Overland Tips: Belize Guatemala Border Crossing

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To help fellow overlanders as they pass through Central America, I wanted to publish my notes about the Belize Guatemala Border Crossing (from Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belize to Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala). This was a pretty quick and easy crossing that we somewhat spontaneously decided to do pretty late in the afternoon, after a few busy weeks trying to hit all the amazing places to visit in Belize.

Which is not something we normally do, preferring to try and cross around mid-morning, generally speaking. But despite that late start, everything was smooth sailing. Here are the details you need to know about this Central America border crossing when doing so by vehicle.

Overland Tips: Belize Guatemala Border Crossing travel, central-america

Leaving Belize

We decided to leave after a somewhat busy little day in the town of San Ignacio and went to scope out the border, not sure if we’d cross. Everyone assured us that it would be quick though, so we pulled over to the right so we could enter immigration on foot for the exit stamp. It ended up costing 37.50 bz per person. As is often the case, we had to go pay at the next booth over and bring back the receipt in order to receive the stamp from the immigration official.

After that, we went around to the other side of the building to customs so they could stamp out the vehicle (Belize puts a stamp in your passport for the vehicle). Be sure to have the paperwork they asked you to keep at the initial Mexico Belize border crossing. The official here did go out to the vehicle to look and confirm it was the same.

After you have both immigration and customs done, you’ll hop back in your vehicle to pass through the booth where they will revise paperwork.

The woman working the booth started asking for our receipt for the truck for 30 bz ($15 USD)… Which I didn’t have because I thought the guy in the parking lot at the Mexico Belize border crossing was just trying to scam me at first, then we never saw him again.

So it would appear that the charge is official after all, oops!

She put up a bit of a fuss for a while that she couldn’t let us go through without the receipt, and I was just like “well, what do you want me to do then drive back to the other border?”

She insisted she didn’t know and it went back and forth before she eventually just let us go. Very strange!

Read More: Is Belize Safe? Tips and Advice

Guatemala Border Crossing

First, we had to pass through the fumigation stand, then park to pay 17 q for the fumigation. Be sure to get your receipt.

Drive ahead and park to the right so you can enter the covered plaza area. Your first step here is to head to the right for migration to receive your passport stamp to enter the country. Simple and straightforward process.

After you get a stamp, you’ll continue to the customs booth to the right. Here you will have to provide a copy of your passport with the Guatemala entrance stamp, a copy of the vehicle registration, and you’ll need to show the originals of each.

They will then print out a bill for 160q, take that and go over to the bank window and pay. Then you’ll bring back the stamped half of your receipt to customs to receive your paperwork and a sticker for the windshield.

Then you can hop in your vehicle and continue down the road where you’ll encounter a barricaded or gated road where you can talk to the officials and show them your paperwork. If everything is in order, they will open the barricade to let you pass through.

From the border crossing to the town of El Remate (which is where we wanted to go before the Tikal Ruins) takes about one-hour driving. But since we did this crossing so late in the afternoon, it was about to turn dark and we just decided to stay in the town of Melchor de Mencos, right on the other side of the border.

We were recommended Hotel Quetzal from one of the border officials, and it only ended up costing us 175 quetzals per night (about $20 USD). The place was okay, at least it offered up private parking and air conditioning, although it had no Wifi.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat in Melchor de Mencos, we ended up going to La Morenita El Centro for 25q ($3) for a big meal in a pretty tasty restaurant. I’d recommend it!

The town of Melchor de Mencos is certainly nothing to write home about, but it makes for an easy stop either before or after a border crossing.

Read More: Places to Visit in Guatemala

Again, this was a pretty simple and straightforward border crossing that posed no serious challenges. Our time in Guatemala was one of the absolute highlights of the entire drive through Central America, so I hope you enjoy it too!

Read Next: Guatemala El Salvador Border Crossing

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Overland Tips: Belize Guatemala Border Crossing travel, central-america


Head Writer and Adventurer at Desk to Dirtbag
Ryan is an author, adventurer, perpetual wanderer, and self-proclaimed dirtbag (but that might not mean what you think). Originally from Seattle, he headed to Washington D.C. where he spent five years working for Congress before heeding the call of the wild. He set out truck camping to road trip across the American West, and then across all of Central America and South America. When he isn't on the move, you can find him living as an expat in Colombia. He is also the author of the best selling book: Big Travel, Small Budget that will help you travel more for less. Follow the adventures on social media or read more.

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Comments 1

  1. 12 February 2023

    I took a bus from Belmopan Bus Terminal to San Ignacio. Don’t get off there but stay on to Benque which is he nearest town to the border. I haggled with a few taxi drivers and settled on 6 Belize Dollars. I was dropped off at the border crossing. There were several people offering to change money and my taxi driver said there were many people offering the service on both sides of the border. He advised most were authorised so i chose one with proper ID. I changed my Belize and US dollars to Quetzales and I knew you could paid the Belize exit fee by card.

    I wasn’t asked to pay any exit fee had my passport stamped and walked straight through to the Guatemala side. I got my passport stamped in Guatemala and walked out the other side. The whole thing took 5 minutes.

    On exit I was surrounded by people offering a taxi but walked straight past them and over the bridge. I took the first left turn and the Collectivo Terminal was on the right. I was the only person there. There were several collectivos parked up but one at the front which was clearly next to depart. The collectivo showed Flores as the destination and I was told the price was 40 Quetzales. There is a bathroom at the terminal and also a shop selling a wide range of food and drinks. I bought a Mexican beer (33cl) for 5Q,

    The collectivo left with me plus 1 local woman. I was a bit surprised but then the driver went to the local town where we waited for about 15-20 minutes and picked up a number of other passengers. En route we dropped off and licked up lots more passengers. We also stopped for a bathroom break. The collectivo stopped in Saint Elena and again I was surrounded by people offering a lift. As Flores Island is only a mile away and I’d been sitting on buses all day I walked down the main road buying fruit and some food on the way.

    Jon UK

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