Valle Nuevo, Guatemala to Chinamas, El Salvador | Customs and Immigration

Guatemala

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Song of the Road

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This is a border crossing between Guatemala and El Salvador.

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Entering El Salvador
(costs $12 pp if you're from a country that needs a tourist card here)
-Cross the bridge and park where directed by an official
-Go Immigration (a larger building located to the left, down a little hill)
-Hand them passports to get stamped in and purchase Tarjeta Migratoria de Ingreso for $12 USD per person (for citizens of certain countries only), they give you a receipt
-Walk back up the hill to the Aduana (hut like building with a blue awning out front right next to the bridge)
-Give them the copies:
        -The cancelled Guatemalan TIP
        -Drivers license
        -Vehicle registration
        -Vehicle title
        -Passports
-They fill in the El Salvador TIP
-Go back to Immigration with one of the Aduana people so they can complete the TIP

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easy crossing. took 1h from el salvador to Guatemala. if you want to change $ to Quetzals, el salvadorian Side had the better exchange rate

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Going into El Salvador from Guatemala. After getting stamped out of Guatemala and having my Guatemalan TIP cancelled, I rolled across the bridge into El Salvador. At the end of the bridge, a very friendly border guard advised me of the process of getting into El Salvador. The aduana is to the right, immediately next to the bridge; it's a tiny building, essentially a shed. Immigration is to the left, down a little hill, and is a much larger building. First, I rode to the immigration building. I didn't wait in the line of cars, I parked on the side and went directly into the building. After waiting like 3 minutes, they took my passport, took the $12 (cash, in $US), and stamped me in. Make sure you get a receipt. Then I walked back to the bridge to the aduana "shed" and they took my expired Guatemala TIP and used it to fill in the El Salvador TIP. Then I walked back over to the Immigration office with one of the Aduana workers and they completed the TIP for me. That was it.

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All as described below. Just note that citizens of certain countries, incl US and Canada, have to purchase an Immigration Entrance Card (Tarjeta Migratoria de Ingreso) for $12/person. We've been told this has been in effect since mid of November 2023. This seems not (yet) to apply to most European countries.

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SALVADOR TO GUATEMALA
Easy border crossing, almost no one there, exit from Salvador was done in 2min without stepping out of car, Aduana (TIP) is on the left just in front of the bridge. They took the TIP from us and in 5min gave us confirmation about cancelling.
Enter to Guatemala was also easy, stamps in 2min, TIP was also smooth. You have to pay a fee in quetzales about 180Q in the bank window. The bank system didn't work so we went to one copy centre and they did the payment for us with another cost of 20Q. You also need a copy of the car document, driving licence and passport with entry stamp(you can do it in copy centre for 15c). No search, no problem. One of the fastest crossing.

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Exit Guatemala, Sunday 19.11.2023 * We are assigned a parking space. There are only cars, no trucks or buses to be seen. * An official shows us the switch to stamp out the passports. * We change our last Quetzal in front of the building for a very good course (7.8) in US $. * The passport is stamped (we get a small white note that we will never need again) and then it goes out on the right out of the building to the next switch to stamp Sat for the tip. * Unusually the lady would like copies of the vehicle license, driver's license, passport, tip. She gets everything, makes a copy of the exit stamp and wants to see the car. * TIP ORGINAL is retained, we get a copy of the tip with stamp for El Salvador. Done. Time expenditure 10min. No costs.

Entry El Salvador los Chinamas, Sunday 2pm:: * An official takes the passports from our hands and assigns us a parking space to the right of the bridge. * He speaks perfect English and takes us to the counter to the entry stamp. * For the tip we have to go back to the bridge, blue pavilion next to our car. Copies of driving license, vehicle registration, passport, exit Tip Guatemala are required again. (The international vehicle registration document was helpful again today.) * Questions about the number of cylinders, displacement, weight should be answered. * The chassis number was compared to the vehicle and a quick look at the cabin. * We compare the information on the document, must provide an email address and sign it. * The official brings us back to the passport building. We wait. * After 10 minutes we get the finished document for our tip back from a very nice English-speaking official. Buon viaje. Welcome to el Salvador. Time expenditure about 45 minutes. Best, nicest border process in the past 3 years.

