Back to Mexico from Belize

Alas, it was finally time to go back to Mexico. This was not my original plan. Before my surgery the plan was to go to Belize and then onto Guatemala. My surgery changed things. Because I spent 2 months at home recovering from surgery, I needed to get my motorcycle out of the country fast. However, I hadn’t seen everything in Mexico I wanted to.

So I went to Belize to get my bike out of Mexico in time and to see the country. Instead of going into Guatemala today, I was heading back into Mexico. I would go to Guatemala from Mexico.

Ride to the Border

As I packed up to head back into Mexico I realized I was going to miss Belize. It had grown on me. The people were really nice. Often people said hi to me as I walked the city. And they didn’t even want anything. I was also going to miss Spoonaz and my server Jolene. And my morning coffee at La Petit Cafe. Oh well … leaving places and people is part of my life as a traveler.

Like every day here, it was hot in the mid 30 degrees C. However, once I started to ride it was OK.

I just hoped the newly updated Belize maps would be a lot better. They were. That is until I reached the border town. Once again I got twisted around. My GPS lead me down to a dirt road and to a waters edge. It was up to me to find the border on my own. It really wasn’t that difficult. I just followed the main road north.

Belize Border

It was now time to do the border dance again. First the Belize border.

Belize Mexico Border Crossing

I pulled into the parking lot at #1 and went into the building at #2 to go to immigration. However the first booth was to pay $40 US worth of tourism departure fees. Good thing I had US money as I didn’t have enough Belizean dollars left.

After that is was the immigration booth where I handed in my departure form. They directed to teh vehicle booth in the far building labeled #3 in the photo. This was the same booth I attended when I entered the country. There I handed in my Temporary Import Permit and passport for them to cancel the permit. It was pretty simple. They just stamped over the passport stamp where they documented the import of my motorcycle.

From there it was back on my motorcycle to leave. But as I rode down the road I encountered another booth. This one was to check my passport and to make sure I had completed everything I needed to leave. The officer was really nice and wanted to know all about my trip. Now off to the Mexico border.

Mexico Border

mexico-border to mexico

As I rode up to the border I parked in the parking lot at #2 where I had done all the documentation when I crossed into Belize. I went inside to go to immigration. People were lined up with their entry cards but I couldn’t find any in the building. Huuuummmmm. So I watched where people were coming from with their cards in hand. It turned out there was a building at #1 where a customs officer questions you and hands you an entry card.

Once I had the card I lined up in building #2 with my card in hand. The immigration officer just asked a couple of questions and stamped me in.

Now I had to get my Temporary Import Permit for Mexico. I attended Banjercito to get it. I handed the woman my passport, vehicle registration, my entry card, and $400 US as a deposit. The woman noticed right away that my vehicle registration was a copy. She said she needed the original. Back out into the parking lot I went to get the original registration from my panier.

Back inside i gave it to her and she completed lots of paperwork. This is where it got a bit confusing. First she asked for 500 pesos as a tourism fee. I gave her that. Then she asked for $50 US (in Spanish) for something that I didn’t quite get what it was for. I handed her $60 US and then she motioned something. In the end she didn’t give me $10 US in return and I forgot all about it until I was on my way to Chetamul. So I am not quite sure if I was taken there or what happened. Also confusing was the 500 pesos as I paid it before when I left Mexico and not when I entered. However, I understand it is suppose to be paid when you enter.

In the end though I got my Temporary Import Permit and my tourism card.

As I rode out I passed a final check by customs officers at #3, but they waved me through as they were already searching all the cars they could handle.

I was now back in Mexico


Since I was crossing a border I didn’t plan to ride many kilometers today. So I stayed in Chetamul for the night.

My Route for April 2, 2017


Exploring Belize City

For the next three days I stayed in Belize City. I was planning on going for a ride into the countryside and explore the Belize capital of Belmopan and the town of San Ignacio. It was just so freakin hot though. I just couldn’t put on my riding suit and head out into the heat. Even the locals said it was hot.

