@Sjoerd: I am sorry as well if my response was to abrupt. I knew that posting on such short notice was a trial and miss thing but I was sooo tired of the uncertainty that surrounded this border crossing that, when I discovered this thread I thought to try and ask, and if not for me, at least for the next traveler, the information would be up to date.
In the same idea I would like to give some details about our crossing today.
Yesterday indeed we returned to Tenosique (which in fact wasn't that bad, I had time to write a new post for the R.R. and order some parts for the moto :) ) and after searching for accommodation we ended up at Luz de Luna hotel which is on Street nr 26.
So for others who might get there on Monday or those who are just coming in from Guate and don't want to drive all the way to Palenque, we recommend this place. It was 280 pesos per room (tiny but very clean and with A/C, WiFi and TV-for those who care about TV :) ) and secure (locked and with a guard) parking for the bike.
There are cheaper places in town but the 2 hotels that we've seen looked really shabby and the rooms where not that clean.
Getting to El Ceibo:
In Tenosique there aren't too many signs with El Ceibo but we noticed that if we follow the signs for La Palma then it would get us out in the same direction and then after the second PeMex there will be a sign for El Ceibo to the right. Of course, just stopping and asking is much better and entertaining (for me as I don't speak Spanish almost at all :) )
Crossing the border:
On Mexican side everything is straight forward. I would just say that normally you should first register out your bike in Adauna/Banercito building, and then get the exit stamps for your passport. We arrived at 10 AM (the previous day a guard said that Banjercito would open at 9 AM but he said that we better come after that hour...) and there was nobody there. We practically woke up the guy at the counter :)
Everything was super official and friendly. No hint of any problem. Very professional!
Then we passed on the Guatemalan side. Here you should first stamp your passport then import your bike.
Here how it went for us:
- for passports you go into the first building. The border guards will point it to you even before you have time to get off the bike.
- no A/C in the building, but a friendly guy. Long time to write things by hand but you can admire the map of Guatemala in the mean time.
For the bike:
- you still go to the truck. But now it is parked on the same side of the road. They have power and even A/C but still no copy machine. So you will have to take the tuk-tuk to go and make copies of your documents.
- it is better to have copies of your documents already made and readily available with you. You would still need to go with the tuk-tuk to make a photo copy of the passport with the stump you just got for Guatemala BUT you would save some money for the others. It cost us 0.5 pesos per copy in Tenosique. And I was asked for 5 quetzals/copy (sorry for the miss-spelling...) at the place where the tuk-tuk... uhmm tuck me :)
Also you need to pay 160 quetzals (~22 US dollars) for the moto permit at the bank which is in another truck right near the truck for the Adauna.
Please have cash with you. There is no tarjeta paying at the border and the nearest cash machine (they told me) is in La Libertad (~2 hours one way driving). I had only 100 pesos left and no quetzals but US dollars were OK and at a fair exchange rate.
While I was running around doing the above things, Andreea was relaxing (watching the bike) and chatting with the gorder guards. They were very friendly, wanted to take photos with the bike (and on the bike). Everything was relaxed and with a lot of smiles. Again no hint of anything unprofessional. Also no tramitadores in sight.
The hole thing lasted for us arround 1 hour (on the Guatemalan side) and during this time we were the only "foreigners" there. Nice and quiet!
Also there was no additional paying for anything and no spraying of our wheels with anything. After we had all our papers, we just say good bye to all the guards gathered around us and left.
That was all. Thank you Alex for first mentioning this border to us and we would recommend this border crossing as well do anybody going in that direction.
AnjinSan screwed with this post 10-23-2012 at 04:16 PM