Entering Guatemala: Rules from our last visit (2016-2017)

Published 6 years ago

During our last visit to Guatemala (2016-2017) the regulations for a yacht’s entry and stay in Guatemala were as follows:

1. Boats entering Guatemala from abroad will be given a three-month cruising permit. The permit costs Q 1200 (June 2016).

2. If you wish to stay for more than three months, ask for a nine-month extension straight away. If you do not, the captain will have to return to Livingston at a later date and ask for the extension then. The extension costs Q 1650 (June 2016).

3. If you wish to leave your boat in Guatemala for more than 12 months, ask for a 12-month extension. The extension may be renewed for a further 12 months each time, but your boat needs to be moored at a marina registered with the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT) and you need a contract with the marina. The marina manages the application on behalf of the skipper.

CHECK OUT: You must proceed as follows:

1. Harbour Master, where you will be given a zarpe for your next destination. This costs Q250 per boat in 2017. You will need to state the country and port of entry of your new destination.

2. Immigration, where you will have to pay a small departure fee (Q80/person in 2017) and hand over a signed copy of one of the two zarpe.

Note: You should arrive in Livingston early in the morning (the offices open at 8 am) so that you can deal with the formalities and leave at high tide to get past the bar. If the sea is choppy, it may be difficult to work out where the buoy is, but you will be able to follow your arrival route in reverse.

If you want to make everything easier you can contact the local agent Raul Veliz in Livingston:

[email protected], tel. 00 502 55109104.

Further, I wanted to inform cruisers that entering and leaving Guatemala with a pet by boat is very easy. They hardly check, but if they do it is sufficient that you have the pet’s passport and a recent good health certificate by a vet from the country you are coming from. But if you arrive by boat and you want to leave the boat in Rio Dulce and fly home to the US or Europe with your pet, then things get very complicated and a little expensive. You need a visit from the vet in Rio Dulce and then you have to do a lot of paperwork which can be done only in Guatemala City. That’s crazy!!! And it takes a lot of days. We had the paperwork organised through the RAM MARINA and it took more than one week.


Lilia Hartmann

Author of Guatemala – A Cruisers’ Guide to Rio Dulce.

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