Crossing borders in Latin America is always fun. With little information on bus times, border procedures, costs and fees. It’s often a jump into the dark abyss but it always turns out well, in the end.
People opt for the $80 USD shuttle bus which takes you directly from La Ceiba Honduras to Leon Nicaragua. I found the Honduras-Nicaragua border crossing is relatively simple to do on your own and for a fraction of the price. It just involves spending a night in Tegucigalpa.
Tegucigalpa is a dangerous city, however, with some planning and visualise you will survive a night.
Most people will do this roue if they have been scuba diving in Utila. Absolutely there is a lot more to Honduras than Utila, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do them. There is white water rafting in the port town of La Ceiba or travel the alternative route via Lake Yojoa. I heard amazing things about both and they come highly recommended.
Here’s my guide to crossing borders into Nicaragua.
Honduras to Nicaragua
- Ferry from Utila to La Ceiba – $25USD – 1 hour
- La Ceiba to SPS – 125L 3.5 hours
- SPS to Teg – 240L 5 hours
- Taxi to hostel 30L pp
- Hostel 200L
- Taxi to bus station 25L pp
- Teg to Choluteca – 80L 2-3 hours
- Choluteca to Guasaule – 40L 45mins
- Border tax $12USD.
- Border to Leon 100C – last bus at 5 pm (1-hour border crossing)
- Total: 760L = $45
Utila to Tegucigalpa
The ferry leaves 8 A.M. daily from Utila to the mainland weather permitting. In my 2 weeks, only 1 ferry was cancelled.
Getting a taxi from the ferry port was simple, although involved some haggling, nothing new in Latin America. The bus to SPS was straight forward, as was catching the next bus to Tegucigalpa.
The journey crossing the central mountainous region of Honduras is so beautiful. I feel it should be its own attraction.
In Tegucigalpa, we have some issues with the taxi drivers outside the bus station wanting to charge tourist prices. They actually laugh at us when we say no, never the less we are not going to pay that much for a 10-minute journey. We walk to the main road and flag a taxi down for $2 per person. The Palmira hostel in Tegucigalpa is really nice, located in the embassy district and was the former Ecuadorian Embassy.
Tegucigalpa To The Border
We awake early in the morning, aiming to get the 9 AM bus to Choluteca. Here we realise the chaos side of Honduras. There is no station, multiple bus companies and just masses of people trying to get you on to their bus. After asking around we think we get the one leaving first but it doesn’t matter. The bus is clean, tidy and we are on our way to Nicaragua.
We change bus in Choluteca for Guasaule with little issues and are on our way to the border.
The Border Cross
The border cross is a little strange. First, we struggle to find the correct hut as they are building new offices and the area looks like a building site. Second, we are asked to pay $12 entry even though we have paid to enter the C4 countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua). Third, we are asked for different paperwork crossing the border into Nicaragua. All this shows why I lover border crossings!
The Border to Leon
We cross the border around mid-day. There isn’t much in the small town but we manage some food and drinks and have a chat with the locals.