Mexico and Guatemala have several borders in the state of Chiapas. One of the most adventurous is to cross the Usumacinta River to Guatemala. This border crossing does not allow you to cross by car.
Mexico and Guatemala they share 965 kilometers. On the part of Mexico limits with the states of Chiapas (654 km), Tabasco (108 km) and Campeche (194 km) with the states in Guatemala of San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Quiché and Petén. From Campeche there is no border open to tourists with Guatemala.
The most common border crossings between Mexico and Guatemala
- Cuauhtémoc City (Mexico) - La Mesilla (Guatemala): crossing the mythical Panamericana is very common among the traveler. It joins, in broad strokes, two important tourist areas, the beautiful San Cristóbal de las Casas with the area of Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. You can cross this border by car, an advantage for many, without a doubt.
- Frontera Corozal (Mexico) - Bethel (Guatemala): el Usumacinta River it is the natural border between these two countries. In the population of Frontera Corozal, starting point towards the ruins of Yaxchilan, there is the border booth. The river is crossed by boat Bethel in Guatemala.
- Tapachula (Mexico) - Tecún Umán (Guatemala): one of the most transit borders between Mexico and Guatemala. The famous train of the Beast that joins Mexico with the USA, left from Tapachula, now from Arriaga. For this reason it is a crossing with many undocumented migrants who hope to take this train to the north. You can also cross by car through this step.
Border Mexico (Frontera Corozal) - Guatemala (Bethel):
This border unites the state of Chiapas in Mexico from Frontera Corozal, with Bethel of Petén from Guatemala. Frontera Corozal it's an interesting point from where the boats go to Yaxchilan y Piedras Negras, for those more adventurous Mayistas. It is usual route arriving from Palenque (3 hours and a half) in the area of mayan lacandon jungle. On the other side, the area of the River of the Passion where to discover from Sayaxche cities like Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal or Cancuén, in the frankly interesting area of the Petén Basin. The vast majority of travelers cross here to get to Flores and visit the safety pin Tikal.
The border opens every day of the year
I recommend cross this border early in the morning, avoiding Sundays and holidays, where transportation services are reduced. Two minibuses go straight to Flores, I think the last one is at 13 hours. Until your destination in Guatemala from Bethel you have a stretch, you go to Sayaxche and Flores (Tikal). You can spend the night in Frontera Corozal (Mexico), where there are several hostels, and you take the opportunity to visit the extraordinary Yaxchilan. Take one photocopy of the papers important. I do not recommend you travel at night.
At all border crossings there are money changers. You can exchange a small amount with them if you do not have local currency. They are very involved in this border, they live on the tourist that crosses here some.
General requirements to cross the Mexico-Guate border:
PASSPORT: the travelers we need passport valid for at least 90 days after the date of departure from Belize. It is always advisable to travel with your passport valid for 6 months.
VISAS: Check if your nationality needs a visa to enter Guatemala here!. Countries which they do not need a visa to enter Mexico: click here!. Spanish, Argentine, Colombian, Peruvian, Brazilian, Chilean No. They need a visa.
FEES: there are no entry fees a GuatemalaAlthough some officers demand it, this practice is very common in this border. Ask for a receipt, and in your person is the more or less discuss with the officers. En Mexico you do not pay when you enter, yes you pay when leaving if you've been in Mexico for more than 7 days: 332 mxn (Mexican pesos) per person leaving by land. If you return to your country by plane from Mexico, you will have to pay the airport departure fees (55 euros) provided that a period of more than 7 days of stay in the country has elapsed.
Cross the border Mexico (Frontera Corozal) - Guatemala (Bethel):
This border has the particularity that the border booths are located on either side of the Usumacinta River. For me it is always a plus this nonsense of rivers, boats, borders ... I like it, this border is very backpacking.
- CROSS FOR FREE: you must seal your exit in Mexico at the border booth, which is located in Frontera Corozal, in front of the ticket office of the archaeological zone of Yaxchilán. Then you must go a stretch by boat to the other shore of the Usumacinta: there are many boatmen, they see you without problems (haggle the price with them). On the other side of the river awaits you in Bethel the entrance booth to Guatemala. From here there are two daily minibuses (vans, combi, vans, buses ...) Flores (5 hours of 130 km of road, half almost unpaved. 70 quetzales). Some travelers stay in Sayaxche (to 73 kilometers from Flores), base for cities Mayans such as Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal or Cancuén, in the frankly interesting area of the Petén Basin.
- CROSS WITH TOURIST AGENCY: the Palenque agencies and those of Flores They offer you trips of a day or two to get to Flores or vice versa (from 54 usd to a two-day tour for 160 usd, visit Bonampak and Yaxchilán, spending the night in the Lacandon jungle). From Bethel to Flores the journey is done in 3 long hours, considerably reducing the time of tourist transport. As almost always, you win in comfort and lose in emotion. Ways to travel, times, moments, you choose.
I hope you enjoy this border crossing through the beautiful Petén area, one of the most mysterious areas of the Mayan civilization. If you have some information that you consider useful for other travelers, do not hesitate to add, this is for everyone.
NOTE: I add the comment of Josman, a traveler who contributes knowledge with his experience in this border »(…) to tourists or visitors be careful of thieves, I have visited this border ten times and there are no shortages to rob foreigners, Mexicans and Central Americans, the buses or transportation is the worst there is on the border, do not travel in the afternoon or at night due to the robberies on the roads or highways of the North of Guatemala, otherwise it is the best in the world especially for the gift of the Mayans ».
