2… Check that, 1 Guy driving around Central and South America in an AWD Chevy Astro
Mexico to Belize: Chetumal Crossing
1.) Hand in Mexican FMT Card and get Passport stamp.
2.) Cancel Mexican Vehicle Importation of vehicle.
3.) Enter Belize and get vehicle Fumigated (5 USD).
4.) Get Belize Passport Entry Stamp, and Import Vehicle into Belize, drive through inspection checkpoint.
5.) Purchase mandatory Belize Vehicle Insurance (12 USD – I purchased Transit, think normal insurance is around 24 USD)
I setup for a night in Chetumal Mx to cross into Belize the following day. I had reservations of skipping Independence day. I had asked the gas station attendant about the party, his response “too many girls”. Its not often a guy says there are too many chicks at a party, but I pushed on. The Belize border was a cake walk, it helps that they speak English, though I did most of the crossing in Spanish, as I need the practice. Getting a late start I crossed at 11 am on a Friday, and it still only took 45 minutes. I followed the directions from others online, but am reposting the process here. The Belize border is a short 20 or so minute ride from Chetumal. As you arrive at the border you can pull up to the curb on the right and park by the small shack, where you hand in your FMT card and will get you passport exit stamp. I updated the Tijuana post, but keep your receipt when you originally pay for your Mexican FMT, or you will have to pay it again. After several months it can be easy to lose, so just keep them together as I did, as you need to show proof that you paid when you entered Mexico. A professional looking guy in a suit came over and told me what “we could do”. I was pretty sure he was an infamous helper, which is not needed here. He was clean cut and had his act down, so while he could have been legit I I suspected he was just looking for some money, and as soon as mentioned selling insurance his game was up. The purchase of insurance is the last stage of the process, regardless to what anyone tells you. I politely declined and he left for a couple minutes, though he then returned and tried one more time to help me get the passport stamped from the guy in the shack, something a child could have done. So step one, hand in your FMT card and get the passport stamped by the guy in the shack on the right hand side of road, boom 2 minutes and I am done. Step 2, pull up to the left side parking spots 10 feet further before crossing the bridge and get your Mexico vehicle importation cancelled, a quick check and a pic of VINs and you’re done. They will give you a receipt and tell you when the bank should return your deposit that you paid when entering Mexico, which was just under 400 dollars if paid on a credit card, sweet…that’s gas money I forgot all about. Drive over the bridge toward Belize and the 1st sight will be a sign in English “Fried Chicken and French Fries”…..mmm, she almost got me. Ignore the delicious food, as well as signs for the free zone unless your into shopping for cheap Chinese crap, and follow the road around the bend towards the right for maybe a quarter of a mile and stop at the small building on the right for your fumigation. Pay the guy 5 USD to spray some cancer on your van. Continue on to the Inspection booths, but park in the lot to the left before them for Belize customs. Inside at the 1st booth you will get your passport stamped, and at the second you will get your vehicle imported to Belize. You can then proceed to the inspections, where they will take any fruits or veggies you have so make sure you hide them. They may open one door and look inside for the “inspection”, and then let you go. Drive forward and cross the road to the white building where you will purchase your insurance, at the standard rate rather than what the helpers will sell it to you for. I think it only cost me 12 USD since I had requested transit, and was passing through in one day (though they gave me 2 or 3 to be safe). There is at least 1 police checkpoint in Belize where they will make sure you picked up insurance. (He also asked if I had a knife…oh great here we go again. Well, he just meant a fishing knife, as he loved to fish and wanted to talk about filleting them, phew). The whole border process took me 45 minutes and was a piece of cake. Enjoy Belize, or drive straight through it as I did.