La Petit Cafe

The La Petit Cafe was my refuge in the heat. Each morning I would head out to the cafe to do some work and enjoy the air conditioning. One of the main projects to do was updating my GPS.


GPS Travel Maps gave me a coupon code for a free update for my Central America maps. I was sure hoping this would fix my Belize maps.

There were a few problems doing it. First, my SD port didn’t work. A coin had gotten stuck in there and after I took it out the port was “read only.” I tried everything to change it but I am guessing the coin set something off. The Device Manager said it was working fine though. Oh well.

So next I hooked up my GPS directly to my computer to update it. It wouldn’t read! After a lot of experimenting it turned out to be a bad cable. It took hours but my GPS updated. I just hoped the map for Belize was fixed.


As the evening approached the temperature cooled off to go out exploring the City. This exploring mostly consisted of walking to different restaurants recommended by Tripadvisor and seeing the sights along the way. First it was Riverside Tavern for a much needed salad. Then to Celebrity where I had a really nice chicken curry.


But what I was looking for was a “home” where everyone knew my name, to quote the song from Cheers. The next restaurant on my list was the Wet Lizard. Come to find out it was only available for cruise ship passengers!! I walked around a bit and stumbled upon Spoonaz. It had a patio along the river. I ordered Salbutes.


And enjoyed the wonderful views.



The server was a bit sassy, as was the outdoor cook right behind me. I like that. I found my home.

Exploring Belize City

As I mentioned in a previous post, Belize City is not that big. Especially the downtown area. One evening I walked through downtown to Bird Island. The downtown is run down. It always seems to be filled with school kids in the uniforms.



I passed the Belize Supreme Court.


The Channel 7 News station.


I stopped at the St John Anglican Cathedral. Not really much of a cathedral but an historical building in the city. It was built using slave labour from 1812 to 1820 with bricks that had been used as ballast aboard ships and was the first church to be built in the colony of British Honduras.


There is a small residential area on the island.


One of the reasons for going to Birds Island was to check out a restaurant. It turned out to be closed. But I loved their sign.



When it got dark I headed back to my guest house passing by a candy store.


I really didn’t want to be out too much after dark here. All the closed stores have those metal blind on their windows. And the stores that are open, have metal bars between the clerk and customer. So to order something you look through the bars and say what you want. The transaction is completed by a small hole in the bars. That was my hint that it may be dangerous after dark 🙂

The one awesome thing about Belize is English ha ha. That meant English TV stations. Not good for me learning Spanish, but nice to relax to in the evenings. Especially since the Final Four NCAA basketball tournament was on.


My Location from March 30 to April 1, 2017


San Pedro Belize

I woke up early today to take the Belize water taxi to San Pedro. It was a 90 minute ride.

Originally I thought of staying in San Pedro for awhile. But the hotel prices were expensive and there was no easy way to get my motorcycle there.

Taxi Ride to San Pedro

I sat on a seat in the back of the ferry on the side. Off I went 🙂




San Pedro

According to Wikipedia, San Pedro is a town on the southern part of the island of Ambergris Caye in the Belize District of the nation of Belize, in Central America. By 2015 mid-year estimates, the town has a population of about 16,444. It is the second largest town in the Belize District and largest in the Belize Rural South constituency. The once sleepy fishing village was granted the status of a town in 1984 and was sometimes said to be the inspiration for the song “La Isla Bonita” (which begins with the line “last night I dreamt of San Pedro”), written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard and Bruce Gaitsch.

Over the centuries San Pedro has become one of the most popular tourist destinations with various protected areas such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve,Shark Rey Alley, Bacalarchico and many more. One of San Pedro’s most priced possession is the Barrier Reef. The San Pedro Barrier Reef is the ‘second largest’ in the world, the first being the Great Barrier Reef. And is a home to a diverse amount of species. One of the primary industries in the town is tourism, most notably scuba diving. So many visitors are divers that there is even a hyperbaric decompression chamber on the island, despite its small population. Ambergis Museum is located in the town. The new north road is over 10 miles long and has greatly expanded resort and beach house development with better access than only water craft.

