Carnet for Central and South America

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Chat Lunatique, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Fellow inmates..... I'm in the planning stage for a ride to Tierra del Fuego from Southern Canada. The advice I'm getting on whether a carnet is required for a Canadian registered bike is conflicted.

    Thanks for any and all advice but I really want to hear from people who have boots on the ground experience doing this ride. What was border crossings like for you?
    #1
  2. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,161
    No Carnet required anywhere in the Americas .Only need to have all the correct, current ownership and registration papers in order and with you and have liability insurance . There may be other requirements in some countries such as proof of financial self sufficiency , proof of onward travel arrangements .
    #2
    Dan Diego likes this.
  3. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Thanks Sjoerd! Was this info based on a ride you did in South America recently or internet based? Ta!
    #3
  4. CaveJohnson

    CaveJohnson Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I crossed from the US into Mexico on August 6th, and didn't require a carnet.
    #4
  5. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,453
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    2nd that.. did the research for central and south america and rode thru Mexico several times.

    At most, they will require a $300 - $400 deposit (use your credit cards) for a 30 -60 days vehicle permit that you must surrender when u exit.. depending on your visa / import period allowed, to get your deposit back so dont forget to submit that permit when u exit.. even if just passing thru..

    There are a few websites regarding carnet services; they list which countries where carnets are needed.

    Mainly 85% countries of Africa requires it.. Morocco and Tunisia didnt..

    India, Australia for sure.. perhaps New Zealand..

    Cant think of any European countries nor Russia , any eastern block / ex-Soviet members. None of the ..Stans..

    China / Burhma / Myanmar are in a league of their own.. guided tours mainly..

    SEA countries not needed but title ownership / insurance need to be in order / match passport name.
    #5
    pceire32 likes this.
  6. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Thanks! I went thru as many of the websites as I could find and half say it is required or strongly recommended, half say no. So I decided to ask the asylum for its opinions.
    #6
  7. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,161
    My info is based on numerous trips through Mexico and Central America and detailed research into the question of Le Carnet du Passage with respect to South America .
    The " carnet " is a document required in certain other countries beyond the Americas where they have different ways of dealing with "foreign" vehicles being ridden in by tourists . In the Americas it is more common to find the temporary vehicle import permit , a form of tourist tax and an encouragement to remove that vehicle from the country.Sometimes there is a hefty fee for that , or a heavy fine for not complying .
    The Mexican TVIP costs about $50 US equivalent and the TVIP SECURITY DEPOSIT which is refundable upon punctual cancellation of TVIP can be regarded as a payment of part of the import duty should the document not be cancelled in time .

    Chat Lunatique , since you live in Ontario,Canada and will travel only in N and S America you have no need for a CdP . Just be sure your bike papers are correct and current and bring the ORIGINALS.

    Since your voyage may be longer than six months or you may not ride back through Mexico at all you should insist on cancelling the Mexican TVIP and claim the refund of the TVIP Security Deposit at the time when you cancel your FMM on the day you decide to exit Mexico for either Belize or Guatemala .Failure to cancel means you forfeit that money and you will have more stuff to deal with on any later visit to Mexico.

    No doubt you will find some travel agents who are eager to sell you a CdP either because they are misinformed or they simply want to have another item for which to charge a service fee, such as and Interational Drivers License -- Also not needed for the Americas .
    #7
    knight likes this.
  8. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,266
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    On our road trip to TDF we checked in every Country when arriving at the border, bought the required TVIP...then when leaving that Country check out...go through 'no mans land' then check in the next Country and buy their TVIP. You MUST check IN and then check OUT. No carnet. The TVIP is your passage document. It's a seemingly simple process but some Countries are easier than others. They are all getting more sophisticated. The further south you get the easier it gets as they are more computer based. In 'Central America' be prepared to spend two or three hours at a border...they are busy, slow and some are still using hand written documents and type writers. Don't deal with anyone except Officials. It's up to you to decide who is 'official'.....you will encounter various 'identification badges' that are laminated and many different uniforms. Identify the official uniform as soon as you can. There are many people roaming around the entry and exit of borders wanting to help you for a fee or trying to trick you into buying a stamp for your passport or buying insurance or making a donation to a cause under the guise of officialdom. You will need patience and modicum of street smarts.
    #8
    ApexJeff likes this.
  9. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Thanks to all....good info!