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all the same with a change: New tax for foreigners outside of CA-4, there is an 11USD tax now for foreigners that used to be paid only if entering by plane now also on land borders. Very recent past month (i believe it's the article in picture posted here but can't read the picture quality)
Also, it seems like El Salvador is putting a tax on certain african nationalities and Indians of 1000USD to enter the country might want to research if it was passed and if it affects you (they say it's to stop illegal immigration)

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Si viajan a El Salvador tengan en cuenta este artículo

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We arrived on a Sunday at noon & everything took less than two hours. The longest part was the TIP but otherwise everything went smoothly. There was no line of trucks

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Everything as described, just one more thing: If you have a dog: upon seeing it they did want to see the health certificate, so I guess just not mentioning it could result in troubles.

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Entering El Salvador:
On the other side of the bridge, we were first asked to show our passports. Then we parked next to the blue and white Aduana building on the right. First they needed all of our car documents (Exit TIP from Guatemala, copy of driver passport, drivers license, and title/registration). They also had us fill out a form (I think it’s because our title was in German). After waiting around a bit, a guy came out and took a quick peek at our license plate and to see that it was left hand drive. They also took a quick picture of the inside of the vehicle. When they were finished, they took us over to the migration building. They processed our paperwork (took like 15 minutes), then they gave us a piece of paper that we took back to the Aduana to get stamped and that was it. FOR PET OWNERS: We were not asked about pets at this border.

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Fast and easy crossing. All the copies are made next door and no copies needed on Salvador side
Friendly experience overall

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Such a nice border !
Arrived quite late at 5pm and could do all the process in 1h.
Guatemala:
- get the exit stamp on your passport
- go to the SAT office to cancel the tip. You need copy of your document to give them (if you don’t have, you can pay for it there)

El Salvador :
- Show your passport and the white paper given to you at the Guatemala border on the exit.
- Do the TIP with the lady or men. Also you need some copy but we didn’t had any left and it wasn’t a problem, they did it for free for us.

That’s it 😃 (Claro and Tigo from Guatemala are working but make sure to activate roaming data)
IG: on.vagabonde

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Very easy border crossing coming from Guatemala this morning. The whole process on both sides took exactly 1 hour total, and might have been quicker if my Spanish was better. On the Guatemala side, it took them a little while to sort out if I should suspend or cancel my Motorcycle TIP. They ended up canceling it, and after giving me a photocopy of that for Guatemala, sent me to another window to get my C4 passport stamp. This came with a little ticket which I showed them on the El Salvador side.

Crossing over the bridge into El Salvador, a woman checked my passport but didn’t add anything else. They had me park the moto by the food stalls, and then a customs agent worked on my El Salvador TIP for about 30 min. He needed the Guatemalan papers, and double checked the VIN. After he input everything in his computer we walked down to another building where another official finished the papers, looked at my passport and had me sign. All in all pretty smooth, there were no “border helpers” around just some pushy currency guys on the Guatemala side. The paperwork & TIP didn’t cost anything. No medical anything, no blood sample or any Covid related questions.

The road on the El Salvador side is beautiful, on the Guatemala side there are some deep potholes close to the border that sent cars swerving across both lanes, watch out for that!

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Easy crossing today at this border from Guatemala to El Salvador. The entire process took exactly 1 hour, it might have been quicker if my Spanish was a bit better.

On the Guatemala side, there was a bit of confusion about whether they should cancel or suspend my motorcycle TIP. In the end, we canceled it, and they gave me a photocopy of a paper to bring to the El Salvador side. Got stamped out of Guatemala with a C4 visa stamp.

