After nearly 30 days of exploring this small country, we found that leaving Belize was a fairly simple procedure. The Belize side requires a few fees and stamps upon exit. And try as I might, I could not get the agent to smile, even though we were all speaking English. But entering Guatemala was a little more chaotic. In addition to the language difference, there is the money difference and then the misunderstanding of the steps required. First we drove through the fumigation booth and paid the fee. Then we were directed to park on the side of the busy street in front of the border offices. We got our passports stamped, then started the paperwork for the truck. This required a few copies a fee, verifying the VIN and plenty of being trailed by a 12-year-old border “helper”. The final step was the pet import, which was a little more paperwork, some fees and a visual look at the dogs. The entire process took about two hours in sweltering heat and humidity. But in hindsight, it all went smoothly and people were kind and patient with us.
We stopped in the first small town and purchased a SIM card for the telephone. Inserting a new SIM card in an unlocked cell phone gives us a new phone number as well as data service. Essentially our phone now operates just as it did in the USA, but with a Guatemala phone number. This is great for using the internet as well as navigating through the villages and roadways of Guatemala. When we find free WiFi connections we always connect, to save our data. But the costs of cellular phone data is cheaper here than in the USA. If you are interested in reaching us you can contact us through this website, our Facebook page Click here to open our Facebook page , our Instagram page Click here to open Instagram or even What’sApp (contact me for number).
Our next stop was at a lakeside campsite in El Remate. This spot included beautiful sunsets over Lake Peten in a garden like setting. Zeb was a cooperative model for the beautiful flowers falling from a nearby tree. This small town is the gateway to Tikal Ruins. It has some excellent little tipico restaurants, and street food. If you ever go there, please eat at El Arbol. It was during her morning walk in this town that Mango discovered a deep curiosity about pigs. She was very interested in the family of porkers that wandered the streets of El Remate.
At one of the local restaurants we were entertained by these two friends while we waited for our food order to arrive. They made a very cute pair, indeed. This has been our introduction to Guatemala. It is wonderful blend of Ladino culture at a slow, easy pace. The weather is comfortable and the prices are reasonable. Follow along as we continue to explore Guatemala.
8 thoughts on “Guatemala- arrival”
Glad it was easier to leave Belize than it was to get in with that 7 day wait you had.
Whenever i’ve traveled, the animals find me too! And that picture of Zeb made me smile so broadly. He’s such a good, patient boy!
That campsite on the lake is beautiful. I am sure you are taking lots of mental pictures in addition to the ones you post on here. May you never forget them as long as you live. 🙂
Since youre heading through Flores make sure you try some Nachos at any of the restaurants on the water! I also went from Belize to Guatemala by land and found the nachoes to be WAYYYY better in Guatemala. They use a different kind of chip. It’s thicker and more seasoned. Also if youre going to Tikal, bring lots of water. you’ll be doing a lot of walking. I ended up doing 39K steps on my tour (and it was only the sunriwse tour)
Wow! Great ideas, especially that wedgy! I wish we had seen this sooner. But if you have other tips for Guatemala, send them our way!
Anyplace is cheaper than Belize!! Guatemala is about the same price as Mexico in general, including the price of camping.
More to come on that topic!
Following! Love your posts! Hanging on every word! How would you find the cost of camping as compared to Mexico and Belize?
Great stuff as always. Tell us more about local foods!
When you go through Flores, take a boat ride out to the island zoo. They have a concrete water slide that is fabulous. It will give you the weggy of your life. Check out Finka Ixobel in Poptun for the. Best cinnamon rolls and home made food in Quatamala.