La Fraternidad, San Marcos de Colon, Honduras to El Espino, Nicaragua | Customs and Immigration



4 months ago
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EL ESPINO Border Crossing (Honduras into Nicaragua)
Open all day and night

Honduras to Nicaragua
Tourist entry fee: $10USD/pp
Some entry tax: $2USD/pp
Dog import: $26USD/pp
Fumigation: $4USD/pp
Photocopies: $2USD/pp
Mandatory insurance: $12USD/pp

Keep your tourist card and receipts.
No fees when exiting Honduras.

Nicaragua to Honduras
Nica exit fee: $2US/person
Tourist entry fee $3US/person
Car import permit fee $40US (790 lempiras, ask for receipt to avoid agent keeping the cash)
Photocopies: $0.25US
Pet import fee: $15US


Why? By checking in after you’ve visited a place you let others know this place is still functional. You can also add or correct any information.

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Same as previous comments, I just add that you should do your precheck online 7 days before. It will speed up the process. Other than that, nice people. The immigration guy said we didn’t need to go to X-ray, we have a RV, and outside another guy said we had to…They asked for PCR test, bring a paper copy, they will keep it. They don’t care about what lab. Very long but that’s the life of crossing border !

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This border is 24/7 in operation. Maybe slow but its open all day and night.
Does not closes at 6pm as noted on the main comment.
From Honduras into Nicaragua:
Did not pay mandatory insurance. Wasn’t asked.
4.50$ for Fumigation
13$ for immigration
Free 30 days vehicular permit (could extend for another 30 in Managua)

And 30 mins of time wasted on the bench because the women was on her phone and keep telling me to espera. Haha. On and on smooth. Lots of trucks on a small two line road to by passing them could be a bit hard day time.

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Slow going but no problems Honduras to Nicaragua. Plenty of stopped and parked semi trucks to weave your way through. Exit Honduras-all offices in one building you can park nearby. Need to go to salud station first to get checked and a small white slip is given necessary pass through immigration. Then salida immigration for exit stamp, then aduana to cancel TIP. Drive a few meters to Nicaragua fumigation first, then health check on the left in a trailer after fumigation payment booth. Can then park at the spaceship building where everything else happens. Immigration, vehicle inspection and scan then TIP. Absolutely need approval emails from Nica. One after you fill the form out online and one after you respond to that email with your Covid PCR test results attached. We showed on our phone screens. El Buen Samaritano lab in Choluteca is an approved lab to get tested. They will give you a color copy of the results if you ask. That’s what we gave the staff in the health check. We used USD to pay for everything. $5.50 fumigation, $13/pp immigration

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HN --> NC

FYI we filled out our Nicaragua prechequeo the evening before we crossed, we never got an approval letter, but it was fine. Took immigration a few extra minutes to look up our info is all.

Also we missed SEPA for our dog on the way into Honduras, which they fixed for $15 on the Honduras side.

X-ray machine makes super blurry images, which they can't see much, but they did search our truck for 5/10 minutes, but didn't pull any bags out. (Small X-ray machine is still broken).

Apparently they request that the PCR test comes from only certain testing centers. I'll add the photo for reference. Took us 5 hours to cross, but we were just perpetually confused leaving Honduras, but it was like 6am and all parties seemed to be pretty uncaffeinated.

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Ne surtout pas passer à cette frontière pour aller au Nicaragua. ils ont une liste manuscrite affichée sur une porte côte Nicaragua de 8-10 laboratoires autorisés pour tout le Honduras. Si le labo n'est pas sur la liste vous ne rentrez pas. Même avec un permiso de ingresso reçu par email, même avec la validation cote Honduras du test. Résultats nous étions sortis du Honduras, nous avions payé la fumigation et nous avons dû faire la queue pour rentrer à nouveau au Honduras et payer les taxes d'entrée...à nouveau aussi ! Apparemment ils refusent quasiment toutes les entrées ici...

