Sunday, March 20, 2011

Check out procedures for Mexico

I wanted to put a quick note out here for anyone interested in the exact procedures for checking out of Mexico in Banderas Bay (at least as of Wednesday).

We were in La Cruz, so first we had to check out with the Port Captain of La Cruz. You cannot officially check out of the country in La cruz so you have to go to either Nuevo Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta. We chose Nuevo Vallarta since it was closer.

YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR BOAT. Several people tried riding the bus and checking out that way but it didn't work. I think one boat was able to do that but they at some point in the recent past had been at Paradise Village and for some reason that was ok. The Port Captain is on your right side just as you come in the breakwater. There are plenty of places to park your boat right there. Immigration closes at 2:00 so it's best to get there before lunch.

You need to take your passports, tourist cards/visas (with receipt) and boat documentation. We were told we needed the receipts for our tourist cards. Andy had his but Jake and I came in via air so there was no receipt. This didn't seem to be a problem. If you've lost yours, some other folks had to just pay the equivalent of another visa (about $20). The Zarpa cost was $306 pesos.

Immigration is in Bucerias, so the port captain calls them and you have to wait about 20 minutes. We had to show Jake's birth certificate as well as his passport but I think they were trying to figure out my name (some discrepancies with how things were spaced out?? wierd). After looking through our paperwork, the two ladies went down to our boat. One got on and just walked through both hulls and looked around. Nothing intrusive and it only took about 30 seconds. Then they stamped our passports and we were on our way.

After checking out, you have officially 48 hours to leave the country.

Overall, it was a very painless process...should be a piece of cake for you too. Hope this helps.

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