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