This article was updated in 11/2021.
Border crossing from Mexico to Belize – travelling Belize in times of covid
Belize is one of the countries in Central America that closed its borders the fastest with the beginning of the covid pandemic and, most importantly, reopened them the latest. While Guatemala, for example, had already opened its land and air borders in September 2020, it took Belize until August 2021.
With the opening of Belize, numerous restrictions were enacted, which at first glance sound totally confusing and seem to present a great challenge. Having read about the restrictions, I too doubted travelling to Belize. There were also uncertainties in some Facebook groups about travelling in Belize in Covid times. And least of all, they could give me detailed information on how it would work if I wanted to enter Belize with my own car.
Having been able to successfully cross the border from Guatemala to Belize and back with my own car, I was still unclear about the procedures for the border crossing from Mexico to Belize.
But I was lucky. In a Facebook group, I found somebody who described the procedure of her border crossing from Mexico to Belize in detail and even agreed to let me use her information to write an article about it on my blog.
In this article, I will tell you about the border crossing from Mexico to Belize and the Covid tests. I will also explain how things work with Gold Standard Transport and costs involved.
For Information about how to travel to Belize in your own car and an overview of necessary documents concerning Gold Standard Accomodation, please feel free to read my article about border crossing from Guatemala to Belize – everything is explained there.
I have written this blog post to the best of my knowledge. However, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content. It is also possible that circumstances change spontaneously.
The following is a copy paste of the Facebook post by Leene (click here for reference). I just added headlines, paragraphs and corrected some typos. 😉 Other than that, the article also mentions information given by Helen in the same Facebook group (click here for reference).
- Border crossing from Mexico to Belize – travelling Belize in times of covid
- Border crossing from Mexico to Belize at Chetumal
- Getting to the border from Bacalar
- First border control, Belize
- Taxi from border control to final destination (Belize City)
- Do you need to bring dollars to Belize?
- Arriving in Belize City and going to Caye Caulker
- experience #2: Helen
- Blogbeiträge über Belize
Border crossing from Mexico to Belize at Chetumal
So we did it, we crossed the border to Belize. But we found it really hard to find any information about it beforehand on the internet or in any Facebook group, though there are very strict rules. So that’s why I want to share our experiences with you, because I would have really wanted to see such a post myself before.
Getting to the border from Bacalar
We stayed in Bacalar and took a taxi to the border. We arranged that for 300 pesos, but I think 400-450 pesos is also normal. It is more or less 40min and you will pass one border control by taxi, where you have to take all you stuff out and they will search it.
Then you go to a different counter where you will have to hand over your passport and they will ask where you’re going. I heard from someone he had to pay 500pesos to get out of Mexico, we didn’t have to pay.
Then the taxi drives you to the final stop where the Mexican taxi has to turn around.
First border control, Belize
When you arrive at the first control post, there are some things you need to know.
a.) Gold Standard Accommodation
Gold standard accomodation: you need to be able to show them the reservation you made for at least the first three nights in Belize. It should be in a Gold standard Accommodation. Make sure you can show them the reservation and know the exact adress to fill in on your form. (for further information, read my article here.)
b.) Gold Standard Transport and taxi at the border
Taxi to Belize city is 180 USD: from that control post on, you will have to be transported by taxi. They will take you to your final destination, as seen on the reservation of your hotel.
For us our final destination was Caye Caulker, so we thought we could take a taxi to the nearest city across the border which is Corozal and from there on the bus to Belize City, but no.
You are not allowed to leave the taxi before you have reached your Golden Standard Accomodation. That was 180 USD, fixed price, no negotiation, you could go back to Mexico if you didn’t want that.
Maybe, you can try to book like 1 night in a cheap hostel in Corozal, as you will only have to pay a taxi to Corozal, as that is your final destination. But we haven’t tried that (unfortunately), so we don’t know if they will think that looks suspicious or how much that taxi ride will still be.
(Comment from me: This will probably not work, because border officials are pretty strict with the Gold Standard Accomodation and you have to show a paid 3 nights stay at a Gold Standard Accomodation in order to be led in.)
You are not allowed to share a taxi!
There were 2 other backpackers that arrived to the border control post that needed to go to Belize City. We wanted to share a taxi (the one of 180 USD) but that was prohibited.
