chinooking-around Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Check point

Friendly guys, asked where I came from, where I’m going and sent me on my way. Westbound on a Sunday afternoon

Military checkpoint westbound

Asked to see my ID, accepted copies. Asked a few questions, sent me in my way. 3pm on a Sunday

Police Check!

Waved through with a smile, 2:30pm on a Sunday going west. Only set up on the westbound side

Frontera Chiapas-Oaxaca

No stop today, 2pm going west on a Sunday. There was a Coronavirus thing set up a bit before the military part of the checkpoint but I was just ignored basically

Police Checkpoint

They stopped a truck in front of me but didn’t even look at me, just went back to their tent. 2pm on a Sunday going west

Jose Manuel

Jose is the man! Checked my brakes that had been acting up, fixed the mounting platform for my battery, replaced one of the joints in my differential (had to supply it myself but he went and bought the second one when it turned out both needed replacing) and did a temporary fix on my front suspension, enough to get back to California.

Grand total of about 550 pesos for labor across two days, plus a few hundred for the parts. He was super honest about what needed doing, explained the risk about taking things apart before having the parts in hand - and finally explained to me a few other little bits of maintenance that I could do myself to save a few bucks.

Great guy, recommend him for quick fixes. I’m sure he could handle much more complicated work without a problem. It is indeed a tiny space but well-equipped. His neighbor is a welder who only charged 100pesos for welding the battery platform.

Military checkpoint

After entering Mexico. They seemed surprised that I even slowed all the way down. I basically waved myself through!

Propane Outside Flores

Closed on a Sunday unfortunately.. But looked pretty well-equipped

Police Checkpoint

Just a few army guys hanging out in the shade. I pulled over to pump up my tires and they just watched. One guy asked me where I was from, but just to make conversation.

Shell Gas

There are a bunch of gas stations along the road to El Ceibo. This one was a bit more expensive for gasoline than the ones before and after. Just by ~0.4Q

Very Sketchy Road

I didn’t realize I’d taken this road until later on. Yeah it’s bumpy but manageable. Didn’t feel dangerous at all, I gave an old gentleman a ride for a few minutes to save him from the sun. Smiles all the way!

Right by the lake

I stayed near this point - outside the cafe Maple Tocino, which had great WiFi on all night (bought a pizza for dinner to get the passcode)

This WOULD be a 5 star spot, if it wasn’t for the shocking amount of traffic going past all night. It was a Saturday, so expectedly busy - but I was genuinely surprised at just how many cars and motorbikes were just doing laps of the island all evening, plus lots of tuktuks and foot traffic. It was crazy loud from about 6pm-midnight, although I didn’t hear music from any bars.. And then at like 5:30am some guys were awake, chatting loudly on the balcony above me, and chain smoking cigarettes by the smell of it. It would have been fine if I’d had ear plugs, but was a total pain to have to listen all evening and morning.

Anyways, it was still nice to go swimming right there.. the sunset was gorgeous, and having fast WiFi mostly made up for the noise. Can’t really complain for a free spot eh!

bridge limit

I’m way under the limit but didn’t see anyone there checking. However if you’re in a big rig stay off the island, even the main loop road is quite small at places. The free spot called ‘parking lot near the water’ has space for bigger rigs but you might as well find a nicer spot on the mainland

Lakeside camping

Quiet, private, beautiful spot, exactly as described! Lovely sunset, too. Anything bigger than a regular car will need to either back in or back out. Some locals were hanging out with their motorcycles when I arrived, but kindly moved them to let me pull in.

Tikal Campground

As described.. Nothing special but a fine place to stay over before going to the ruins early in the morning.. had to go to the Jungle Lodge for WiFi, which was free but super slow.. no phone service at all in the park until you climb up one of the pyramids ;)

Reading the other entries now I wish I’d gone up to Uaxactun!

Bridge fees

Lowered the barrier as I pulled up, 20Q for my little pickup camper. Plenty friendly, didn’t feel too scammy

Restaurante Cahui (Comida Tipica)

I agree with Cici, my chicken soup was ok but nothing special. Too salty. However it is indeed a lovely place, with good wifi. Amazing view from their balcony that you walk across a plank and rope bridge to get to.

Valdez Electronics

Superb service from Chino and his guys. They made light work of my various electrical problems, explained what they were doing as they went (so I can troubleshoot it myself next time), and Chino even came inside the camper and helped me figure out some of the interior electrical issues. Charged me $70Belize for a couple hours of labor and a bunch of replacement bulbs and switches. Can’t complain!