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Came through in 4 hours (salida Honduras and Entrada Nicaragua) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PRECHEQUEO APPROVED!!!
we got our approval email the morning of crossing and 3 different people asked and wanted to be sure we had it. Without that… no bueno!!! Also, they are very suspicious of the PCR tests, find a legit lab cause if they don’t like what they see… no bueno!
Apart from that, come with lots of copies and even more patience and a smile! Things move slow!!! But everyone was friendly and helpful, the area felt reasonable safe for our motorcycles, to pushy tramistadores, definitely not as bad as what we were anticipating. Nothing on our bikes got checks, luggage neither. The X-ray machine was definitely broken so… not difficult but… PATIENCE!

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Leaving Honduras was easy and quick. Received exit stamp and cancelled TIP.

Entering Nicaragua was a painful 4 hour process. Main tip would be to have change in USD, you’ll need to pay multiple people who have limited change.

First the gaurds will ask to see all your paperwork:
- Passport
- negative PCR test (3 paper copies)
- Proof of online form completion, we showed screen grab of the email on our phone

Covid Check
- You will then be directed to see the ‘health inspector’ they will review your negative covid test, take your temperature and give you a little paper slip.

Customs form
- Once you have your covid slip go back to the guards to complete a customs form.
- Once the form is complete you need to make a copy of the form for the guards (there is a little shop across the road that will do copies for you)

X Ray machine
- We were asked to remove all our belongings from the van including all boxes with our clothes and camp equipment (about 6 boxes and 2 bags)
- Then drive to the X-ray machine (only one person per vehicle can go. The other should wait with the boxes).
- Once x Ray is complete and they have results guards will thoroughly inspect the van
- No one asked us about a drone but ours was hidden with the battery. Nothing was flagged or noticed.
- After X-ray and inspection were complete we waited about an hour for the clearance form
- Not until you have this can you go to immigration for an entry stamp

- normal process but requires $12USD per person. Bring cash and change, we only had $50 and it was a pain
- They will also ask for the little covid slip you got at the beginning

- once you have your entrance stamp you can import the car
- Normal process but we waited in line with all the truckers: this took 1.5 hours.
- No copies of documents required, they took scans of everything

- Get in your car and continue down the road, you’ll be stopped and asked for your immigration slip and they will take your TIP. We paid $12USD for a month of insurance (again, make sure to have change)

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I Continu here: very friendly, but they made an issue out of an old air compressor and an oil filter we carry . They searched the car and camper extensively. Just took a bit of time.. don’t know why they made a fuss but it ended good. We got 30 days TIP.

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Out of Honduras very easy and friendly people. They’ll stop you a little before the migration to check paperwork (official). Then go to migration for pasport in Blue/white building left. Then go to Adouana for TIP. They’ll tell you to make 2 copies of stamp in pasport of TIP and the TIP. Done!! No cost. Then drive to nica border, they check your paperwork there also. Fumigate ($5 for campers), then medical (temperature for corona), then pasport then vehicle.. very friendly

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easy border crossing from Nica to Honduras.

Nicaragua side:
was a little bit long. arrive, speak to an agent, start paperwork. get escorted through vehicle x-ray machine, explain all the unusual stuff in your vehicle, turn in TIP, get stamped and pay fee. overall the folks here were more helpful and laid back so it was a low stress experience.

Honduras side was a breeze.
arrive and go to migrations, easy questions and prints. once stamped go to aduana and give them vehicle papers, passport and drivers license. he was so laid back and friendly he even made all the photo copies himself. paid $45 and was finished in 15 mins.

go on a Sunday

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This border is stress free. very laid back customs leaving and entering. This border was recomended to us as the rasiest border because it was not busy

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Rough crossing on a Sunday. The official officers were looking for bribes. Apparently not many English speakers come through that checkpoint and we were and instant target. The troubles came with them wanting an original title of the vehicle. We don't have it with us but had plenty of copies and pictures of the original. I would highly recommend to have colored copies that look just like your original title before crossing. Nicaraguan side is pretty firm on getting an original. We stayed friendly and kept talking to the agent. We made small talk and he loosened up and finally gave up our TIP. We ended up giving him about 15 USD and some cheap, unopened headphones we use for bribes. It worked and we got through. But be prepared it was a long 3hr process and a lot of sweet talking to get things moving.
other than that, it's a mellow crossing that's pretty obvious on where to go and who to talk to. No pushy helpers and just a few money changers. But don't make our mistake. Have colored copies of your title that look original (or the original if you're brave).