On the El Salvador side, the border is very small, and a woman only looked at my passport stamp. The motorcycle paperwork took about 30 min, they needed the title, Guatemalan TIP sheet, and looked at my VIN. I had to go to a small building with a guard and sign the new papers.

No medical checks, no blood test, nothing COVID related as of today. On the El Salvador side the road is beautiful, on the Guatemala side there are some especially deep potholes, which sent cars swerving across both lanes, so be cautious there.

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Crossing from Guatemala to El Salvador.

We crossed the bridge and parked.
A TIP guy checked our VIN and license plate against our Guatemalan TIP.
We got out and walked to the tent for a temperature check, passport check, and for them to check a little white visa paper we were given before leaving Guatemala. Because of CA-4, we did not get passport stamps.
They didn’t ask for any vaccination documents at all, just the temperature check.

Back to the same TIP guy for computer work.
We provided driver’s passport, driver’s license, and title. He took the copy of our Guatemala TIP.
He also took photocopies of our title, passport, and driver’s license that we had.
He wanted a copy of our canceled passport stamp, but we didn’t have an extra and he didn’t care.
Then we were sent down to the Aduanas building for the longest part of the process.
We handed them all the TIP paperwork we’d just been given, and driver’s original passport.
The official disappeared into his office forever while we waited outside. (There were two people ahead.)
Finally, my husband was called inside to sign and print his name under signature on our new TIP and a copy.
We didn’t pay for anything.

The process took from 8-9:10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. There was a checkpoint right around the corner where the police checked our new TIP.

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Exactly like described but when we arrived in the frontier in Salvador because of the disease malaria and dengue and because they didn't have sufficient hospital, you have to make a single drop blood test in a camioneta at the frontier, it's free. This test is since February if you're coming from guatemala and Mexico.
Despite of that, 15min in Guatemala, first immigration, stamps and after the tip. We had to pay for the copies of the exit stamp just in front in a tienda (4quetzales for 3 copies or 0,50$) and after that went straight to Salvador. Parked at the bridge, made all the documentation, few going one place and another, buy made it in 1h15.
Just asked the people around u they will help you, Salvador side. Beautiful road for the beginning in the Salvador side.

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We crossed (Guat to El Salvador) with our family of 4 and truck. The El Salvador portion of the crossing took about 90 minutes. The man that helped us with our TIP was very nice and actually made us coffee while we waited for our papers to be entered into computer system. There was no line at time of crossing so that helped of course.

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I had to wait an hour because the agent at Aduana went for lunch at noon. Not big deal, just plan accordingly if you don't want to wait. Super friendly staff on both sides of the border.

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Procedure as described below but… make sure you show up with Vaccine card or PCR. They turned us around with an Antigen test which lead to an interesting situation… anyway we had to go back to Guatemala and negotiate re-entry (somewhat illegal) get the PCR test then return following day… so yeah PCR or vaccine, not negotiable!

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Easiest border crossing so far.. right after the bridge you stop to have the ES TIP done (no sticker).. no passport stamp here (they stamp you exiting Guatemala.. give the border guy a little further down the small white paper you got at Guatemala side from the immigration and good to go. They checked our temperature for corona virus testing.. super friendly!!

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We crossed from Guatemala to ES - it had to be the easiest and cheapest crossing ever - did not pay a dime to leave Guatemala nor a dime to enter ES and as noted the Guatemalans even give you a copy of the exit stamp needed by the ES side. They don’t even stamp your passport leaving Guatemala because of some info sharing between the two countries ( I asked why ). Just have the copies described below and you are good. End to end was one hour.

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Quick crossing, no one asked for money, took a bit time on passport stamping but they didn't ask any questions. They now have a copying machine on the site, they did all the copies we didn't have to pay a cent.

