Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crossing Through Honduras in a Day

We've read that Honduras has the highest recorded murder rate in the world and some of the most corrupt police in Central America.  Many overlanders who find themselves near the Pacific coast of El Salvador (and also Honduras) cross through Honduras in ONE DAY.  This means two border crossings in a day.  Hey, why not, let's give it a try.

A few days before the border-hopping we relaxed in the El Salvador mountains at a place called Las Veranas near the Rio Sapo

With step-by-step instructions from PanAmNotes and LifeRemotely, we crossed from El Salvador to Honduras and then to Nicaragua. We did it on a Sunday when things were more mellow.  Contrary to what we expected, the El Salvador/Honduras border crossing at Amatillo was clean and relatively fast. We even got to sit in an air-conditioned room while we waited to pay $40 (!!) for our vehicle permit. We had read that while crossing through Honduras, we would encounter up to 10 police stops.  We saw 3 and were stopped at only one.  The police officer asked us for our vehicle paperwork and then let us on our way. That was it!  All of the hassle came from a tout trying to "help" us at the Nicaraguan border which was really no big deal. He decided to follow us through our vehicle permit process. All he did was repeat what the officials Spanish! He couldn't even translate to English. What was the point? We struggle with Spanish, not hearing. When it was over, he demanded money.  I gave him 25 cents.  It was a long, hot day but nothing out of the ordinary.

Easy 2.5-hour drive through Honduras

The hassle factor went up a bit when we got into Nicaragua. We've been stopped twice by police in Nicaragua and these guys were definitely fishing for something to nail us on. One of them tried to tell Scott his passport was expired by pointing to the "Date of Issue". Wow, how stupid does he think we are?

As for Honduras, when we drive back, we will most certainly visit for more than a day.
Welcome to Nicaragua - common ox-drawn carts

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I just did that yesterday. I didn't see a single cop in Honduras, just potholes, dead horses, and kids wearing safety vests trying to stop me on the road for money.

I got pulled over 4 times in Nicaragua though. 2.5 of them were corrupt and trying to get a bribe. I held firm though with my clueless happy friendly tourist routine and got off. I also found that implying that I'm a doctor gets me better treatment as well.

Good luck and happy travels.