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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #16  
Old 22 Oct 2012
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er... just went back through my notes and Plaeque is way closer to Tenosique than I thought. I confused the fact that we left late (having visited the Palenque ruins in the morning ... well worth it) with it taking long to get there.
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  #17  
Old 22 Oct 2012
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Hy guys, a short update about the crossing on Mondays:

People that I've asked about this elusive border crossing had various opinions ranging from it does not exist to it does but the only Banjercito is in Tuxtla Gutierez. Turns out the border crossing is OK and there is a Banerjcito..

Even with the schedule of the Banjercito it was so fanny: everybody we asked on the road from Tenosique to El Ceibo said that it is open today (Monday). Police guys at the 2 check points, the military guys and the top of the top... the border guys at the border crossing itself. We stopped, we asked if the Banjerito is open and they said yes and motion us to park the bike so they could check it!!
We were starting to reach for our documents when another guy came from the Adauna building and said to our first guy "Hey, man, today is Monday, they cannot pass today as the bank is closed". This alone made the trip to the border worth it (and it was a ride with nice views too).

So heads up for other travelers: The Banjercito is indeed still closed on Monday!
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  #18  
Old 24 Oct 2012
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We just crossed today the border between Mexico and Guatemala at El Ceibo border crossing and here are the details of how it went for us. Hopefully it would help others that head in the same direction.


Yesterday indeed we returned to Tenosique (which in fact wasn't that bad, I had time to write a new post for the R.R. and order some parts for the moto )

As masukomi mentioned the road from Palenque to Tensosique might take a long time (especially if you go on back roads)
After confirming that the Banjercito is closed on Mondays we returned to Tenosique searching for accommodation.

We ended up at Luz de Luna hotel which is on Street nr 26.
So for others who might get there on Monday or those who are just coming in from Guate and don't want to drive all the way to Palenque, we recommend this place. It was 280 pesos per room (tiny but very clean room) with A/C, WiFi and TV-for those who care about TV ) and secure (locked gate and with a guard) parking for the bike.
There are cheaper places in town but the 2 hotels that we've seen looked really shabby and the rooms where not that clean.

Getting to El Ceibo:

In Tenosique there aren't too many signs with El Ceibo but we noticed that if we follow the signs for La Palma then it would get us out in the same direction and then after the second PeMex there will be a sign for El Ceibo to the right. Of course, just stopping and asking is much better and entertaining (for me as I don't speak Spanish almost at all )

Crossing the border:

On Mexican side everything is straight forward. I would just say that normally you should first register out your bike in Adauna/Banercito building, and then get the exit stamps for your passport. We arrived at 10 AM (the previous day a guard said that Banjercito would open at 9 AM but he said that we better come after that hour...) and there was nobody there. We practically woke up the guy at the counter

Everything was super official and friendly. No hint of any problem. Very professional!

Then we passed on the Guatemalan side. Here you should first stamp your passport then import your bike.
Here how it went for us:
- for passports you go into the first building. The border guards will point it to you even before you have time to get off the bike.
- no A/C in the building, but a friendly guy. Long time to write things by hand but you can admire the map of Guatemala in the mean time.
For the bike:
- you still go to the truck. But now it is parked on the same side of the road. They have power and even A/C but still no copy machine. So you will have to take the tuk-tuk to go and make copies of your documents.
- it is better to have copies of your documents already made and readily available with you. You would still need to go with the tuk-tuk to make a photo copy of the passport with the stump you just got for Guatemala BUT you would save some money for the others. It cost us 0.5 pesos per copy in Tenosique. And I was asked for 5 quetzals/copy (sorry for the miss-spelling...) at the place where the tuk-tuk... uhmm tuck me

Also you need to pay 160 quetzals (~22 US dollars) for the moto permit at the bank which is in another truck right near the truck for the Adauna.
Please have cash with you. There is no tarjeta paying at the border and the nearest cash machine (they told me) is in La Libertad (~2 hours one way driving). I had only 100 pesos left and no quetzals but US dollars were OK and at a fair exchange rate.

While I was running around doing the above things, Andreea was relaxing (watching the bike) and chatting with the gorder guards. They were very friendly, wanted to take photos with the bike (and on the bike). Everything was relaxed and with a lot of smiles. Again no hint of anything unprofessional. Also no tramitadores in sight.
The hole thing lasted for us arround 1 hour (on the Guatemalan side) and during this time we were the only "foreigners" there. Nice and quiet!

Also there was no additional paying for anything and no spraying of our wheels with anything. After we had all our papers, we just say good bye to all the guards gathered around us and left.

That was all.
We would highly recommend this border crossing. No traffic, nice scenery along the route and safe and professional border point, with friendly people.

Good luck to everybody.
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