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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

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Photo by James Duncan,
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Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 29 Aug 2018
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Crossing from Mexico to Guatemala at Frontera Corozal

Hi!

Im in San Cristobal right now and will be here for a few more days, putting on a new rear tire and taking care of some little things on the XRL.

A friend who's very experienced with riding the Americas recommended that I cross the border at Frontera Corozal rather than La Mesilla as I had originally planned. This seems like a cool route to take, crossing into guatemala by boat, but Im having a hard time finding logistics on where to export my bike out of mexico and where to import my bike into Guatemala.

Anyone have any experience with the crossing? Where can I get my stamp for Guatemala?

Thanks!
Art
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  #2  
Old 29 Aug 2018
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I did this from south to north a few years ago. paperwork was not a big issue and seemed a bit "casual" as locals are moving back and forth across the river all day long. The Guat side has a steep concrete stairway to get up to the street. After you've paid for the canoe and some guys to lift yoyur bike into it, you'll be held hostage a bit on the other side since you can't get OUT of the canoe or up the stairs alone. It's not highway robbery but they do have the upper hand in negotiating the price. A few miles farther inland, you get to a barrier with the migraccion office. They tried to fleece me with some sort of an "exit tax." I would guess being posted out there is not some sort of reward for good service, so you're not getting Guatemala's "best." My strategy was to admit to no Spanish language skills and just act dumb like you don't understand. There are, of course, some legitimate fees. It would be good to know how much it should cost to get into Guatemala before you chat with the guy at Corazol.
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Old 29 Aug 2018
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I spent a few days in that area in 2016, and I inquired in Corazol about crossing to Guatemala with a bike across the Usumacinta river as you are contemplating. I was told by the hotel owner where I was staying that it was not possible to get a vehicle permit on the Guatemala side at this crossing. I think you would have to go to El Ceibo or La Mesilla to get a permit for a bike, but someone can correct me if there is a closer place. Would they give you grief at another border for riding there without a permit from Bethel, the town on the GT side of the Usumacinta? I can't say. I have been stopped at checkpoints on the Pan American, or inter-americana as it is called, in Guatemala and asked for my passport and vehicle permit, so I would not recommend trying to get away with not getting a permit.

Regardless, it is a really interesting area, especially if you are into Maya ruins. From San Cris, I went north to Ocosingo and the ruins of Tonina', then east on some very small roads to Mex 307, or the carretera fronteriza as they call it, just north of the turn to Frontera Corazol. I took a boat ride down the Usumacinta to the ruins of Yaxchilan, and went to the Bonampak ruins. I then continued clockwise on Mex 307 till it met up with the San Cris-La Mesilla highway. If you just want to get into Guatemala, you can leave San Cris in the morning and be in Guatemala at La Mesilla by lunch.

A question for Old-n-Slo, is were you able to get a permit for your bike at the Corazol-Bethel crossing, and which direction were you going? I know you said south-north, but Guatemala is really north of Mexico at that point.
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Old 29 Aug 2018
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It almost seems like its more trouble than its worth... If I had more time and money I would probably do the frontera Corozal route, not to mention the route to Ocosingo has got some bad vibes around it with the two germans that were killed on it last year. Ive also got a bit of a time crunch to get to honduras for volunteer work. Not to mention I know I can get all the paperwork taken passing through La Mesilla, which will also put me on route for Lago Atitlan and Volcan de Fuego...

I dont want to pander for too much help.. but where exactly do I export the bike from mexico, near La Mesilla and where to I import the bike at the guatemala side?

Thanks gents!
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Old 30 Aug 2018
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Sorry to ask for last minute help, but if anyone could clear this up for me it is my first border crossing, apart from the US to MEX and just want to make sure I've got the right idea...

Ill cross via La Mesilla on the Guatemala side and export my bike via the Banjercito on the Mexican side in a town called Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, where I will also go to the Migration office to get my stamp...

Question: Does the stamp I get on the mexican side mean that I left mexico appropriately and is it required for entry into Guatemala? Is it required for leaving guatemala into honduras?

Im a little confused as to what the stamp is actually for as I have already passed through Mexico...
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Old 30 Aug 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbr0972 View Post
Sorry to ask for last minute help, but if anyone could clear this up for me it is my first border crossing, apart from the US to MEX and just want to make sure I've got the right idea...

Ill cross via La Mesilla on the Guatemala side and export my bike via the Banjercito on the Mexican side in a town called Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, where I will also go to the Migration office to get my stamp...

Question: Does the stamp I get on the mexican side mean that I left mexico appropriately and is it required for entry into Guatemala? Is it required for leaving guatemala into honduras?

Im a little confused as to what the stamp is actually for as I have already passed through Mexico...
Cuauhtemoc is maybe 3 miles before the Guatemala border and is where you will cancel your tourist visa and bike permit. There are two buildings, Aduana and Migracion right next to each other on the left side of the highway as you are going to GT. First, go to migracion and cancel the tourist visa. You need to have the paper slip showing you paid for the visa, or you will pay for it again. Then go next door to Aduana to cancel the bike permit. They might come outside and take a picture of the VIN on the bike, then you will get your deposit back, as a credit to your card, or cash if you paid cash. They will take your sticker, and you will get a fancy looking receipt showing you exported the bike.

Ride the 3 miles to the GT border, it will be obvious, with a railroad type gate across the road. Immediately before the gate is Migracion and Aduana on the right. Go to migracion and get your tourist visa, I think it is 40 Quetzales (~6USD). Last time I was there, they asked to see my Mexico exit stamp in my passport. I had it, so I don't know what would happen if I didn't. Go next door to Aduana to get your bike permit. Another VIN inspection. Pay, I think, 160Q, show the guard at the gate your permit, and he will let you through. You may or may not have to pay someone 10Q or something to "fumigate" your bike, which means a guy takes a garden sprayer and squirts something on your tires.

I am not aware of any ATMs in La Mesilla, so you may want to change some pesos or dollars with money changers hanging around the border, and you will need Quetzales for the border formalities anyway.

If you are coming back through Mexico before your bike permit expires, I always ask at Mexican Aduana if I can keep my permit open for the return trip, and they have always said yes. I am a little fuzzy as to whether this is really legal , as the TVIP is supposed to be tied to your tourist visa, and coming back you get a different visa, but I have not had a problem when exiting to the states. The chance you are taking here is if the bike gets wrecked or stolen, and you don't come back to Mexico with it, you lose your deposit.

Clear as mud? It's really pretty easy, just remember always go to migracion first and then aduana for the country you are exiting, and migracion first and then aduana for the country you are entering, and you will be good for all of Latin America.
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Old 30 Aug 2018
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Andy, much appreciated!

Clear as mud indeed! Thank you for the detailed information.

Its a long story, but unfortunately my TVIP is only for a week and expired back on August 4th, as did my original Tourist Visa. I got a new visa for 180 days but wasn't able to extend the TVIP beyond one week. I would have to first cancel the original, lose my deposit and buy another TVIP.

Im hoping there will be some way to get the deposit back with the expired TVIP... well see.

"They will take your sticker" - I never got a sticker with my TVIP when I got it at the border in MX, unless it is on one of the papers I have stapled together, but I didn't see anything.

Again, thanks a bunch!

Stokeddd to cross this mama!

Art
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