Our day started at 6 am, we were able to catch the sunrise from our balcony at Hotel Laguna Bacalar, this hotel is really a hidden gem. The views are spectacular and each room has a view of the beautiful laguna. Bacalar is a small town and The small town feeling makes a big impression on those that seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of busy Cancun. Bacalar is about a 20 minute drive from the Belizean Border, which was one of the reasons we chose stay at Hotel Bacalar for the night.
Exiting Mexico on the Belize side of the country was fairly quick, there wasn’t much to it than paying the $25 USD per person exit fee and after that we were driving thru the freedom zone, which is basically a “neutral spot” between both countries. Once on the Belize side of the border, we had to pay $5 USD to get our vehicle sprayed for bugs. We were also able to exchange our USD to BZE currency. The exchange rate was 2 to 1. Excited that we were looking good on time we quickly proceeded to customs and immigration on the Belize side.
Once we walked in we were greeted by a border Patrol officer and that’s when our headache began. The officers were not welcoming at all, it seemed as if we interrupted their day and we payed for it, by experiencing the slowest pass through customs ever! After 80 minutes in customs, we eventually made it thru, but there was one more stop before we were truly done with the process. We were instructed to stop and get Belizean auto insurance which was about $10 USD per day, and was another 20 minute delay.
Because we did not take into consideration how long it would take to get through customs we were running behind on schedule, which meant we had to change our plans on the fly. We weren’t going to make it to the Belize water taxi before it departed to Ambergris Caye so we decided to drive from the border to Benque Belize, where we would be sleeping for the night.
We drove thru Orange Walk and Corozal two small tourist towns that we zipped by. Besides the small towns there was nothing but open road and vegetation, Belize didn’t have as many street vendors as most countries we’ve visited. Two hours into our drive from the border we arrive in Belize City. Which was hectic,We eventually got to the Belize Port and decided to pull out the Yuneec Breeze Drone for the first time.
After leaving the port we met up with a friend, Vil. Vil is a Belizean local we met via social media. After catching up with our friend we decided to stick around Belize city a little longer. As we drove through the neighborhoods we were reminded of New Orleans once again. Belize City has the same style of above ground cemeteries. We find it amazing that every country we visited has so many cemeteries just like New Orleans which, proves that we are more alike than we think. Realizing that we only had a few hours of sunlight remaining we jumped on the road. The drive from Belize City to Benque, Belize was about two hours south, which left us with just enough time to catch the sunset in Benque. Benque is a town of about 6,000 people and sits on the border of Guatemala and nestled next to the Mopan River. Benque is a hot spot for tourist and merchants trading and visiting Guatemala.
We arrived around 4pm and checked in. Although we were exhausted from the ride we were also hungry and we decided to head to San Ignacio. San Ignacio is a bigger town just north of Benque. After driving around we came up on what seemed like the touristy area. Usually we try to avoid those sort of places however, we were starving and in dire need of dinner, so we ate at Eva’s Restaurant & Bar. The prices were average for the area but the Wi-Fi was great! After dinner we headed in to rest up for our next stop Tikal, Guatemala.