work-travel-balance.de Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Car wash

Huge car wash place. They clean everything you ask for - Interieur, body, underbody, engine, you name it. Paid 20.000 COP.

Nissan Mechanic "Todo Partes Nissan"

Nissan parts and small repair shop. Their are a few mechanics in the parking in front of their office which can help to build in the parts needed - the people in the Nissan shop will recommend somebody who can help you on the spot. Never met such honest and trustworthy mechanics. Very inexpensive as well! Totally recommended also for other brands. Spanish speaking only.

Hotel La Balea

Had to stop here as it got late on our way to Medellín. Really nice hotel with a restaurant that serves fresh fish. 30.000 Cop for two people. Very clean, good WiFi, gated parking, nice owners. Fan only which is really sufficient as it is quite high up the mountains.

Grissy‘s Hotel

Stayed here for 3 nights and paid 250HLN/per night. They did not ask about any Pool use fee (however the Pool didnt look too inviting). The hotel itself is a bit run down but really nice as an overlander spot. Nice outside shower and very clean bathrooms. The hotel looked pretty empty, so I don't know how long it will be kept open, but until then a really nice spot with (limited) sea view and beach access. Strong WiFi which even reached our van! Good food at Restaurant! Very nice people!!

La Vista Restaurant

We drove by as many places seemed to be closed due to the low number of tourists this year. We asked the security guy of the restaurant and he said it's ok to stay next to the restaurant for 10usd. Quit a high price but clean toilets and outside shower + strong WiFi. We also could use the beach access the next day.

Estación biológica

We asked to camp, but they said it was not possible at the moment. I didnt understand the reason due to limited spanish

Secured parking

After all this stories of broken in cars we found this secured parking spot (at least on weekends). 2Usd per day

Mi Casa en la Playa, El Paredon

Stayed here for 2 nights.
Short update: Use of kitchen is not permitted - it's apperently not a commen area (they want to sell their food, most Hostels in El Paredon work that way...).

Car ferry from Sipacate to El Paredon

Seems to be a good option if you want to skip the bad road coming from north. Road is in a really good condition all they way to the ferry (left at the entry of the town of Sipacate. Since the water level is very low at the beginning you might have to wait for high tide!! - If you speak spanish you can call ahead and ask for a good time to arrive (Olmedo +502 4005 9980). We paid 100Q. Definetely an adventure!

La Recoleccion

Went here to get my front rim and oil pan fixed after I ran over a big rock. They said I should come back the next day early in the morning. I went there before they opened the next day but still needed to wait until midday to get a call that they will need help from another shop. As I did not hear back from them the whole day I went there at 4pm to find out that they could not fix any of my issues but decided just to switch rear and front tire. Whole day waiting for nothing. Cannot recommend the shop even though it seems to be one of the few with at least a little bit of equipment in Antigua. Better go somewhere else on Guatemala City!

Café y Vinos

Very good place to park overnight. Such a nice Café and garden! Good Wi-Fi and clean bathrooms. Recommended!
We sent a WhatsApp in advance and got a quick reply

Flamingo spotting

We were told by a guy on a motorcycle to leave, as this was Flamingo zone

Flamingo spotting

We were told by a guy on a motorcycle to leave, as this was Flamingo zone

Hostal la ermita

As written earlier, awesome spot with prime location and even breakfast included :)
BUT: In our 6months of traveling we haven't had such a mosquito Invasion yet - they were literely eating us!! Maybe only at this time of the year but we would not stay there again only because of this reason!

Elementos Naturales Youth Hostel

Looks abandoned and closed

Elementos Naturales Youth Hostel

It looks abandoned

Elementos Naturales Youth Hostel

It looks abandoned

checkpoint

Short Update on the situation on the Route 199:
We drove it yesterday from San Christobal to Agua Azul.
There was only one road Block after about 30km. People looked a bit scary but were overall nice. We had to wait ca. 10minutes in line, paid 100 pesos and got through without any issues.
In the area around Agua Azul we also had (overall 5 times) kids trying to stop our car with tiny ropes in order to sell goods/food. They were quite demanding and knocking on our window as crazy. We just continued slowly and got through without further incidents.
This being said - no issues with driving this Route! However I counted 300+ topes on the way :)

Grutas Tolantongo

Awesome spot that should not be missed on a mexican roadtrip. As we found the comments a bit confusing, here a little summary of our experience:
There are basically three major points of interest-the river, the grotta&tunel and the pools. The best base to see all of them in one day and to have plenty of time to relax as well is the camping at the River bed. To get there you must take the left turn at the entrance gate and follow the road All the way down to the river bed. There are plenty of spaces for tent camping and on the far right side also parking and spots to sleep in your car/van. Nobody asked us to pay and we did not know where as well...
From the nice Camp spots in the river bed (perfect to jump into the water directly in front of your rig) you can take a 10min walk to the grotta/tunel and enjoy the beauty of the place (as written before, it is really empty during the week). To the pools you can either walk as well (probably 20mins) or drive back to the Main entrance and take the right turn at this time. The pools are awesome as well but you don't feel like you are in the middle of nature like on the other two spots.
We arrived Thursday 6pm and paid 20+140 pP. for the friday only as we left on Saturday morning (after a small discussion with the patroling guards).

San Miguel RV Park

Pretty nice setting as commented before. However felt a bit like a long term camp spot for retired US/canadian citicians :). We paid 350pesos/night. The town is pretty touristy but also really beautiful.

Morrill RV Park

As being said, really nice spot with an awesome view over the city.
Street might be to narrow and steep for many vehicles though.

Sams club

Ok for a night. Really quiet for a parking lot. No one bothered us & we felt save.

I8 rest stop

Nice Rest area on Interstate 8 with clean amenities. Although ut is actually settled right between the lanes going west or east we had a quite night. The road sign only says 'Buckman Springs Rd' - so make sure that you don't miss it :). As always on rest areas: you are legally allowed to stay up to 8hrs.

The Import Doctors

Very good Shop with decent expertise in European vehicles. We had several repairs on our Volkswagen Eurovan to be done and Marco and his Team did a great job. Really good communication, honest and fair pricing. Highly recommended if you are looking for a Shop in Seattle.

Ocean beach

It now says "All vehicles and equipment must be removed by 10pm"

Calgary Autoworks

Experts for European Cars. Helped us a lot with our Eurovan. Hourly rate is quite fair. Sensor issue got resolved within 2-3hours.


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