Have you ever ridden in a Central American Chicken Bus?
Probably one of the most famous stories about traveling throughout Central America is the Central American Chicken bus myth. Believe me, I have traveled extensively throughout the region, especially Honduras and Nicaragua, but also Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica and yes, there is a reason why this Central American chicken bus myth exists…
I have literally traveled next to chickens, dogs, and parrots on an overcrowded bus. I have even traveled on a bus whose headlights would not turn on after numerous botched attempts to turn them on. The travel was certainly “exciting” as night fell and we all prayed that the vehicles coming in the opposite direction could somehow, miraculously see our bus and avoid a head on collision on the dark roads of Nicaragua.
Recently, I started a journey back to my home city for a couple of weeks to visit family. This entailed leaving home in La Ceiba at literally the crack of dawn, 5:15 a.m. to make it to the San Pedro Sula bus terminal, then continue on to the San Pedro Sula international airport and check in for my 12:45 flight on Aeromexico direct to Mexico City. Seems like a stressful effort traveling along Honduras’ highways to achieve my goal on time?
Not at all! I got smart, I pre purchased a ticket on Hedman Alas bus company. The bus left right on the dot at 5:15 a.m. and was in San Pedro Sula terminal at 8:20 a.m. giving me just enough time to run to the toilette, buy a cup of coffee and re board my connecting bus to the airport. All together, I was at the airport a few minutes past 9:00 a.m.
A few tips to make your trip truly enjoyable and insure breaking the Central American chicken bus myth:
1.- If you will spend some time in Honduras, make sure that you purchase a promodias card at Hedman Alas BEFORE you purchase your ticket. The card provides for discounts of 15% and up on various affiliate businesses, including Hedman Alas and fine boutique bed and breakfasts such as La Villa de Soledad. You will be awarded a 15% discount on your bus ticket even if you just then bought your membership card.
2.- Go ahead and splurge, the company offers some first class seats, under the brand of Ejecutivo Plus, make sure you stress the plus part of it! The seat practically turns into a lounge, they are wider that the regular Pullman seats, and you will be able to comfortably snooze throughout your trip. If you enjoy watching a movie, bring some headphones with you, so that you can hook up to the sound system in the bus, as they always show good movies during the trip. I got to watch Jurassic World on this trip.
3.- Bring a sweater or something to cover up. The air-conditioning works wonders, but you will freeze your b…t off if you do not wear something warm!