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Nicaragua to Honduras

2h in total with car, without dog

Aduana people in Honduras can hardly write. The car brand in our TIP is 'Wolswagan' and we entered from Niciaraqua. The agent refused me to help him and said that in Honduras my car brand is written like that. My first, middle and last name have each two spelling mistakes which makes it 6 in total.

Car import permit price was 40usd with the first guy, changed to 879lempiras with the second person and when insisting for a receipt turned out to be 790lempiras (35,22 usd at the exchange rate of the day)
Ask for s computer written receipt, otherwise it is more likely the agent keeps the cash for him/herself.

Apart of Aduana in Honduras all other agents were nice and easy to deal with.

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We arrived at 1345 on a Monday and we left at 1715. We were leaving Honduras and that exit was fast (maybe 30mins), the people were kind and chatty.

We were not hassled on either side by ‘helpers’ instead both wides were very calm and orderly.

Our Spanish is very limited but unless we were spoken to in English (a few people were excited to practice) we only spoke Spanish using our limited vocabulary.

Good crossing for dogs, she was inspected and given some water! Total pet fee was $26USD.

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Nicaragua to Honduras, less than 1.5 hours for both sides.
Exactly as described by others.
Only thing to mention: the 2$ exit fee in Nicaragua has to be paid in USD, no cordobas accepted!

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Everything as described below. Pretty mellow crossing- we did it going south then north again 2 months later.

NICA side is slooooowww both directions. Get the email permission ahead of time it helps when entering Nica.

Both ways you’ll get your passports stamped first. Then start Aduana paperwork- you’ll fill out a customs form and they’ll have a policeman drive with you to have your vehicle scanned. Then theyhave a DGA person in blue verify the contents of your vehicle, sign the customs form and return it to Aduana window. The IPSA office across the street handles your pet papers- you can do that anytime

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⚠ If you have something expired on your vehicule papers, don't pass the frontier here or make a false. The expiration date of our immatriculation certificate (from Québec) was passed since 3 months. We stayed 4 hours at the nicaraguan border to try ALL the solutions. But they didn't gave us the importation permit for our vehicule. We had to go back to Honduras and had to pay to cancel our 2 hours Nicaragua visa and pay a second time to import our vehicule and make our visas in Honduras. 70$ and calm were lost today !

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Crossing from Nicaragua to Honduras

Took us 1 h for the Nicaragua part. Go to aduana for the car papers, left blue building and afterwards to migration pay 2$ pp to get out of the country.

1 h more for the Honduras site. In one building you start with migration, could be a little line and after you go to the corner opposite named “tourist aduana”. In a Office you do all the paper work for the car and pay 35 $. You need 2 copies of most of the papers, there is a copy shop on the Honduras->Nicaragua site.

All together it took us 2 h and it was quite simple. No help from a agent needed.

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Straight forward border. Costs Nicaragua: 2 USD p.p. Costs Honduras: Entry fee migration 3 USD p.p, motocycle USD 40 (not shure whether it was justified, got a receipt for 679 Lempiras (USD 28 USD). Copies needed: Passport foto page, driving lisence, registration document 2 copies each and aduana passport stamp, aduana form 1 copy each.

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We crossed on a Sunday morning, excelent idea. No lines and no one.

We did send the mail and they asked to show us the confirmation mail.

Super easy, they scanned our camper and find nothing (we had fruits).

There is also a small revision of the camper but finally they didn’t do it. They keep on asking about if we had pets. We don’t have.

The prices are the same.

About the form: there is no problem if you enter in a different date they only want to check the confirmation mail. We entered a week after the date we original informed.

