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Old 07-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
what car??
down the road
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Colorado
Oddometer: 372
Just got back to Colorado from Central America. Title, DL (though used the International one mainly with the regular DL as back up), registration. There is conflicting information on insurance for Mexico, seen it's necessary and also NOT necessary. I didn't purchase Mex insurance on my way down or back; $400 dollars to get in which you get back when you exit. On the way out of Guatemala heading into Mexico was charged $25+/- (by Mexico) for entering. I wondered what the heck that was about as I crossed the border 2x when I was in Guatemala from Jan to May: but didn't bring the bike, just me and a friend. I don't remember being charged that when entering Mexico through Juarez, oh well it's in the past. Re-entered Mexico at the Carmen border which goes to Tapachula. Easy border for the most part, though the Mexican authorities did ask to check my bags, which had more to do with them wanting to hassle me a little for tags that expired that day. Kind of funny when I think about it as I don't recall seeing date stickers on their cars. They said if I get stopped by the cops I could possibly have the bike towed until current tags were procured . Perhaps a $20 could have solved the issue entirely, but didn't get stopped at all. Well not entirely true, once did I get stopped because the cop wanted to know how my trip was and where I've been, etc...

To get into Guatemala Q160 (Q is Quetzals, Guatemalan currency) equivalent to about $25 US, no insurance. Easy border crossing at Mesilla. Re-entered Guate from Honduras at the Caliente border which goes from Esquipulas to Ocotepeque, which was also an easy border crossing. 90 day permit for Guate, I was there 6 months I received an extension for another 90 days.

El Salvador, also easy border crossing which was La Hachadura, closest crossing to the Pacific. No insurance. If memory serves correctly I think 60 day permit for the bike.

El Salvador to Honduras was not the funnest crossing as it took forever and things were not the easiest to find. Nondescript building over here, another over there, lots of traffic which was a damned tiring 3 hours. Oh well.

The Honduras/Nicaragua border wasn't too bad though to get copies you had to trek across a futbol stadium to get to the copier guy. That border crossing again was closest to the Pacific and went into Somotillo. If you take this route from Choluteca, be warned; POTHOLES, both big and small. As you are trying to avoid them, other vehicles are trying to avoid them also. It becomes kind of comical in a mad sort of way, avoiding vehicles that are trying to avoid potholes, as you're trying to avoid potholess.

The Nicaraguan/Honduran border up near Somoto was also EASY EASY. And not as pothole ridden. No insurance for Honduras. Though upon entering Nicaragua you will pay $14 US for insurance for 30 days and they give you a 30 day permit for the bike.

Border from Nicaragua to Costa Rica wasn't too bad. Though you have to get 3 signatures which requires you to seek out 2 agents that are floating around in the parking lot. Again, if memory serves correctly, you need to get the signatures in order or the one guy will send you back to get the signature from the guy you missed. People are really friendly and point you to the right people though. Again, closest border to the Pacific. Costa Rica side was pretty easy but did require you to seek out aduana which is about 2 blocks past the border, you turn at the little house that's no longer functional, double back and head down where all the trucks are parked. Not sure if they will have the barriers taken away so you can get there the short and direct route by the time you get there, but one never does know. Cannot remember the cost, but no insurance and I think 30 day permit also.

Unfortunately due to plans that were already kind of set up and more time than I thought in El Salvador, didn't make it to Panama (though I've been there before, just not on the bike).

As with most border crossings, patience and copies, and of course Spanish obviously helps! I hope this helps and I hope you have a wonderful ride!!
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