    Just finished riding India and South Asia over the last three years. Yeah, border prcedures are not much fun. I hear in South America these guys play the game like a Stradivarius tho.
    #9
  10. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,266
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    I’d say entering Guatemala and Honduras were the biggest challenge...just so busy.
    #10
  11. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I thought Guatemala and Honduras were a breeze. Nicaragua has been the most difficult so far (in Coast Rica) do to general disorganisation and lack of organization.
    #11
  12. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Thanks guys!

    So, I enter a country and aquire a TVIP and pay with my credit card? I then stop and buy insurance in each country? Anything else at each border?

    Tires......what's the consensus? Can I make it on street tires? I carry tire irons and was thinking of buying and installing them in Columbia if needed. Ride is a CB500X. Rode street tires on the same machine all around Thailand. Small block would have been better but the street tires were ok. Knobbies in Nepal, small block for India, but the rest of my world travels have been on street tires.

    East or west side of Andes for the run south? My return swing north will be up the Atlantic side

    Ferry from Panama city to Cartagena I presume?
    #12
  13. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,161
    Crazeeeee Cat -you need to do a lot more research here on adv and STUDY some detailed maps to sort out your expectations a bit better as to route

    The connection from Panama City would have to be by air from Tocumen airport . Look at a MAP where Cartagena is located ! No ferry would run up through the Panama Canal and be affordable . For water bound transport most travelers seem to take the Stahlratte,from a north coast port ,reservations required , limited number of trips , which is amply described if you search a bit under "Stahlratte" .
    There is no regular scheduled commercial Ro-Ro ferry service around that Darien Gap .

    Also the choice of east-west of the Andes is tricky - most travellers report running a zig zag down through those mountains . By the time they reach the end of the road some are pooped and fly home after selling or storing the bike . Riding back seems to me a great idea and then you can explore the rest of eastern South America.

    No doubt street tires could do it but it would be a bit more comfortable on dual -purpose tires with a ratio of around 20:80 for dirt: pavement or 50:50 ( is there such a thing ?) if you want to get rugged
    #13
  14. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,266
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    We didn’t buy insurance for each Country. Only for Colombia was it an absolute requirement iirc
    #14
  15. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Normally I download maps to my gps and just wing it. I go where there winds blow me taking my time, no schedules. I get a sense of what to expect by talking to riders who've been there before and off I go. My adventure style is not for everone, but hey.....I've been riding this way for 3 yrs around the world and it's worked out pretty well.

    I've picked up a lot of useful tips here and will put them to good use.
    #15
  16. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,453
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    That's exactly how I do it...works out just fine for me ... ..

    Move like water, ride like the wind...dear friend!

    Safe travels...
    #16
    08StangGT_CS and powderzone like this.
  17. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,266
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    You’ll have an amazing ride........try and schedule your place on the Stahlratte and work towards that. You’ll not regret it. The sailing to Cartagena was a highlight in our trip and we found it more authentic than air shipping the bikes.
    #17
    knight and ApexJeff like this.
  18. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    So, I've got a rough plan. Ride to Panama City. Catch a boat to Cartagena in November. Ride to Ushuaia. Dip toe in water and then head to Rio for Carnival. I had planned to hug the east coast thru the Guyanas back to Columbia, but Venezuela is too unstable for me right now as is El Salvador. So both will be bypassed. So from Rio it's back to the Andes and up the east side of the hills from Arequipa.

    The Steel Rat bookings are thin early next year. First 2020 sailing is just one sailing til June. Anybody have an alternate ship that you used, or is the Stahlratte the only option other than seatainer?

    Feel free to suggest routing options. Thanks!

    APRIL 2020
    San Blas/Panama — Cartagena/Colombia
    19.4. arrival 21.4. (3days tour, 1130$ with bike)


    Just a quick Google map routing just to give me a distance / time reference

    Port Colborne , Ontario to Panama City

    https://goo.gl/maps/zzT6WX7vfux84Txz8

    Cartagena to Ushia

    https://goo.gl/maps/ssz3JQ4n3U4A6d1t8
    #18
    08StangGT_CS likes this.
  19. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #19
    Cal likes this.
  20. Rubinski

    Rubinski Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    210
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    #20