to the officers at the gate to get out of the border area. You will need photocopies of vehicle title and owners passport for the vehicle window.