After a relaxing stay in Playa Del Carmen, we headed towards Chetumal, Quintana Roo (265 km away). At Chetumal, we would finish our three-week road trip through Mexico and cross into Belize.
It was a pleasant morning drive through rural Yucatán to Chetumal. Driving through this section of the Yucatán, we had to slow down often in the small towns. Most Mexican towns have topes (speed bumps), at key points to make traffic slow down. Vendors, sometimes called topes, often position themselves near the speed bump to take advantage of the slow down in traffic. We saw many buildings with thatched roofs along the highway. We passed through towns, with names like Bacalar and Limones. Many of the small towns in the Yucatan are engaged in growing lemons and other fruits such as, oranges, melons and papayas. One could easily spend time in this area, checking out the many Mayan ruins. There is so much to explore in the Yucatán.
The border crossing into Belize
Eventually we neared Chetumal, the capital city of Quintana Roo state. We see a sign that the Belize border is just 3 km down the road. We do our final gas fill-up in oil rich Mexico before crossing into Belize. Our border crossing from Mexico into Belize went very smoothly. We checked out of Mexico, both our car and ourselves. Crossing international borders with a car, there is always that extra step at customs. When you leave Mexico you do not want to forget to check you car out. If you don’t the deposit you put on your credit card when you entered Mexico will be charged.
Our three-week road trip through Mexico went smoothly. We were happy that we got to drive the east coast of Mexico. We can now say that we have driven all the three major highway routes, from north to south in Mexico. While there were quite a few security check points, the security checks were always pleasant and done professionally. We enjoyed talking with the soldiers at the checkpoints. During our road trip we had some great food and margaritas. Mexico has the best margaritas!
Entering Northern Belize from Mexico
We entered into Belize at Subteniente López – St. Elena, nine miles north of Corazol Town, Belize. Drive the Americas describes the process for entering/exiting Belize with an automobile. Belize is the northern most country in Central America. The border crossing into Belize went smoothly. Soon we were driving down the Northern Belizean Highway towards Belize City.
Northern Belize to the Guatemala Border
Driving through Northern Belize we passed fruit orchards and sugar cane fields. In Belize there were no more signs for topes. However, there were signs for bumps. Whatever you call them, topes or speed bumps, you still need to slow down to avoid sending your car flying through the air.
We crossed a number of bridges before arriving at Belize City. Whoops, soon we were driving through Belize City. What we remember most from prior visits to Belize is visiting Ambergris Caye , those beautiful keys off shore. The Belizean keys are wonderful and we need to return soon. This time we head down the Western Highway towards Belmopan, the capital of Belize. After a long day’s drive from Playa Del Carmen, Mexico we finally stop at Hotel Orange, just outside St. Ignacio for the night. Next morning enroute to the Guatemalan border, we drive through farmland and citrus trees in the Cayo District.
Crossing into Guatemala
Soon we arrived at the Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize/ Mechor de Mencros, Guatemala border where we crossed into Guatemala. Both exiting Belize and entering Guatemala went smoothly. From Mechor de Mencros we drove onto Antigua, Guatemala, completing our drive from San José, California to Antigua, Guatemala.
Check out my travels in Mexico and elsewhere in my travel column, or visit me at Spaswinefood.
© Sharon Parsons
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