I wasn’t planning on doing any scuba diving or snorkeling. The Blue Hole would be nice to go to if I could find a cheap ride out there.

Walking San Pedro

When we docked in San Pedro I was covered in salt from the salt water splashing up on me as the boat raced through the water. I really needed to find a washroom to wash up. I walked around for a bit looking for a place to wash up and have breakfast.

I was expecting San Pedro to be a resort town. It is, but not in the modern sense I was envisioning. The town was rustic.



Eventually I found the Blue Water Grill right on the beach to wash up and have breakfast. I sat there for a while taking in the view and smell of the water.


After breakfast I walked up and down the long beach.








By the afternoon I needed a place just to sit and veg and enjoy what I was seeing. Estels looked like the busiest restaurant along the beach so I ended up there.


Pretty awesome and a great view.


For lunch I had the traditional Belizean meal of rice and beans. And I washed it down with the Belizean beer Belikin.


Heading Home to Belize City

It was 3 pm and time to take the taxi back home. I didn’t see a cheap ride out to the Blue Hole. Oh well, it is really hard to see everything in the places I visit. A lot of times traveling shows you just how big the world is and how much there is to see.

On the way back I sat more to the side where I wouldn’t get splashed ha ha.


My Route for March 29, 2017


My Locations for March 29, 2017

San Pedro


Belize City


Entering Belize

What an elation entering Belize. I just had to smile being in another country. I’m in Belize baby!

When I was growing up Belize was known as British Honduras and Belize City as Fort George. All a dream to visit back then. But here I am.

There were several things that were immediately evident. Belize is a lot poorer than Mexico. The churches are now protestant instead of Roman Catholic. The people are black instead of brown. But perhaps the biggest change is that people speak English! My Spanish is still very weak. 🙁


The maps on the BMW Navigator IV GPS I purchased with the bike are only for Canada, US and Mexico. So before leaving on my trip I purchased Central American maps from GPS Travel Maps.

The night before leaving for Belize I installed the micro card for Central America. However, as I rode to Belize City, it showed I was off road lots of times when I wasn’t. And the directions it gave were for roads that didn’t even exist. Luckily, there is only one paved road to Belize City. However, I did get twisted around in a border town. I just headed south and eventually got back on the Northern Hwy to Belize City. My GPS wasn’t useless but not that useful either. I needed to see if there were updates. Otherwise, I would need to buy new maps.

Belize City

Once I was on the right road again the ride was really relaxing. It was sugar cane field after sugar cane field. And on the road sugar cane truck upon sugar cane truck. There were also a few add villages to pass through, but that was it until Belize City.

Belize City is the largest city in Belize. Well … large is relative. The population of Belize City is only about 60,000 people. So now you can understand how small the towns I went through were. The entire population of Belize is approximately 350,000 people.

Bella Sombra Guesthouse

The hotels in Belize are expensive. At least they are expensive for everyday living. For a vacation they would be fine. I chose to stay at the Bella Sombra Guesthouse downtown Belize City.





I like staying downtown because I can walk everywhere.

Looking for Money

I arrived in Belize without any Belizean dollars. It was no problem going through the border and paying all the fees in pesos or US dollars but I would need Belizean dollars for my stay here. I went to the ATM at the credit union down the street. It rejected my debit card. Then to the Atlantic Bank. My card was rejected again. On my ride in I saw the Belize Bank and walked that way. It accepted my card but said it couldn’t complete my transaction. I was beginning to wonder if I could get money here. After some dinner at a nicer place that accepted my Visa credit card, I headed back into town as I saw on my app that there was a Bank of Nova Scotia downtown. I was in luck. Money in hand I went back to my hotel ready for more exploring tomorrow.


The next day the priority was to find a coffee shop for breakfast and to hang out in the mornings while I was in Belize City. I checked out a couple but they were pretty run down. As I walked around I discovered that pretty much the whole city is run down. It reminded me of cities in sub-saharan Africa I had been to.

