List of needs and details from recent moto-crossings: http://brienne.yolasite.com/b-blog/m...la-to-honduras
1 USD = 12 Pesos
US TO MEXICO
January 21, 2011
Lukeville, Arizona – Sonoyta, Mexico
• Passport – 1 copy
• Registration or Title – 1 copy
• Vehicle Import Permit = $437.61 (credit card only) = $36.5 good for 6-months
• Tourist Visa = $25 USD good for 90-days
USD or Mexican Pesos
2 hours and a 19-mile ride to immigration office
We were initially stopped by US officials who checked our passports, asked us some questions about where we were going and seemed to scan us out of the States. We proceeded over a few speed-bumps and were waved across the traffic-free US-MEX border; although, I did stop to ask where we could get our visitor visas and vehicle import permits. I was told 10-kilometers down, but the immigration office was actually 19-miles down Highway 2 from the crossing. There are three little offices in a row, beginning with the Banjercito bank, the immigration office to its left and the processing station window to the left of that. The first thing to do is go into the immigration office to get your visitor/tourist visa. You can’t get your vehicle import permit at the Banjercito until you get your visa. Once your paperwork is filled out and passport swiped, you go to the first building to pay the $25 USD cash for your visa, fill out more motorcycle-related paperwork and pay $37 USD with a credit card for your vehicle import sticker. You then take the papers to the processing window at the end where you can get the necessary copies of your passport, vehicle title or registration if you don’t have them. Now you wait about 15-minutes to get processed. You then return to the Bajercito with the processed paperwork and get your windshield sticker. KEEP your tourist visa receipt and the receipt and paperwork backing to the sticker in a secure place. You’ll need them to leave the country.
The cuota roads are expensive, boring, direct routes that accept ONLY PESOS. Generally the libre roads follow the cuota roads (in a windier way), are free, have good pavement, go through small towns, but are slower because of the topes, aka speed bumps in tiny towns that are often times unmarked.
1 USD = 2 Belizean Dollars (fixed to USD at 2:1)
The USD is accepted everywhere in Belize, so there is no need to exchange money.
MEXICO TO BELIZE
March 8, 2011
Subteniente López-Santa Elena, Mexico (close to Chetumal) - Santa Elena, Belize
Passport, Motorcycle Title
• Motorcycle fumigation spray = $2.50 USD
• Mandatory insurance = $6 USD per day, we got two days worth
USD or BL
1) Go to kiosk in parking lot by “Migration” building before crossing the border to cancel your tourist visa. Basically just had the man your tourist visa receipt, which he’ll keep, and give him your passport for a stamp.
2) Proceed to the next parking lot on your left in front of the chain-link fence to cancel your vehicle import permit in the Banjercito so they know you are not exceeding the 6-month time limit. OR, if you’re planning to return within the allotted time period with the motorcycle, keep the sticker on the window and the receipt that’s attached to the blue motorcycle information card. All three of these things, the sticker, the vehicle permit and the motorcycle need to return together.
1) Cross the bridge, veer right at the Y and stop at the fumigation shack. Get your tires sprayed for $2.50 USD and buy the mandatory insurance at $6 USD per day or $29 per week.
2) Continue for a short distance down the road and park in the lot on your left just before the Belize crossing. Here you will get your passport stamped with an allotted visa length – we were just passing through and I mentioned that so I actually got “1 night only” written on my passport.
3) Proceed to the next counter to fill out vehicle form and proceed to next building to chat with customs.
4) Drive to border gate, show guard your passport, fumigation and insurance receipts, smile and drive on through.
You will need to pay an exit fee of $30 Belizean Dollars ($15 USD) if you’re in the country for less than 24-hours and $37.50 ($18.75 USD) if you’re there longer.
1 USD = 7.8 Guatemalan Quetzal
BELIZE TO GUATEMALA
March 9, 2011
Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize - Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala
• Vehicle title – 1 copy
• Belize exit fee = $15 USD
• Motorcycle Fumigation Fee = $12 Q (Quetzals only)
• Tourist Visa = $20 Q or $3 USD (more expensive to pay in USD)
• Vehicle Import Permit = $55 Q (Quetzals only)
Guatemalan Quetzals (USD only for Tourist Visa)
This was an easy stop-off at the office just over the hill of downtown Benque Viejo del Carmen to paid our $15 USD exit fee, since we were in Belize for less than 24-hours, (the fee is $18.75 for more than 24-hours) and get our passports stamped. We followed our GPS waypoint and noticed no signs pointing toward the border.
