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#483361 - 01/17/14 10:52 PM Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
AdventurousBooks Offline
AdventurousBooks  Offline
I'm planning my move to Belize in Feb and was initially going to fly Tijuana to Cancun then Cancun to San Pedro. But the turmoil in Tijuana seems daunting in terms of driving and finding the airport etc. so I've decided to drive via El Passo to Jaurez and fly out of Juarez instead - fly to Cancun then San Pedro. (Have friend dropping me off.)

Anyone know a customs broker that can help clear my "stuff" when entering Mexico. I'll be bringing suitcases but they will have DVD, wireless modems, computer etc. Thought it might be best to have a broker to help seeing as I'm only traveling through Mexico to get to Belize.

I'm thinking a broker might be handy. Any thoughts or suggestions?

#483491 - 01/19/14 06:43 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: AdventurousBooks]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
I'm a little confused, unless there's something I'm not seeing.

If you're flying with a just couple of suitcases, why would you need a customs broker in Mexico or in Belize for that matter? Computers and some peripherals aren't even subject to duty, at least not in Belize, nor are most personal items that you'd carry on a plane. Even if you believe you plan to stay in Belize (plans can and often do change), items for personal use as a tourist aren't subject to duty.

If for some reason you want to bring in a bunch of stuff on the flight, your excess baggage charges will be huge. Anything over 50 pounds is going to eat you alive with excess baggage charges.

And why drive into Mexico to fly to Cancún? I don't see the logic in bringing Mexican border customs into the picture if you're leaving from the USA and going to Belize.

If you want to fly to Cancún, there are cheap nonstop or at least direct flights from just about everywhere in the USA to Cancún. While there is a Tropic flight from Cancún to Belize City (BZE) and then another flight to San Pedro, that will likely cost as much, or possibly even more, as your flight to Cancún from the USA. You'd be better off either flying direct to BZE from wherever you live in the USA, or else fly to Cancún and bus to Chetumal on ADO and take a water taxi to San Pedro, or bus from Cancún to Belize City and then hop over to San Pedro on the water taxi or quick flight.

Have you researched this at all?

Or maybe I'm missing something?

#483559 - 01/20/14 09:02 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: AdventurousBooks]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
AdventurousBooks Offline
AdventurousBooks  Offline
Thanks Lan - I like the suggestion to fly into Cancun then take a bus to Chetumal. I've never been through this neck of the woods before but have read a number of posts on this and other boards about it.

Is the bus safe and worry free? How would you handle getting from the bus station to the border and through customs etc. Can I hire a taxi to help? (Once again I've not been through this area and my spanish is almost non-existent.

Many thanks!

#483642 - 01/21/14 06:08 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: AdventurousBooks]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Any ADO bus you take from Cancún International or Cancún City bus terminal to Chetumal or to Belize City should be safe and comfortable, in fact nicer than your airplane down. The bus will be fairly new, have reserved seats, there's a bathroom on board and a video player. The only downside is that most drivers put the A/C on Extra Cold.

Personally, if your schedule allows it, I'd bus to the Chetumal ADO terminal (less than US$25), a little over five hours from Cancún, take a taxi (around US$5 or less) to the Municipal Pier in Chetumal and take a water taxi (leaves around 3 pm) from there nonstop to San Pedro (around US$35-$40).

If your flight schedule puts you into Cancún in the evening, you could do the overnight ADO bus to Belize City and then water taxi to San Pedro. The bus company will help you through the border crossing into Belize -- it's usually no big deal.

Belize City is a little scarier for first-time visitors than Chetumal, but just take a taxi from what is called the Novelo's bus station to one of the water taxi terminals, US$4 or so. Relax -- most Belizeans you meet on the bus will be friendly and helpful and give you tips on what to do. There are three different water taxi companies that go to San Pedro from two different terminals on Front Street. Good info on transportation in Belize and Mexico on the Belize Bus Blog by a guy in Corozal who goes by Misterbee (just Google it), or in any up-to-date guidebook, such as the Fodor's guide I do -- a new edition is coming out in a couple of weeks.

Taxi drivers, bus ticket agents, border officials, etc. in Mexico usually don't speak a lot of English, but they're used to dealing with tourists and speak enough to handle most routine transactions, and some who have lived in the U.S. or studied English in school are fluent in it.

You might get hit with one or two extra "fees" that experienced travelers to this area might know how to avoid, but probably not, and even if you do it's not that big a deal.

Again, as you're really a tourist, there's no need for a customs broker, and, again, my advice would be to fly from the U.S. rather than deal with an airport in Tijuana or other border city in Mexico. And, even if it's a little more expensive, flying nonstop or at least direct to Belize City rather than through Cancún or Mexico City saves a lot of time and hassle.

If you plan to live in San Pedro, you should have a sizable bank account anyway.

#483654 - 01/21/14 10:14 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: AdventurousBooks]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
AdventurousBooks Offline
AdventurousBooks  Offline
Thanks Lan! Part of me is trying to avoid a layover/plane change in Mexico City. TJ to Cancun is direct. TJ to Chetumal requires a plane change in Mexico City - chief concern lost baggage because of additional plane change. Should I be overly concerned?

Thanks again...

#483763 - 01/22/14 06:50 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: AdventurousBooks]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
If the Volaris flight from Tijuana to Cancún requires just a stop in Mexico City and not a change of planes, then I guess the risk of a misplaced bag is less than changing planes and flying to Chetumal. Of course anytime and anywhere you put valuable items like computers, cameras, etc. in a checked bag you run a risk. I've had several items stolen out of my checked bags over the years, in the U.S. and elsewhere. I would never put valuable electronics in a checked bag, regardless of the airline or even if it is a nonstop or direct.

#484266 - 01/27/14 09:18 PM Re: Customs Broker for Juarez Crossing [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
AdventurousBooks Offline
AdventurousBooks  Offline
Thanks Lan - I think I'm going direct TJ to Cancun - no plane stop then bus to Chetumal. I know there's ADO but someone also has mentioned a company - UNO. Are they the same as ADO?

I'm hoping to get from TJ to Chetumal in one day (including bus) - not sure it's gonna work but will know soon enough.

Thanks again for your help.

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