Tripadvisor had La Petit Cafe as the number one coffee shop. It was connected to a Ramada. It was already hot when I started looking and now even hotter. I located the cafe in the “tourist zone” of Belize City.



It was cool inside the cafe. This was going to be my morning refuge ha ha.


After coffee I did somemore exploring.



The city skyline.


I also bought water taxi tickets to San Pedro tomorrow.

My Route for March 27, 2017


My location for March 28, 2017


Crossing the Mexico Belize Border at Chetamul

Crossing the Mexico Belize border at Chetamul would be my first real border crossing. The others did not involve checking myself and motorcycle out of one country and then checking us into another. I had done the research and today would be the real deal. Here is what happened.

Mexico Border


As I approached the Mexico border there were trucks and cars in line. There were no signs, but having done my research, I knew that the place I wanted was at the far end of the border complex. I labelled it #1 on the photo.

So I went around the cars and trucks and headed further down. I saw the building I wanted and pulled up to the window. The customs officer took my passport and asked for 500 pesos as an exit fee. I was a bit suspicious and asked if I could pay at the bank. I knew I had to go to the bank anyways to check my motorcycle out of the country. He said yes.

I pulled into the parking lot labelled #2 and headed into the adjacent building. As I entered the door I saw Banjercito. The clerk at the bank was really helpful and spoke a little English. I gave her the Temporary Import Permit and a copy of the registration for my motorcycle, along with my passport and my tourist permit. After a lot of paperwork and signatures she came out to my motorcycle and took a picture on the VIN. Back inside she gave me the $400 US cash I had paid as a deposit for my motorcycle to enter the country way back in Tijuana and I was done. EASY! Now it was the Belize border.

Belize Border

As I left the Mexican border I knew the next stop was fumigation of my bike. My research had told me that it was just at the entrance to the Belize border labelled #1 in the photo below. But it wasn’t.


Soon after leaving the Mexico border there was a newer building with a tunnel like a car wash that a vehicle was going through. I put an arrow where the fumigation is now in relation to the border crossing. I pulled around the “car wash” and parked to the side. A man game out and sprayed my tires with a hose attached to a generator. For that I paid 50 pesos. I didn’t have any Belize dollars yet. Good thing they accepted pesos.

The plan was to enter the free zone after the Mexico border and before the Belize border to get some Belizean dollars from an ATM. After the fumigation I approached the free zone and saw that it was really run down and I had to pay to get into it. I decided not to go. I had pesos and US dollars so I hoped that would work.


As I entered the Belize border a guy flagged me into the parking lot I have labelled #1 and into the far building I have labelled #2 in the photo.

Once in the building the first step was to fill out a Belize entry card. Then wait in line at immigration for the officer to check my passport and card. That was easy. Behind the immigration booth I saw another booth with a sign that said “Motor Vehicles.” That must be the place to check in my motorcycle.

The great thing about Belize is that they speak English! That made this process much easier.

I gave the woman behind the counter my passport, entry permit and motorcycle registration. She completed a lot of paperwork with carbon copies. Old school! Then stamped my passport and entered my motorcycle information on it. She handed me my motorcycle import permit and asked me to meet her at the booth outside I have labelled #3

As I walked back to my motorcycle the man who had flagged me over approached me and said I needed to pay a 150 peso Belize tourist fee. Huuuuuummmmm. I paid it and he gave me a receipt. It must have been legit I guess.

I road over to the booth where the customs officer was waiting for me. She checked the VIN to make sure it was the one on my registration and then I was free to go. YAY! I was in Belize.

Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance is mandatory in Belize. As I left the booth the insurance building is on the right. I labelled it #4.

The gentleman inside was nice and we talked about my trip. Obviously, he had dealt with motorcycle adventurers before. The insurance for 2 weeks was 46 Belize dollars. They took credit cards so that is how I paid.

I did it! I crossed my first border. An easy one I know, but good practice.

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