En el duty free encontramos vinos argentinos de excelente calidad a buen precio.

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HON to NIC. Easy crossing. no exit fee for us. very friendly staff on the honduran side, copies were 2 Lempiras each. fumigation 2$US for a sidecar rig. Nic immigration asked for the solicitud online form confirmation mail on my phone. paid 14$US p.p. for tourist card and tax. TIP was free, no insurance required. do speak Spanish, if you can. they loved me for my rather rudimentary skills, and told me how they hate the ones that 'don't speak anything! just English!"! and giving away stickers or chewing gum may have helped creating a good mood as well.

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cruzamos de Honduras a Nicaragua, aunque teníamos mucha prevención porque no pudimos llenar la solicitud de ingreso online, los trámites fueron relativamente rápidos. tienen servicio de scaner para la inspección del vehículo lo que agiliza la diligencia.

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a pesar que teníamos mucha prevención porque no pudimos llenar la solicitud de ingreso on line, tienen servicio de scaner para el vehículo, lo que hizo que los trámites fueran menos engorrosos.

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Ok so this is those going South to North, we arrived at the Nic boarder on a Saturday around truck line and hardly anyone of all no painful helpers!!!!. Got to the boom gate, officer asked to see passports and gave us a form to complete for the moto. Once he had notified ahead we rode 50 meters to the light blue building, parked up, gave an official the completed moto form and went inside to get passports stamped. Paid $4 US exit fee each with a receipt/ factura. 5 minutes later went and got paper for moto from guy outside, all he did was initial it, im assuming to say he'd checked the moto....which of course he hadnt. Went over to Aduna, in same building as passports just opposite window, he checked our in coming TIP and the initialed form from outside, gave us a signed copy to give to exit guard and said good bye. Ride 50 mters to exit guard, gave him signed paper and he said goodbye.....all up 30 minutes.
Ride 20mters to Hondorous gate, show passports, he lets us pass, park up a further 20mtrs in front of building, go around side window to migration, get passports stamped, photo and fingerprints. Paid $3 each entrance tax....again with a receipt, walk 5 mtrs to Aduna, he filled out the form and asked for $42 in total explaining it was the total, taxes, insurance cost etc, told us to walk up the street to get copies done of stamped paperwork and on return...said goodbye......all up Hon side 30 minutes. The only thing i questioned was the 42 charge as i thought it was only 35 but others there assured us i
t was i said, quick, quiet.

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Made it from Honduras (here) to Costa Rica through Nicaragua in 11h straight driving (direct Google Maps route).
15 roadblocks and 9 car searches - no problems at all!

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Entered this border due to concerns of protests in Leon. In El Salvador, an Australian couple we met had there shuttle canceled and had to fly.
We got through the border fine and most below is accurate. On Nicaragua side it was dead but still took 2 hours. They work very slowly.
Dealt with 24 hour strike in Somoto. Everyone nice but supermarket closed, banks closed, atm out of cash. Next day we had to use our passports to get cash at a bank.
Then hit 3 crazy roadblocks. Got through Estelí and then hit a huge one. Semis turned sideways so no one but motorcycles can pass. Huge and long.
We opted to go route north of the lake and avoid Managua, Leon, Granada.

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It took about two hours. We got the Honduras side around 7:30, the vibe was a little weird, and after we put our trash in the bin the “tramitadores” went through it right in front of us. On the Nicaraguan side they first fumigated the vehicle. At customs we had to wait because we submitted our online entry form two days ago and it had not been approved. While we waited another customs guy, William, inspected the van. He just opened the door and barely looked, but he wrote down a lot of info regarding our bikes. Once he signed the customs form we got the car permit and then the insurance. After about an our “solicitud” was approved. Although we were the only people crossing it was a bit slow but everyone was very friendly.
12 pack of Toñas was $9 at the duty free.

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Border Update: coming from Honduras with cars, the immigration does not let foreigners (German, French, Russian) into Nicaragua citing security concerns.
This happened yesterday and today at Guasaule and El Espino.

I don’t think this will change in the next week...

Also the online form (approved) was mandatory at Guasaule.

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Process as described below. Less than 15 minutes to exit Honduras (weren't asked for the $3 fee), maybe 90 minutes to enter Nicaragua. They "inspected" our vehicle in Nicaragua but this literally consisted of opening one kitchen cupboards about 1 inch before closing it. We found everyone friendly and helpful. There are essentially no "tramitadores" here so we weren't bothered at all.

On the Nicaragua side there are a couple of duty free shops on the right (entering Nicaragua) where you can buy some Toña 24 packs of beer for $15.50 which is cheaper than I've ever seen in the country (it usually goes for about $20).

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A few things to add:
1. Definitely do the online thing. I sent it in the day before (a Saturday) and put my wife's name and passport number at the bottom but they didn't like that. Mine was cleared but not hers, so we had an extra 30 minute wait. Recommend separate forms for both.
2. There is a Green building by fumigation that they made us go to with passports so they could see if we were sick. Had to get a slip of paper from them for immigration.
3. Leaving Honduras at fingerprinting the official asked for $6 but we didn't pay and he didn't seem to care. I think the machines were broken anyway.
All told it was 2.5 hours from arriving at Honduras border until driving free in Nicaragua.

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Just a few things to add:
Fumigation - he told us to put our food away and get out of the vehicle because he sprays inside as well! I mentioned we have a child with stuffed animals, sheets, pillows, blankets, etc.. and he changed his mind and only sprayed outside. $3.75
Honduras exit - migration guy asked us to pay $3 per person. I said we paid it when we entered. He asked again and I said it again. He stopped asking!
Lunch break 12-1 you have to wait until someone gets back at 1
Entering Nicaragua was the longest border entry we've done so far (we've done US to Nica) so don't leave it late in the day!
Nicaragua TIP is free.

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Find all info for Nicaragua side in The pictures, night time there is a window close to the second aduana place ( where you do your insurance) to make photocopies.

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I did a 'border run' for new vehicle TIP in Nicaragua (originated in nica, returned to nica).
My experience...
Exiting Nicaragua:
1. First checkpoint, they give you a declaration form to fill out. I was very honest about my intent to immediately re-enter. The officials all are very friendly and helpful, they told me I'm really supposed to be out of the country for 72 hours... but people do it all the time with some 'help' (as in, small bribe to someone in aduanas).
2. Exit Nicaragua at Migración window inside ($2usd exit tax)
3. Find an aduanas official outside and ask them to inspect your vehicle. They'll need to sign off on your declaration form.
4. Cancel TIP at aduanas, they need your TIP and your declaration form.

I entered the Honduras parking area at lunchtime. It was a gong show... everyone kept waving me through as te place was so jammed up with large trucks. Next thing I knew, was half-way to San Marcos without being stamped into Honduras or having a TIP or anything!!! So I turned around for fear of being stopped by the police and not having any paperwork.

Re-entering Nicaragua:
1. First checkpoint, they hand you the same declaration form
2. Fumigation (50m past) cost me $3.75 usd for my pickup.
3. Park at the building, fill out your declaration form. Can ask for an inspection from aduanas if they're available, or do it after migración... whatever's more available.
4. Migración... yes, there is a new law about requesting entry in advance. I did it the day before, without fully filling out the form (didn't have legal entity name or cédula number for hotel), but they approved it and emailed back on the morning of my border run, lightly scolding me for not allowing 7 days in advance (form says 3 🙄). Also they made an error and put my departure date same as entry date... but the migración officials were so impressed that I'd already completed that step, they let it fly. MEANWHILE... I saw them stamping in LOTS of other central-Americans without requesting this approval of them. I don't know what the formula is and why they request it of some and not others. I only showed them the approval on my phone, and it was obvious they haven't seen many before as the lady had to go talk to someone else about it...
All in all, worth doing. Just name a hotel, with as much information like address and phone number as possible. That's all I did and was approved next day. It's really dumb that you can't fill out the form online... and I told them that.
Entry to Nicaragua is $12usd
5. Buy your obligatory insurance from someone floating around the parking ($12usd)
6. Get your TIP at aduanas window using your passport, registration/title, driver's license and insurance that you just bought.
7. Drive into nica, there's a final checkpoint where they check all your papers and take the little ticket that you bought at migracion for $12. Here is where I paid the bribe ($10) for not staying out of the country.

