Overland Belize Travel

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Visiting Belize[edit]

Belize is a great English-speaking country to visit, there is lots to see and do, and the border crossings are simple.

Entering Belize with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: January 2015

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Belize, application instructions and fees see: Belize Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)

No copy of the documents required!

Process at border[edit]

  • 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.
  • The vehicle must be parked, and the owner and all occupants of the vehicle gain entry at immigration (migración), including a stamp in their Passport.
  • 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.
  • You have to purchase insurance. This is done past the customs checkpoint.
  • 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.[1]

Cost of entry[edit]

  • 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[edit]

30 days, but you can extend for up to 90 days.

Extension of stay[edit]

Unknown.
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Belize[edit]

Lonely Planet Belize (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Belize (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Joshua Samuel Brown, Mara Vorhees
From $11.23 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die. And Other M...
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die. And Other M...
by LifeRemotely.com
From $click on Amazon
Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
by Donald Greene
From $25.83 on Amazon
99 Days To Panama: An Exploration Of Central America B...
99 Days To Panama: An Exploration Of Central America B...
by John Halkyard, Harriet Halkyard
From $21.99 on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.42 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $13.37 on Amazon
Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico Handbook (footprin...
Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico Handbook (footprin...
by Richard Arghiris
From $14.29 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Belize[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Insurance is mandatory in Belize, and you will be asked for it by Police

Cost of insurance[edit]

BZ$46.00 BZD for two weeks for a 4x4. [2] BZ$29.00 BZD for a suv for one week. $84.00 MXN for a car for 24 hours.

Where to purchase insurance[edit]

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.

Driving license[edit]

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[edit]

Right.
Right hand drive vehicles are permitted without problem.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

None.

Roads[edit]

General Road quality[edit]

Roads in Belize are typically good, though you can expect dirt roads to be impassible mud pits in the rainy season.

Road signs[edit]

Road signs are common enough, and are generally good enough to rely on.

Toll roads[edit]

None.

Bribery in Belize[edit]

Police bribery is uncommon in Belize, but it might happen. See the bribery tips page for advice.

Checkpoints[edit]

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[edit]

According to travelers in 2012, you need: [3]

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: [4]

  • 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.

Gas and Diesel price in Belize[edit]

Last updated: Aug 2016

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Regular  ??
Super (90) BZ$9.80 BZD per Gallon (US)
Premium (95) BZ$10.40 BZD per Gallon (US)
Ultra (97)  ??
Normal Diesel $1.36 USD per Liter
Diesel (low sulfur)  ??

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Gasoline is common.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Accepted to be good quality. Sulfur content of diesel is unknown.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

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.

Vehicle parking[edit]

  • Find a secure parking lot to park in big cities. Price unknown.
  • Backpacker's Paradise[5] 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[edit]

None.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Belize[edit]

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[edit]

The Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping also contains information on Belize. Information includes detailed maps, GPS co-ordinates, and descriptions of campground facilities.

Drinking water[edit]

Tap water in Belize is not safe to drink.

Navigation[edit]

Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Belize

Guatemala/belize
Guatemala/belize
by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $14.95 on Amazon
Belize (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Belize (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $7.09 on Amazon
Belize (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Belize (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $7.09 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Guatemala, Belize & Yucatan La Ruta Maya...
Lonely Planet Guatemala, Belize & Yucatan La Ruta Maya...
by Tom Brosnahan, Nancy Keller
From $41.91 on Amazon

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[edit]

  • Open Street Map: Appears to have good coverage.[6]
  • Cenrut: Free Open Source GPS map of Central America. Coverage is occasionally better than OSM. [7]
  • Garmin: Apparently no map of Belize.
  • TomTom: No map of Belize. [8]

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Belize[edit]

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

None.

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]

Dealers[edit]

4x4s / Trucks

Motorbikes

Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Belize[edit]

Buy
Unknown.

Sell
Unknown.

References[edit]

  1. Pawsontour Mexico-Belize border crossing problems 2013
  2. Life Remotely Mexico to Belize Border Crossing
  3. Central American Borders and dogs
  4. Traveling with dogs from Canada to Argentina. Experiences and Infos.
  5. Backpacker's Paradise
  6. OpenStreetMap Belize
  7. Cenrut Mapping Project
  8. TomTom Map availability

Helpful External links[edit]