How to cross the overland border from Belize to Guatemala

An easy guide to cross the border from Belize to Guatemala

Crossing the border overland from Belize to Guatemala is really easy. Here’s how to do it:

The small town of San Ignacia in Belize is just a few miles from Guatemala. You’ll probably end up here if you’re doing one of the many incredible activities such as a tour of the ATM Caves. It’s also a good place to base yourself for the onward journey to Tikal or Flores.

From San Ignacia town centre you have two options. The first and cheapest option is actually a direct taxi. They are safe, identified by their green number plates and take you right to the border crossing. The cost of the whole taxi is $10 BZD ($5 USD), rather than a per person fayre. Flag one down at the roundabout by the main street and you’re there within 20 minutes.

Another option is a local bus. They leave from the bus station and you need to get one in the direction of Benque. That will be $3-4 BZD ($1.50-2 USD) per person. From Benque you need to get a taxi to the border and that’s another $3-4 BZD.

Belize Guatemala Overland Border Crossing
The building where you cross the border from Belize in to Guatemala

Enter the big green building and departures is in front of you. A friendly desk assistant may ask you to fill in a survey about Belize. The government is trying to find out what tourists do and don’t enjoy and how to male things better. You can also leave any comments and feedback. (Note to Belize; please stop using plastic bags and straws for absolutely everything).

The first kiosk is where you pay the departure fee of $40 BZD (or pay $20 USD). This is:

  • Departure Tax $30 BZD
  • Border Development Fee $2.50 BZD
  • Protected Areas Conservation Trust $7.50 BZD

Take your receipt and go to the next kiosk for an exit stamp.

Belize Guatemala Overland Border Crossing Building
In line at the Belize border crossing

Walk out immigration and you’re now in ‘No Man’s Land’. A white building awaits and it’s here you’ll get a Guatemala entry stamp. This was the most casual customs I’ve ever known and took seconds to get through. I’ve heard tourists are sometimes asked for an entry fee, but there isn’t one and it’s a scam. If it happens to you, ask for a receipt and they’ll soon back down.

All you have to do now is walk across the bridge and you’re a free person in Guatemala!

That was easy.

Belize Guatemala Overland Border Crossing No Mans Land
Crossing the bridge in ‘No Man’s Land’

Take the first left after the bridge, walk one block and there’s a Colectivo station. Here you can get to Flores for 30 QZL ($4 USD) or Tikal. The Colectivo will drop you in Santa Elena and from there it is a 10 QZL ($1.25 USD) tuk tuk to Flores itself.

Enjoy Guatemala!


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