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Driving In US-Mex-Guat-Hondu-Nica

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987bones
9/14/2021 16:56 EST

Making the trip by truck 11-15-21
Use this thread for All Transportation This Way
Let the Comments-Recomendations Fly

Difficulity? Searches? Hassles? Etc?

Allwewantispeace
12/20/2021 02:17 EST

How many hours do you recommend driving in a day?

I assume you find lodging? What do you look for or try to avoid?

How many days will it take to drive from Texas in SJdS?

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KeyWestPirate
11/6/2021 12:30 EST

Yes,, I got turned around one night,, took me an hour to find my way back to the highway.

More and more you are seeing beltways,, Guadalajara was like that too,, but now has a beltway that avoids the city completely. Huge time and stress saver. Tegus as well.

The trip has actually gotten easier from that perspective. The driving. I had no security issues.

Nicaragua border is a PIA, and I think I hit someone's birthday at the joint Honduras/Guatemala border near Copan.

Guasaule is the easiest border, but for me, it's out of the way. If you are going to Leon, Managua,,Granada, SJdS,, good choice. $50, two hour PCR Covid test in Choluteca to enter Nicaragua.

But, part of it is,, your plan has to adapt to things like cooling your heels here or there. I try to cross in the morning, overnight close to the next border, rinse and repeat.

Once you get to Mexico you are home free. Mexico border is easy, efficient.

They ARE watching for speeders now,, whereas before you could drive as fast as feasible. The toll road speed limit is 65 (110 KMH), so you can do 70 if the road supports it,, and many do.

One you are in Mexico,, things get so much easier.

KeyWestPirate
11/6/2021 12:16 EST

Yes, usually a fist full of dollars was all you needed. Those days are gone.
I used to buy something in Walmart in Mexico,, pay with a $100 bill and get pesos that way. Great exchange rate,, no ATM fee. Walmart will not take dollars AT ALL, now,, not even a $20 bill.

on the plus side: roads are better everywhere,, but still bad stretches in Honduras and Guatemala.

Hot water everywhere in Mexico,, I stayed at El Paraiso in Tehuacan for $16, VERY hot water. Cheap peso makes Mexico a good deal.

blakeb
11/6/2021 12:10 EST

I have made the mistake of driving around Guatemala City. That place is a nightmare. Definitely agree with staying in the center lane. I drove it one time back in the day without GPS. We were lucky to get out alive but it has given us something to talk about over the years.

blakeb
11/6/2021 12:04 EST

Its been 5 years since I drove in Central America and it sounds like things have changed a lot in a short period of time. Those countries used to crave US dollars. Not sure what happened.
Thanks for the information. Send more when you have time.

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KeyWestPirate
11/6/2021 11:47 EST

I made it back to Tucson without any serious issues.

Some changes: very difficult to use dollars in Mexico, and you need pesos for the toll roads at a minimum. Any ATM of course, just don't run out. Most gas stations will not accept dollars. This has changed over the last two years.

Exchange rate at ATM is 20 pesos to the dollar, plus the usual $5 or so fee. Gas was $3.75 for regular.

Roads are good and better in Mexico.

Covid not a problem,, I picked up a $30 test at the Las Manos border leaving,, got me to Mexico, Proof of vaccination works in CA as well.

Long trip.

987bones
10/25/2021 12:43 EST

Exelente!!!!

KeyWestPirate
10/23/2021 11:34 EST

You get another 90 days into Costa Rica and back. Your vehicle gets only 30.

BUT, you can get a 30 extension in Managua for the asking and $10.

You are looking for $45 for insurance in CR, but good for 90 days. SO, if you get the one extension and then return to CR in 60 days, no charge for the second dip.

You have to stop at the building where you initially got the insurance and let them know that you are coming back,, they do something to the form so it's good for the second trip.

There is no charge for the car permiso either in Nicaragua, or CR, $10 to extend it in Managua. Insurance is $12 month in Nicaragua. Make sure you get it, and keep it current.

There is really nothing in the way of bribes unless you do something wrong, or you want some special treatment.

