Guatemala and Belize have a couple of border crossings, the most popular being the one that connects the Tikal area with northern Belize. This border is more common among travelers who enter Mayan territory.

Guatemala y Belize they share less than 250 km, and have two border crossings. You can cross by public transport or by car.

Borders between Guatemala and Belize:

  • The southern border of Belize on the coast, linking the Garífuna populations of Punta Gorda en Belize y Livingston / Puerto Barrios en Guatemala. Southern Belize has less infrastructure and travelers do not tend to stay in this area of ​​Punta Gorda, which borders Guatemala with the interesting Garifuna population of Livingston. The most popular southern population in Belize is Placencia.
  • The northern border a Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala) and Benque Viejo del Carmen (Belize). This northern border is increasingly popular with travelers, linking two of the largest Mayan cities: Tikal y snail.
Guatemala Border (Melchor de Mencos) - Belize (Benque Viejo), 1 requirements

Melchor de Mencos Border (Guatemala) - Benque Viejo del Carmen (Belize):

The border between Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala) y Benque Viejo del Carmen (Belize) It is located in the north: it connects two large Mayan areas, Tikal in Flowers and of snail in San Ignacio, Belize. This border crossing is increasingly popular with travelers flying in and out of the Cancun International Airport (Mexico), and they travel through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, very interesting territories of the Mayan route.

The border opens every day of the year.

I recommend whenever you can cross the borders early in the morning or measured tomorrow, avoiding Sundays and holidays, where some services may be closed. Take one photocopy of the papers that you are going to require the car at the border. I do not recommend you travel at night, if you go in your own car leave the road at dusk. The poor lighting of roads and security are the main causes.

In all border crossings there are money changers or money changers. You can exchange a small amount with them if you do not have local currency, or wait to find a bank or exchange house on your way. I don't usually exchange money at the borders.

If you want to cross with your pet, I leave this entry of a blog very good car and dog travel in Latin America.


General requirements to cross the border:

The travelers we need passport valid for at least 90 days. It is always advisable to travel with your passport valid for 6 months.

Now entrance to Belize is not paid, you will do it to the output from the country, 37.5 usd (if you have been in the country for more than 24 hours). Mexicans and Spaniards do not need visa for Belize. Check if your nationality needs a visa to enter Belize here.

There are no entrance fees to Guatemala, although some officers demand it, they ask you for some 20 quetzales. Ask for a receipt, and in your person is the more or less discuss with the officers. Mexicans and Spaniards do not need visa for Guatemala. Check if your nationality needs a visa to enter Guatemala here.

Cross the Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala) - Benque Viejo del Carmen (Belize) border by public transport:

  • In tourist collective: a daily bus leaves between Belize City (from the Watertaxis dock) to Santa Elena-Flores, in Guatemala. This bus also leaves daily from Santa-Elena-Flores to Belize City. It is an easier and more comfortable way to cross the border with other travelers, while you do your exit and entry procedures, they wait for you on the other side. The tourist vehicles they use are buses of about 50 people, more comfortable than public transport. Tickets are sold at agencies in Flores and El Remate, in the Guatemala part, and at Belize agencies in the San Pedro and Cayo Caulker keys, and other tourist destinations. The price is about 25 usd and the duration of 4 to 5 hours. This option it does not allow you to stop in the interesting area of San Ignacio, where excursions to the colossal snail y Xunantunich. You also won't be able to stop at Yaxhá, another colossal archaeological zone on the Guatemalan side.
  • In public collective:  the route from Santa Elena, here collectives to the border, take about 2 hours and cost about 30 quetzales to the border: Melchor de Mencos. From Flores there are 10 minutes in tuk tuk to Santa Elena, costs 5 Q. Collectives to the border go through The Remate too. Once at the border you do the paperwork and cross into Belize at Benque Viejo. From this point of the border the tourist town of San Ignacio is a couple of kilometers away. There are taxis that take you for 7 usd the full taxi, it is expensive for the short trip, it is what it is. You can share expenses with others. From Benque Viejo there are buses and collectives that take you to San Ignacio for 2 BZD (Belizean dollar), 20 min. You can go by bus to Belize City, it is about 10 BZD and it takes three hours.
  • By private taxi: It is another option to cross the border. I honestly do not know the prices of this option, it depends on the route you want to make.

Cross the border Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala) - Benque Viejo del Carmen (Belize) by car:

It tienes private car It is easy to cross this border.

What do you need?

  • passport in order
  • driver's license
  • the circulation card / vehicle registration certificate
  • Temporary import permit, valid for a maximum of 30 days, is processed free at the border. This requirement is necessary to enter into Guatemala.

If the car is not in your name You will need a written permission before a notary that appears as owner on the circulation card.

The person who drives the car when crossing the border of Guatemala it must be the same one that leads it when leaving the country.

Procedures with the car:

  • Seal the outlet: Stop at the border post to seal the exit of the car and yours. You must deliver the required photocopy of the car at the borders of Guatemala and Belize. In Belize They charge 30 Belizean dollars for entering the car.
  • Fumigate the car: crossing to Belize You must fumigate your car for 3 usd. In Guatemala I'm not sure if there's a spraying booth.
  • Traffic insurance: in Belize it is mandatory un circulation insurance. After the border of Benque Viejo, on the right there are insurance houses. The approximate prices are: per day-USD 6, 7 days-USD 15, one month-USD 30. «For a week's insurance they charged us 29 Belizean dollars» the information is given by César, who crossed by rental car in October 2015. It is mandatory to have this insurance, if the police stop you (surely they will) and they will not you carry, you will have problems. The insurance is visible in the car, on the front window. In Guatemala does not need car insurance to drive, although I recommend you always travel with car insurance. Insurance from other countries is not valid. In banks they make insurance for a year, the truth is that they do not facilitate the insurance issue much. Caution: on Sundays and holidays some services where they manage insurance are closed.

Can you cross in a car to rent the border?

Yes you can, but there are very few companies from Mexico that give the option of crossing to Belize and Guatemala by rental car. American Car Rental if it does, you will have to pay an extra approximately 180 usd for this procedure to the car company. Another company where you can also rent, as a traveler noted in comments on this blog, is Price Car Rentals, and carry out the free process. Sure there are other car rental companies, but I don't know.

In this search engine is American Car Rental, if you want to rent a car and look at prices

Thanks to the information that César gave me, a traveler that I met thanks to the blog, who was joined by my passion for travel and the desire to help other travelers, I have been able to write this post completely. Good information for travelers is essential, this is what this blog is about, making travel easier. People like César make you do this blog with more enthusiasm, thank you.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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