There were two options to renew our soon to expire Guatemalan visas. Apply for quick and easy visa extension in Guatemala city Make a border run to Belize or Mexico Guatemala City is located an easy one hour’s drive from where we were staying in Antigua. Option one. Clearly too simple. A cross-country, multi-day road trip to Belize sounded like more fun. A lot more fun. Option two it is!
El Espinazo del Diablo (the Devil’s Backbone—a mountain pass along Mexico’s highway 40) is an infamously sinuous mountain road that joins the towns of Mazatlán, Sinaloa and Durango, Durango. The road has a bit of a reputation for punishing travellers with terrifying accident-inducing winding turns. Luckily travellers are also rewarded with spectacular views as the road runs along a mountain ridge, high in the Sierra Madre mountains. This seemed like exactly the kind of thing we should investigate further.
Our initial plan to take a detour south through Escalante—Grand Staircase National Monument was foiled—by torrential rain washing out Cottonwood Road. We formulated ‘Plan B’ when a couple we spoke to in Kodachrome Basin State Park motivated us to pay a visit to Capitol Reef National Monument. A quick look at a map showed an enticing looking road heading south through there, so we decided that would be the best route to take.