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5.5 hours, but could have been 2-3 (read on)

Step 1: (Honduras Side) Go to the small window on the left of the building. Here you get your passports stamped 'Salida Honduras'. An unofficial looking 'helper' guy was chocked at us when we refused to pay $3 to him after the dude already stamped our passports.

Step 2: Go around to the opposite side of the building where a lady in a small office will take your vehicle permit and stamp your passport cancelled. Done. Easy and free.

Step 3: (Nicaragua Side) Show your passport and receive your customs form. Your bike gets fumigated at the same stop for a few dollars. Proceed to the blue building.

Step 4: Approach the Immigration windows on the left. This is where we screwed up. There is a new law that requires visitors to apply to enter in advance. Link below. If you don't do this (and when you read the website it REALLY doesn't seem necessary) you get to wait an extra few hours while they contact your hotel reservation in Nicaragua, ask you a bunch of questions multiple times, and finally have you fill out a form which you will take a photo of and email to the government. Then you will wait for a reply. DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME.

You will pay $12 for entry to Nicaragua. Any copies you need, they will let you know and there's a copy place right there in the building.

*while waiting for immigration, do steps 5 and 6.

Step 5: As you approach the customs window on the right, a lady will look at your bike and initial your Customs form. Show her your proof of vehicle ownership, and drivers license. The guy at the Customs window will take all of this and stamp your Customs form and print another form you need to escape this nightmare of a border crossing.

Step 6: Nicaraguan vehicle insurance. Easy step. The insurance sales people will jump on you probably before you get off your bike. It costs $12 per bike and they will give you a receipt.

Link and information to pre-apply for entry:

Migración de Nicaragua establece requisitos para extranjeros ...
1 ago. 2017 - El procedimiento aplica para “cualquier puesto fronterizo y en todas sus modalidades (terrestre, aérea y marítima)”. Los requisitos migratorios ..

Bueno suerte!

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when entering Nicaragua, make sure you sent the invitation for which you can download from their website 72hrs before you show up at the border.
because we did, we left sooner than other overlanders who had been there longer as us but had to fill out the form in paper and email it then.
some got through without having to send it but I guess they were just lucky.
wouldn't take the chance

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We did the border crossing from Honduras to Nicaragua (french passports, canadian plates for the car)

To exit Honduras :
1*) First stop at a little box, to have your car checked
2*) 50m after, in a big yellow building go to migration to have your stamp
3*) In the same building there are the customs to cancel your TIP
4*) Go back to the first box, hand some copies of your passport, and here you go
You will need copies, an office there can do them for 2L each.

To enter Nicaragua :
1*) Inside and outside fumigation (3$ / 93C) for a van
2*) In the main building there is migration. You have to pay 12$ pp for entrance in the country
3*) In the same building there are the customs for your TIP. Free.
4*) At some point, you must take an insurance for your car (12$ /370C). There are insurance sellers at this same building.

A little point regarding migration, it took us 7 hours because we were apparently supposed to apply by mail before showing at the border. It would be worth checking it before.

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We asked the locals before crossing to Honduras and they told us that yes, this is an easy border BUT apparently the road to Tegucigalpa is under construction, so it takes forever going north. We crossed in Las Manos instead, super fast too.

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Super quick and easy! Arrived at 7:45am going north from Nicaragua to Honduras, done before 8:45 with no fuss.

