After a few days rest I was on my way to San Ignacio and a new country in Belize. Unfortunately for me, the weather forecast was for rain for the next 3-4 days, and there was really only a few things I wanted to do with my time in Belize. One was to do some diving in Ambergris Caye on an island off Belize City. Which was now out of the question due to the weather and the other was to visit the Altun Ha ruins.
Once I entered Belize and drive a few miles past the border crossing on my motorcycle it was just bucketing down with rain, and the radar and weather forecast indicated no respite in sight for at least a few days, so I decided that I would see plenty of ruins ion this trip and the best thing to do for me was to head West our of the weather. So, as with any adventure, you need to be able to adapt, so I decided to head to San Ignacio on the far west of Belize near the border with Guatemala and stay a night or two near San Ignacio as there were more ruins in this area.
The border crossing which you can read here to the right was relatively easy, although on the Belize side it was a matter of going slow as the fumigation building (tiny house) and insurance (bigger house) were pretty nondescript and therefore easy to miss. The whole border crossing took only around 90 minutes which it turns out was pretty fantastic, compared to what lay ahead.
So, as with any adventure, you need to be able to adapt, so I decided to head to San Ignacio on the far west of Belize near the border with Guatemala and stay a night or two near San Ignacio as there were more ruins in this area. Yes, I would miss some cool diving and adventure, but I didn’t have time to wait four or five days in the hope the weather would clear.
I took a small turn, so I could have breakfast in Little Belize and take a little route through San Joaquin then on through San Jose Nuevo Palmar, Carmelita, San Estevan, San Jose Nuevo Palmar, Sand Hill, Burrell Boom, La Democracia before heading to a hostel outside of San Ignacio called the Lower Dover Field Station & Jungle Lodge, Belize.
Even though it was only around 150 miles (238 kilometers) journey to San Ignacio, it amazingly took me over 8 hours! This was because for a few hours it was just unrideable and I was not in any rush anyway.
I did have to stop a few times as the weather was just getting ridiculous, I had an extended breakfast and an extended lunch, both under cover as it was just crazy out there. After a few hours of heading west, the rain cleared but left all the dirt roads a slush.
San Ignacio is a town in the Cayo District of western Belize, on the banks of the Macal River. It’s linked to the town of Santa Elena by the metal suspension Hawksworth Bridge. On a hill south of town are the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech, abandoned in the 9th century. There is a small museum amid the plazas and temples. Nearby, the Rainforest Medicine Trail explores the medicinal properties of indigenous plants. From Wikipedia
The place I stayed was at Lower Dover Field Station & Jungle Lodge, Belize, which is just outside of San Ignacio. This had some bungalows and was in a really beautiful setting with some ruins within walking distance. The bungalows were great, although WIFI was pretty poor and only really serviceable close to the office. Dinner is included and delicious as was breakfast (around $100 USD per night for a twin bungalow) and it has a gorgeous outdoor shower.
The bungalows were great, although WIFI was pretty poor and only really serviceable close to the office. If they got the Wifi sorted (Google Wifi ) in each of the bungalows would do the trick nicely, it would be a sensational place as it has lots of room, very well appointed units and really friendly hosts, even if the lady (Madeline) who runs the joint is a bit of a hippy and has some interesting theories, but I like kinda nutty people, always interesting!
We went on a walking tour early in the morning to some ruins which were not far by. These were only recently discovered and are being carefully excavated by archeologists as we were there. Something tells me there are a lot more ruins nearby as it is situated in a very dense forest area.
Her son also dabbles in making red wine from the hibiscus trees planted throughout the acreage, and this hibiscus red wine is quite delicious, very sweet, but nice.
- I have a USA Registered Motorcycle
- 100% Owned by Myself (No Loan)
- 1 Copy Passport (+Original)
- 1 Copy Insurance (+Original)
- 1 Copy Title (+Original – If you do not own, get letter from owner)
- 1 Copy Registration (+Original)
- 1 Copy Drivers Licence (+Original)
- Original of FMM Tourist Card
- Vehicle Import Permit
- Stop at the Small Booth in middle of the road and get your exit stamp in your Passport and hand in your tourist card.
- Provide any Documents they ask for – they directed me to the building on left – to get my vehicle import permit submitted
- Get your Deposit back (for me it was $400 USD) and provide all documents – Import Sticker, etc
- Now for Belize
- As you sweep into Belize, you will see a fumigation booth on right (a little tiny house, easy to miss) with a little sign out front, pay your $5 USD fumigation fee and make sure you get receipt) – only took about 5 minutes
- Continue to border, park your bike outside the large modern building, then go inside and look to your right. There is where you get your passport stamped into Belize and import permit. This only took me about 10 minutes as there were not many people there (early morning)
- They will then come outside inspect your vehicle and get your VIN number. You head back inside and get all your paperwork and you are done!
- Head out, show your passport and import papers to border guard and head to Insurance
- Now for Insurance. As you leave you will see a building on the hill to your right. Don’t go left! Park your bike outside and go inside and get your insurance. It is about $20 USD for 2 weeks and I think around $30 for a month. I was just breezing through so I got it for two weeks. This took around 15 minutes as I was second in line.
Notes: Get your Insurance into Belize! They might ask for it when you leave! Always remember, most of the time they are just stamping and inputting data. I am sure they would love someone to screw up. Check over every time that they entered your data correctly. If there is something wrong make sure they change it – no matter what they say!