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Was all going smooth until the sloth man on the El Salvadorian side decided he didn’t want to let us through for no good reason. We were forced to sleep in the dodgy car park overnight no being able to go into either country. We are still waiting almost 15 hrs later to be let in.

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Everything as described below by Einmalrundum! Very smooth border crossing. A total of 90 minutes from all processes before we were on our way. No money was spent exiting Guatemala or entering El Salvador.

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Same as Einmalrundom (excellent walkthrough)...but, we got stopped by fumigation. He looked at our papers and started generating conversation...how hot it was, etc...

Then, he asked for a some money to buy a drink. We gave $3 just to be done with it.

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Exit El Salvador: no fees but you need a copy of TIP. Entry Gueatemala: 160 Quetzal for motocycle TIP, copies passport fotopage and entry stamp, resgistration title and driving licence.

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Border Crossing Guatemala to El Salvador way easier than expected! The whole procedure took about 1h 15min (both sides)
1. get your passports stamped out and keep the tiny white paper they give you!
2. at the SAT counter you exit the vehicle (bring copies of passport, TIP, vehicle title and if you‘re lucky they do the copy of the Guatemalan exit stamp themselves)
3. exchange leftover GTQ in USD, don’t forget to bargain ;-)
4. drive over the bridge and stop right after the tiny house on your righthand side at the gazebo to get the vehicle checked and the paperwork for the TIP started (bring copies if Guatemalan TIP with exit stamp, passport, driving licenses of ALL drivers, vehicle title)
5. the officer walks you down to the office to get the official print out of the TIP with stamp
6. walk back to the gazebo, get the TIP one more time stamped
7. drive to the last check and habd in the tiny white papers you received at the Guatemalan border together with your exit stamp and then off you go

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Super simple border and really nice people. Guatemala to El Salvador c.1.5hrs. One mistake we made is after the aduanas stamped our TIP in El Salvador we turned right out of their office to immigration to get a slip of paper. Turns out that's an exit slip - don't do that! just return to the guys by the bridge and as you drive into the country they'll sort your status. Remember it's CA4 So you don't need a stamp.

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Para sair de El Salvador foi bem rápido, fizemos a saído do carro e depois a nossa. Precisa de uma fotocópia da entrada do carro e nada mais. Não pagamos nada.

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Guatemala to El Salvador. Seems like I compete here for the longuest border crossing on earth. 1h process for Guatemalan border, 5h and still counting on the Salvadoran side. Only one Aduana desk, and the guy is everything but in a rush (20mn process per person). Wrong day?wrong timing? bad luck? How knows... but wish for the best and expect the worse.

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Easiest border crossing in Central America (from El Salvador to Guate). Paid 160Q for the car to circulate in Guatemala. The bank does not accept dollars. If you don’t have local currency, the only way is to change with the guys that offer money exchange in the border

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As described below. Came through from Guatemala on a Sunday afternoon around 4pm and it was full of El Salvadorians heading back to Guatemala, so a bit of a wait on Guatemala side.

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Easy border crossing from Guatemala to El Salvador. 15min Guatemalan side/1.5h El Salvador (nothing complicated, they just took their time)
Both sides wanted copies of the documents from you, including one of the stamp in the passport, so you have to make them there anyways - copy places 1min away and cheap. Apart from paying a few quetzals/cents for the copies, everything is for free and you don't pay anything. No food/fruit check.
We were there during the weekend, one day before the elections and it was still almost empty.

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Leaving Guatemala fairly straightforward.

Entering El Salvador took a long time with much standing around waiting. After you cross the bridge, a man will tell you to park on the right and fill out a form. Then we had to wait 45 minutes for another man to come review it - I think they're out to lunch 12-1. (We arrived shortly after noon). Once this other fellow finally reviews it, then you go to a building down the hill and wait in the lobby for a while for a lady to copy your information. Then you are free to drive your car away, but you'll be stopped 2 more times on the way out to show paperwork.
Note: you need a copy of the page in your passport where Guatemala stamped you out - you can get this copy made across the street from where you're filling in the paperwork.

