If you’re traveling down the Yucatan peninsular there’s a good chance you are going to want to enter Belize.
When entering Belize, you will need to go through immigration and then onto customs. Unlike on the Mexican side, you need to cross in a vehicle and not on foot. Keep an eye out for cab drivers (green license plate) right after crossing the Hondo River. You can expect to pay about 500 pesos (approx. $25. USD) for a taxi who will drive you to the immigration checkpoint (drop you off), and then wait for you to pass through customs. The taxi can then take you into Corozal, to either catch a bus, or a commuter aircraft flight to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker.
ENTERING BELIZE FROM MEXICO
Note: Prices will vary, depending on which form of transportation you use. Do your research (so you are not scammed), because some forms of transportation can be more expensive than others.
Once you've officially cleared immigration, you will walk cross the pedestrian & vehicle bridge for the Hondo River. This river functions as a natural border between Mexico & Belize.
Getting your passport stamped is fairly routine, although you may find that the Belizean immigration officer will question you as to the purpose of your stay. The bus ride from Corozal to Belize City, will take about over two-hours, but in order to find out the schedule you'd have to inquire in person at the Corozal bus terminal. Bus transits in Belize, tend to be by refurbished school buses, not Greyhound-style coaches.
ENTERING MEXICO BY AIR
When you enter Mexico by air, you should be issued (on the plane) with a form called Forma Migratoria Para Turista, Transmigrante, Visitante Personade Negocios o Visitante Consejero – Internacion Aerea (FMT) (in English: Migratory Form for Foreign Tourist, Transmigrant, Business Visitor or Councilor Visitor – Entrance by Air); fill it out on the plane. If you don’t get a form on the plane, ask for a copy of it. The fee for the FMT is usually included in the cost of the airline ticket, so there is nothing to pay on arrival in Mexico. The FMT allows you to stay a maximum stay of 180 days. When you go through immigration at the airport, the immigration officer will write in the actual number of days you can stay; it will be between 30 and 180 days depending on your nationality. Immigration will keep the top part of the FMT form, and you keep the bottom part with your passport. Keep your airline ticket information that shows you paid for the FMT fee (upon arriving in your airline ticket), you will need to show this to the Mexican Immigrations Officer (proof of payment), when leaving Mexico at the Mexico/Belize border.
LEAVING MEXICO BY BUS OR VEHICLE (To Belize Border)
When you leave Mexico by bus, the bus will stop at a small immigration booth on the Mexican side of the border. Passengers get off, without luggage, and present their passports with FMT to the immigration officer. He will ask (in Spanish) for $100 (Mexican pesos). If you pay, the immigration officer should stamp your part of the FMT form “doble entrada” and put it back in your passport. This stamped FMT will allow you to re-enter Mexico within the allotted time (30 to 180 days) without paying a new re-entry fee. You may choose not to pay the $100 (Mexican pesos), and immigration will keep your part of the form. Then when you re-enter Belize for the second time, you will have to pay a higher fee (something like $280 Mexican pesos) for a new FMT, and the fee for the new FMT isn’t paid at the border, but at a bank.
Passengers re-board the bus, proceed across the bridge over the Hondo River and stop at Belize Customs & Immigration. Passengers (with their luggage this time) go into the Belize immigration building. There are no fees when entering Belize, and you get a tourist card that should be kept with your passport until you leave Belize. After clearing immigration and customs, re-board the bus.
Phone (Chetumal): 52-983-832-1648
Terminal Maritima Internacional Filiberto Sabido Padilla
Trip Duration: 2 hr 30 mins
Chetumal – Terminal Maritima Internacional
Enjoy the blaring music and take a tour through the streets of Chetumal. Just an hour and a half away from San Pedro Town is Chetumal, a major trading center and the capital city of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Chetumal offers first-world shopping with its Plaza Las Americas mall, warehouse shopping, a first-run movie theater, and bustling markets.
Visitors can also take advantage of Chetumal’s proximity to the beautiful Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Cancun just a five hour drive or bus ride away.
Trip Duration: 2 hr 30 mins
When coming across the border from Mexico into Belize, we recommend spending the night in Corozal. The boat ferry to San Pedro leaves early, every morning at 7:00a.m. and most people miss this ferry crossing the border later in the day. The morning that you will be traveling to San Pedro, you'll want to be at the ferry terminal by 6:30, to purchase your tickets.
Departs Corozal: The “Thunderbolt” departs Corozal daily (Municipal Pier) at 7:00 am.
Departs San Pedro: The "Thunderbolt" departs San Pedro (International Ferry Terminal - back side of the island by soccer field) at 3:00 pm.
Present Schedule (Trip Duration) 2 hours
Departs: Corozal to San Pedro 7:00am (arrives 9:00am)
Departs: Sarteneja to San Pedro 7:30am
Departs: San Pedro to Corozal 3:00pm (arrives 5:00pm)
The cost from Corozal to San Pedro (adult) is $52. one way & $104. round trip (Belize currency). Please purchase your ticket at the pier before departure.
