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.
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.
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 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.