This is our experience/record of crossing the El Salvador-Honduras border on Monday, 2 March 2015. Our traveling party consisted of two people, two motorcycles, and one dog (Chihuahua).
We arrived at 9:45am and were finished by 11:30am. It took approximately 15 minutes to exit El Salvador. There were fixers who we firmly told to leave us alone.
Border Name: El Amatillo highway CA-8
Closest major cities: Santa Rosa de Lima, El Salvador and San Andres, Honduras
Costs: 74.24 USD for one dog, two people, and two motorcycles
- Honduras tourist visa: 6 USD (3 USD per person)
- Honduras vehicle import permit 1,370 HNL (685 HNL per bike) or 32.62 USD each
- Copies: 3 USD
- Passport plus three photocopies
- Driver’s license plus three photocopies
- Motorcycle title plus three photocopies
- Motorcycle registration plus three photocopies
- El Salvador import permit plus one photocopy
- Note: we keep all originals in individual plastic sleeves. We labeled these sleeves clearly to avoid confusion as to what was what, to keep original documents clean, and to differentiate what was original and what is a copy. All border crossing officials have respected the sleeve.
- International health certificate from the US
- Health certificate from Mexico
- Valid rabies certificate (not more than one year old and not less than 30 days).
- Vaccination record
- Microchip certificate
Note: We did not claim/declare Ducati at this border. He was in his carry bag and had we been asked to claim him we did have all his paperwork ready. For specific experience with your dog please see Neli’s Big Adventure.
Exit El Salvador
Step 1: El Salvador Customs: About a quarter mile before the border vehicles may be stopped in the road, looks like a traffic jam, an official will flag you down and tell you to pull over. He will take your El Salvador Import Permit and a copy, check your VIN number and give you the copy back with a new sticker. This effectively cancels your permit. Make three copies of the cancelled permit.
Drive forward until road forks. Go the left and then park on the right side of the street next to the large immigration building.
Step 2: El Salvador Immigration: At the end of the building go to the migration counter and give them your passports. The official will look at passports (Shannon was able to have both passports processed) and he will give you a piece of paper with number of passports written on it. No stamp in passport and no fee.
Step 3: As you drive toward the Honduras side an El Salvadorian customs official will take a copy of your cancelled vehicle import permit and then wave you on.
Drive over the bridge into Honduras. At the end of the bridge you will be stopped by a Honduran official who may ask for your title, passport, driver’s license, and cancelled El Salvador vehicle import permit. He will point you toward the customs building, which will be the largest building straight in front of you.
Step 1: Honduras Customs: At the Aduana window give the official all your paperwork which includes passport, driver’s license, vehicle title, vehicle registration, and cancelled El Salvadorian import permit plus three copies of each. The woman will fill out information and stamp your passport.
- Then we were told to go to migration and return (do step 2 then return to complete 2 and 3 of this step)
- When I returned with stamped passports and tourist card payment receipt a different official took all my paperwork, walked me to the copy shop (paid for the copies I needed), walked me to the bank to pay the vehicle import fee (685 HNL per vehicle), and return to copy shop for copies of bank receipt.
- Returned to customs office and the second official filled out more forms, requested copies of vehicle registrations (I had copies in my folder) and eventually gave me the temporary vehicle import permits. The second official was very friendly and apologized for how many steps and how long it took.
Step 2: Honduran Immigration: This is the building to the right of the customs building (it is a large, yellow building). The migration window is on your right hand side when you enter. Give them your passport, fill out a tourist card, and provide US$3. They will stamp your passport and give you a receipt. Shannon was able to do this step for both passports.
Step 3: Drive away.
Step 4: Insurance. Insurance is not mandatory in Honduras so we have not purchased it.
We purchased Honduran currency at the border for a fair exchange rate.