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Really easy process:

1. Get your passport stamped for exiting Guatemala (you’ll receive one recipe, keep it!)
2. Cross the hall for cancel your TIP (the guy makes all copies he need), you will need your sticker
3. Cross the bridge and pull over directly on the right, a guy will give you a form to complete with your car’s informations (we didn’t have all of them but it was ok!) you’ll need one copy of the driver’s license, passport and owner certificate
4. Give the form and your copies to the guy, He’ll check some stuff in you car and he’ll bring the paper to another office across the street (he went with us)
5. Wait and receive your TIP
6. Go back to you car and move on, at the last check just give the recipe you receive on the Guatemalan side and your passport. (You don’t need a stamp ‘cause you already got it in Guatemala for the C4-zone)

Took us 1.3h (15 min on Guatemala, 1.15h in El Salvador). Completely free :)

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1. Park at the front of the line. You will be inspected after Aduana
2. Get stamped out of Guatemala in Aduana. They will give you a slip of paper in your passport. You need that for El Salvador.
3. Get your VIN inspected with your import papers here.
4. Walk around the building and get your vehicle stamped out.
5. Return to your vehicle and get your export paper checked.
Done drive to El Salvador
See photo map
WARNING: Fixers are in light blue shirts with official looking badges. You don't need them!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MvioxGfZuDXCYQti1

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To enter Guatemala we had to pay 160 Quetzales. No ATM at the boarder, so we had to change money by the moneychangers. They don't accept payment in Dollars or Creditcard.

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Fairly easy process exiting Guatemala entering El Salvador. road to the border is good

when you arrive at guatemala side you can drive under the cover lanes and park or pull over to the right and park. go inside the building to receive passport exit stamp. then to the vehicle processing window on the opposite side of the building (facing traffic lane entering Guatemala.). the lady takes papers, Guatemalan sticker, and passport and makes any required copies. (took 2 minutes)

drive car down the hill and across the bridge. an El Salvadoran official will direct you to park on the right just after the bridge.

he will request copies of passport including exit stamp page, title, drivers license, and vehicle exit paper. (copy shop 100 feet across the parking lot). he will request you to fill in some details about your vehicle, he will disappear to type things up, and then he will do an inspection.)

we had a dog which he then told us needed a permit. he walked us across the road and down the hill to the large immigration building and to the agricultural office. handed get certificate and waited while another form was typed up.

you then need to take this to payment office in the same building to pay $9.03 then return to agricultural guy for dog paper.

then take car paper to anduana to be stamped.

we thought we were done at this point but then another official near the end if the bridge asked for more copies and did a bit more checking before putting one more stamp on our car paper.

then drive to the customs post 100 feet up the road where they checked passports and we were done.

cost: $1.50 in copies and $9.03 for dog.

we changed money from a guy on the El sal side and got a decent rate. he was very friendly.

took about 2.5 hours but mainly because thus closed at 12 for lunch.

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DOG UPDATE: Exit stamps on USDA form & copies in Guatemala; stamps on everything in El Salvador, and the woman said everything was easier because we're "en transito".

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didn't have enough copies so took us about half an hour on the Guatemalan side. with the form and waiting for the car permit, the Salvador site took about an hour.
not the worst crossing and free

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10 min on guatemala side, 40 min on Salvador side (Sunday at 5pm). Easy crossing. Free. People there try help you vs cheat. If you dont have copies, Tienda available on each side of the border.

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Information correct as mentioned below. It took us 1,5 hours. We passed on a monday, but according to the clerk there the booth for the car permit is open 7 days/week. Opening hours mentioned are 7.30 AM - 3.30PM.