They’re conveniently located across from the only 24hr grocery store in town, too, where I met some expats the night before. You’ll see ‘Hollywood Styles Boutique’ next door, be on the lookout cause they don’t have a sign outside specifying that it’s a mechanic.

Punta Gorda Immigrations

I extended my tourist permit and my TIP here. Super easy and low key. Tourist permit cost $50BZ but extending the TIP basically just consisted of one of the officials looking at my passport and vehicle document, scribbling in an extension by hand and then sending me on my way.

Watina Sports Bar & Grill

Barranco is a super relaxed little village. We stayed for the weekend and loved every minute. You’ll meet pretty much all the residents within a few hours.

Could pretty much park anywhere within reason, but we met the village council chairman and owner of the only bar, Ras Jerry. He insisted we stay behind his bar next to the village church, just to be sure. Didn’t pay anything but we did buy some beers from him. He has bathrooms too, and let us use his sink to wash up when my water pump shorted out.

We got lucky and arrived on a weekend that they were holding a Garifuna memorial ceremony, so it was great to catch that at the Garifuna temple.

Barranco only has two little tuck shops, so definitely stock up on fresh groceries before you head out.

WARNING: the road the Barranco from the Punta Gorda junction is not paved, and even though it’s only 25km it took over an hour each direction. Some parts are pretty gnarly, but no 4x4 needed. I took it super slow at ~10mph and had no problems (in my RWD micro-RV).

Jalacte, Belize to Poptun, Guatemala

Good place to go pick up some super cheap beers or groceries if you have a Belizean ride, but no way to drive across even if you got lucky at the checkpoint - it’s just a footpath and wooden footbridge.

Dangriga Y-Not Island- Free

Came here to buy a drum from the Austin Rodriguez. His daughter Daytha and I chatted for a couple hours while she put a skin on one for me. I didn’t camp out but it would be a lovely place. I kept telling her lucky she is that that’s her office!

Town park

Stayed for about 10 days, loved hanging out in Hopkins. Had no issues at all! Met one overlanding couple who stayed for a couple nights - plenty of space for everyone. The wind was strong the whole time, great for heat and keeping the bugs to a minimum

Btw looks like Tina’s was closed, no sign of anyone the whole time I was there

Check point

The officer was asking why I didn’t have a sticker of my license in the windscreen.. I explained that I was only given one for the insurance at the border, he seemed satisfied and let me carry on

coastal breeze

As described, really nice out of the way spot. The wind was lovely. Quite a lot of locals hang out during the day and until maybe midnight normally. In the two nights I spent I think the cops drove by just once at 2am. No other issues!

Xpujil Pemex, FREE

Great place to stay. Little bit of road noise but nothing major. All the staff at the Pemex, restaurantitos etc were in good spirits. Easily the cleanest bathrooms I’ve seen in all of Mexico! WiFi signal from the shop was a bit patchy at night but when the router is working the connection is just fine. Came here from seeing the bay cave show, perfect spot!

Uno Pueblo - Adolfo López Mateos

I arrived here just before sunset to stay, seemed beautiful! A local family was there drinking and laughing. Said that as it was a Sunday, lots of people would be there late into the night drinking, smoking etc. Said I’d be safer to come with them up to their pueblito. Ended up having an awesome night of partying with them by their house 15km north,and in the daytime they showed me all around their local area - deeep in the jungle! Had a great time.

So point is, it’s probably fine to stay, and is a really beautiful spot, but beware of inebriated people if you’re there on a weekend.

Parque Tomás Garrido

Awesome little spot! It’s a parking lot on one end of the park right next to the lagoon, with a parking attendant during the day. So you could park on the windy road through the park for free I guess. It’s meant to be 10pesos per hour, but the attendant was from Santa Cruz (I’m from San Francisco) so we hung out and he gave me a good discount. Would be free if you only stay between 7pm and 7am.

It’s not super quiet, next to a big-ish road. There are a lot of people during the day and even more in the evening. Lots of tasty food options right there on stalls and carts.

Police hang out next to the parking lot all evening, and drive past a LOT on the main road all night - feels super safe and relaxed. Only people that approached were some little street kids asking for money, I gave one a spare shirt.

Spent two nights. Good place to sleep, hang out and leave the camper during the day to go into the center of Villahermosa. Picture of the lagoon at night was taken about 25m from where I was parked :)


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