Mexico To Guatemala By Bus | Border Crossing Tips

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It may look stressful and chaotic when you arrive, but there really isn’t too much to worry about. 

In short all you need to do is pay an exit fee, become cleared in the Mexican system as leaving,  become admitted in Guatemala and cross the border.



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I crossed at Cuauhtemoc/Las Mesilla border, and we had no trouble. The border officials weren’t even that grumpy on either side, perhaps we caught them on a good day. Before leaving Mexico you need to pay for an exit fee, which is $195 pesos. This can be done in the town of Cuahtemoc prior to the border, or at the border.

Some airline companies include the exit fee into the cost of your ticket, so bring a copy of your airline ticket with you to confirm this. But to be honest due to the manner in which I crossed the Mexican border into Guatemala , you could have easily not paid the fee, hell… you could just easily walk across the border with no hassle.

But the major problem if you do this, is that you will overstay your Mexico visa and won’t be cleared on the Mexican system, which is fine if you have no plans to ever return.

Also if you are not a US or Mexican citizen and flew into Mexico via the United States, even for a quick change of flights, then you would have needed to gain a US visa for entry.

And since leaving the US for Mexico is NOT considered leaving the US, then you could potentially out stay your US visa and cause great difficulties in the future if you plan to travel in this region of the world again, as the majority of flights make a change/refuel in the US.

Weird I know, but it’s a stupid rule which needs to be followed even though you have left the United State for another country.


Tips for Crossing Borders in Central America

  • Exchange Your Money Before Crossing – This is the ideal situation, this way you get the best exchange rate, and you know you are dealing with a recognized vender if you exchange your currency at the bank.
  • Check the Current Exchange Rate – Seems obvious. but it’ll allow you to budget, but also know the worth of your new currency.
  • Use the Previous Countries Currency – Most border towns deal in two currencies, the currency of the country itself, and it’s neighbour. If you haven’t managed to exchange or withdraw, than you can use the remanding amount of cash you have from the previous country.
  • Exchange your currency at the border – If you have forgotten to exchange before arriving and there is no bank, or it is closed, and you desperately need the currency of the new country,  not all is lost. The majority of Central America and South American border towns will have an unregistered vender of cash. By this I mean somebody in plain clothes willing to exchange your cash. They will not give you the right exchange rate, but if you know the rate is previous to arriving you can sort out a good deal. Though for those travellers who are quite weary of engaging in certain situations, this may be a bit more stressful. Just exercise caution and common sense when doing so.
  • Know your Route – Before leaving for crossing the border it’s best to know the route of your journey from the border town onwards. This is just in case the town has no access to internet. This is an extreme situation, but for ourselves the hotel of the border town we stayed in had no internet. There was only one place in the town with paid wifi, and the hours were very limited. So previous planning is essential in order to avoid the situation of desperately scrambling for internet to check where you need to go.

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Written by Lexi
Lexi Forrest is an experienced luxury traveler who has a passion for scenic destinations. She's traveled to 25+ countries over the past 10 years.