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You need all the copies mentioned before. No costs included on both borders. We left Guatemala and entered El Salvador on friday at 5pm. So its definitely open longer then posted times on Aduana doors. Its posted 3:30pm as the closing time. Max registered weight for this border is 8tonnes. Heavy vehicles have to use the border near pacific. Money changers tried to scam us with 20 dollars. So count your money carefully. Exchange rate from Q to USD was 7,6 on 14.04.2017. If some reason you still have Belize dollars then they can change those also to USD

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Really easy crossing, nice helpful stuff (especially on the el Salvador side). Didn't take long at all, just have your papers ready. We had to wait quite a bit on the el Salvador side for a guy to type in the details of the car into the computer and print out a form. We found a couple of mistakes so it took another 20 minutes to correct but overall very easy border. Quiet, few helpers.

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From Salvador to Guatemala on a Friday at 830 am.

Exiting Salvador took 30 minutes.

Entering Guatemala took 45 minutes. And was the most efficient aduana we've seen in Central America thus far. Staff was friendly and super helpful. Refreshing experience. No large trucks or traffic.

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This border is open again. The bridge is down for repair but an alternate route has been provided. We got through in under 2 hours.

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Watch this crossing! We got there today and it was simply closed. Had been so for two months and they weren't sure when it would reopen. Had to go up to San Cristobal.

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Temporarily closed due to bridge repairs

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Attention. Frontière fermée. Le pont est en réparation. Uniquement possible à pieds. Il devrait y avoir 4 mois de travaux.

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After you left Guatemala you will enter a bridge over Rio Paz with 8 tons max load.
The booth for the vehicle registration has open only from Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 3.30pm! We assume the migration office is open until 5, so that they have enough time for the costumers the vehicle reg brings in.
15 min on Guatemala side, 4 copies needed: Car holders passport and driver license, registration and the letter you get when entering the country.
45 min on El Salvador side, copies needed: Car holders driver license, registration, all passports and the copy you made from the letter (most likely just 2 minutes ago).
Everyone friendly, no problems.

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Guatemala side took 25 minutes. El Salvador side at first wanted original GTM permit but we only had copy of cancelled permit which was made by lady at SAT. they wanted both a copy of title and registration. that side took 45 minutes.

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To leave guatemala you park at the right side, walk to the migration, the stamp your passport, walk to sat for your car, you need a copy of the passport and driverlicense of the driver, a copy of the paper of the car and a copy of the import paper for guatemala.we had to bring them the sticker from the car and everything was ok in 15 minutes. To enter el salvador cross the bridge, park on the right side, you need a copy of the passport and driverlicense of the driver, a copy of the paper of the car and a copy of the cancelt import paper for guatemala (the officer made the copy for us)the fill up a form, have a look at the car and then the came with us to the office where you have to bring the original paper for the car and the original passport.the give you your temporary import paper for your car.you can drive or walk the few meters to the immigration, the have a look at your passport, no stamp because you are already in the CA4 country. 45min for el salvador side. Without problems and paying many...

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From my early 2010 crossing. Full details at my blog A Few More Miles
We checked out of Guatemala with ease. After 30 minutes we crossed the bridge into El Salvador. At first, we thought we were getting the run around. We arrived at lunch time so no one was doing much. We handed our documents to some guy with a big shot gun and watched him walk away… As the time went on the guys became more helpful and we had all of our papers squared away within about 90 minutes. We have a 60 day free visa for our travels in El Salvador.
As we prepared to leave, a very strong gust of wind came by and blew my bike over. CRASH!!! Not good, I thought, but not terrible either. I picked up the bike and noticed the kill switch had broken apart. NOT good now.

I opened the switch with desperate hopes of jumping the wires to get it to start. No luck (and I may have made things worse). After 2 hours of trouble shooting with Charles and Justin. We decided it would be best to get to a hotel where we could get on the internet and do more work. At the border we talked to a guy with a crappy old pick up. I agreed to $15 for a tow to the town of Ahuachapán about 25K from the border. After loading the bike into the back of the truck I jumped in with it and we set off.

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