Before our trip we researched all the countries we would be visiting on the PanAm. Overwhelmingly, overlanders reported the most issues with border crossings, corrupt cops, bribery, and theft in Honduras. From what we read the cops seem to like to play it fast and loose in Honduras with “official laws” changing daily or even in between car checkpoints…
We came prepared with our “Anti-Bribery toolkit”. 3 reflective triangles, 1 fire extinguisher, roll of reflective tape, crappy porn mags and cheap cigarettes.
We mentally prepped ourselves for chaos and headed towards “El Florido”. We reached the border, nestled in a small valley between some large green hills.
What we found was not quite the insanity we expected. In fact it was actually a pretty sleepy frontera with just a few trucks idling about. Not a single scamming tramidor or corrupt official to be seen.
Equipped with our new spanish skills we asked around a bit and figured out the process. We found the aduana office and talked with a customs official who took care of stamping our passports out of Guatemala and canceling our car permit. We gave him all the paperwork and just sat back, he ran around various offices taking care of everything for us. Gratis! (Free)
Well… that was easy. It must get crazy on the Honduras side right??
We get back in the truck, drive a few hundred feet down the road and park in front of the Honduras Customs office. A man in a customs shirt comes up to us and says he is headed to lunch… OK?
Apparently, the customs office closes daily for lunch. (OVERLANDING PROTIP: Get your border crossings done before 12:00PM)
The official instructed us to get our passports stamped into Honduras and then come back later to handle the truck paperwork. Alrighty… We didn’t really have much of a choice so we stamped into Honduras and headed over to the comedor (restaurant) to have some lunch.
We entered the small lunchroom and the customs official waved howdy to us over his bowl of soup. We spent an hour eating lunch with the entire customs office watching “Scrubs” dubbed in spanish on the lunchroom T.V.
FYI: I don’t think “Scrubs” style of humor translates to Central America… though that Zach Braff sure is dreamy.
When lunch was over we headed back with the customs official to the office. A bunch of stamps, bunch of copies, and we were in. No strange fees, no bribes. Easy. Just how we like it.
As long as you have plenty of time to hang out for lunch “El Florido” is a great border crossing.
I read somewhere that 75% of Honduras is on at least a 25% incline. I believe it, this country is full of rolling hills and mountains.
Our first stop in Honduras was Copan Ruinas. We had heard tale of a bar there with a german owner who was brewing up 100% organic hefeweizen and other german beers. After drinking nothing but tasteless lagers for the past 5 months I was dying for a beer with some real flavor. Oh ya. I heard there were some Mayan ruins nearby too…
We pull into the city of Copan Ruinas and start asking beer questions, someone points us in the direction to Sol De Copan, German Bar and Restaurant.
We spent the rest of the entire day and evening hanging out with Tomas and making all kinds of new friends in Copan Ruinas. Once Tomas said we could just camp outside the bar we REALLY hit the sauce…
I don’t recall much from that night. I do remember we woke up the next morning in a fog. We drove 5 hazy minutes to the ruins, stepped outside the truck. Looked at the steep hike, looked at the hot sun, and then looked at each other… We jumped back in the A/C cooled truck and headed to the beach chugging water and tylenol the whole way.
Maybe next time Ruinas!
Up until Honduras the weather has been fairly mild, not too incredibly hot, not to cold. The instant we crossed into Honduras it started to heat up and humidify quickly. We thanked baby jesus that Adrian fixed our A/C in Guatemala City every time we stepped foot out of the truck into the inferno outside.
The palm-tree lined sandy shores of Tela, Honduras were more our speed on that hot day. We sat in the shade, ate fresh ceviche, and nursed our hangovers.