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Old 07-10-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
americanthumper OP
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Question Insurances/Paperwork

I'm planning to ride from Seattle to Argentina on my XR650L with my friend on his KLR650. Departure date of October 1st 2013. We are wondering what paperwork we need for each country including visas and mandatory insurances. Does anyone know of a good resource to find this information? We don't want to get half way and find out we didn't apply for some piece of paper and cant cross a boarder. Or get pulled over and taken to jail for not having the right insurance or whatever other paperwork. Thanks for any comments!
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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Bring your passport, drivers license, registration, and title and hit the road. You'll pick up the rest as you go. Insurance can be picked up at border crossings relatively cheaply. Don't believe anyone that tells you their insurance is valid in North AND South America.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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+1 on Airhead Wrangler's comments.

And just take it easy at every border crossing. Relax, smile, be friendly, and expect each crossing to take up most of your day. If it's a fast one, then wow! so much extra time, and if it takes a few hours longer than what you might think should be necessary, well, that still fits with your schedule.

Enjoy the road!
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by csustewy View Post
+1 on Airhead Wrangler's comments.

And just take it easy at every border crossing. Relax, smile, be friendly, and expect each crossing to take up most of your day. If it's a fast one, then wow! so much extra time, and if it takes a few hours longer than what you might think should be necessary, well, that still fits with your schedule.

Enjoy the road!
This is an excellent comment. But knowing the rules in advance is a good idea sometimes. They're aren't many. In more than a dozen crossings recently even the bad ones can be quite interesting and worthwhile experiences, if you accept things for what they are, not what you expect them to be. However I had a unsuccessful crossing once because I re-entered Guatemala after expiring a previous TVIP (after cancelling correctly, on time) and re-entering without the required stay-away period. I recommend having an understanding of durations and re-entry rules unless you're riding a straight line through. If you're intimidated by how to get this information, as I was, and your Spanish is crappy, as mine is/was, then ask the various people here who 'Godfather' their various jurisdictions. For instance, Guaterider for Guatemala, Salcar for Nicaragua.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:07 AM   #5
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I compiled this information in '09 so it could be a bit out of date

South American Country info

But, bring the documents mentioned by Airhead Wrangler and you will be ok.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
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I hope to be leaving around mid Sept , so we may meet along the way
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Hi guys we will be a bit ahead of you but we are travelling very slowly so may cross tracks yet ... hopefully!!

Great advice above, Insurance is mandatory in Mexico, cancel ANY insurance you have north of the Mexican border as the paper is useful for the toilet.

Mexico - Mandatory - $124 US min.
Belize - Mandatory - $15 US From memory
Guate - Optional - Nil
El Salvador - Optional - Nil
Honduras - Optional Nil
Nicaragua - Mandatory $12 US.

Same process every border, clock yourselves out then cancel your bike TVIP, cross to new country border, clock yourselves in first then clock in the moto and get a new TVIP, same every border, you will have to do varying amounts of unnecessary photo copying at each border, not much but they want it.

As noted above, kingpin of the situation is smile and keep your cool, have LOTS of water with you.
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Two Moto Kiwis screwed with this post 07-18-2013 at 07:56 AM Reason: Hond & Nica added
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
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Just got back to Colorado from Central America. Title, DL (though used the International one mainly with the regular DL as back up), registration. There is conflicting information on insurance for Mexico, seen it's necessary and also NOT necessary. I didn't purchase Mex insurance on my way down or back; $400 dollars to get in which you get back when you exit. On the way out of Guatemala heading into Mexico was charged $25+/- (by Mexico) for entering. I wondered what the heck that was about as I crossed the border 2x when I was in Guatemala from Jan to May: but didn't bring the bike, just me and a friend. I don't remember being charged that when entering Mexico through Juarez, oh well it's in the past. Re-entered Mexico at the Carmen border which goes to Tapachula. Easy border for the most part, though the Mexican authorities did ask to check my bags, which had more to do with them wanting to hassle me a little for tags that expired that day. Kind of funny when I think about it as I don't recall seeing date stickers on their cars. They said if I get stopped by the cops I could possibly have the bike towed until current tags were procured . Perhaps a $20 could have solved the issue entirely, but didn't get stopped at all. Well not entirely true, once did I get stopped because the cop wanted to know how my trip was and where I've been, etc...

To get into Guatemala Q160 (Q is Quetzals, Guatemalan currency) equivalent to about $25 US, no insurance. Easy border crossing at Mesilla. Re-entered Guate from Honduras at the Caliente border which goes from Esquipulas to Ocotepeque, which was also an easy border crossing. 90 day permit for Guate, I was there 6 months I received an extension for another 90 days.

