Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Another Quick and Easy Border Crossing: Belize to Guatemala

Belize to Guatemala is a super easy border crossing with the main one being through Benque Viejo del Carmen in Belize to Melchor de Mencos in Guatemala. It's possible to take shuttle buses from Belize City to Flores ( for Tikal) or to Guatemala City itself but these are through private companies and much more expensive than doing it on your own steam. Also, if you go straight from Belize City you miss out on the attractions closer to the border in San Ignacio and the Cayo district itself.

Coming from San Ignacio and heading to the border is simple. There are a couple options available: you can either take a bus from the town to the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen (Benque for short) and from there take a taxi from the bus station to the border, or you can just take a taxi from San Ignacio to the border which is much easier and less hassle. The second option is a $5 per person and takes less than 20 minutes.

Once at the border, proceedings are quick. After getting your exit stamp for Belize there is a short walk with your bag(s) to the Guatemalan entry point. Once your passport is stamped  there is a bridge to walk over and from here you can take buses to Guatemala City or shuttles to Flores (30 Questzales, Guatemalan currency) which takes about three hours. Be careful with these as they like to try to overcharge tourists and they don't go to Flores. They stop in Santa Elena and then a 10Q per person tuk-tuk is required to take you through to Flores which is just over the bridge, about 2k away. Of course you can walk this but if you are feeling lazy then the tuk-tuk is the simplest option.

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