Guatemala to Flores (To Visit Tikal)
San Pedro Boat Express at 10:00a.m. Arrives Belize City at 11:30a.m. Remain at boat terminal, bus will pick you up at the entrance at 1:00p.m., going to Guatemala border. Once through customs and immigration, you will switch buses (same company), and continue on to Flores. It's about 2.5 hours from Belize City to Flores. Does not include time to get through border checkpoints. You will arrive in Flores about 5:00p.m.
Approximate cost is $44.USD, per seat.
FOR CURRENT UP-TO-DATE SCHEDULES CONTACT
Gabriel Cal: (501) 607-9415
There is a new bridge to cross the Mopan River (built in January 2012). Vehicles pay a small toll to cross (about $5. USD), depending on the size of the vehicle.
Most Belizeans and expats leave their vehicles on the Belize their side of the border and either walk into Melchor de Mencos or catch a taxi – about U.S. $3. You can find taxis and mini vans at the market area next to the park to return to Belize or take you further inland to Tikal or Flores.
LEAVING GUATEMALA BY BUS OR VEHICLE
Crossing the border between Belize and Guatemala was easy. It helps if you stay in San Ignacio for a day or two, as this allows you to rest up and get through the border early in the morning, this allows you time to get to your destination in Guatemala in a decent amount of time.
BY TAXI - A Belize taxi will be able to take your right up to the custom offices, for about $5. Belize dollars (or $2.50 USD). This maybe the easiest, fastest and cheapest border crossing you may ever experience.
DEPARTURE TAX - There is a departure tax of $37.50 bz per person. You pay your departure tax at the cashier's window. You thenbring the receipt back to the immigration official and they will stamp your passport.
CROSSING WITH A VEHICLE - After you have received the stamp in your passport from the immigration officer, you then go around the building to customs, so they can stamp your vehicle. Belize customs agents will put a stamp in your passport for the vehicle. Be sure to have the paperwork they asked you to keep at the initial Mexico Belize border crossing handy. The official will go out to the vehicle to verify that the paperwork for the vehicle is for the same vehicle.
Guatemala Border Crossing
After clearing the vehicle through customs, you will need to pass through a fumigation stand, as they fumigate the vehicle. This will cost around $17Q.
Drive ahead and park to the right so you can enter the covered plaza area. Your first step here is to head to the right for migration to receive your passport stamp to enter the country. Simple and straightforward process.
After you get a stamp, you’ll continue to the customs booth to the right. Here you will have to provide a copy of your passport with the Guatemala entrance stamp, a copy of the vehicle registration, and you’ll need to show the originals of each.
They will then print out a bill for 160q, take that and go over to the bank window and pay. Then you’ll bring back the stamped half of your receipt to customs to receive your paperwork and a sticker for the windshield.
Then you can hop in your vehicle and continue down the road where you’ll encounter a barricaded or gated road where you can talk to the officials and show them your paperwork. If everything is in order, they will open the barricade to let you pass through.
From the border crossing to the town of El Remate (which is where we wanted to go before the Tikal Ruins) takes about one-hour driving. But since we did this crossing so late in the afternoon, it was about to turn dark and we just decided to stay in the town of Melchor de Mencos, right on the other side of the border.
The town of Melchor de Mencos is certainly nothing to write home about, but it makes for an easy stop either before or after a border crossing. If you're looking for a bite to eat in Melchor de Mencos, there is a little restaurant named: "La Morenita El Centro", it's pretty good. You can get a big meal for about $25.Q ($3. USD).
Again, this was a pretty simple and straightforward border crossing that posed no serious challenges. Our time in Guatemala was one of the absolute highlights of the entire drive through Central America, so I hope you enjoy it too!
Crossing Into Guatemala
As soon as our passports were stamped we exited the Belize immigration office into the unknown. A minivan driver approached us the moment we walked out and quoted us GTQ 50 each to reach our intended destination of El Remate.
The minivan driver then assigns us an escort to walk to the Guatemala immigration building and back. We quickly had a change of hearth after realizing how easy this border crossing was. The Guatemala immigration was barely 50 meters away. Google maps indicated a bus terminal right after the border too. And so we inform our escort that we would instead find our own way rather than joining them. The dude was not very happy, but we insisted not joining them. We realized we had made an impulsive decision accepting their offer without checking other options. After all, it was only 10am in the morning…we had all the time to take a look around, find other transport options and plan our journey. Crossing the border into Guatemala was then SUPER smooth. There was no queue, there was no fee to pay and in no time we were across.
Anyways, Central America introduced us to it’s forex services
We exchanged a small amount of money for GTQ7 per USD1 and off we walked the streets of Melchor de Mencos’ town.
Just Past the Belize Border (Into Guatemala)
After crossing the border (from Belize into Guatemala), we had to walk over a bridge, which lead us to our first Guatemala’s town.