For over a year I heard horror stories about the Tegucigalpa to Choluteca Highway due to construction. By some reports, it could take as long as 7 hours to drive the 160 kilometers between both cities. It got so bad that CM airlines started flying between both cities with much success. This past week, I had the opportunity to travel between Tegucigalpa and Choluteca. I am happy to report that travel time was under 2 hours. There is no doubt in my mind. All that hassle was well worth while!
The new Tegucigalpa to Choluteca highway is a pleasure to drive. Perhaps the only part that is still a nuisance are the first 8 kilometers as you exit or enter Tegucigalpa. This is a windy road that is uphill. Heavy traffic driving in and out of the city is slow. Because there are buildings on either side of the road, it was not feasible to make it into a three or four lane highway. Thus, I recommend patience during this stretch.
The road climbs up to the Cerro de Hula. This is the highest point between Tegucigalpa and the Southern Honduras Pacific Coast. On a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean from here. There is a windmill farm on the ridge at Cerro de Hula, the first such project in Honduras. Near this point is the entrance to Ojojona, one of the more picturesque colonial towns near Tegucigalpa. From this point it is downhill all the way. The road will take you past two other pleasant colonial towns: Sabana Grande and Pespire. The first is in the department of Francisco Morazán, the second in Choluteca. If you have time to explore, do so. I particularly like Pespire, that has a nice colonial church. Both towns are famous for their “rosquillas” a corn based crunchy doughnut.
The CA5 highway between connects with the Pan American Highway along the coast at the town of Jícaro Galán. This is a small junction town with little to nothing to offer. If you take a right, you are headed towards the El Amatillo Border with El Salvador. A left will take you past San Lorenzo, Choluteca and eventually the El Espino Border with Nicaragua at San Marcos de Colón. From Choluteca, you can also take the road to the Guasaule Border with Nicaragua. The latter is a better route if you are going to Leon, Nicaragua. The first is best if your destination is Managua.
I was pleased to find that Pan American Highway, also known as CA1 was in great shape. There is no reason why you should not head South towards Choluteca now. The new Tegucigalpa to Choluteca highway is a thorough pleasure to drive! Do keep in mind that on hot summer days many bus excursions and families in cars take off for the beaches in the Pacific. This means that during that time of the year you may find heavy traffic on the road. One of the top things to do in the Pacific Coast is to participate in the turtle hatchling release. I was there last week and enjoyed participating in releasing baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean. I thoroughly recommend the experience!