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Tell me the cost añrlx.en dollars that crossing q explkcaste, just crossing, thanks, andl for these lares and I love the unknown, that border I do not know it !!!!!! yujuuuuuuuuu ... ..!
In Mexico you do not pay when you enter, you do pay when leaving if you have been more than 7 days in Mexico: 332 mxn (a few 20 usd) per person going by land. On the Guatemala side, they may ask you for a dollar.
Sandra, very good and complete the information. These days we will cross by bethel, but in the guatemala-Mexico sense. Do you know about the cost of the boat? Thank you!
Hello Julia, the section is short, from Mexico I think it was in a 30 Mexican pesos crossing by boat. There are agencies in Flores that offer a more comfortable bus to cross borders, but I do not know the prices, I'm sorry.
Very good trip!
Sandra, greetings by this means, personally I like your comments and your photos are excellent, and on the other hand comment, tourists or visitors take care of the thieves, I have visited this border ten times and do not miss the vivales to rob foreigners, Mexicans and Central Americans, the buses or transport is the worst thing that there is in the border, do not travel in the afternoon or evening by the robberies in the roads or highways of the North of Guatemala, otherwise it is the best of the world especially for the gift of the Mayans.
Hello Josman, thank you very much for your information. I add your comment as the final note of the entry so that it is more visible for travelers who want to cross here, I think you bring in knowledge of the place.
Thanks again, so the roads are made better for travelers.
Hello Sandra. Thanks for these tickets. My family and I thought about going to El Salvador but whenever we have gone (from 2009 we have not returned) we use the route that takes you to Guatemala through Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Tapachula, passing through Frontera Hidalgo. I was wondering if you have information about this route. More than anything because my mom says that the routes to the West, like the one you mention in this post, are more dangerous. What's your opinion about it? Have you entered through the way I mentioned you?
Hello Lorena, an apology for the delay, I was on the road and I could not answer before.
Unfortunately I have not crossed through Tapachula ever, anyway I will ask a couple of friends to see if they have recent information on this border. I think the safest, easiest and easiest border is that of Ciudad de Cuauhtémoc-La Mesilla crossing in tourist van from San Cristóbal de las Casas. This is how several travelers I know have crossed recently and the reports are good. In a particular car you can still around here. https://www.elcaminomascorto.es/frontera-mexico-ciudad-de-cuauhtemoc-guatemala-la-mesilla-requisitos/
As soon as I have more information of current Tapachula I tell you.
Best regards Lorena,
Hello everyone, I will travel to YAXcHILAN in April. My question is do I need a visa to enter MEXICO through this border? I am from Guatemala if someone can help me, I would greatly appreciate it from now. Greetings to all.
It is the first time I go to Mexico and I do not know if only with my identification documents I can pass without problems, it will only be for 1 day is it necessary to process the TVR or VISA? mexican ??
Hello Juan Carlos, if you cross border for free to go to Yaxchilan I understand that they would ask you for a visa, because they do not know if you return or not that same day. What you would not pay are fees for staying less than 24 hours, but visa you need. Better question in your embassy for this specific case. I regret not having more accurate data.
Greetings travelers, enjoy Yaxchilan a lot?
Hello, Sandra, good evening, I am a Salvadoran but I wanted to ask you a question first,
I went to the technique bete is a free border I am Salvadoran but I would like to know if they ask for papers or just pay stay and which free border I recommend to get to tapachula the truth I do not have a visa to travel in guatemala I only walk with Dui thank you and happy night
Hello Alexander, nice to meet you.
As a Salvadoran, they will ask you for a visa to enter Mexico in any of the borders, as far as I know. Be the border of Bethel, the one of the Mesilla or the one of Tapachula. The one in Tapachula is very busy due to the proximity of the train from the coast that goes up to the north, where there is a lot of movement of migration and aid associations, but I do not know specific directions. This border is the one that is most direct from Guatemala City.
I wish you the best of luck Alexander.
very well made the blog I answer many questions, now there is some way to cross any of the borders between Guatemala and Mexico without going through the Mexican control, I do not have a visa, will there be any way to enter?
Hello Gino, I really feel I can not help you with your doubts, in the borders that I speak, they will ask you for a visa to enter.
Aww I went through a year 12 years ago and I still remember it with a lot of love. I met a very special person who never heard from him again how he would like to know about that beautiful person whom I will forget.
It seems like a good story, I wish you would meet her again 🙂
Hello Sandra!! I will rent a car, I want to go from Guatemala (Petén Zone) to Mexico (Palenque). Which border crossing should I choose? Hours of attention? What places do you recommend me to know on the way? Thank you! Excellent your tips!
I leave the review of the border that you must take in this area by car, you have the schedules and what you will need: https://www.elcaminomascorto.es/frontera-mexico-ciudad-de-cuauhtemoc-guatemala-la-mesilla-requisitos/
I leave you some articles that can be useful to organize your trip, with ideas of stops and driving tips:
Hello, I would like to know which company makes the flower tour to Palenque if someone knows or is on the island there are several who make this tour, thanks
Hello Gustavo, there are several agencies that will offer you their services in Flores, they leave daily. Best choose from Flores.
Hello Sandra, very good info on your blog. Thank you very much!
A question, do you know if I can cross the motorcycle by boat from Frontera Corozal to Guatemala?
I'm glad the info Ion helps you. I do not know how to answer with certainty if the border crossing is for vehicles, I understand that it is, but I do not dare to affirm. Hopefully you can contact one of the governments customs to tell you. If something occurs to me, I'll answer you quickly.
Nice trail Ion.