El Salvador, also easy border crossing which was La Hachadura, closest crossing to the Pacific. No insurance. If memory serves correctly I think 60 day permit for the bike.

El Salvador to Honduras was not the funnest crossing as it took forever and things were not the easiest to find. Nondescript building over here, another over there, lots of traffic which was a damned tiring 3 hours. Oh well.

The Honduras/Nicaragua border wasn't too bad though to get copies you had to trek across a futbol stadium to get to the copier guy. That border crossing again was closest to the Pacific and went into Somotillo. If you take this route from Choluteca, be warned; POTHOLES, both big and small. As you are trying to avoid them, other vehicles are trying to avoid them also. It becomes kind of comical in a mad sort of way, avoiding vehicles that are trying to avoid potholes, as you're trying to avoid potholess.

The Nicaraguan/Honduran border up near Somoto was also EASY EASY. And not as pothole ridden. No insurance for Honduras. Though upon entering Nicaragua you will pay $14 US for insurance for 30 days and they give you a 30 day permit for the bike.

Border from Nicaragua to Costa Rica wasn't too bad. Though you have to get 3 signatures which requires you to seek out 2 agents that are floating around in the parking lot. Again, if memory serves correctly, you need to get the signatures in order or the one guy will send you back to get the signature from the guy you missed. People are really friendly and point you to the right people though. Again, closest border to the Pacific. Costa Rica side was pretty easy but did require you to seek out aduana which is about 2 blocks past the border, you turn at the little house that's no longer functional, double back and head down where all the trucks are parked. Not sure if they will have the barriers taken away so you can get there the short and direct route by the time you get there, but one never does know. Cannot remember the cost, but no insurance and I think 30 day permit also.

Unfortunately due to plans that were already kind of set up and more time than I thought in El Salvador, didn't make it to Panama (though I've been there before, just not on the bike).

As with most border crossings, patience and copies, and of course Spanish obviously helps! I hope this helps and I hope you have a wonderful ride!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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Hey motokiwis, hope all is going well. Back on the bike from mending? Take care, be safe, and hope you have a wonderful ride and enjoy the rest of CA!!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
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Hey motokiwis, hope all is going well. Back on the bike from mending? Take care, be safe, and hope you have a wonderful ride and enjoy the rest of CA!!
Heya Juan, yeap finally going again and luving it.

Ribs ok, still saw but as expected, in Nicaragua now

Thanks for your help and friendship and the ride to Tulumolco
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:20 PM   #11
americanthumper OP
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Baja Ferry Crossing

Thanks for all the good info everyone. I'm trying to book our ferry tickets from La Paz to Mazatlan and the web site says "no availability" out to infinity... I can't seem to get anyone on the phone.

Does anyone have any experience with this ferry crossing and what the process is for all the paperwork to bring the bike into mainland mexico?

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by americanthumper View Post
Thanks for all the good info everyone. I'm trying to book our ferry tickets from La Paz to Mazatlan and the web site says "no availability" out to infinity... I can't seem to get anyone on the phone.

Does anyone have any experience with this ferry crossing and what the process is for all the paperwork to bring the bike into mainland mexico?

Thanks!
Make sure you have your TVIP etc done and dusted in Tijuana or you will run into trouble and they will NOT let you on the boat, when you get to La Paz it will all fall into place, just check prior to your arrival the sailing time to the different ports.

You have to pay port fees and a small park fee as well which they say nothing about and this is at the point where you enter to the ferry itself, you won't need a room on the Ferry as the reclining chairs are comfy enough.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:17 PM   #13
OK Lucinda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by americanthumper View Post
Thanks for all the good info everyone. I'm trying to book our ferry tickets from La Paz to Mazatlan and the web site says "no availability" out to infinity... I can't seem to get anyone on the phone.

Does anyone have any experience with this ferry crossing and what the process is for all the paperwork to bring the bike into mainland mexico?

Thanks!
Did this crossing in January. The bikes are loaded down in a deep dark hole with lots of room for a serious number of bikes, so they in reality can't be out of bike space. I'd just show up. No cabin, no problem, a big video room with comfy seats to sleep in.

The paperwork process is the same as some of the best fronteras and pretty modern and no problem but be patient. If I remember correctly no photocopy runs.

However I had a reservation on the boat, had a great cabin with a killer shower so I wouldn't exactly know how miserable you're gonna be.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
Two Moto Kiwis
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Update

Mexico - Mandatory - $124 US min.
Belize - Mandatory - $15 US From memory
Guate - Optional - Nil
El Salvador - Optional - Nil
Honduras - Optional Nil
Nicaragua - Mandatory - $12 US.
Costa Rica - Mandatory - $30 US
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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Panama: Mandatory $12-$15

Colombia: Mandatory $40
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