We are officially in Central America, after crossing from Mexico into Belize at Chetumal. It was challenging to prepare for this border crossing because the requirements have been in constant flux and there are few traveler accounts about what to expect. So we decided to document our Belize border crossing to help others and show what the process is like.
Keep in mind, driving into Belize looks like this as of March 24, 2022. It’s all subject to change. But at the least, you can see the buildings and roads at the border to give you an idea of the physical structures you’re looking for.
Feel free to leave a comment with your questions, and we’ll do our best to help.
As an overview, these were the border crossing steps to get from Mexico into Belize by vehicle:
- Vehicle inspection
- Park and enter hut to get passports stamped out and return FMMs (personal visas)
- Move vehicle to Banjercito parking lot, then go inside to cancel TIP (temporary import permit)
Arriving in Belize
- Park and purchase travel insurance if you haven’t already (we recommend you purchase online in advance). You’ll purchase on your phone and pay with a card.
- If you aren’t vaccinated for COVID, receive COVID test (not sure of the minimum age, but Caspian is five and unvaccinated, and he didn’t have to test)
- Receive white health forms for each person in your party
- Turn in completed health forms at health department booth and show proof of vaccination
- Go to immigration booth to pay for fumigation and receive receipt (cost should be $10 BZD, but we were asked for $12 BZD)
- Note: our vehicle was not actually fumigated, and based on reports from other travelers, it sounds like this is common
- Get back in your vehicle and drive down the road to the much more official-feeling border entry compound
- Park and enter building
- Note: people are often asked to bring in their bags for inspection, but overlanders can say they have camping and cooking gear and it’s too much to bring inside.
- Fill out visa forms
- Turn in visa forms at window and get passports stamped
- Proceed to motor vehicle window to receive temporary import permit
- Go back outside and pay $30 BZD for “foreign vehicle entry processing fee”
- Drive through inspection
- Proceed to large white building where you’ll purchase vehicle insurance. We paid $60 BZD for a month of coverage (equivalent of $30 USD).
Just a few steps, right? It was a very long process, but it was smooth and orderly.
We hope our video will help other overlanders and interest people who just want to know what it’s like to drive across international borders!
We’ll be sharing a ton of behind-the-scenes footage of Belize with our Patreon community and will update social media as we can. Until next time!