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Old 06-11-2013, 04:39 AM   #1
ans3 OP
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CA-4 safety.

Hello all.

I'm flying into Guatemala and plan on buying a cheap bike there and ride around Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and possibly Nicaragua.
There has been alot of disturbing news recently about this area, especially about an increase in drug trafficking and cartel wars.

Some sites dedicated to travel advise paint a pretty dark picture about the safety of travellers in these countries. Suggesting that it is only safe to go on guided tours and pay alot of money for secure buses and such.

Since I plan on riding a motorcycle there I am wandering about what ADV thinks about safe travel in these countries. Are there any special precautions needed to be taken for travelling on a motorcycle.

I have done some travelling in South America. I've been to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, so I'm not a complete noob when it comes to Latin America.

Still I would like to hear from more seasoned traveller and perhaps locals what their take is on the situation in these contries.

All the best and thanks in advance.

ans3
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:25 AM   #2
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All you need is common sense,respect for the locals and forget about all the bullshit you read in the papers or see on TV .

If you do so , you will have a great time riding around Central America
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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...From Iceland..... beautiful, we loved the place and will be back.

OK, firstly take Guateriders good advice.

Secondly we probably fit into the seasoned traveller thing as does Guaterider.

We are currently in Guatemala, heading to El Salvador and south then SA, thus far from the US border south we have not felt threatened once.

Just use common sense that you have gained from your SA travel and come and enjoy the area.

We love it so much we decided to have a crash and break some ribs so we can stay longer , we will now be spending more time in Central America and not only we don't feel it is the short straw but we are looking forward to it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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I would equate the CA4 countries, more or less, to Bolivia in that they have a high percentage of indigenous population, and similar economic circumstances. There does seem to be more gang activity in Central America, but it has never directly affected me, and I have traveled quite a bit by motorcycle in CA.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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"secure buses???" that's a laugh right there. in guatemala and honduras, badits have been known to stop tour buses with automatic weapons and rob everyone on the bus. once the gun is pointed at you, you're sol. reach for your own gun and you're dead.

can't really speak to the rest of central america from personal experience but nicaragua is safe as long as you use your head. don't ride after dark. stay out of barrios--easily identified by houses being right next to each other or sharing common walls. don't stop for anyone or anything not wearing a uniform, unless of course they're pointing a gun at you, in which case give them everything and live to buy it all over again, or die a lonely death on the side of the road in central america.

be smart and you'll enjoy yourself immensely.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:17 AM   #6
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Wow...thank you all for the info.

This was generally what I thought. I just wanted to make sure by getting information from people with more experience and knowledge about the area.

I guess the media tends to exaggerate a bit.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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I guess the media tends to exaggerate a bit.
The media exaggerate a lot , and so do some inmates with their horror stories
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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After a few months in CA I'm most afraid of the cops. Have to agree with GuateRider. But don't go north in Salvador to Perquin, on the Honduras border nearly, before it ends in basically a pissed-off armed camp. Whoa. Otherwise almost no problems anywhere.

OK Lucinda screwed with this post 06-12-2013 at 07:43 PM
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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Hmm. I really liked the Perquin area--scenery, riding, people, history, powerful stories, politics. So what's going on up there that you didn't like?
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
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Hmm. I really liked the Perquin area--scenery, riding, people, history, powerful stories, politics. So what's going on up there that you didn't like?
Actually I agree with you. The ride in was terrific, great scenery, history, etc. But the massive steel-doored compounds and the remnants of the FMNL stronghold gave the place an interesting edge.

My greatest anxiety attack in El Salvador was leaving my computer cable in El Tunco and hoping it would be there when I returned.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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Hmm. I really liked the Perquin area--scenery, riding, people, history, powerful stories, politics. So what's going on up there that you didn't like?
Sounds good, not far off that area .... bar the politics got any good pointers for El Salvnoobs?

Will finally leave Julio to look after Guatemala
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
"secure buses???" that's a laugh right there. in guatemala and honduras, badits have been known to stop tour buses with automatic weapons and rob everyone on the bus. once the gun is pointed at you, you're sol. reach for your own gun and you're dead.

can't really speak to the rest of central america from personal experience but nicaragua is safe as long as you use your head. don't ride after dark. stay out of barrios--easily identified by houses being right next to each other or sharing common walls. don't stop for anyone or anything not wearing a uniform, unless of course they're pointing a gun at you, in which case give them everything and live to buy it all over again, or die a lonely death on the side of the road in central america.

be smart and you'll enjoy yourself immensely.
Fuck that. You paint such a welcoming picture. There's plenty of places in the civilized world I haven't seen yet, thanks.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #13
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Fuck that. You paint such a welcoming picture. There's plenty of places in the civilized world I haven't seen yet, thanks.
not about welcoming or not welcoming, it's reality. if you're smart you'll be fine. if not...well.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
in guatemala and honduras, badits have been known to stop tour buses with automatic weapons and rob everyone on the bus. reach for your own gun and you're dead.

don't stop for anyone or anything not wearing a uniform, unless of course they're pointing a gun at you, , or die a lonely death on the side of the road in central america.
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not about welcoming or not welcoming, it's reality.
You call this is reality ??? This is just plain

And not stopping for anyone would just take the experience away of meeting locals, who don't robb you and who don't shoot you to let you die lonley on the side of the road .

I've never felt less safe anywhere in Central America then in the wrong neighborhood in Miami .
There have been more tourists killed in Miami just in one year (1993) then in all of Central America over the last 20 years
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
I've never felt less safe anywhere in Central America then in the wrong neighborhood in Miami .
There have been more tourists killed in Miami just in one year (1993) then in all of Central America over the last 20 years
come again?

"Since 1995, 113 U.S. citizens have been reported murdered in Honduras; of these, just 29 cases have been resolved. Nine U.S. citizens were reported murdered in Honduras in 2012." http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...35.html#safety

" Since December 2008, 31 murders of U.S. citizens have been reported in Guatemala, including six in 2011. In 2012, six U.S. citizens were the victims of murder or attempted murder, three of which occurred in November and December" http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...29.html#victim

"At least 12 U.S. citizens have been murdered in Costa Rica since January 2011." http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...93.html#safety

oh yeah, in 1993, 9 foreigners were killed in all of Florida not miami. an exceptionally violent year. since 2008 in Guate alone more than 3 times as many gringos were killed. i guess my math must be way off...
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