Costa Rica to Panama & Costa Rica By the Books

Or: Getting From San Jose, Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro, Panama
Or: Exit Ticket Entry Requirements for Panama

From La Fortuna, there are frequent buses throughout the day to Ciudad Quesada (which can’t help make me think of a city of cheese), where one can than change for a bus to San Jose. There are several of these throughout the day. There are also a couple of direct buses: at 12:45 and 2:45 p.m. We caught the 12:45 direct bus from La Fortuna, figuring we’d still get in to San Jose at a decent time. Turns out the 4.5 hour journey was closer to 6, as when we hit the edge of the city we also hit traffic, and it took us over an hour to make our way in to the bus terminal. Here, we chose to take a taxi to our nearby hotel, as the bus station area is decidedly dodgy at good hour. Our desire to barter got the best of us and we turned down a fixed-price taxi who wouldn’t lower his price. We ended up in a metered one who, despite his estimate, ended up costing about twice as much. Ah, it happens.

We’d chosen to stay in the area with all of the bus terminals, chiefly for convenience sake. There is little else reason to stay here. We buzzed in to our gated hotel we’d booked online and were greeted by the exceptionally friendly lady running the place. The street below was noisy, dirty, and dodgy, but we felt reasonably secure in our second-floor room behind several locked doors. We ventured out as far as a couple of blocks in search of food, and after finding a cheap and tasty dinner accompanied by the presence of a friendly local who helped translate, we made it swiftly back home.

San Jose has a number of different bus terminals and stops, as they are operated on a company basis as opposed to a destination basis. Our destination was Bocas del Toro, Panama, and there are a couple of different ways to do this.

Getting from San Jose, Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro, Panama:

No buses travel the entire distance between San Jose and Bocas. (Mainly because it’s an island.) There is, however, one daily direct bus from San Jose to Changuinola, which as close as you are going to get on your first form of transport. This Bocatoreños bus leaves San Jose from outside of Hotel Cocori, just off of Calle 14, at 9 a.m. every day. There is no terminal and no office; you buy your tickets on the bus. When we did it, the bus was there at least half an hour before it left, so try to be there early as well to secure a seat. The fare is $14 for the roughly six hour trip. You can also take one of several early buses from the Caribe terminal that go to the border, and then catch further transport on from there.

At the Costa Rican-Panamanian border, you must stop at four different points before the crossing is complete. You disembark your bus before the first at re-board after the last. The first point is to pay the $8 (apparently $7 in the bank) departure tax from Costa Rica and obtain a receipt. Then you stop in to have your passport stamped out of Costa Rica (this is just before the bridge on your right). Then, in the strangest border crossing I’ve seen in a while, you travel by foot over a sketchy old railway bridge, which has more than a few significant gaps and spaces, over to the Panamanian side of the border crossing. There will likely be some local kids playing around on and jumping off of the bridge as you cross. On your left will be where you pay the $3 entry tax into Panama and receive a small sticker in your passport. Then, down the stairs on your left, across the street, and behind the duty-free shop you will find Panamanian immigration where you will be required to show an exit ticket out of the country. Panama is strict on this, and I haven not heard of anyone who managed to talk their way out of this one. As a huge number of people entering Panama do not actually have exit tickets, as they plan to travel by boat (to Colombia) or overland (to Costa Rica), this tends to cause some panicked backpackers.

Border Crossings

Crossings

Solutions to the Exit Ticket Requirement:

  • Buy a bus ticket at the border. This is probably the most legitimate and easiest way to supply an exit ticket: just buy one. A bus ticket out of Panama will cost you between $10 and $15.
  • Purchase a fully refundable Spirit Airlines flight. At the moment, the American airline Spirit will allow you to buy a ticket online and cancel it with a full refund, so long as the cancellation is done within 24 hours of purchase and the departure date is at least 7 days away. Spirit flies out of Panama to destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, often for less than $300. This is what we did, and we supplied our itinerary on a smart phone, as we hadn’t had a chance to print it, which was satisfactory.
  • Create a fake airline ticket. This goes untested by yours truly, but apparently if you Google “fake airline ticket” a result will pop up that allows you to fill in the appropriate information and give yourself a departure flight from your chosen country. I know people who have done this and had no problems, but I am also unaware of what consequences may exist if they did want to check out your information and find that it is falsified.
  • Use Copa Airlines “hold reservation” function. Along the same lines as the previous suggestion, but seemingly slightly more legitimate, is the function that Copa Airlines has to hold a reservation without paying for it. If you make as though to purchase a flight online, create an account, and click hold reservation, you will be given a confirmation page with your name and details on it. This page will state the requirement that you pay for your reservation to make it complete, but this could (a) potentially be missed by your friendly Panamanian border control guy or (b) be edited out with any word processor and then printed.

Panama

After you have successfully navigated your border crossing, you will be approached by a swarm of people offering you transport directly to Almirante, the town where water taxis to Bocas leave from. This is where you have to weigh your options. Initially, regardless of what you want to do, say no to these people, as they tend to start at the exorbitant price of $10 per person for the ride, and you should pay nowhere near this much.

Ignore what they are telling you about the fact that you will miss the last water taxi, that the last one leaves at 5, about the time difference, and about the driving distances. We were lucky enough to be completing this journey alongside an American expat who had been living in Bocas for six years, so we were comfortable that he, at least, knew what he was doing.

The facts:

  • Your initial travel plan would take you from San Jose, through the border, to the town of Changuinola. Here you would need to transfer to a new bus or to a taxi/shuttle/collective to take you the remainder of the way to Almirante. This taxi should not cost more than $5 per person, or potentially as low as $15 for the entire car.
  • The last water taxi leaves for Bocas from Almirante at 6:00 p.m.
  • There is a one-hour time difference between Costa Rica and Panama. If you have arrived at the border at 2:00 p.m. Costa Rican time, it is 3:00 p.m. Panamanian time. You still have plenty of time to catch your water taxi.
  • It takes about 45 minutes to drive direct from the border to Almirante, and about an extra 20 or 30 minutes to go via Changuinola. (Not including any time you may spend waiting for a bus.)

The conclusion? Jump on if your bus was late and you are worried about making it to the islands. You don’t want to spend a night in any of these towns, really, on the mainland. It’s worth it for the extra $5 – $10.

Do not spend more than $5 per person if you want to get the collectivo from the border, unless you are really running late. Just wait it out, and the prices should drop lower and lower. Four of us ended up getting offered the ride for $3 a person, which I think is rare: I’m pretty sure they just needed to get back and thought they’d make a few bucks on the way.

The bus driver will more likely than not be on the “side” of the collective drivers. You have already paid the full fare to Changuinola so it matters little to him how you get there, and it appears they have a healthy working relationship with one another.

If you are on a shuttle or in a taxi, they will drop you directly at the wharf. We went over with Taxi 25 for $6 per person. You will arrive on Isla Colon, the main island of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. From here, you have the option to stay on the main island or travel out to one of the other islands in the archipelago. We opted to stay on Isla Colon, at the lovely Hostal Heike, for a few nights. Bienvenidos a Panama!

Bocas Taxi

Bocas Taxi

And finally, for the budget numbers of Costa Rica. You’ll hear up and down Central America that Costa Rica will rob you of your money, and this is quite likely to be true. There are just a lot of activities to do in the country, and the vast majority of them require you pay for them. Everything from park fees ($10 a pop, plus) to accommodation to camping is more expensive, but we managed to not blow out our budget too badly in Costa Rica.

Days in Costa Rica: 10
Total USD Spent:
$452
Approximate Daily Average (USD):
$45

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Borders: Nicaragua to Costa Rica & Nicaragua by the Books

Okay, so all of these countries that were meant to be budget savers (Honduras, Nicaragua) have ended up costing us a bit more than we bargained for. In Nicaragua, these extra dollars are largely to blame on Spanish language classes and my inability to resist Caribbean islands. Flight out to Corn Islands? Bit of a budget buster. But so, so worth it. Here’s how we sit after Nicaragua:

Days: 30 (This, we realised at the border, is uncomfortably close to the 30 day limit we were given upon arriving in Nicaragua. Keep an eye on your stamps, folks.)
Total Cordoba: 29,130
Total US Dollars: 1037
Approx. Daily Expenditure (USD): 35

And now for a quick run-down on the trip down to Costa Rica.

It’s easy enough, if timely, to take local buses from Managua to the Peñas Blancas border crossing to Costa Rica, and then catch local Costa Rican buses from there. At this point, we couldn’t risk the journey taking us too long, as we had friends to meet at around 5 p.m. in Liberia, Costa Rica. Somehow our trip-long motto of having time but not money had morphed into not having either, which is always a tricky situation when dealing with Central American buses.

There are a number of international buses that will take you from Managua, Nicaragua to San Jose, Costa Rica. They will happily drop you off in Liberia, Costa Rica but will still charge the full fare to San Jose. One of our arriving friends, Amanda, was landing in the morning in San Jose and planned to take the bus up to Liberia. Our other friends were arriving in Liberia in the evening.

TicaBus has 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and noon departures. Central Line has one bus leaving at 4:30 a.m. Transnica has 5 a.m., 7 a.m., and 10 a.m. departures. (I believe there are a couple of buses also leaving in the afternoon, but we were only after the morning, so I didn’t take note of these.) The annoying thing about bus travel in Managua is that instead of a central bus terminal, each company has its own. And they are often a taxi ride away from one another. After arriving in the evening from the Corn Islands, I was unable to call to reserve a bus, so we just hedged our bets and turned up at TicaBus at 6:30 a.m. We arrived to the unfortunate news that the bus was full and the next wasn’t leaving until noon. We decided to chance it and grabbed a cab to Transnica, where we were loaded onto a nearly empty bus for $30 each (plus $5 for Tim’s surfboard. They don’t like the extra baggage on some of these buses).

The ride went smoothly, including the rainy border crossing into Costa Rica. Technically, you are required to show an exit ticket from Costa Rica in order to enter, but this is rarely asked for and we didn’t have to provide any such proof. It is a good idea to have an exact exit date in mind to tell the customs official – we did hear stories from an Aussie arriving in Costa Rica who responded “I don’t know,” to questions about time in Costa Rica and following destination and was then allowed only 7 days in the country.

Arriving in Costa Rica is a surreal experience after several months in Central America. It’s apparent, almost immediately, that this country operates differently and has a higher standard of living. The houses are nicer, the cows are chubbier: the grass is literally greener. The chaos seemed to fade behind us as our bus sped further away from the border, and the advice I’d given my friends about conservative clothes and diligent safety seemed a bit paranoid. Costa Rica felt much more North American than the countries we’d spent the last few months in. There was most certainly a level of culture shock upon arriving. Of course still Central American, Costa Rica still felt like a different world.

The Journey from La Ceiba, Honduras to Leon, Nicaragua. Featuring San Pedro Sula, The Most Dangerous City in the World?

San Pedro Sula, Honduras, has been dominating the lists of the World’s Most Dangerous, Deadly, and Violent cities since 2011. I’ll be more clear; San Pedro Sula dominates when the lists are determined by murder rate per capita, and do not include countries at war. If you solely possessed this information, you would imagine that this a place the average person would like to avoid. However, San Pedro Sula is a major transportation hub for Hondruas, and the chances of going through it are exceptionally high for the average traveller. It is also true that the vast majority of the violence in San Pedro Sula, in Honduras, and the rest of Central America and Mexico, is gang- and drug-related. It is reasonably unlikely the average tourist will get caught up in it.

We spent a good amount of time staring at bus timetables and counting hours in transit before deciding on our approach to get from La Ceiba, Honduras (essentially either of the Bay Islands, Utila or Roatan) to Leon, Nicaragaua. We wanted to find the sweet spot somewhere in the rosy trifecta of cheap, timely, and minimal back-tracking.

The general rule, with all services, anywhere in the world is this: You take a triangle, and at each point you put a word. Cheap, Fast, and Good. This is what everyone, everywhere in the world wants when they pay for a service. They want it to be good quality, to be quickly completed/delivered, and they want it cheap. Now the tricky thing is, you can only really ever have two of the three. Think about it. If you want it cheap and fast, it’s not going to be the best quality. If you want it good and fast, it most certainly isn’t going to be cheap.

Essentially the same rules apply to bus travel in Central America.

There are a million different ways you could combine as many buses to do this journey, but here is what we did:

We came from The Jungle River Lodge, and didn’t arrive in La Ceiba until about 2 p.m. We then caught a Diana Express bus from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula that left around 4:30 p.m. and arrived about 8 p.m .There are many different buses doing this journey, all throughout the day. The upside of Diana Express is that it is cheap (115 L each way). The downside is that its terminals, both in La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula, are not connected to the main bus terminal and are a bit out of the way.

If you are coming from Utila, the ferries depart at 6:20 a.m. and 2 p.m., arriving in La Ceiba approximately one hour after departure. From Roatan, the ferry departs at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., and it takes almost two hours. Even the afternoon ferries would get you into La Ceiba in enough time to take a bus as far as San Pedro Sula.

From a poster on the wall of the Diana Express terminal in La Ceiba, we came across a lovely hostel in San Pedro that offers free bus terminal pick-up, and return transport to the bus for 2 USD/person. Arriving in the dark in San Pedro means that you will really benefit from having something like this arranged. Guaras Hostel was very nice and was run by very nice people who accommodated our early start without a worry. We were woken up about 10 minutes before our alarm, at around 4:05 a.m., as an assurance that we wouldn’t miss our scheduled pick-up. We joined a host of other travellers, and were welcomed with coffee and biscuits at this obscenely early hour. Our transport arrived (in the form of a Hilton branded minibus) and we were at the bus station before our 5 a.m. goal. We hadn’t bought a ticket yet and had been warned that our bus has a tendency to fill up. We had decided to splurge, in an effort to make the trip slightly less draining, on a direct bus that would take us all the way from San Pedro Sula to Leon (or Managua, if you so desire). The Tica Bus was scheduled to leave San Pedro at 5:30 a.m. and arrive in Managua at 5:30 p.m. The Leon stop would be around 3:30. (I think it ended up being closer to 4:30, but that’s pretty damn close.) This bus also stops in the capital city of Tegucigalpa (Tegus for short). On chicken buses, I don’t even know how long this trip would take. The bus cost 658 Limperia, or around 32 USD.

The bus got on its way only slightly behind schedule, and its only major stops were Tegus and the border. The international buses tend to help handle the border crossing details, and will often collect everyone’s passports and border fees to handle all of the paperwork. I’m generally convinced they charge everyone (or at least the tourists) a bit extra for the convenience of it all as well. It cost us a total of 15 USD each for departure tax from Honduras and entry into Nicaragua. We were aware that Nicaraguan entry cost around 12 USD, so we figured this wasn’t too far off.

On the Nicaraguan side of the border, we all had to unload our luggage and go through a cursory customs line. Most of the tourists hardly unzipped the top of their backpack before being waved through. Neverthless, avoid taking any restricted items into Nicaragua, included fresh food, or you could get stung at the border.

Eventually, we were on the road again, and Wolverine dubbed in Spanish helped pass the remaining time before we made it to Leon. Volcanoes became an every-present feature on the skyline, and anticipation for our dive into our next Central American country rose. When we were deposited outside of a petrol station in Leon, the informal bus-stop that doesn’t require a dip into the city limits, it was easy to jump into a shared taxi to our hostel. “Our” hostel, La Tortuga Booluda, was one that we had grabbed out of our guidebook and had, of course, not booked. Upon arrival, we were told there wasn’t quite enough space, so we took the owner up on his recommendation for a nearby bed at Sin Fronteras. Dorms at Sin Fronteras run 7 USD per person, rooms are $22. This seemed pretty par for the course in highgly popular Leon, though we did see a dorm bed offered above a bar for $5.

Journey complete, we ventured out into the dimming light and rising sounds of evening in steaming Leon.

Border Crossings: El Salvador to Honduras (via Guatemala)

When our exploration of the El Salvador coast became, instead, a week and a half of lounging in El Tunco, our plans for afterwards changed as well. When we finally convinced ourselves we had to leave the town (which wasn’t easy), we began to look at our next destination. Our initial notion was that we would head into Honduras through one of the southern points of entry, head north through the centre, and explore North Eastern Honduras and the Bay Islands. Since we had not managed to get anywhere near those borders, we re-evaluated.

A couple staying at our hostel had booked one of the tourist shuttles directly to Copan Ruins in Honduras, which is very close to the eastern border of Guatemala. After some map-consulting, bus-estimating, and dollar-counting, we decided to do the same. We could undoubtably make it to Copan on chicken buses, but we guessed it would take us about two days and involve another night on the road. The general rule is that the tourist shuttles are about twice as expensive (at least) and take half as long. For shorter trips we have found it’s rarely worth it, but when you’re talking about a 10 hour shuttle (at best) it can be worth the cost not to spend two days of your life crammed in to the back of a bus with chickens squirming at your feet, constantly watching your pockets and worried that your backpacks are going to go careening off of the roof at every corner.

We paid $35 each for the transfer, plus a $3 charge for the surfboard bag. (No, there is not really surfing on Honduras’ Caribbean coast. But there is surfing through Nicaragua and the rest of Central America, so Tim’s surfboards get a bit of a scenic tour.) This $3 became a bit of an issue between us and one of the tour operators. We had been told, when we booked the shuttle, that it was $3 for our surfboard bag. We are carrying two boards in one bag. In San Salvador, when we changed shuttles, we were told to pay $3 per surfboard. With a lot of bickering, and a fair amount of hostility, we eventually were able to pay only the $3 we were initially quoted. This isn’t the first issue I’ve heard about with Gecko Tours, as friends of ours had problems with missing shuttles and trip refunds. I wouldn’t jump to travel with them again. If you do, just be sure to triple-confirm all of the details, times, and costs, as it appears that things can often be misinterpreted.

The route we were to take would mean an extra border crossing, but the shorter drive would apparently make it worth it. We travelled from San Salvador back up through Guatemala, and then entered Honduras very close to our destination of Copan. We had to pay 2 USD each to leave Guatemala, which seemed to be a function of travelling with this tour company. When asked why we had to pay a departure tax when we had all been under the impression it was unnecessary, our guide became a bit abrasive and started on about seeing the border people every day and not wanting to step on any toes. I heard later on that he had mentioned to one of our travelling companions that it is not an official tax, and exists because Gecko crosses these borders so often and essentially wants expedited service and feels the need to grease the wheels a bit. Hmm … It seems as though taking the quick and easy tour company option was costing us more than we thought. We paid 130 Limpera total to enter Honduras (It’s approximately 1 USD = 20 L) and then were on the final stretch – it is only about 30 minutes from the border to town.

We were deposited from the shuttle into town where we used our standard strategy of one person wait with the bags while the other goes and scouts a room. This was a quick process this time around, and we hauled ourselves and our gear into the hotel/hostel hybrid of Hotel Don Moises, exhausted after a long day of travel.

Border Crossings: Guatemala to El Salvador | Guatemala by the Books

Volcano climbed, Tikal visited, amazing and relaxing times in Semuc Champey and Lago de Atitlan enjoyed. Highway collisions, pickpockets, and far too many hours in transit. Guatemala, check. We were ready to move on to our next destination: El Salvador.

From Antigua, you can catch a chicken bus to Guatemala City, make your way (probably by taxi) to the bus station, and then catch a bus all of the way from Guatemala City to San Salvador (the capital of El Salvador). Our Lonely Planet guide reckoned that bus tickets from Guatemala City to San Salvador ranged in price from 120 – 740 Q. This is a bit of a range. When we found a company that would transfer us from Antigua all of the to San Salvador for 195 Q each, we decided to go with them. (For future reference, we got on the bus in Guatemala City and saw that our tickets would have cost 120 Q each. Plus the cost of a chicken bus and a taxi to get to the bus station in the city.)

We had several options for times leaving Antigua, and opted for the 9 a.m., figuring that it would be nice to arrive early afternoon. The trip was meant to take five hours. It took a couple of hours to arrive in Guatemala City, drop a number of people off at the airport, and then arrive at the bus station. Our bus was to leave in about an hour. Three hours in, and we figured that the five hour arrival time was a bit ambitious.

We crossed the border with no issues, no payment, and no stamp. This is part of the four-country Central American agreement between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, whereby a person can travel between the borders of the four without paying any additional entry or exit fees.

When we finally rolled into San Salvador, it was approaching dark. Our five-hour journey had taken closer to nine. I maintain that one only need double the time quoted for a journey in Central America to arrive closer to the actual figure.

Money and time spent in Guatemala looks something like this:

Days: 14
Quetzales: 4,463
US Dollars: 419
Approx. Daily Expenditure (USD): 30

Finally, we were getting to the green – the first country we’d visited where I’d come in under budget – by a whopping $10/day. This was looking positive, and we have three other budget friendly countries coming up.

Border Crossings: Belize to Guatemala

A few short days on Caye Caulker, a couple more exploring Cayo, and that was it. We opted to leave Belize and continue our Central American adventure. Make no mistake, Belize does have a lot more to offer, but still conscious of the great distances and (yes, very slowly, but still) dwindling time we were working with, we decided to carry on.

San Ignacio is 16 kilometres from the Guatemalan border. The cheapest way to get there is to take a bus to Benque Viejo del Carmen, and then take a taxi the remaining distance to the border. We ended up finding a taxi who was willing to do the trip for 10 USD from San Ignacio, which was marginally more expensive than doing it the other way. We opted for the ease and timeliness of the taxi option, and piled into an old-school van. About halfway along, the driver had problems getting the van into gear, and we ended up stopping at the side of the road while we waited for an alternate ride. A young man came long in an unmarked car, and we continued on our way to the border. We were dropped off amid a crowd of men exchanging currency. Here you will find official and unofficial currency agents; the unofficial ones are likely to give you a better rate (look for the absence of a tag hanging round their necks), just be sure to count carefully and check for ripped or damaged bills. We exchanged our last remaining Belizean dollars for Quetzal, Guatemala’s official currency. We had been told (rightfully so) that US dollars were not widely accepted in Guatemala. 1 USD = 7.74 GTQ (finally blowing a hole in my simple math of tenths and halves for pesos and Belizean dollars). The rate at the border is going to be worse than elsewhere, but it’s often the only way to get rid of any outstanding currency from the previous country.

TaxiDead Taxi

We passed through the Belizean half of border security without a problem. Here, we were asked to pay 18.75 USD departure tax, including a conservation fee. We received exit stamps from Belize, and walked to the other side of the border. Once we emerged from Belizean immigration, we were immediately asked by numerous people if we would like taxis, buses, or shuttles to a number of different destinations. Heeding to the advice in our guidebook about being diligent at borders, as officials are often not, we wandered around a little bit until we found the Guatemalan entrance control area. You could easily walk right past it, but don’t. We received our official entrance stamps (along with having to pay an entrance fee – I’m unsure of whether this was an official one or not). We’d read, been told, and been reassured by a number of people that Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are part of an agreement called the Central America 4, which means that one entrance fee and one stamp are required to travel freely within the four countries. Apparently sometimes, in practice, this is not always the case. Time will tell on this front!

Finally, we were ready to continue on. There is a helpful, English-speaking information officer posted in a booth close to the immigration desks. She was able to direct us to our next destination: Tikal.

Border Crossing by Boat: Mexico to Belize

Our next destination was Belize. We got ourselves as far as Chetumal in Mexico where we had two options: continue our overland bus journey into Northern Belize or leave Chetumal on a water taxi and enter Belize directly onto one of the Northern Cayes, a handful of small islands found off of the coast. The second option appealed to us much more, so we organized ourselves in the morning in Bacalar and headed out to catch the 3 p.m. water taxi. Bacalar is about a forty minute drive from Chetumal, and inexpensive buses run several times a day between the two towns for 30 pesos per person. Taxis also make the trip, and if you catch a cab with a Chetumal label in Bacalar (or vice versa) they can end up costing about the same as the bus, as they have to make the return trip anyways.

We read in our sometimes-not-so-trusty Lonely Planet that immigration formalities have to be completed at the office in Mexico before departing, simply just ask your taxi to drop you off at the oficina de migracion. Bad advice. Doing this leaves you at an office on the outskirts of Chetumal, where there is nothing at all for you to do. The immigration formalities that need to be completed can be done directly before boarding the water taxi, and require no special effort.

Mexican Border

The water taxi leaves Chetumal and heads first to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, and then continues to Caye Caulker, which was our destination. The ticket costs 50 USD, and then there is an additional 10 USD “docking fee,” payable in cash and not featured on your receipt. We’ve heard since this is a bit of a scam, but I’m not sure how much of a fuss you could really put up about it. There is also a departure tax payable for leaving Mexico. If you have booked a return international flight to and from Mexico, the price will be included on your airline ticket, and you must present a copy of the receipt stating this in order to avoid paying it again.

We were loaded onto the water taxi, late, with a group of other tourists and all of the luggage. It took just over an hour to get to San Pedro, where everyone disembarked and passed through immigration. I’ve never been to an immigration office that has a sand floor before. No problems arose at immigration, and we were boarding a new water taxi bound for Caye Caulker shortly. Arriving by boat, with the sun long sunk below the horizon, to a foreign island was definitely a unique experience. We spent the next few days savouring the reggae beats, fresh cuisine, and permanently chilled out vibe of the caye.

Belize Immigration

Belize Immigration