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Central America and Mexico Topics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #16  
Old 30 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfman View Post
I have travel insurance thru my job, for my own person.

So the insurance cannot be "rider" on a US/Canadian policy? You have to purchase the coverage in Mexico?
I think there is a misunderstanding. As far as I know, the only paperwork for a tourist in Mexico is your Tourist Card, or Visa, and a TVIP if you are traveling in a private vehicle. Of course, you should have Mexican insurance on your vehicle if you have one. I have never heard of anyone being required to have any kind of personal insurance. I have traveled to Mexico many times without any travel insurance on myself, it's never come up.
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  #17  
Old 30 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by jfman View Post
I have travelers insurance with my job - Can I exempt myself from travelers insurance to Mexico?
Also the last time I went to Mexico I came in thru Tijuana and none of the above was asked.

I am howver told that if you travel to the souther tip of Baja and need to get on the ferry, they wont let you onto it unless you have done all the paperwork correctly. I read a blog about two canadian who came in thru Tijuana and when they got to the tip of Baja, they had to get on a plane back to the border to get thie papers in order.

So in short : How is it that they dont aks you to get all these parers when you cross in Tijuana but you still need them in a sense...
It's true ... the Mexicans won't stop and check you when you enter from USA.
You just drive through and GO! Technically you are supposed to have a Tourist Visa if in Mexico more than 7 days or if you go more than 200 miles South of the border. They used to check at Guerrero Negro ... but no longer.
Once South of their if you don't have your Tourist Visa, you are technically in violation. Rarely enforced.

But you SHOULD stop at the border (Tijuana) and get your Tourist
visa. It says MIGRACION at the office. It's about $22 usd. Just pull over in the parking area walk in ... takes about 10 minutes.

You can also get your TVIP (for bike temporary import) at an office very near the Tijuana border entrance (a one minute ride from border entrance) ... or you can ride all the way to La Paz and get your TVIP right at the Ferry terminal. BUT ... you do need your Tourist visa BEFORE you get there ... and you may have trouble if you don't have it when you show up to get your TVIP.

Your personal travel insurance is good to have. But it is FOR YOU, not your bike. Just make sure it's valid when in Mexico or Latin America. If it's any GOOD then it should pay your flight home and pay any medical costs when in Mexico. (or reimburse you later ... so SAVE all receipts of anything you pay)

For vehicles ... ONLY Mexican insurance is valid in Mexico. Your personal insurance is of NO USE for your bike. ALL foreign insurance (for vehicles) is invalid in Mexico. (yes, it's a racket)

This mostly true for every Latin American country. In Mexico, it is now technically required to have vehicle insurance ... but proof is not yet asked for. (changing however)

It's a bit embarrassing as almost NO Mexicans carry any sort of car insurance. But IF you are in an accident ... everyone goes to jail and are held until things are sorted out. BUT ... if you have insurance, you will be let go on bond and not kept in jail. You will have to wait around until case is resolved. Hiring a lawyer is a very good idea to expedite this process.

But things are all changing fast ... so keep an eye on things and ask around.

Last edited by mollydog; 31 Jan 2014 at 18:57.
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  #18  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solohobo View Post
Just a couple notes to add.

For the C-4 countries, you can easily get an extension, at the Migracion offices, as a typical tourist, but with a vehicle, I have no idea.


Your vehicle goes in Passport in every country, but Costa Rica, so you cant leave the country without the vehicle, otherwise pay huge taxes/import fees, about 75% of the value of the bike, which they determine, not you, and its not in your favor.

The TVIP is issued individually for every country and getting an extension for your TVIP in Guatemala takes only 10 min at the Aduana Central , the Customs headquarter, in Guatemala City ( free of charge)

There is no problem at all , leaving the country without your bike . You just need to make sure that you are back on time to take the bike out of the country before your TVIP expires.

Several riders have left their bikes at my place , while they flew out and came back to pick them up later on .
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  #19  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by guaterider View Post
The TVIP is issued individually for every country and getting an extension for your TVIP in Guatemala takes only 10 min at the Aduana Central , the Customs headquarter, in Guatemala City ( free of charge)

There is no problem at all , leaving the country without your bike . You just need to make sure that you are back on time to take the bike out of the country before your TVIP expires.

