Taking a Kayak into Mexico

Hey I was wondering if anyone here on the forum has experience with taking a kayak across the mexican border. I am taking a vacation there and my wife suggested we just take our kayaks with us instead of renting. I wanted to do some research though about how this worked. If anyone has any information. Any at all. I would really appreciate it! Thanks.


I did it pre-9/11
both by Brownsville and San Diego. We were searched pretty close coming back into USA for drugs. Once they saw the boats were empty in the racks they did not get a second look as far as serial numbers or ownership.

After 9/11 all bets are off.

Well I live in Mexico
and have brought kayaks in on 2 occasions with no problems. They never asked about them or even gave them a second look.

Where are you thinking of going? If you get down by Lake Chapala look us up. We have a club that gets together about 3 days a week with over 20 members.


If it is like Canada
The US border folks could want to see some kind of paperwork indicating ownership or purchase. It is within their guidelines to at least ask for it. But my sister and her husband went over the border into Canada this last summer with two very used rec boats and didn’t have to produce anything, so they aren’t being consistent.

It is worth noting that my sister and I have both attained the set of favors attributable to being a white-haired old(er?) lady.

You might want to get someone in the US to sign a bill of sale indicating that you bought the boat from them. That would reduce any arguments about taxes or declarations getting it back in.

Mayan Seas Kayaks
For what it’s worth, the owner of Mayan Seas Kayaks, a Mexican boat manufacturer, drives up to the Corpus Christi Paddle Fest every fall pulling a trailer full of kayaks plus some on the roof of his car and he appears to have no problem crossing the border. I made his acquaintance there last September.

Not a problem at all .

– Last Updated: Jan-24-13 3:40 PM EST –

If you are crossing into Baja or Sonora, you just do it.

Some places you might pay a business to watch your kayak on your car in their yard if you are leaving it unattended. Usually this is not a problem, but there are problems with crime that do happen, unfortunately.

You do want to be careful where you stay, and only drive in the daytime in Mexico. Stay around other groups of campers. Be prepared to be stopped and searched on outlying roads. This can be quite stressful as the Federal police look quite intimidating but seem to be honest. Local police or those pretending to be police can be a different story. Car jackings and robbery was very common a couple of years ago, we don't hear so much lately, but most folks have stopped going down.

Been there many times
Never a problem crossing either direction & was never asked about the boats. When getting stopped at military checkpoints the usual question is where are you going, but that’s whether you’re hauling kayaks or not.

Lake chapala kayak club members have brought kayaks across the border, one per person, and if have a business a friend bought 15 across the border cost was $50 dollars a peice could be higher now. Lake chapala kayak club is located in Ajijic, mexico. LCKC meets every thursday for breakfast after the thursday 8 AM paddle at 10;30 ish old posada ( now Bonanza resaurant). Please come and meet the club members. Most members have thier own sea kayaks.

I’d be worried about coming with or without the kayaks.

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Someone was bilked. Under NAFTA there is no charge. Proof of origin in Canada US and Mexico is a good idea.

Many border crossings here but not to Mexico…Sounds like extortion by a corrupt border agent.