Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Border

Oh what a foolish person I have been to complain about the sometimes over-the-top Canada/USA border. The great thing about the getting to cross the borders in Latin America is that they make great stories, and they are always a great conversation topic when you meet up with other bikers.

The Mexican border was quite tame, though it can be confusing as a first-timer because of the “travel free” zones for Americans. We thought we were lost since we had to drive 50km to the immigration offices. For the most part we tried to stay away from Panamericana border crossings but things were still hectic for pretty much all of our Central America border crossings. Even with the advantage of speaking fluent Spanish it's hard to make sense of the borders. Knowing Spanish did not seem to make things move any faster. South America was noticeably more organized though the experiences were still sometimes just as frustrating.

We managed to get away without paying any bribes whatsoever, but it can happen because you will find yourself at the mercy of the border officials. Some time and money can be saved by having copies of your driver's license, title and passport cause almost every border before crossing the Darien Gap will ask for copies. I've included a list of all the borders we crossed and what we encountered (fees paid, time etc...). The list can be found here. Also there is lots of information on the HUBB regarding border crossings and you can find lots of personal accounts on rider's blogs. I think that every experience is different but it's nice if you have an idea of what to expect.


  1. Love the section "Trip in Numbers" wow you guys are really stats geeks.

  2. Haha thanks. What can I say, I love a good excel moment.