Jalacte, Belize to Poptun, Guatemala | Customs and Immigration

Guatemala

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over 2 years ago
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Description

UPDATE May 2019. STILL NOT OPEN

NEW BORDER CROSSING BELIZE TO GUATEMALA , JALACTE , proposed opening 2016 , JALACTE is a small community of Mayan farmers in the Toledo district of southern Belize west of San Antonio. Opening date for the new border crossing is planned for sometime in 2016 but much depends on how the Guatemalan side gets their side up and running, and if no political disputes arise. In Guatemala the road hooks into the one to POPTUN on CA 13 . This should provide a short route to GT City for commercial traffic.

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Good place to go pick up some super cheap beers or groceries if you have a Belizean ride, but no way to drive across even if you got lucky at the checkpoint - it’s just a footpath and wooden footbridge.

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We drove this road till there was a fruit and veg inspection. The guys there told us that we had to turn around as there is no formal boarder crossing on the Guatemalan side. So the road officially ends about 40mins before this crossing at the inspection. They said no foreign vehicles past that point. we did hear that they are having disputes with Guatemala on their boarders. So this could be why nothing formal has been done. Anyways save yourself the drive. Rio Blanco and the small Uxbenka ruins is pretty much one of the last stops. There is a small village up ahead with a couple of small resturaunts as well. The drive is beautiful.

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just a quick update. I did not visit the boarder but did find a news article from may 2017 saying that this boarder is still not official and has no immigration office yet

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This is a guest post from  Sjoerd Bakker [LINK: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752824]  for an April 2013 border inspection (not crossing). 
NEW BORDER CROSSING  BELIZE TO GUATEMALA ,     JALACTE   , proposed     opening     2016   ,  
JALACTE is a   small   community of Mayan farmers  in the   Toledo   district of southern Belize  west of San Antonio. 

There has been a trickle  across the border for  many years but  technically  that was illegal as there were no official customs  agents . There was only  a tough  and rough dirt road into this section of the Maya Mountains . Some adventuresome backpackers  occasionally did the crossing but it was mostly used by the Mayan farmers to move  between BZ and GT   .In recent years  it has become a big problem for Belize that Mayan farmers from Guatemala have   grown more assertive   , making incursions  across the  poorly  marked border to clear forest plots and set up maize farming and constructing some buildings.   
 
Much of the territory in Belize  is  protected nature preserve  and is not supposed to be farmed. Such Guatemalan incursions  and setting up squatter's   farms  is  rightly seen by Belize as a challenge to BZ  autonomy and authority . This  could become the seed for future border disputes  similar to those of the first five  decades of Belizean independence  and in its  earlier history as British Honduras.     
   
To   put a  hoped for stop  to the Guatemalan trespassing   it has been decided to  build a new road to JALACTE, to  establish an official border crossing and so be able to demonstrate Belizean   sovereignty.  The road will make it easier to  move  Belize Defense Forces   ( the army )   and  Police  to the region and of course have the  effect of " opening up " the region to both good and bad outcomes.It is being built with  financial assistance fro abroad, as evidenced in the photo.

In April 2013  we visited the Toledo District and drove most of the new highway.The new highway  has already been mostly  built and  it will be a very nice motorcycle  road with  well laid out curves  and smooth grades . When complete it will be  completely paved in Belize    . The new road is considered as the westward extension of the Southern Highway  , beginning at the  point called Dump  just south of Big Falls where one turns east to go to Punta Gorda and west to San Antonio.  In April 2013  we found it to be already with finished pavement  to within 15 km of the border and from there work was in progress. The new road  follows parts of the old gravel road  but has diverted around the center of San Antonio . It has well laid out sweeping curves and the scenery is very pleasant in the forested  hills and dales .     
Opening date for the new border crossing is planned for sometime in 2016 but much  depends on how the Guatemalan side  gets their side up and running, and if no political disputes  arise. In Guatemala the road hooks into the one to POPTUN  on CA 13 . This should provide a short route to GT City for commercial traffic . And that is where future problems also lie. With a new road it will make it so much easier for  people to swarm into  what used to be inaccessible lands.

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