If you do not arrive together, they will not let you share a taxi.
So, I recommend you search for buddies to cross the border beforehand, when you arrive there, there is no way they will let you because of the ‚covid‘ reglement.
c.) Covid testing at the border
It is mandatory to take a covid test at the border, which is an extra 50USD per person.
(Update 11/2021: The covid test at Chetumal border can be paid in cash AND credit card!)
Taxi from border control to final destination (Belize City)
The taxi first driver will drive you to the covid testing place, where you have to pay the 50 USD per person for the test and give them one of the forms you just filled in.
You get tested and wait like 20min for the results. If you are negative and free to go, the taxi will drive you to the final control post. You have to take all your bags with you, all the forms you filled out, your negative covid test form and passport.
You pass two control posts, answer some questions and then you are finally free to go. Not that free though, because you have to travel in that taxi same border taxi to your final destination. Our taxi driver was really sweet though and welcomed us to Belize, not at all like the border control .
Do you need to bring dollars to Belize?
We didn’t know If we needed dollars already, if there would be an ATM or we could pay by card, or if we could change our money. We decided to go to an ATM in Chetumal and change our pesos to USD in a casa cambiar, but you can cross the border without dollars if you prefer.
The covid test you can pay by card they say, and the taxi can drive you past an ATM on the way to your final destinatoin to get (Belizean) dollars out. So you can pay the taxi and ferry for example.
(Comment by me: On the official website, it is stated the the covid tests can only be paid cash; the covid tests at the border crossing from Guatemala could only be paid in cash! So, better be prepared!)
Arriving in Belize City and going to Caye Caulker
The taxi driver will drive you to a ferry/water taxi. We traveled by Ocean Ferry Belize and you can get a round trip ticket, which is 32USD per person.
With that ticket, you can take the ferry back to Belize whenever you want withing the next 2 months. You have to arrive 20min prior upon departure, as you have to ‚check in‘ your baggage. Otherwise your baggage will arrive with the next ferry. Outside we also saw a sign with a different schedule, but I have no idea if it is still up to date right now nor the prices. I hope this will make some things easier and it’ll prevent you being surprised at the border, like we did!!!
experience #2: Helen
I made it into Belize! Here’s my summary for anyone that might find it useful
Bacalar to Corozal where I have 3 nights booked in a gold standard accommodation.
I first booked a taxi on the Belize side recommended to me by my Belize accommodation hosts VIP transfers – https://belizetransfers.com. They are a gold standard service as required for entry into Belize. They recommended a taxi contact on the Mexico side, which probably cost a bit more than it needed to, but because they knew each other they could easily sync up to make sure I went from one to the other with no hassle.
Taxi 1 – Bacalar to the Belize Check point – 600MXN.
Once at the border this involved:
Stop 1 – luggage search
Stop 2 – Mexico immigration point to get stamped out. I was expecting to pay a departure tax, but was not asked to do so. I know some have though, so best to be prepared.
Stop 3 – Belize checkpoint
Here I had to fill in an immigration form and a health questionnaire. They also checked my 3 night accommodation booking very carefully.My taxi driver then waited with me until the Belize taxi arrived – they were only allowed to get to the point to pick me up once the officials had seen my accommodation booking.
Taxi 2 – Belize checkpoint to Corozal – 30USD
Stop 1 – COVID testing hut (literally a wooden hut!)
I had to fill in another health form and pay 50USD for the test. There was a sign saying they took visa/Mastercard but I paid cash so can’t confirm if CC would work! Someone then did the test and I waited 15 mins for the result, after which I had to get my health forms stamped.
Stop 2 – Belize immigration point.
After presenting the health forms I got the stamp to come into Belize, then border control to check bags.
Stop 3 – the taxi driver drove me to a store so I could pick up some much needed beer! The whole border process probably took no more than 45mins. I was literally the only person going through so everything was very quick, this was all around lunchtime. Everyone was very chilled and friendly, but they do seem pretty strict on the whole process.
Thank you so much, Leene and Helen, for allowing me to use your information and post this! I really do hope, this will help future travelers!
Blogbeiträge über Mayaruinen in Belize
Blogbeiträge über Belize
Mayaruinen in Belize: