Last updated on March 6, 2023
Given how popular this border crossing is, and the sheer lack of information, below I’ve outlined precise details on how to manage this crossing in the wake of Covid restrictions. The pandemic changed the entire process of crossing from Chetumal to destinations in Belize. And while the Covid restrictions have eased, you should still know exactly what you need to do for a smooth crossing. Far below this information is the original post, but do not assume that any information you find online is accurate unless it’s been updated in 2023. Direct from shuttle drivers and readers, here’s a synopsis of your options crossing the Mexico and Belize border at Chetumal in 2023. The comments at the very end of the post have even more details and travelers weighing in every single week.
The summary of post-Covid travel: You no longer need Covid tests, and neither insurance nor a Gold Standard booking are mandatory. You do still need to show proof you’ve paid the Mexico tourism tax or you’re forced to pay it again. Read on for complete details.
Transportation Options in Belize in 2023
Ferries: There are two ferries running from Corozal. There is also a ferry from Chetumal to the Belizean islands as of January 2023—although one traveler said in the comments that it’s not running, the shuttle drivers and other travelers confirm that the San Pedro Water Jet from Chetumal to/from San Pedro & Caye Caulker is running again. Their website states that they are selling fares—you can even book online. Pursue this on the ground and maybe give them a call before buying a ticket.
Boats run from Corozal to San Pedro via Thunderbolt and Belize Sea Shuttle. Using the ferry is convenient, but doesn’t save you much money compared to taking a shuttle or the bus. The ferry from Corozal is the best option for solo travelers, otherwise head to Belize City and ferry from there to save money. Check the Facebook pages for these services for the latest schedules.
Bus: The chicken bus is back up and running. The chicken bus to Belize City costs around $8 USD. You’ll face a longer travel day on the bus, but it’s totally viable and runs roughly every hour from Corozal to Belize City. You can also catch the chicken bus from Chetumal, and it will generally wait for you at the border crossing, so long as you face no snags in getting stamped out of Mexico and into Belize.
Shuttles: Six people can share a shuttle for US $150. If you aren’t traveling in a large group, the taxi drivers help travelers who are crossing at the same time share the cost of a shuttle/van transfer. Shuttles run every single day from both Bacalar and Chetumal. (Lots of travelers prefer to stay in Bacalar).
Taxi: A private taxi from the Chetumal border to Belize City costs US $150. It costs less to travel to Corozal.
Safe solo female travel: If you’re a solo female traveler concerned about getting to Belize or the the islands, Alberto (listed below) has a female taxi driver that can pick you up in Playa if you need a ride for $3000 pesos each way.
Safe & Reliable Transfer Services
Below are also contact numbers for safe, affordable taxi transfer—these are reliable options for crossing either way (from Belize into Mexico, or vice versa). Each driver speaks English, has contacts on both sides, and can help you with advice on how to get to your ultimate destination (be it Corozal, the islands, Guatemala, or back into Mexico). Spread the love around to each as they are all very highly recommended by travelers who have come before you.
Call or WhatsApp them.
- Venancio, has a van ideal for larger groups: +501-603-6711
- Alberto the BZ Transporter: +501-630-2700
- George from Get Transfer: +501-604-5789
- Jesus Catizm, also has a van for larger groups: +501-620-6653
Call a couple if you’re looking to save money—ask if they have travelers scheduled who are willing to share the transfer. Each driver will also hook you up with a trusted contact on the Mexican side of the border if needed, so you’re not ripped off on the short trip.
How to Cross the Border at Chetumal in 2023
This process is outlined by one of the shuttle drivers, and cribbed from detailed comments from those who have crossed recently. Note that you should have all of the cash you need on you. That also means carrying some pesos when heading out of Mexico in case they try to make your crossing hard in exchange for a little “payment” of $200-$300 pesos. This is how the trip goes from Cancun to Belize City.
Consider taking the comfortable bus down from Cancun and stay overnight in Chetumal or Bacalar. In Chetumal, travelers have recommended Hotel Urban 101 in the city center for about$30 a night. In Bacalar, consider Hotel Xa’an for a budget backpacker spot, or Villas Ecotucan for good vibes and just a bit more money. In Chetumal, have the hotel to call a taxi in the morning to take you to the bus station/border, or arrange through trusted drivers above. Leave early—between 7:30 am and 9 am is a good bet. Book somewhere to stay in Chetumal or stay in Bacalar.
1. Get to Chetumal from Bacalar OR Get a Taxi in Chetumal to the New Border OR Catch the Chicken Bus
Your taxi will know which border you need for the crossing—it’s the new border, not the old one. They are very near each other, but some guide books and blog posts will tell you to visit the old one. You can stay in Bacalar as well, and from there catch a shared taxi (opposite the ADO bus station), which takes you to Chetumal. From there you can take a chicken bus to Belize City, which is outlined above. If customs and immigration don’t take too long, the chicken bus waits for you on the other side of the border, so don’t pay in advance.
From a reader in Dec 2022: If you have some level of Spanish and are in Chetumal and opting for the absolute cheapest option, then go to the ‘New Market’ bus station and ask for the bus heading to Corozal, Belize. You’ll probably have to wait for a while, but the bus will take you to the Mexican border. Then be prepared with your documents (if you’ve flown in and/or have stayed in Mexico for less than 7 days) to prove you do not need to pay the tax. Then the bus will take you to the Belize border—at this point you need to get your luggage off the bus, get your stamps, and then the bus will take you to your destination. It cost us $5USD per person to travel from Chetumal to Corozal.
2. Have Your Travel Documents Handy for Both Border Checks
When exiting Mexico, 90% of the time you will be asked if you have already paid the tourism tax. This is a soft scam—it’s legal and its the border officials asking, so you must show proof. If you flew into the country, it was included in your airfare. Download your itemized receipt from the airline that shows this fee already paid—then screenshot it and show it to them. Many people have had to pay this “fee” even though they probably already paid it if they flew into Mexico. Be prepared ahead of time and you can avoid being charged twice! It continues to be an issue for about 15 years now. This will save you 560 Mexican pesos.
Next, your taxi will cross the bridge to the Belize Customs Control area. This is where you say goodbye to your Mexican taxi driver and pay him. You’ll pay 250-500 Mexican pesos, unless you’ve booked a shuttle that takes you through the entire process stress free.
3. Prepare for the Belize Border Process
You’ll pass through Belize Customs. To Corozal, a taxi charges roughly $35 USD per taxi, from there to San Pedro you can take water taxi at 7 AM for $50 USD or a plane at 9:30 AM or 5 PM for ~$70 USD, but the latter only during the week which, however, is not confirmed as so far travelers have opted for the boat.
4. Finish Up the Belize Border Process
The driver waits for you on the other side for you to finish the entire immigration process. From there you are free to head into Belize!
Update Jan 2023
Read through the comments at the end for the latest additional details on this border crossing. Travelers weigh in almost daily on the state of the border and offer tips on getting across without issue. Information below this is not fact-checked for accuracy.
Border Crossing Story Prior to the Pandemic (information below is not accurate for 2023 crossings)
Dear Lonely Planet,
Why have you lead me astray? You disappointed me this past week at the Mexican/Belizean border crossing. To be fair, this is the first time you’ve been so incredibly misguided, dear Lonely Planet: Central America —you have helped me confidently navigate uncharted waters, until now.
I love you, I nurture you, I pull you out of the depths of my bag when I’m in a pinch, yet you disappoint me at the weirdest times. You have ten different hostel accommodations for random pueblitos, but yet a mere paragraph about the fairly confusing border crossing between Mexico and Belize via Chetumal.
But also, you know, thank you. You made me realize that travel is about more than a guidebook. Without the right information, I was forced to get creative. And over the years, I’ve realized there’s always a local nearby willing to impart the information you so coyly keep to yourself. I’m learning to rely on you less and less LP, and that’s probably a good thing.
With lukewarm love,
My Border Crossing Debacle
The whole guidebook debate crops up on travel blogs every now and again, and I’ve always been on team “tote a guidebook around.” I nearly always have one somewhere in my backpack, and it often provides key information at opportune times—it helps me unlock a different side to a place that I might not have found without it.
But on the other hand, guidebooks also give travelers a false sense of security as well as take out some of the adventure—and hey, travel, after all, is fundamentally about the adventure and interpersonal connections, right?
Here’s the deal, when I arrived at Chetumal, Mexico, I expected the border crossing to be straightforward, like my guidebook indicated. But I arrived after 4pm and first class busses no longer left the terminal for the border.
There was also no information about what to do at that point.
Picture me now frantically flipping through the Chetumal section of my guidebook. Hmm. The barest mention of another bus terminal.
Perplexed, I looked at the accommodation section of the guidebook with two other Americans who were in the same boat—they stood nearby with the exact same guidebook.
Fast forward a few minutes and were dividing and conquering, each of us hunting down locals and taxi drivers for tips. We came up with nothing. One taxi driver (naturally) wanted us to cab to the border for US $20—instead we asked about the elusive second bus station, he gave us a noncommittal shrug and told use to walk “a couple kilometers in that direction.” And being a fairly rural town, all of these exchanges took place in Spanish, upping the stakes considerably—thankfully my high school Spanish trickled back!
We actually had a grand mini adventure asking locals for more directions along the way. Rather than just following instructions mapped out in a guidebook, we were forced to hunt down a way to cross the border into Belize. Locals always kept us walking the right way, pointing us the “bus station,” and when we arrived at the indicated lot, there was one single, lone, green school bus sitting forlornly in the lot.
We glanced toward it, wondering if this could possibly be the elusive second bus station. As the bus began moving out of the parking lot, our instincts kicked in and we began running across the lot just as the driver leaned out the window to holler at us. “Belize?!” he asked in a quick and questioning manner. As we frantically nodded yes, he rumbled to a stop so we could jog to the doors and haul ourselves onto the last bus of the day crossing the border.
Is this the biggest adventure of my life? No. But it sure was a lot of fun once we had we hunkered down into the seats, high-fived each other, and then jostled with the motion of the school bus all the way to the border. Once there, cash changed hands (there’s a controversial and possibly scammy Mexican exit tax if you’re not prepared), and I have a couple of new stamps in my good ‘ole passport. Twenty minutes later, we had reached our destination and we confidently made our way into Belize without even a second glance at our guidebooks.
I’m still carrying my guidebook, and I know there are times when I will be so glad it’s nearby as I make my way across Central America. In fact, it’s likely that I won’t go guidebook free anytime in the near future, but this reminded me of how fun and freeing it is to just wing it. The world is not so scary a place that every move needs scripting and planning beforehand, sometimes figuring it out along the way is the real adventure.
Quick Tips: Border Crossing from Chetumal, Mexico into Belize (2021)
Let me clarify this border crossing for anyone following the same path—as of 2019 there are three bus stations in Chetumal: the new bus station for ADO and first class buses, the old ADO bus station, and a smaller one that has been essentially bypassed by new bus routing in 2017, El Nuevo Mercado Lazaro Cardinez. This smaller one was a small market with an open lot in front that held the chicken buses, but unless things change, it’s been effectively handicapped by the re-routing.
If you arrive late into Chetumal and you’re heading into Belize, back in 2009, the only non-taxi transport was a local chicken buses from the market to take you across the border. These buses go all the way to Belize City and stop at smaller towns along the way (we got off in Corozal so that we could head to San Pedro/Caye Cualker in the morning). In the years since my first Central American backpacking adventure, things have changed, and they are likely to change even faster than internet information can keep up since it’s a small border crossing. So, go prepared with information on both bus stations and be prepared to solicit information directly from the bus stations. Taxi drivers will selectively share information so you’re seemingly left with no choice but a taxi to the border.
Bus Stops in Chetumal
- NEW ADO terminal: Located on Av. Insugentes at Calle Palermo (close to Plaza Las Americas). This is the main ADO bus terminal for services to other destinations in Mexico, including Cancún, Campeche, Mérida, Valladolid, Xcalak, and more. You will likely arrive here and need to head to the Old ADO terminal.
- OLD ADO terminal: Salvador Novo street near Av. Insurgentes and Av. Belice. Buses into Belize leave from here until at least 5:30 pm, possibly later. Buses to Corozal, Belize City, Orange Walk, and also into Guatemala.
- El Nuevo Mercado Lazaro Cardinez: As of 2017, this market no longer has buses operating services into Belize. If a taxi driver takes you here and tells you that buses are finished for the day, make your way to the Old Ado terminal.
Updated travel advice
This basic wordpress site shares what has to be the most updated information about bus travel in Belize, including frequently updated information about this border crossing right here—he even updated it during the Coronavirus pandemic. The guy who updates it is also very active in the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum discussions about all things Belize. And Rome2Rio shows regularly updated transportation advice for this passage as well.
Ferry Options to Caye Caulker or San Pedro: If you’re up for it, there is a great water taxi transfer from Chetumal to Caye Caulker or San Pedro. You’ll have to arrive and catch the last one by 3pm, so if you do arrive in time, it’s a great option.
Paying the FMM / Mexican Exit Fee: I have read that there is now a bit of a shakedown at this border, at times. If you arrived by air and are leaving by land, paying this fee gets complicated. Here is the best rundown you’ll find online, and this blogger shares their experience in 2014—note that their bus information is wrong, but their advice on the FMM is good to know.
Onward from the border. Stay the night in Corozal, the closest town to the border, if you’ve made one of the last crossings of the day (this is what I did and then headed by water taxi to San Pedro). Alternately, head to the main bus station (if your bus is not one already heading to Belize city). Southbound buses to Belize City take about four hours and depart from Corozal roughly every half hour from 3 am to 7:15 pm.
If you’re heading through Belize into Guatemala, I wrote an extensive guide to exploring Tikal, and my Guatemala Travel Guide offers free online advice on the best things to do, see, eat, and insider tips on how to navigate the country.
Tikal, Guatemala Travel Guide
The Mayan ruins of Tikal are a bus ride or shuttle away over the border into Tikal. Here’s how to make the most of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
612 thoughts on “A Little Confusion… The Mexico to Belize Border Crossing at Chetumal”
Hi good day if anyone need a share cab I have 1 moving at 8;30 in the morning from chetumal,Bacalar, corozal to airport belize city or San igancio more info #+5016036711 24th may 2023
10 May 2023 Bless day my peeps just informing we do private and share shuttle everyday it’s express we make you get to your destination on time and safe share is 8in the morning and 12 from bacalar chetumal heading to Corozal Orange walk Belize belmopan San igancio cayo Flores Guatemala we work 24/7 don’t get stranded any where in Mexico or belize I can assist questions are free of cost bless day +5016036711
Hi. I am hoping to land at Chetumal airport at 12:15 pm and make my way to Corozal Belize in time to catch the 2:30 pm water taxi. Does anyone have a sense if this will be enough time assuming I use taxis. Thanks
I recommend reaching out to Venancio on WhatsApp. If you’re using a private taxi anyways, then why not book it ahead and go straight there. He will also know exactly how long you should budget for that trip. His contact details are in the top of the post, and he speaks English. ( +5017036711 )
2023 April 26 have share shuttle everyday move at 9 in the morning from bacalar chetumal heading to corozal orange walk belize San ignacio flores Guatemala for more information send me a what’s up to book your trip safe and reliable verytrust worth person # +5016036711
Yesterday we drove from Bacalar Mexico, through Belize to Flores in Guatemala with our rental from America Car Rental. I will try to be as accurate a possible but feel free to contact.
The rental car:
We made a online reservation and paid a total of approx 800 dollars for three weeks. The pick up location was downtown Cancun. This included a permit to go to Belize (no additional fee) and a permit to go to Guatemala (180 dollars). The permit for Guatemala was ready after 48 hours and we picked it up in Tulum after two days.
No additional driver was included and what we didn’t know was that the insurance we had didn’t apply for Guatemala and there were no options to add an insurance that was valid for Guatemala. So I would NOT recommend this trip.
We passed 4 borders and the journey was in total 9 hours including a 1 hour stop in Belize City to have some lunch. Roads were good. I will elloborate more on the border crossing.
The Mexican exit border:
First we passed it, but we were sent back to get a Mexican exit stamp. We went into the office and showed our pasports and get a exit stamp immidiately without showing any tickets or what so ever. We paid no exit fee. An pretty easy start!
The Belize entrance border:
On our way to the Belize border.
We ware waived to go through the Corona
Check point. Here we had to pay 100 pesos or 10 belize dollars for a paper that said they sprayed our car. They didn’t spray anything, so this felt like a total scam. Later we actually found out that this paper was indeed a requirement to pass the border.
The next stop was the Belize border. We parked our car and went inside the office to get a entrance stamp in our pasport. We had to fill in an entry form, and obtained the stamp pretty easy. We had to go to an other desk to get an other stamp in our pasport for our rental car. We had to show their guy our the permit from America car rental and he wrote the license from the permit in my pasport and we were ready to go. He did only one pasport.
Back at the car, we had to pay an officer 30 belize dollars or 350 mexican pesos for the parking. He was pointing to a sign at the fence were we could read this. He actually ordered us to park here, so we paid this and went to the real border. I don’t know if you can park anywhere else and don’t pay the fee. It felt like a scam, we did not get a ticket or anything.
At the real border crossing the guy asked for the corona spray paper, which we had, but didn’t let us through because the license that was in my pasport didn’t match the real license plate. We checked our Belize permit and saw America Car Rental made a typo. I was really nervous but going back to the same guy he just made an adjustment and in our second attempt we passed the Belize border. Lesson learnt and I will double check the rental papers next time.
The Belize exit:
So for the Belize exit you need to pay 65 belize dollars for transit and 80 belize dollars for a longer stay. You can also pay in US dollars. Since we only had Mexican Pesos we had to change with a guy in front the border. We changed 1000 pesos for 80 belize dollars. (We didn’t know we needed only 65). I know this is a real bad exchange rate but we had no other options. We went to Belize custom office, paid 65 Belize dollars got the exit stampt. Walked to another office to get the exit stamp for the car.
I changed the 15 belize dollars for 45 Quetzal and the guy told us that to go into Guatemala with a rental we needed more Guetzal. I asked an offical custom guy from Belize and he said that it was true. So i changed another 1000 mexican pesos for 300 Quetzal. (Again, terrible exchange rate).
We went to the Belize exit border and passed it easily.
The Guatemala entrance border:
Here it was really chaotic. First we had to spray our car. They actually sprayed something and we paid 20 Quetzal and obtained a paper.
Right away a young guy was with us and helped us through the total proces. In the beginning it felt annoying but later on I was quite happy with this guy.
We parked our car and went inside to get the Guatemala entrance stamp. Which we got pretty easy. On the the next point for the rental car.
We walked with our little border guide and went to a real scammy office to make photo copies of my pasport, driving license and Guatemala rental permit which we got from America Car Rental. We paid 2 Quetzal per copy and we got the copies. This didn’t felt right.
Back in the real office we went to the desk, showed al the copies and after a while the officer asked for a photo of our license plate, which our border guide had already made and showed him. With a new form we had to go back to the scammy office to pay 200 Quetzal. There was an official border guy sending us here, so maybe it is not so scammy after al. We paid the 200 Quetzal went back to the offical guy and we got a sticker. Our guide placed it behind our front window.
I gave our young border guide a tip. And we were ready to go to Guatemala. The guy at the border checked our sticker, corona spray paper and our pasport and welcomed us into Guatemala!
After driving 10 minutes we had to pay 30 Quetzal local tax / toll and drove 2 hours to our first hotel in Guatemala.
We gonna stay for three night and our next stop will be Palenque in Mexico.
I just did this in reverse – i.e. travelled from Belize to Chetumal, April 2023. Loads of online info about an ADO bus from BC to Cancun, but it’s all out of date. There’s no sign of ADO in Belize at all. In Belize City there are loads of buses going up to Corozal, but none that will cross the border into Mexico (even though some of them do say ‘Chetumal’ on the front – they go as far as the border, where you get off and go through Belizean immigration, and then just have to find onward transport! That bus is 15 BZD from Belize City to the border.
At the border you have to pay an exit fee of 40 BZD (it’s legit, not a scam). Then when you come out, it’s a little confusing because the Mexican immigration building isn’t right next to the Belizean one. I ended up paying a taxi driver 250 MX to take me to Mexican immigration and then on to my hotel in Chetumal.
btw for anyone travelling in Belize in general, check out Floralia – they are a new company with air-conditioned buses – like the ADO of Belize! They run buses between Belize City, Belmopan, Dangriga – but not north of BC.
I flew from Canada using Air Transat to Cancun and I am going to cross the border to Belize tomorrow.
When looking at my flight receipt I get the following taxes but no mention of a tourist tax:
Mexico – Arrival tax 47.09
Mexico – Departure tax 42.79
Mexico – Immigration fee 12.19
Is the tourist tax the Departure tax ?
Also I see since 2021 there is now a specific tourist tax of 10$USD for people visiting Quintana Roo
I guess this is a different tax, is it asked at the border ? As I am flying out from Mexico will I need to pay it twice (once leaving to belize and a second time flying out home ?)
30 March 2023 I have share shuttle moving from bacalar or chetumal at 7 in the morning tomorrow heading to Corozal Orange walk Belize city Belmopan, San Ignacio, Guatemala ferry to San pedro caye caulker for more information # +5016036711
I just want to take the time to highly recommend Venancio Driving services. We made arrangements with them (using WhatsApp) to pick us up at our hotel in Chetumal, Mexico and drive us to Corozal, Belize. They were easy to communicate with about our border-crossing questions and guided us through the process. One driver picked us up and drove us to the Mexican border to go through the exit process and then we walked to the Belize border and went through the entrance process there. There was a second driver that picked us up there and drove us to Corozal, Belize to the Tropic Air Airport where we hopped on a small plane to San Pedro, Belize. It was seamless, safe, reasonably priced and the drivers were very helpful and friendly. Apparently, Venancio is a family-owned business and Venancio’s mother, Carmen, was our driver from the Belize border to the airport in Corozal. She was delightful. We met Venancio on our return trip and he was equally charming. FYI We just did this in February 2023.
You absolutely can’t go wrong with this service. Kudos to them!
I just thought I would share our border crossing experience as well.
We crossed today (16th march 2023) and stayed the night before in Chetumal. The city is ok, but a bit dead and as I heard/read, Bacalar is much nicer. Anyways.
We left early on foot to the Nuevo Mercado to catch an early Colectivo-bus to the border. We found out that the first departure was at 10:00 (GMT-6). I don’t know how often they leave.
At 09:00 a old American school bus painted with belizean colors arrived and they came directly to us asking if we wanted to go to Belize. He gave us forms for the belizean authorities and explained they would wait for us at both borders and bring us to Belize-City. Cost: 250MXN/person, which is really much cheaper than the shuttles (450-500) and the taxi (200-350 just to the border). We were a bit unsure as we were expecting Mexican colectivos, but they were nice, straightforward and told us they were official public transportation in Belize. We accepted and it was a good decision. They helped us all the way (they spoke perfect English and Spanish), waited for us at both borders, did stops for bathrooms or drinks if asked and even took us to the water-taxi station for free at the end (which is expensive if you take a taxi from the city center)! We arrived at 14:20 (GMT-7), just in time for the 15:00 ferry!
Perks of it are:
It takes long (5:20), because they stop everywhere to let people in and out or buy different things.
No AC on the bus, which is also not comfortable at all.
All in all it’s a good option for those seeking adventure or on a budget. If not, I would probably go with an organised shuttle.
About the Mexican tourist Tax/scam: we got out of it without paying. At the Mexican border we had to show our plane-tickets’ invoices (the ticket alone were not enough) and I even had to argue a bit in Spanish in order not to pay the tourist tax (600MXN/p!!), showing the receipt in French was enough for my wife to get out of it. A German woman who was with us had to pay the tax because she didn’t have the receipt/invoice showing the tax… it’s hard to tell what are the criteria. Just be bold and polite, show them the proof and try your luck!
Have a nice and safe travel everyone!
Does anyone have experience with Adrelina tours shuttle from Bacalar to Belize? It’s 65 from bacalar to San Ignacio, they leave daily from Bacalar at 7 or 8 am. Curious why this option is not mentioned… seems like the most hassle-free option as it goes from start to destination… anyone have any advice about this option? Thanks
Hi good day my shuttle have everyday aswell pick up at bacalr at 9 or chetumal we are express shuttle
Hi good day can contact me aswell I have share and private and always try to make you don’t pay unnecessary Mexican tourist tax shuttle leave bacalr everyday at 9 in the morning and chetumal heading to San pedro Caye caulker San ignacio Guatemala Antigua contact for more information?+5017036711.
We are the most hassle free trust me we are 6 persons and we go direct the adrrline as you mentioned they are big busses and still neeed a wait on other travelers our shuttle service save you time and money
Hi! Anyone have experience with the Adrelina tours Shuttle that leaves from Bacalar daily and takes you to Belize. I’m going to San Ignacio from Bacalar on March 20 2023.
Also did someone post that we need to show our vaccine card at the border? Gracias!
Based on the positive comments in this post, we’ve also chosen Venancio for our route from Bacalar to Corozal. We recommend him 100%. Communication was easy via WhatsApp, he replied quickly and sent us regular updates (e.g. pictures of license plate of the pick up taxi to make it as clear as possible). He met us at the border and gave useful advise and his girlfriend who took us from there easily navigated us through immigration and to the port in Corozal.
I went with Venancio from Bacalar México to San Ignacio in Belize. I can only recommend this Transfer Service. The communication was smooth and easy via WhatsApp and the drivers were very friendly and helpful. The whole Transfer was well organized and the Price was reasonable too. I would go with them any time! All in all I was so glad we had this option and also at a Good Price too since the ADO Bus between México and Belize is not operating.
Venancio was very good indeed.
I just want to let everyone who I thinking about crossing the border from Chetumal into Belize, using Venanvio Dominguez and his taxi service was easy to arrange. He had all the paperwork ready to be filled out before your arrival, walked with you into the building, showing you where to go. After you were finished, he was waiting for you in the parking lot. I highly recommend Venvanvio you won’t be disappointed, and on your way quickly.
Hi good day my fellow travelers just wana inform we have a share shuttle leaving tomorrow from chetumal/ bacalar at 9 in the morning going to caye caulker and san prdro ferry port Guatemala Antigua flores for more information kindly book at +5016036711[ 24/February 2023 ]
Hi good day my fellow travelers just wana inform we have a share shuttle leaving tomorrow from chetumal/ bacalar at 9 in the morning going to caye caulker and san prdro ferry port Guatemala Antigua flores for more information kindly book at +5016036711[ 24/February 2023 ] 4:20 friendly zone 🍁💨
10 February 2023.
Take the blue bus from the market in Chetumal. It costs 20 Belize Dollars to Belize City. It arrives at around 9am and leaves between 0945 -1000.
Crossing the border was very easy. I wasn’t asked to pay the tourist tax – despite flying in to Mexico City and not having paid it. Took 2 minutes. The Belize side was also easy. Through both borders in 10 minutes. The journey to Belize City takes a while with many stops to drop off and pick up new passengers.
I highly recommend using Jesus (his number is in the article above) for the border crossing. His communication is excellent and he is very well organised. He made the crossing smooth and was very informative.
Is it posible to take a taxi from the Chetumal Airport just to the pedestrian border, cross the border to Belize walking, and from there catch a bus to either Belize City, Corozal or Orange Walk? I am mexican citizen and I do not need or want to go to Chetumal to catch a bus from there.
What documents does a citizen of Belize need in order to cross into Chetumal to go shopping?
Hi Everyone, I from Africa and currently in Belize. Looking for a driver or an agent to cross me over to mexico. My WhatsApp number +973-33126492
Hi Chris, please reach out directly to one of the drivers mentioned in the post. They are all on WhatsApp as well and it’s better that you’re proactive rather than waiting/hoping that they check my private blog and message you. They all reply within minutes usually. Cheers.
Venacio shuttle service was 10/10!! We arranged pick up within minutes for the next day to cross the border from Mexico to Belize. Super friendly and helpful guy willing to go above and beyond to help passengers. Definitely recommend for a smooth border crossing
Can recommend Vernacio. Seamless and comfortable journey. He takes care of everything for you.
I crossed the border on the 25th of january 2023, going to San Pedro (Caye Ambergris) from Chetumal with the San Pedro water taxi.
1300 MXN (almost 67 USD) and 1H30 trip to reach Belize. It’s a long a “violent” trip when there are waves (even small ones) because the boat is fast (50 km/h I guess).
No COVID test needed, and I didn’t pay the exit tax from Mexico (I don’t know why but … thanks ?). Border’s guards were pretty nice with us actually.
Be sure to book your ticket online (they only accept PayPal) before going at the Chetumal boats station, because it’s supposed to be impossible to buy it from the counter the day you leave. You have to book it 24 hours in advance to the desk (I mean that’s what is written on a small panel at the desk, what a surprise).
I didn’t know that so I booked my ticket on my computer just few minutes before the desk opening around 8:00 (they ask you to be there around 8:00 even if the water taxi leaves at 10:00, I don’t know why because the border’s guard arrived at 9:30) and it worked well, but a guy who wanted to buy it from the desk has been told few minutes after that there were no more seats available. I don’t know if I’ve been lucky or if they were lazy to sell him a ticket that morning …
Anyway, pretty easy to get to San Pedro (even if that’s an expensive trip). When you arrive there you just have to wait 20 minutes at the border desk and answer few basic questions from an official and here you are, welcome to Belize !
Anyone travel down in 2023 with America Car Rental from Cancun into Belize? We did it years ago- just want to see it it’s relatively the same.
Just travelled from Chetumal to Belize city on Jan 17 2023. Went from the Nuevo Mercado bus terminal. Its a mile or two north of central Chetumal, 25 mex pesos in a cab. Numerous buses leave for Belize around midday. The drivers were all Belizian, spoke good english and were very helpful.
They charged 250 mex to Belize city so about 12 usd. I asked a couple of drivers and they all said the same price. Id been told before that id have to pay a 600 or 650 peso departure tax. Id flown into Cancun and wasnt able to print off a receipt showing that id specifically paid this tax. Anyway, i put on my phone, with google translate in spanish “I flew here from London…i have already paid the tax” When we got to the border the border person said i have to pay a service fee. I showed them what id put on my phone and they just waved me through!
The bus was only half full and took about three and a half hours.
Very easy, no need to splash on on shuttle buses.
Don’t confuse people if you didn’t need to reach belize early or on time for the last ferry don’t confuse them we move more faster than bus in 2hours and half or 3 we in belize from chetumal
Hi Loz! I just read your post and really NEED to ask you a few questions about your trip from Cancun to Belize city! Thank you so much!!!
I’ve crossed the border on 14th January 2023 from Chetumal. I think the “chicken bus” (= the normal Belizean bus) was the easiest option. I was staying in an airbnb in Chetumal, took a taxi to “Mercado nuevo” (=New Market). I got there around 12:20, I was immediately approached by a bus driver asking in English if I go to Belize, I said I want to go to Orange Walk (as I decided to skip Corozal). That cost me 150 mexican pesos. We left around 1pm, shortly after we got to the border. Crossing the border was easy, I was the only foreign tourist on the bus, so I was the only one filling the immigration forms (they’ll give them to you at the desk on the right at the Belizean border control, before you get to the window where they stamp your passport). It’s all quite easy, just remember to have the address of your hostel/hotel in Belize ready.
The bus waited for me, we continued to Corozal, where we had a short break, then we headed down to Orange Walk (and the bus then continued to Belize City, altogether the journey took about 2.5 hours, so it would be around 4 hours down to Belize City).
I felt safe during the whole journey, I think the bus was quite comfortable (okay, it’s not some super-modern bus, it doesn’t have a toilet or a/c, but if you plan to travel around Belize and you’re not renting a car, you gonna end up taking these buses anyway).
The time you leave of you would be going to San pedro or caye caulker you wouldn’t even make it on time don’t confuse travelers
How do we setup service from Chetumal to Belize City with you?
Hi! i would like to know this as well, Thanks!
Hello Bee! I just read your post and really NEED to ask you a few questions about your trip from Cancun to Belize city! Thank you so much!!!
I found Venancio’s details through this site and used his service to go from Chetumal to Belize City. Travelling with my 6 yr old daughter I was a little wary but had read bad reviews about some of the bigger shuttle companies. Venancio answered all my many questions and put my mind at ease. We were picked up at our hotel around 8am and got to Belize City at 10:30am. I then used Atlanta Express for the onward journey to Guatemala. I recommend Venancio for a smooth quick journey.
Hi Sarah! I have some questions about your trip and i would really appreciate your help. Thanks a lot!
I came across this blog post when trying to find a way to cross the Mexico-Belize border after learning that ADO busses were no longer running.
Thanks to Shannon’s helpful information, I contacted Venancio (first driver mentioned), who answered promptly and was able to accommodate us at the last minute! We went from scrambling to find an alternate way than the bus at 8pm to meeting up with him 14 hours later.
He was able to pick us up at our desired spot in Chetumal and drop us off at our destination in Belize City. He explained the border crossing process in detail which made it so much easier and less stressful than if we were to have done this alone via taxis and public transportation. He is a friendly guy who genuinely cares about his customers! Highly recommend!
Hi guys, currently been studying in mexico for the past 5 months and my visa (6 months) is going to expire, so i thought of crossing the border to beliz San Paulo by ferry then visit for a weekend and come back to prolounge my visa. My question is is there a border process where i can get a stamp on my way back from the ferry?
Or best i do it in Santa Elena?
Thank you :)
After reading the ‘a little adrift’ blog we decided to book Venancio’s car to take us across the border from Chetumal to Coruzal, this was an effortless task and although we were a little apprehensive, Venancio took care of everything and all went very smoothly. Thanks once again and I would recommend you to any traveller wishing to take the border crossing.
Just FYI, the San Pedro Water Jet from Chetumal to/from San Pedro & Caye Caulker DOES appear to be running again. Their website states that they are back and is selling fares.
Thanks for updating this blog, Shannon and “the bible for Travelers” (Lonely Planet) was helpful for me but changed when it was sold to BBC (15 years ago)
Instead of staying overnight in Chetumal i recommend Bacalar and from there a shared Taxi (opposite of ADO Busstation) which takes you to Chetumal where you can hop on a Bus to Belize City (if the customs/immigration don`t take too long, they wait for you on the other side of the border so don`t pay in advance;)
This german guy made a video and sometimes it helps when you show them an foreign invoice of the airplane ticket (where Mexico Tourism Tax/DNI is written in different language;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AQtx12bC1s
My sister and I wanted to travel from Bacalar (Mexico) to Caye Caulker (Belize). We got in touch with Venancio through a Facebook page because another Dutch girl had a very positive experience with him. And we fully shared her positive experience. Venancio helped us with everything: he arranged a taxi from Bacalar to the border. At the border he helped us with all documents. Next, he took us by his van to the ferry in Belize City from where we could take the ferry to the island. After a few days on Caye Caulker, he also picked us up to go back to Mexico! In addition, his communication is very clear and he is very friendly and attentive.
We highly recommend anyone wanting an easy border crossing to get in touch with Venancio and to use his service!
Fully agree, pick up in chetumal airport and arrived at belize city was very easy with Venancio. He even arranged a stop at the ruina prior leaving us in our hotel, Recommended!