We wrote this post to help clarify the process for crossing the border from Belize to Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala with a vehicle. Having read various accounts of the “official” and “unofficial” costs of crossing this border, we wanted to share our research and experience so that other overlanders can prepare for their entry into Guatemala.
If there is any place that we would re-visit in Belize, it’s the Toledo District in the southern part of the country.
Toledo has lots to offer to nature-loving travellers: jungles, plains, wildlife sanctuaries, caves, and waterfalls. You can snorkel and dive the offshore islands, tour the district’s organic farms and botanical reserves, go horseback riding or ziplining in the forest, or visit Mayan ruins and craft-making villages.
Toledo is also home to many ethnic groups, including Mopan and Kekchi Mayans, Mestizos, Creoles, Garifuna, East Indians, and Mennonites.
Most importantly, Toledo has amazing chocolate.
I looked down at my watch and saw that it was only 2:00 pm. I thought it was much later than that so I double-checked the time on my iPhone. Yup, it was 2:00 pm.
“Hey, Gregor, what time do you have?” I asked.
Gregor reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. When he looked down, he was surprised. “Two o’clock. Geez, I thought it was more like dinner time.”
This was happening a lot since Gregor and I arrived in Belize – this feeling that time was moving a lot slower than normal. At first, we couldn’t quite put our finger on why this was happening. After a few weeks on the Belize coast, we eventually figured it out…
Gregor and I were sweating inside the van, hiding from the nasty swarms of mosquitos at our campsite. It had rained the night before, and the midday heat brought out a fresh crop of the biting devils. The breeze from our little 12-volt fan was not particularly refreshing – it was just pushing hot air around. Lucky was basically a giant convection oven, roasting two traveling chickens basting in their own sweat. The hungry mosquitos outside were waiting for their lunch.
We wrote these instructions for the benefit of other overlanders entering Belize via Chetumal, Mexico. This crossing was very smooth and easy to navigate, largely due to the English-speaking staff at the border.