Central American Border Crossings

Hey Everyone, Happy New Year!

Our names are Max & Lee and in 12 months we have crossed 9 country borders from Mexico to Colombia in our Sprinter van. We are frequently asked information regarding each border crossing, therefore we wanted to start a forum here to give you all of the resources we use to cross each border.

1.) Ioverlander - this app is very popular among overlanders and rightly so, we call it our bible on the road. On here you can find information you need for EVERY border crossing in Mexico & Central America.

2.) Join FB forums ā€˜PanAmerican Travellers Associationā€™ and ā€˜Overlanding the Americasā€™ for up to date travel information.

3.) Follow other travelers on social media who are ahead of you - we have reached out to many pages to ask questions if / when we could not find the information on the above resources.

All 3 of these resources are great and we use them in this order. In our experience, the van life community is very open, loving and supportive of one another, so donā€™t be afraid to reach out!

A few more tipsā€¦

-Have multiple photo copies of your Passport, Drivers license and Vehicle registration (before you reach the border crossing as they donā€™t always have photocopiers available)

-Once you enter a new country, make copies of your Vehicle import permit and keep the original in a safe location - you will need to show it when crossing military check points

-Cross borders early! In our experience things go smoother the earlier in the day that we cross a border + it gives you lots of day light to reach your new destination incase you are delayed many hours getting through

-Be patient, border crossings can be anywhere from 1 hour to 6 + so be prepare yourself mentally to spend the whole day crossing and you will come out happier if things go quicker!

-There are often people who offer to assist your border crossing (for a tip) judge the situation with your gutā€¦ we have been helped and thankful for their assistance during a couple of crossings and we have also been taken advantage of through others. Just know that you donā€™t NEED assistance, you can do each on your own and Ioverlander has the most descriptive detail about where to go for each crossing.

-When traveling with pets, gather border crossing information at least 2 weeks before crossing in case you need to apply early for your animal to enter (i.e. Belize agriculture department is very strict)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask below and we will do our best to help you

With love,
Max & Lee


Greetings & Welcome!

Thanks for the info, Iā€™m sure it will help many.

Sure makes me glad that I did my world traveling many years ago when things were simpler.


"Those who believe money can't buy hapiness, don't have either." ~ An Anonymous Vandweller

Completely agree. It is always safe to have photocopy of your important documents while traveling from one nation to another. And also make sure that you put original documents safely. Thanks for sharing important information with us.
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Awesome guysā€¦ enjoy the rest of your trip south!!

One other tip/hint for those who can-
Have a scanner/printer in the vehicle as you can save a few of those hours in long days by making your own copies!! :wink:

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