Overland Belize Travel
Pan American Highway > Belize
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Belize
- 2 Entering Belize with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Belize
- 4 Gas and Diesel price in Belize
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Belize
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Belize
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Belize is a great English-speaking country to visit, there are plenty of things to see and do, and the border crossings are simple.
Entering Belize with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: January 2015
(To check if you need a travel Visa for Belize, application instructions and fees see: Belize Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of registered owner (original).
- Vehicle registration (original).
- Drivers license of registered owner (original).
No copy of the documents required!
Process at border
- The vehicle must be fumigated, which costs BZ$10.00 BZD (for a SUV the price is BZ$11.00 BZD). Be sure to get a receipt. The fumigation station can be easy to miss. At the Chetumal border crossing from Mexico, the station is a small, tin roof building you see before you get to the immigration buildings. Note that it is on the *new* bridge, which is one of two roads that take you through the border crossing. Google Maps directed this way automatically on 12/30/18.
- The vehicle must be parked on the right on a small gravel lot on the side of the road, and the owner and all occupants of the vehicle gain entry at immigration (migración), including a stamp in their Passport. You *need* an exit stamp from the Mexican Banjercito before this point.
- The owner must show the new passport stamp, drivers license and the original vehicle registration to customs (aduana).
- The owner is issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle which is a stamp in your passport, after inspection of vehicle.
- Owner must pay BZ$30.00 BZD Foreign Vehicle Border Processing Fee (trailers, cars, vans, autos). Motorcycles pay BZ$15.00 BZD.
- You have to purchase insurance. This is done past the customs checkpoint, at the INSURANCE CORPORATION of Belize, Ltd building. Typical cost for 7 days is BZ$30.00 BZD. As of 12/30/18, it cost $12 BZD for 24 hours of insurance to simply drive through to Guatemala.
- GPS coordinates & photos of the Money changers hut, New Mexican Border post, Banjercito & the Belize insurance office can be found here
NOTE: You may encounter pushy locals offering to help you with paperwork to get across the border. They may try to trick you into buying insurance from them for a very high price. See Border Crossing Helpers for advice.
NOTE: If you stayed longer than about 5 months in Mexico you might be denied to enter Belize! They have a new policy to reject tourists that were too long Mexico to avoid VISA runs! Stay calm and try to explain your trip, plans etc. If you have dogs that's a big plus and you will probably enter easier, since people doing VISA runs don't go with dogs.
NOTE FOR PETS: On 12/30/18 overlanders reported crossing with a dog. They stopped by a vet in Playa del Carmen the day before and easily got all the papers they needed for this, same day as the visit. The vet had been through this many times and just checked the dog for a bit then the US vet papers briefly, followed by a de-worming. The overlanders simply handed those papers a day later to a guy at the aduana after "declaring" a dog, paid $110 BZD, and received a receipt and paperwork for the dog. The whole thing took 5 minutes.
Cost of entry
- BZ$10.00 BZD (for SUVs it's BZ$11.00 BZD) for fumigation. The fumigation station at Chetumal will also take pesos ($80.00 MXN).
Permitted length of stay
30 days, but you can extend for up to 90 days.
Extension of stay
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
The owner of the vehicle can leave the country ONLY with the vehicle itself. On his / her passport there will be a stamp that links the passport with the temporary import of the vehicle. Hence, it is not possible to store the veicle and leave without it.
The only other way is to ask for a vehicle import license, which allows you to import the vehicle legally and naturalize it as belizean. Within 90 days you are supposed to get local license plates and pay the import duties. Some people do not do it, and continue to use the vehicle without ever paying duty. Without having the duty paid paperwork you cannot sell the vehicle and transfer the ownership to a new person.
Exiting with a vehicle
- As with entering Belize, the car must be parked, and occupants enter the Immigration building.
- Each person must pay an exit tax of BZ$40.00 BZD per adult, BZ$18.25 BZD for children. There is no exit fee for kids under 12. This payment must be made in Belize dollars!
- The registered owner presents the temporary import paper to customs.
- The registered owner is stamped out of Belize at immigration.
if you're just transit in one day. You don't have to pay the BZ$40.00 BZD exit tax.
NOTE: You may encounter very pushy locals offering to help you with paperwork to get across the border. See Central America Border Crossings for advice.
Driving in Belize
Recommended books for Overlanding in Belize
Travel insurance for Belize
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance is mandatory in Belize, and you will be asked for it by Police
Cost of insurance
BZ$46.00 BZD for two weeks for a 4x4.  BZ$29.00 BZD for a suv for one week. $84.00 MXN for a car for 24 hours.
