CENAM - Central America Via Private Aircraft

Travel with the 20 some BBP members as we explore Mexico and Guatemala.  Photos and report by Erik McCormick 
Click here, enjoy....

Favorite Video  "Clearing the Runway, Poptun, Guatemala.
All CENAM 2017 YouTube Video Link. 

January 6th through the 14th, 2017


Veracruz, Tikal, Rio Dulce,

Chichicastenango, Guatemala City


Join the BBP as we add another page of adventure, fun, and laughter into our book of memories as we do another history making trip that most will start in the US and continue on through Mexico and Guatemala.



Most will meet in the South Texas border town of Laredo.  Our hotel of choice is the La Posada Inn which is located right on the border of the


and Mexico where a room at the back will find you watching the Rio Grande pass by on its way to the gulf.  This is where we will hold our first pilot’s meeting and general BS session regarding our trip. (Of course, non-pilots are invited)

The following morning, it is tim

e to go to the airport and head south to Veracruz for the official start of CenAm 2017.


Day 1, Friday:  Veracruz Mexico

We start this year’s

CenAm trip by making the first 535 mile leg from Laredo to the busy and fun filled city of Veracruz.  Our hotel will be Gran Hotel Dilgencias.  This historic hotel is located on the main Zocalo where every day (and into the evening) there is always something going on.  With the continual sound of music, street dancing, and fun and laughter, it is a great place to start this year’s trip.  Yes, we have been here many times over the past period of years.  And as you will be arriving around noon, there will be time to walk down to the docks where there will be boys diving for pesos, more vendors selling more stuff as well as perhaps take a boat ride out to the fort that guards the entrance to the harbor.  As a side note, in one of my favorite movies, Romancing the Stone, you might see a lot of resemblance to the fort that was in Cartahania.  Yep, the film was shot right here in Veracruz.


Day 2 & 3, Sat & Sun: Tikal Guatemala

Our first stop on this year’s trip is in Tikal, Guatemala where we will land Mundo Maya Intl. (Tikal) and then take taxis out to Flores, a small island in the middle of Lago Peten Itza.   Here, it is impossible to get lost as if you just keep walking, you will end up where you started. Long a favorite of the Bush Pilots, our hotel sits right on the water where all will gather at the bar to watch our aircraft on short final as they land Tikal.

And as a personal note: When south of Mexico, we go from tequila to rum. What a rush....

The following morning, we will board our chartered bus for the one hour ride up to the Tikal National Park where we take in one of the largest and most interesting Mayan Ruins in Guatemala.  There, the noise can be severe quiet with only the sounds of the jungle penetrating your ears.  Yes, we are talking deep Jungle, Howler Monkeys, the Temple of the Great Jaguar, and a lot more.


Day 4 & 5, Mon & Tue:  Rio Dulce Guatemala


In the morning, all will head out to the airport for the short flight to the Rio Dulce, our next stop which is also two nights.  We will be landing at the Guatemalan Flying Club’s private airstrip where, once there, will travel via boat up the Rio Dulce to our resort.

Located on an island on the Rio Dulce, most rooms are built on stilts out over the river and all transportation is via boat. As we are staying two nights, there will be ample time to explore. You can do the trip down to Livingston or up to the fort but I really like the narrow but long city of Rio Dulce.

Located on either side of the highway coming off the only bridge to span the river, this city is about two miles long and a block wide. And it consists primarily of stalls that people have set up on either side of the road to sell product to the locals.

We are not talking tourists here….


Day 6, & 7, Wed, Thu:  Chichicastenango

We arrive at the capital city of Guatemala, Guatemala City where we will do lunch at the flying club prior to boarding our charted bus which will take us to the small village of Chichicastenango in the highlands of Guatemala.  There we will be staying at a small hotel adjacent to the main square where on Thursdays, (and Sundays) people walk, ride, or drive from all over the area to set up stalls to sell their

wares.  This massive market place and adjoining streets are filled to capacity, with textiles, polychrome masks, vegetables, chickens, beef, (including pigs) and flower venders.  And along with all that activity, there are fireworks that go off on a regular basis that are more powerful than American Standards.  Known throughout Central America, this market place is a must to visit.


Day 8, Fri:  Guatemala City

The jury is still out on where we will stay on our last night of CenAm 2017.  I have stayed in Zona 1, the historical city center, about three times and loved it. My hotel of choice was the Hotel Pan American located a block from the main city square, the cathedral, and the adjoining market place.  The hotel was built in 1940 and has been preserved to retain the old world ambiance as it was some 70 to 80 years ago. It was originally owned by Pan American Airlines and used for its crews and other important passengers.

However, the members of the Guatemala Flying club shudder when I talk about staying there as there are so many other modern places to stay.

I am working with the Club and will make the decision as to where we will stay later.

(I am starting to think that we will stay in Zona 11 (business area near airport) now….


Day 9, Sat: After Guatemala City

Saturday CenAm is officially over however, the BBP will still be there to help you wherever your destination is.

As on all of our CenAm trips, some will head north going straight home, some will revisit places they have been to, and some will head further south visiting additional Central America cities.

Let us know what your plans are.

After Breakfast, the BBP will provide a charted bus to take all out to the airport for departure.  The BBP will depart Guatemala stopping in Tapachula to check into Mexico and then continue on up the coast.

Let us know what your plans are sometime during the trip and we can “talk you through” your departure be it north or south.



Want to go….




Registration Price


Adult per person, double occupancy sharing room


Adult per person single room


Child, 12 and under (child to share room with adults)

$   940

Aircraft registration   (will be added to registration fee)

$   500


Prices include:

BBP lead aircraft

Trip book including airport information

Assistance with eAPIS, flight plans

        Meals/rooms at locations as listed below.

        Information on side trips

Information for flight back home


Prices do not include:

        Aircraft expenses

        Visas, airport fees, etc.


        Ground transportation other than what is listed above  

        Personal expenses

        Rooms, meals, etc. prior to and after the scheduled trip.


Note: Locations, accommodations subject to change without notice for any reason.






Gran Hotel Dilencias


Hotel Santana

Rio Dulce

Catamaran Club


Mayan Inn Museum

Guatemala City

Hotel PanAm (or other hotel)



Airport ID








Laredo Texas







Veracruz Mexico







Tikal Guatemala







Rio Dulce







Guatemala City










Distance (nm)














Trip Report. 



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