Questions about the Honduras border crossing process?
Honduras border crossing is possible from the three different countries along its land territory. (It borders more countries if you take into consideration its maritime borders) To the south, Honduras shares a border with the sister republic of Nicaragua, to the West it borders with El Salvador and to the northwest it borders with Guatemala. To its north you will find the Caribbean Sea, and to the south the Pacific Ocean. These four Central American countries have a migratory agreement called the CA4 treaty, which allows the free transit of citizens and residents within these countries with their local IDs as proof of citizenship.
If you are a citizen from any of the four CA4 treaty countries, you only need your ID to cross the borders. If you are a citizen of any other country, then you will need a valid passport that does not expire in the following 6 months after your arrival. In addition, you may need a Visa to enter the country.
All borders within the CA4 region remain open 24 hours a day, this includes both, immigration and customs officials, however it is important to note that if you need to pay any dues, you might end up stuck at the border overnight if you arrive late, since the banks where you must pay your taxes are not open throughout the night!
Border Crossings Between Guatemala and Honduras
There are three official Honduras border crossing points when entering from Guatemala, who by the way are in the process of implementing a joint customs area, meaning that you will not be passing through customs when crossing between Honduras and Guatemala. The most important border crossing is the Agua Caliente Border, located very close to the city of Esquipulas in Guatemala. This border is used mostly by cargo trailers and trucks, and tends to be quite busy. If you are on your way to Santa Rosa de Copan, it is certainly the most logical border to cross through. Take note that often there is some very dense fog in the evening and night along this road, making driving at night rather hazardous!
The most commonly crossed border by tourists is the one at El Florido. It is only 8 miles (12 Km) from Copan Ruinas. This is certainly the most tourist friendly border between these two countries. Finally the third and last border is the one at Corinto. This border is on the CA13 highway that interconnects Puerto Barrios with Puerto Cortes. If traveling by road from Guatemala City to San Pedro Sula, this is the fastest, easiest route, since it has the advantage of having fewer mountains to traverse. This route, by the way, takes you through the town of Corinto and the magnificent Fortress of Omoa.
Border Crossings Between El Salvador and Honduras
From El Salvador, there are only two Honduras border crossing alternatives. El Poy, located in Western Honduras, very close to the city of Ocotepeque. The other is El Amatillo, which follows the CA1 Pan American Highway along the Pacific coast. If you are headed towards Tegucigalpa, the latter option is by far the best. Total travel time in a car will be around 5 hours. If however you are on your way to San Pedro Sula, then the first option, El Poy is certainly the most convenient! The shortest route through Honduras between El Salvador and Nicaragua is through the El Amatillo border with El Salvador and El Espino with Nicaragua.
Border Crossings Between Nicaragua and Honduras
Lastly there are 3 official Honduras border crossing possibilities from Nicaragua. The most popular border crossing is the one at El Espino. Some guide books refer to this border as “La Fraternidad”. This is the border that is on the Pan American Highway that interconnects Central America. From Tegucigalpa, the closest border crossing is via the Las Manos. This border is close to the city of Danli in Honduras and El Ocotal in Nicaragua. Lastly, you have the Guasaule border which is the one closest to the Pacific Ocean. The highways through Las Manos and El Espino are in better shape than the one leading to Guasaule.
There is one other alternative to cross between these two countries along the Moskito Coast. Although there is not an official border per se, locals use this route regularly crossing the Coco River at Leimus. To do so, you must check in or out of Honduras at the immigration offices in Puerto Lempira. Into or out of Nicaragua do so at the immigration offices in Waspan. This route is not regularly traveled, and I have yet to go check it out, so make sure you do lots of investigating before you try it out! For more information on this route, check out our post on Honduras to Nicaragua via the Moskitia!