Where to purchase insurance
The Insurance Corporation of Belize Ltd has an office about 1/4 mile past the Santa Elena border crossing, its a large white building and hard to miss. If in doubt ask customs point it out for you. They accept VISA/Mastercard.
Technically an International Driving Permit is required.
In reality, showing a license from anywhere in the world seems to be good enough.
Driving side of road
Right hand drive vehicles are permitted without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
General Road quality
Roads in Belize are typically good, though you can expect dirt roads to be impassible mud pits in the rainy season.
Road signs are common enough, and are generally good enough to rely on.
Bribery in Belize
Police bribery is uncommon in Belize, but it might happen. See the bribery tips page for advice.
Police checkpoints are common in Belize, where the Police primarily want to see your vehicle insurance. You'll be asked to show your Passport, Vehicle registration, drivers license, vehicle insurance and the temporary import permit you were issued at the border.
Traveling with pets
According to travelers in 2012, you need: 
Entering Belize with dogs is officially pretty difficult and needs some preparation. Travelers in 2013 explained all the steps when traveling from Mexico to Belize: 
- A Health Certificate for the animal (max. 5 days old!)
- A vaccination record (nothing older than 30days!)
- You need to fill out a Belize Pet Passport form to save costs! (BZ$25.00 BZD instead of BZ$50.00 BZD per dog)
You might not be asked for all these, but you should have them ready.
As of September 2017 we (slowcarfasthouse) contacted the BAHA (www.baha.org.bz) and received an email with attachments of the procedures and the application. We visited a veterinarian who wrote a statement of our dogs health, addressing the key points outlined in the procedures. I filled out the application and submitted the vet statement. BAHA advises that it can take up to 7 days to process and then the permit will be waiting at the border we intend to cross. Fees are to be paid at at the border. I have uploaded the attachments to Facebook page "Animal Travelers" file section.
Gas and Diesel price in Belize
Last updated: Aug 2016
Currency and unit to display:
|Super (90)||BZ$9.80 BZD per Gallon (US)|
|Premium (95)||BZ$10.40 BZD per Gallon (US)|
|Normal Diesel||$1.36 USD per Liter|
|Diesel (low sulfur)||??|
- Price Information: gasoline-germany.com - International Gas / Petrol / Diesel prices - Belize Last updated 2009
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gasoline is common.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Accepted to be good quality. Sulfur content of diesel is unknown.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is probably OK in Belize, though definitely not recommended in big cities like Belize City due to safety considerations.
- The border with [Guatemala] is known to be particularly full of bandits and people wishing to visit the ruins of Caracol in the area will be given a military escort along the roads.
- Find a secure parking lot to park in big cities. Price unknown.
- Backpacker's Paradise in Sarteneja offers secure parking for $5.00 USD per day if you want to go visit the Cayes without your vehicle.
Special driving considerations
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Belize - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Belize
Camping is becoming more popular in Belize, and you will almost always find somewhere in the rural areas. Roadside camping is also OK in smaller places.
Camping guide books
The Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping also contains information on Belize. Information includes detailed maps, GPS co-ordinates, and descriptions of campground facilities.
Tap water in Belize is not safe to drink.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Belize
The Mexico Road Atlas also has maps of Belize. It can be bought at gas stations within Mexico for around $20.00 USD. It is updated yearly, and is in Spanish.
GPS Maps of Belize
- Open Street Map: Appears to have good coverage.
- Cenrut: Free Open Source GPS map of Central America. Coverage is occasionally better than OSM. 
- Garmin: Apparently no map of Belize.
- TomTom: No map of Belize. 
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Belize
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
- Places in Belize - Camping Places & Sights in Belize by Pawsontour
- Belize Campgrounds and Hotels - Life Remotely - List of campgrounds and hostels with photos, GPS co-ordinates, descriptions and amenities from 2012]
- Camping Sites: Belize - Detailed list of campsites and propane filling with description, directions and GPS co-ordinates. Some at hotels (lists facilities and price), some roadside and free.
- Central America Camping Locations - List of campsites, with basic directions and GPS co-ordinates. Mostly free sites.
- BELIZE - A trip through the Belize with gps locations and prices recorded.
Special Overland Travel interests
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Belize
- Pawsontour Mexico-Belize border crossing problems 2013
- Life Remotely Mexico to Belize Border Crossing
- Central American Borders and dogs
- Traveling with dogs from Canada to Argentina. Experiences and Infos.
- Backpacker's Paradise
- OpenStreetMap Belize
- Cenrut Mapping Project
- TomTom Map availability