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  #1  
Old 4 Dec 2008
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Borders From Mexico to Nicaragua

Just thought I would post what we(matt and mike) experienced crossing some borders recently.
Form Mexico to Belize it was pretty easy. We crossed at Chetumal. Had to stop on the mexican side and get or exit stamps(no line up at all). Then across the road to hand in our motorcycle paper work(also no line up). Going into Belize we got both bike fumigated($2.5U.S each). Then over to immigration and customs to get our passport stamped and the bike imported. We went to cross the final check point into Belize and got turned back because the customs people did not stamp the passport correctly for importing the bikes. We were able to part the bikes just off to the side and go back to customs and get the right stamp in the passport(about 20mins). Then we purchased some insurance for the week at the next building you come to($15U.S. ea.). All in all this border was relatively painless, took about 1.5hrs.
From Belize to Guatemala we crossed at Los Achiotes. We had to pay $19U.S. ea. to exit Belize. Again no line up. We went to customs to get exit the exit stamp for the bikes(no line again). We crossed into Guatemala bypassed the fumigation and went right to immigration. No line got our stamp and paid 20 Quet. ea. Then got our bike paper work done and had to pay 40 Quet.. ea. We paid at another window which had a large line up of army personal, but we were told to go to the front.
After that we were on our way total time was 1hr.
From Guatemala to Honurdas we crossed at San Carlos. We had talked to some people the night before crossing in Rio Deluce and they assured us that we could do the exit paperwork right at the border. Turned out they were right, again no problem no lines. That is where the easy border crossings ended.
On the Honduras side we went to get our bike imported, we arrived at 9:30am and of course the people were on break. We waited till they got back and began the process they filled out all the paperwok for us and told us it will cost $27U.S. ea. for the border service (helper) who would go with us to Puerta Cortes (60km away). After a whiile of trying to tell them we didn't need the 'helper' they just told us it was law and if we didn't take the service then we could go to a different border. So we paid. Then got the passports stamped($3 U.S. ea.) Then we went to get on our bike and assumed we would follow the helper into Puerta Cortes, where you have to finish the import paper work and pay $39 U.S., and the 'helper' just stood beside our bikes and wanted to get on and ride with one of us to Puerta Cortes. At this point we were getting a bit annoyed and started to ask why we only have one helper when we paid twice and also that there was no way that he could ride with us as we have no space on our fully loaded bikes. Eventually a Guatemalan Lady who spoke English was travelling through Honduras offered to give him a ride for us. We followed them all the way to town. The helper did not even know exactly were the building was. The lady finally dropped him off in the street with us and he just looked around looking a little dumbfounded! Finally we move some bags around and he hopped on Mike's bike and tried to directed us where to go. Finally we got to the dilapidated building that supposedly does vehicle imports. Of course it was 12:15 now and they were closed till 1pm. It took 2 hrs to get the paperwork completed, by 3 pm we were on the road. In the end the helper was needed, to find the customs building and to go to the different desks. This is just a heads up for anyone crossing into Honduras on the Caribbean side.
The Honduras to Nicaragua on CA1 was pretty quick. Arrived 9:30am, 15 min. to exit Honduras.
Nicaragua had no lines, a helper (named Richard) walked us with our paperwork to each window and by 11:00am we were on the road. Cost was usd24.00 for each bike and gave Richard usd5.00 for his
help.
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Old 6 Dec 2008
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I am puzzled as to where exactly you made your crossing from Belize to Guatemala and GT to Honduras.. I have been poring over my maps of Belize, Guatemala (INGUAT map) and Central America (ITMB) and I cannot fond Los Achiotes nor San Carlos as any border crossings.
Where did you leave Belize? at the WESTERN BORDER into Melchor de Mencos perhaps? What highway or backroad did you follow?The way you describe it it seems to be a fairly busy crossing which would preclude any of the few tiny, illegal backroad jungle crossings. . I wish you had been a bit more specific in locarting it.
My same questions apply to your "San Carlos " entry to Honduras. Where exactly is it relative to highway CA 9 ? It sounds almost like you used the crossing through the Motagua valley from Entre Rios via CA13 to the new crossing into Corinto Honduras but that is farther, about 80km , away from Pto.Cortes .As I left Honduras there this past April the Guatemala side did not have ANY SAT presence , either for entry or exit traffic which all had to process in Pto.Barrios GT , so this does not sound like your crossing.The Corinto , Honduras side had a big new facility . Where was your exit ,exactly?
Sorry to be so nosy, but I am curious- -and nosy. Maybe it is just a failing in my maps, but perhaps your notes are a bit jumbled, like the crossing of the "Rio Deluce " - I bet that was Rio Dulce . Spelling is important , and with every other name appearing to have a San -this or San -that in it it is easy enough to get confused.
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Old 10 Dec 2008
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The border crossings you mention are the ones that we crossed. I was just using google maps when I wrote the town names on the post, I just wrote down whichever town was closest to the border.
Crossing from Guatemala to Honduras we were able to get our exit paper work done right at the border. The Honduras side did have a nice big building, but they would not process the paper work. I guess they moved all that to Pto. Cortes. It was at Rio Dulce where some guys informed us about being able to get exit papers done right at the Guatemala Border.
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Old 11 Dec 2008
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So you did cross at Corinto into Honduras from the Entre Rios way from Pto Barrios and CA9. Solves that question. And this also means a new development as the GT side had absolutely no GT officials as I came out thru there this April'08,Good to know.

Now for the other crossing , you still leave me wondering where it was- I know absolutely nothing about the maps you consulted so maybe they totally screwed things up. Did you come out of Belize from Cayo/San Ignacio then west 15km to the GT Border? There is no way that any map should be giving any other name than Melchor de Mencos for the town on the Guatemala side of that border.
Then I decided to finally see what this googlemap thing had on line so I got around to chasing that lead - and lo! - there at the BZ/GT border crossing of the Western Highway is a clutter of names including Melchor de Mencos - THE big town in Guatemala which everybody refers to for this border, and to its right "Los Achiotes" - Never heard of it in all the times I have used that very crossing.Must be the goat farmer's place at the border post. Just goes to show that google is not quite as useful as is assumed.
Checking the stamps in my passport and they reveal only the names ,as noted earlier, of Melchor de Mencos and Corinto. This raises the question of how trustrworthy the info on the google map source is if they cannot be bothered to supply travellers with accurate data. Trust your own eyes to read the names of towns on site, don't blindly assume every map is dead accurate in giving this kind of stuff.I have seen locally an example of somebody who got a googlemap routing suggestion printed out to the company I work for.Problem was, the google service totally picked a different address, a family with a similar last name , but kilometers off target.

Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 15 Dec 2008 at 18:37.
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