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This morning we crossed the border from Mexico into Guatemala. It was painless. I read about a couple of guys who crossed in 20 minutes so I was confident it would be easy.
To start with we needed to leave Mexico. We missed the exit point which is about 3km from the border. It looked like a government building but didn’t look very border like. For future reference I think it’s here. After we back tracked we started at the Banjercito and checked out our motorbikes. The fella took photos of the VIN numbers then printed some papers and gave us a certificate showing we’d exported our bikes. No money required. Next we went to the next door building and exported ourselves from Mexico. Again, painless, and no money required.
Then we rode across the border and were flagged down by some fellas who wanted to spray the bikes. They asked for 13 quetzales for each bike. They didn’t take pesos. At this point we had some pesos left and no quetzales. Just our luck, there was a money changer on hand. He charged us 70 pesos for 30 quetzales, xe.com puts that at 45 pesos. An unnecessary expense of $2 USD, we’ll survive.
After our bikes were sprayed, we got in line at the Migracion office. A couple of buses had just arrived so there were a lot of people waiting in the midday heat. While Tomas stayed in line I went to the atm to get some quetzales at a slightly more reasonable rate. When I got back the queue had disappeared and Tomas had done his paperwork. I went into the office and after some confusion about my entry stamp into Guatemala exactly one year and one day ago, I was processed into Guatemala. Total cost, 20 Mexican pesos.
We went to the next building over to import our bikes. The process was painless. We needed our Mexican export certificate, title, license and passport. Four signatures later we went next door to the bank and paid the 40 quetzales fee. Then returned to the window to collect our paperwork and stickers for the bikes.
All paperwork completed, we were into Guatemala. The process took about 2 hours which was due in part to our confusion over the process, some waiting in line and then just the process. Althought it took longer than the entry into Mexico it felt decidedly more expedient. Personally, I spent much less time waiting than entering Mexico.
Callum at 2010-01-21 19:51:42
I have some pics waiting to upload. Currently the process is too laborious. I'm going to hook up a plugin to upload the pics to a directory on the server via FTP and then have them imported to a post. Plus, I'll gps correlate then and place them on the map. It's all a work in progress, once I settle somewhere for a while I'll get on it. We might rent a place in Antigua for a while, so it could be here and could be soon... :-)
Rob - @formerfatguy at 2010-01-21 14:47:05
Nice to see you've entered Guatemala safely. We're updating our <a href="http://www.youngnowbirds.com" rel="nofollow">RV Travel blog</a> very regularly as we make our way though the US. We spent last weekend in <a href="http://www.youngsnowbirds.com/day-trips/meteor-crater-winslow-arizona/" rel="nofollow">Winslow Arizona</a>, at the Meteor Crater and then went to the Grand Canyon. um, some pics of your adventure posted into your posts would be nice. However, knowing you, you probably have some sort of handlebar mounted keyboard with heads up display on your bike and update your blog while driving.
Fergy at 2010-01-22 19:03:37
Some new digital cameras have GPS built in so they record where you took the photo as well as when...pretty neat feature. handle bar mounted keyboard with heads up display - love it!
SW at 2011-01-26 12:18:00
Thanks for the information about the crossing there into Guatemala. Did you happen to notice the schedule of the offices there? Would the crossing and offices be open on Sunday? Shawn
Callum at 2011-01-26 16:59:38
No idea about when they're open I'm afraid. I'm struggling to remember that particular crossing at all these days, it was many thousand miles and even more months ago. Monday to Friday is always your safest bet. Very few crossings are closed on a Sunday, but I couldn't tell you for sure.