If you’re planning to visit just Honduras and not spend time touring nearby countries, getting there by land isn’t the most practical way to go. From the U.S. border, it takes at least three days on buses through Mexico and Guatemala to reach the closest Honduran border post at Aguas Calientes. Those who are on longer trips, however, and have some interest in spending time in Mexico or Guatemala should certainly consider getting there by bus or car. If you’re on your way directly to San Pedro, the north coast, or the Bay Islands, the quickest route from Guatemala is via Chiquimula, Guatemala, to the border at El Florido and on to Copán in Honduras. The other main route, preferable for those intending to visit Santa Rosa de Copán and Gracias, is via Esquipulas to Aguas Calientes, near Nueva Ocotepeque. It’s also possible to travel by well-paved road via Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and Omoa, Honduras, if you are in the north.
For those headed to Tegucigalpa or other points south, the fastest route is via El Salvador. Depending on your destination in Honduras, travelers coming from El Salvador will want to cross at El Poy, near Nueva Ocotepeque, or at El Amatillo on the Pacific coast. El Poy is the fastest way to get to the north coast, while El Amatillo is the quickest for Tegucigalpa. A more scenic route is via La Esperanza through canyon country to Perquín, a remote border town in El Salvador.
If you’re coming from or are on your way to Managua, Nicaragua, or farther south, the quickest border crossing is through Las Manos, beyond Danlí.
A slightly sketchier but still possible crossing is between Puerto Lempira, in the Gracias a Dios department (the Mosquitia) through the border town of Leimus to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. No firsthand information is available on the crossing, but migración officials in Puerto Lempira say they have a post at Leimus.
Coming down from the United States with your own vehicle is not unduly difficult, though it’s a long way. Get through the huge expanse of Mexico on the quickest route possible to get to Tapachula, Chiapas, and cross into Guatemala at Tecún Umán. Driving through Guatemala via Escuintla and Guatemala City to the Honduran border at either El Florido or Aguas Calientes takes approximately 8–9 hours. Alternatively, those with time on their hands can take the more scenic but considerably slower route through San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, through the highlands of Guatemala, and on to Honduras. Some information is available on the website www.go-panamerican.com, but real details are specified in the e-book available at www.drivemeloco.com.
Three bus companies run daily trips between Honduras and other parts of Central America. King Quality, in San Pedro (tel. 504/553-4547) at 2 Calle, between 9 and 10 Avenidas SO, and in Tegucigalpa (tel. 504/225-5415 or 504/225-2600), runs daily first-class buses to Managua, San Salvador, and Guatemala City; Tica Bus, in San Pedro (tel./fax 504/556-5149, www.ticabus.com) at the Texaco station on Boulevard del Sur and in Tegucigalpa (tel. 504/220-0579 or 504/220-0590, www.ticabus.com) at 16 Calle between 6 and 5 Avenidas, has buses to Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama every day; and Hedman Alas, in San Pedro (tel. 504/553-1316, www.hedmanalas.com) on 3 Calle between 7 and 8 Avenidas and in Tegucigalpa (tel. 504/237-7143) at 11 Avenida between 13 and 14 Calles, has daily buses to Guatemala City and Antigua.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition