BORDER CROSSING: GUATEMALA TO BELIZE
November 3, 2019
HOW TO CROSS THE BORDER FROM GUATEMALA TO BELIZE
Belize is a small Central American country known for its beautiful beaches and Caribbean vibes. It is also the only country in the region where English is the official language, making it very distinct from its Spanish speaking neighbors. I initially decided not to visit it due to lack of time but got tempted anyways after discovering a direct transport deal in Flores.
TRAVEL OPTION FROM GUATEMALA TO BELIZE
The deal cost 100 quetzales and you can choose to be dropped off in the following cities – either in Belize City, Belmopan, or San Ignacio. I was not interested to visit any beaches since we have good ones back in the Philippines, so I decided to visit San Ignacio to see more Mayan ruins. The call time for the trip was at 08:00 am and there were also other travelers bound for Belize city waiting for the same bus. It took us only 2 hours to reach Melchor de Mencos, the border town in Guatemala, and the driver dropped us at the immigration booth.
We all went to the immigration for the passport stamp, and then proceeded to the Belize border. They gave us an immigration form to fill in, and once done, they asked us to form a line. As usual, I waited longer than the rest because they needed to double-check my passport and US visa. Once everything was settled, they stamped my passport, and then we boarded the same bus and continued onwards.
RETURNING TO GUATEMALA FROM BELIZE
San Ignacio is a good place to visit if you want to see Belize’s Mayan Ruins of Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. It is also famous for the ATM (Actun Tunichil Munal) cave tubing. After two days here, I decided to return to Flores and continue my journey in Guatemala. I took the local bus which cost 2BLZ. However, it only brought me to Benque Viejo del Carmen, not the border control itself. I decided to walk to the border control since I was out of Belizean dollars to pay for a taxi. It was extremely hot that day, making it more difficult to walk. I just hummed and sang my way karaoke style while my headset was on, I did not even realize I already reached the border!
I paid a total amount of 40 BZD (30 BZD for the border exit fee, 7.50 BZD if you’ve been in Belize for more than 24 hours, and 2.50 BZD) before they stamped my passport. I headed next to the Guatemalan border to have my passport stamped. I then looked for a local Colectivo to go back to Flores. After two hours, I went back to my hostel and called it a day.
- Make sure you have extra Belizean dollars for your return journey at the border. It sucks to walk 30 minutes from Benque Viejo del Carmen, especially in the scorching heat.
- Be sure to have 20$ in cash to pay at the border. They don’t accept credit cards.