Several riders have left their bikes at my place , while they flew out and came back to pick them up later on .
Guat Rider,
I've a question for you. A friend stored his bike in Guatemala (Antigua) for about six months. His TVIP expired during that time. When he returned to Guatemala and rode North, he had to pay some sort of fine at the border, but I can't recall how much it was.

Do you happen to know what this charge is? Is it a "flat fee" or does it very depending on how many days you over stayed your TVIP? ... is it different for cars than bikes?

Any info appreciated.
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  #20  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Guat Rider,
I've a question for you. A friend stored his bike in Guatemala (Antigua) for about six months. His TVIP expired during that time. When he returned to Guatemala and rode North, he had to pay some sort of fine at the border, but I can't recall how much it was.

Do you happen to know what this charge is? Is it a "flat fee" or does it very depending on how many days you over stayed your TVIP? ... is it different for cars than bikes?

Any info appreciated.
There is no fine if the TVIP is expired, you have to pay the import duties .
If your friend managed to get his overdue bike out of the country, he probably paid a bribe
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  #21  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by guaterider View Post
There is no fine if the TVIP is expired, you have to pay the import duties .
If your friend managed to get his overdue bike out of the country, he probably paid a bribe
Total value Import Duty? YIKES! That is good to know!!!
Yep, that sounds about right. My friend was a bit unclear about how it went at the border ... but I think he did pay someone at the border around $100 usd. (he over stayed his TVIP about 2 months or so)

Cheers!
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  #22  
Old 5 Feb 2014
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Another Gringo paying bribes, dont complain when things dont go your way with authorities, but anyway, are cars different than motorcycles as far as the Visa/Passport rules?

otherwise you could dump cars in Guatemala very easy, if you never return.
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  #23  
Old 29 Apr 2014
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Vehicle registration

I'm planning on going from San Diego to baja and then slowly move towards South America. My California registration ends in June. Do you recommend to renew my registration if I plan to cross the border to Mexico in may?
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  #24  
Old 30 Apr 2014
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You could ignore it ... but could give a reason to confiscate your bike somewhere along the way. Who knows? It's an easy base to cover ... I'd cover it.

Go to DMV and pay it NOW. Now you're good for a year. Should not be a problem to re-new early if you go in ... in person.
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  #25  
Old 24 Apr 2015
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UPDATE: Traveled to Mexico, got the TVIP, got Mexican insurance for the bike. All went well and wasnt too complex.

I thoroughly detailed the TVIP process at Nogales in my ride report if one needs more details.

Thank you all for the help given last year
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  #26  
Old 24 Apr 2015
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Glad some of my info was of use!
So how was your Mexico ride? Did you go further South? What parts of Mexico did you see? Favorite places?

I was there last November, did a 4,000 mile (6K kms.) ride from San Fran, CA Bay Area, down Baja, across to mainland, then out to Durango for some exploring, through Copper Canyon, then back home.

I found the cities more loaded with cars than ever, terrible traffic in many places. Once outside cities, all good!

Dollar is very strong now ... 15 Pesos per dollar (was 13) and going UP. This makes sense given Mexico's 10% to 12% annual inflation rate.

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  #27  
Old 28 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Glad some of my info was of use!
So how was your Mexico ride? Did you go further South? What parts of Mexico did you see? Favorite places?

I was there last November, did a 4,000 mile (6K kms.) ride from San Fran, CA Bay Area, down Baja, across to mainland, then out to Durango for some exploring, through Copper Canyon, then back home.

I found the cities more loaded with cars than ever, terrible traffic in many places. Once outside cities, all good!

Dollar is very strong now ... 15 Pesos per dollar (was 13) and going UP. This makes sense given Mexico's 10% to 12% annual inflation rate.

I came in from Vancouver, Napa Valley, SF, Death Valley, Nogales, Hermosillo, Rode Mx16 to Creel, Batopilas, Urique, Choix, Los Mochis, Mazatlan, Espinazo del Diablo, Durnago, Zecatecas, Real de Catorce, then cannonballed it home on the pay roads.
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  #28  
Old 25 Dec 2016
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Let's try and revive and update this useful thread in the style of the OP.

gracias
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  #29  
Old 1 Jan 2017
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Here is a quick summary from our web page. We crossed between September and November 2016 from Usa through all Central America..

Central America Border Crossings | Ayfer-Onur seyahatnamesi

Thanks....
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  #30  
Old 9 May 2019
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Great info

thanks for sharing this info!

Grettings from Ride MB
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