Try to arrive at border crossings in the morning. It IS a bit more involved with a vehicle. You will need permisos at each country for the vehicle. Mexico requires a refundable deposit of $200 to $400, depending on age of vehicle. You get it back when you leave.

Guatemala is about $29, Honduras is $35. El Salvador is free, but I no longer go that way. I go through Guate City, cross close to Copan in Honduras.

Make sure you have google maps. You can get a TelCel chip[ for your phone in Mexico that takes you all the way to Nicaragua.

It's a straight forward trip. Covid test leaving Mexico gets you to the Nicaragua border. Proof of vaccination gets you through CA, but you will still need a COVID PCR to get into Nicaragua. Guate City is easy, if you get there early enough in the day. Costs $50, takes two hours.

Choluteca in Honduras, again $50 and two hours. From Choluteca you can enter at either Espino, or Guasaule. Guasaule is easiest, friendliest.

Buen Viaje!

elduendegrande
10/23/2021 10:17 EST

You can do anything you want.
Plan on 24 hour/
$110 covid test to get back in.
Unless anything goes wrong

987bones
10/22/2021 11:11 EST

Driving down November; Need to keep US registered vehicle in Nica;

Can I just drive out to costa rica for a couple days and then drive back in for another 90 days; rinse and repeat?

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn More GET A QUOTE

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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987bones
9/16/2021 19:05 EST

Valid .... less than 6mo expire passport. Should get it now! So good for 10yr. Because Gov System is breaking down.

Covid tests BS

Your gear, thats it......

Machete for safety....lol

987bones
9/16/2021 19:01 EST

Great info, Thanks .... should be in by Mid Nov.

KeyWestPirate
9/15/2021 21:01 EST

Depends on how fast you drive.

Get cheapo antigen in Tapachula at pharmacy before you cross,, good in Guatemala and Honduras.

Nicaragua requires PCR, get it in Choluteca,, gateway to either Guasale or El Espino border crossings.

$29 for the antigen in Tapachula, $50 for the PCR in Choluteca.

Or,, arrive with a vaccination card and pass through all of CA except Nicaragua without testing.

Still need that PCR to get into Nicaragua

Mexico is going to be your longest run,, no COVID test required. Borders are nominally "closed", but they still let you through.

Guate and Honduras go fast. You need to do a "prechequeo" for Honduras, do it on your phone and save it,,,, and you are supposed to let Nicaragua know that you are coming too. Enforcement varies :)
Guasale doesn't care,, Espino will make you cool your heals for 4 hours as punishment for not doing it.

BananaJoe
9/15/2021 12:40 EST

Sounds like a fun adventure. Would like to expend that trip down to Panama.

Can you fill us in on the paperwork necessary to get at least to Nica? I've read that it's also expected to pay bribes especially in Nica. Can you confirm?
thanks

987bones
9/15/2021 10:17 EST

incorporation & citizenship
https://garciabodan.com/oficinas/

987bones
9/15/2021 10:13 EST

cool

Have to get a "negative cov test" for each border crossing somewhere I assume....

ricktee
9/15/2021 09:19 EST

Hi Bones, How did you get citizenship?
Shalom, Rick

KeyWestPirate
9/15/2021 04:08 EST

I've done it many times,, both ways. I'm going back up on the 25th of this month

Stay on the toll roads, Patrolled by the Federales (now National Guard), safe,, excellent for the most part, fast. Gas is the same price except at the northern border, it was $3.60/gal when I came down.

I've never had any serious problems. I leave from the western side, Tucson, cross at Nogales.

You can buy a TelCel chip in Mexico for your unblocked phone that will cover CA as well as Mexico. Mexico is straightforward, but you might need Google Maps in Guate, Honduras. Stay in the center lane (harder than you think) going through Guate City, unless you are up for some serious sightseeing. See Google Maps above

If you phone is blocked you can get it unblocked for $25. You need an unlocked phone for the telcel chip. Once you get to Nica you can get a chip/plan that is good from Costa Rica to the US. Pay the $22/monthly online where ever you are.




Good luck!

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