Our first stop was at a little office window on the right-hand-side, just after passing into the little immigration zone beyond the fence and before the bridge into Melchor de Mencos. We got our motorcycles fumigated for $20 quetzals – they wouldn’t accept dollars and the little Banrural bank window across the plaza on the left wouldn’t exchange American Express Travelers Checks or cash; although, you have to run back and forth to figure these things out since no one knows except the boss of the person working in the window. The only option to pay was with the private money exchange guys with bad rates at 7.3. However, if you change $20 USD just to get through the border, you only lose about $1 USD. After our bikes were sprayed down, we crossed the plaza and walked to the front of the tourist visa stamp line where we paid $20 Q (or $3 USD) and got our stamps pretty quickly. We then moved to the line to the left of the visa line to get out motorcycle permits. There was no wait, just paperwork to fill out, a stroll over to the bikes to compare VIN nubers and a $55 Q fee = $7.05 USD.
When you cross the bridge and turn right, you will enter the town of Melchor de Mencos, where you can find the Banrural main office down a few blocks on the left to withdraw cash or exchange traveler’s checks. And just across the street from the bank is an affordable and tasty taco shop called Xela Tacos. When you leave, go back to where you made the right into Melchor de Mencos and continue down that main highway to head toward Tikal.
1 Guatemalan Quetzal = 2.45 Lempira
1 USD = 18.98 Lempira
GUATEMALA TO HONDURAS
March 19, 2011
Guatemala – Corinto, Honduras
• Passport – 2 copies
• Vehicle Title – 2 copies
• Registration – 2 copies
• Vehicle Permit after filled out – 2 copies
• Passport Stamp – 2 copies
$40 USD ($30 Quetzals for Tourist Visa, $35 USD for Vehicle Permit)
Tourist Visa Stamp office accepted Lempira or Quetzals, Vehicle Permit/Aduana Office accepted Lempira or USD.
1) Cancel Vehicle Permit at SAT office 19 km before the border: You’ll need the carbon copies of the vehicle title paperwork you received when your registered and your passport. The man was very nice and warned us about problems on the Honduran side of the Corinto border (loss of electricity, computers down) and said he’d cancel them the following day. This took about 15 minutes.
2) Continue for 5 km and you’ll see the office to cancel your tourist visa, which is simply getting stamped out of the country. They just need to slide your passport and click a few boxes in their computer, but with wait time this took about 15 minutes.
1) Continue 14 km down the road you’ll arrive at the border. Park at the first building of walk-up windows. Go up the stairs past the money exchange guys and give your passport to the man in the window to get your tourist visa stamp. Although the cost is posted in US dollars ($3) he won’t take dollars and only Quetzals at the inflated rate of $30 Q (not the $23.40 Q it should be) or $60 lempira. This took about 10 minutes with the wait.
2) Drive around to the similarly large building behind the tourist visa office to the window titled Aduana, which means “customs”. We were greeted by a nice man named Luis, who began filling out our paperwork. We handed him the copies we were prepared with, but, he of course needed more copies of paperwork after he filled them out (listed above). He also asked me to make copies of my California registration along with my title, but since Malcolm didn’t have his registration or wasn’t given one from Florida, there was no problem with him not having copies – “Uh, shut-up and don’t try to rationalize this in Spanish Brienne,” I bit my tongue. I asked where I could get the copies made and he responded, “Si, es el problema.” Since it was Saturday and the privately owned copy office in the same building (that apparently charges an exorbitant amount per copy) was closed and another customer had just returned from the weekend “they might be open” copy machine location at a nearby hotel and said that there was no one there, he didn’t have a third option for us. So after about 40-minutes of filling out just 20-little lines of paperwork per person while our bikes were sitting in the rain, we proceeded back into Guatemala, planning to retrace our tracks the 14-km back to the visa exit office to see if we could find a copy machine there. But, just next door to the Guatemalan border was a gas station/restaurant business that seemed like it could be a possibility, so I pulled in to ask. As fortune would have it, I spotted a copy machine in the Admin Office and found the admin man at the lunch counter. He generously said we could make copies there, but that he was just about to eat his lunch, so he asked if we were in a hurry. Of course, I said “no” since he was doing us a favor, so we sat and had ourselves a cup-o-joe and cookies for about 30-minutes or so while he chowed and chatted. When he finished, he made us the copies at no charge … although, of course I gave him a few quetzals for his generosity. We returned to Luis at the Aduana Office with our copies, waited while he organized and gave us back our titles. Finally, we were off.
Make a copy of your Permiso de Entrada and driver’s license to hand to police officer when they stop you and try to extort money. Never give them your real license or passport, and certainly not money.