The border crossing from Chetumal, Mexico into Belize is often called easy and straightforward. Officials on both sides of the border speak English. Both countries’ border compounds are well-labeled and attended by mostly-helpful people. Still, any border crossing can go bad without some preparation, and individual experiences seem to very greatly from official to official.
Requirements to leave Mexico
- Tourist permit and Banjercito receipt for entry into Mexico
- Vehicle import permit, import sticker, and Banjercito receipt for vehicle import
- Copies: none
- Cost: nothing if you paid to enter Mexico and kept the receipt, otherwise about MXN 306
Requirements to enter Belize
- Passport with exit stamp from Mexico
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle fumigation receipt
- Vehicle insurance, purchased after entry into Belize
- Recommended: a receipt showing paid accommodations for the first few nights of your stay in Belize
- Copies: none
- Cost: BZD 5 for fumigation, BZD 46 for a 14-day liability-only motorcycle insurance policy
These notes assume that you entered Mexico by land from the United States, that you own your vehicle and it is registered and titled in your name, and that you imported it correctly into Mexico to begin with. You should have original documents or at least original-looking documents. Any deviation from these assumptions will greatly burden you.
Follow the signs for Belice and stay left for the border.
Continue straight into the border compound.
Continue straight toward the red roof.
At the last red roof, veer right toward the covered white and gray building.
Have your passport, tourist permit, and (if you arrived by land) the Banjercito receipt from your entrance into Mexico ready.
Give the attendant your documents; he or she will put an exit stamp in your passport and take the tourist permit and Banjercito receipt.
If you do not have a receipt from Banjercito showing payment for entrance into Mexico, you will not yet get a stamp and instead be directed to pay the exit fee. The customs and Banjercito are in the same building to the left.
Either way, exit left and head to the parking lot to cancel the vehicle permit and/or pay the exit fee.
Park and take your documents inside.
The Banjercito is through the glass doors and to the right.
Walk up to the window and ask to cancel your vehicle import permit and/or pay the exit fee.
You will need to provide your passport and relinquish the vehicle import permit/sticker.
The attendant will ask to see your vehicle.
He or she will take a photo of the VIN and remove the sticker from your vehicle.
Know where on the vehicle to find the VIN.
Return to the office.
The attendant will refund you the vehicle import deposit in the way you paid and give you a receipt; pay your exit fee of MXN 306 if you do not have a receipt for the entrance fee.
If you did not already get the exit stamp, return to the immigration officer with your passport, tourist permit, and Banjercito receipt.
Relinquish the tourist permit and Banjercito receipt for an exit stamp.
Provided everything went as planned, go left out of the parking lot for the border to Belize.
Follow the sign for Belize.
Go by the checkpoint and cross the bridge into Belize.
Take your first left.
And then take your first right; note that the fumigation building is directly to the left.
The immigration and customs building with a khaki colored roof is visible at the top of the hill.
Stay left to park your vehicle.
The immigration and customs building is the last on the left with a purple colored entrance.
Go through these doors and stay to the right for the visitors’ immigration desk.
Belizians to the left and visitors to the right.
Be prepared to answer questions about your time in Mexico and your intentions in Belize. Immigration officers are suspect of “visa runners,” people who jump into Belize for an hour just to return to Mexico after resetting their visa. Request an extended stay in Belize if you wish to stay more than 72 hours.
If you come ill prepared and do not have proof of paid accommodation for the first few nights of your stay in Belize, the immigration officer will deny you entry and direct you to the tourism desk for help.
Only after booking two nights at a rather expensive hotel in Belize City and printing the receipt for the immigration officer was I given access to Belize.
Proceed to customs to import your vehicle.
Hand over your passport and vehicle registration to the customs officer; there is no fee to import a vehicle into Belize. Do not lose the import permit; it must be relinquished upon exit.
Change your money through the fence in the parking lot.
Fumigate your vehicle if you did not do so earlier.
From the parking lot, the fumigator is visible at the T in the road.
The small building with the metal roof on the left.
Park in the front, and an attendant will fumigate your vehicle.
Stand back; you’re probably not wearing a respirator.
Pay inside; the fee is BZD 5.
Take your receipt and the rest of your documents to the border.
With passport, vehicle import permit, and fumigation receipt ready, proceed to the border guard.
The attendant will inspect the documents and compare the VIN on the bike to the paperwork.
Enter Belize through the gate.
And go to the two-story white building on the right to buy insurance.
Enjoy the air-conditioning; insurance costs $20 USD for two weeks. One-month and daily rates are also available. The office accepts credit cards.
Welcome to Belize.