1. Drive up to Nicaraguan offices (single office for both aduana and migración, blue building with a flag, just past the one that actually says "aduana".)
2. An official (blue shirt with DGA on it) will approach, give the car a very cursory check, and give you a migration form (one for the vehicle) which you fill in.
3. Inside the building you go first to the right (migration), present passports and pay US$2 each (they refused Cordobas) exit tax, no stamp (because C4 countries), they the n return your passports.
4. Then go to left, present TIP which they cancelled, no copies or fees needed.
5. Leave office, drive to border where you'll be asked for the migration form and passports, they'll return your passports and you're done in Nicaragua!
(Note: We also changed our Cordobas into $US and bought bread at the border with the change. This probably doesn't need saying but I wanted to because it's the first time we actually remembered to and weren't left with a bunch of useless change!)

1. Park at the white and blue building with "aduana" on the side. Politely ignore the "helpers".
1. To the left of the building is the immigration window. Present your passports, yellow fever vaccination cards, they'll take your photo and fingerprints and charge you US$3 each.
2. Go inside aduana building, present copies of passports, drivers licenses, and car title/registration. They'll stamp the car into one of your passports (but can write both names on the TIP so you both can drive without problems). Pay US$40 and they will give you the TIP.
3. Outside the building to your right there are a few places that do photocopies, get two of the TIP with your passport (US$0.25) and return one of the copies to the aduana.
4. Driving out, you'll be stopped twice: once for the other copy of the TIP, and the second to be asked a few questions about your nationality/destination etc.
You're done, welcome to Honduras!

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Much more relax than guasaule border. We crossed from nicaragua to honduras on a Saturday and it was very fast. The only problem we got is that they asked to see official papers for the yellow fever vaccine since we went to Panama and colombia in the last ten years. There was about 20 country's on the list. We didn't have the papers and had to pay 10$pp to enter Honduras. I still recommend this border over guasaule. Roads were also better.

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Very easy border. No one to bug you. Cool staff, feel safe. Watch out though the people on the Honduras side don't work from 12 to 1:15 and you need them to go in or out of the country.

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So far as Central American border crossings go, I agree with previous comments. Much more relaxed and better infrastructure than elsewhere. No tramitadores!

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Honduras to Nicaragua on a Sunday. Unfortunately we weren't as lucky as others, the border took us about 4 hours, mostly because at the Honduran Migración only one person was working and he was veeeery slow. When it was our turn he couldn't read our (German) passports electronically and wanted to send us away. After some consultation with a colleague and some explanations from our side about our passport data (which ones are the first and second names, which number is the passport number,...) he managed to find us manually in the system and gave us the exit stamp. In the meantime the lady from the Aduana had disappeared for a lunch or coffee break but when she returned it was fast. One guy at the entrance gate kept or drivers license until we showed him a copy of the cancellation for the car, which seemed a bit unusual but was easy in the end. There is a copy shop in one of the tiendas. At the Nicaraguan side the process is quite complicated but didn't take too long: fumigation (even in the inside of the car), Migración (12 USD pp), insurance (12 USD), some paperwork, very thorough car inspection and finally you go with all the papers to the Aduana and get your temporal permit. During the inspection the officers checked all cupboards but didn't care about fresh food in the fridge. No copies needed for Nicaragua, they scanned our papers.

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Very easy border, we encountered no tramitadors ! We came from Nicaragua into Honduras and it cost 3$ per person plus 35 for the car. When we came down we crossed into Nicaragua through Guasaule border : big mistake, lots of stress and fear, lots of people telling lies. If you are hesitating between borders this one is way better.

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Very easy border, we encountered no tramitadors ! We came from Nicaragua into Honduras and it cost 3$ per person plus 35 for the car. When we came down we crossed into Nicaragua through Guasaule border : big mistake, lots of stress and fear, lots of people telling lies. If you are hesitating between borders this one is way better.

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Very easy border, we encountered no tramitadors ! We came from Nicaragua into Honduras and it cost 3$ per person plus 35 for the car. When we came down we crossed into Nicaragua through Guasaule border : big mistake, lots of stress and fear, lots of people telling lies. If you are hesitating between borders this one is way better.

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UPDATE 6th June 2016 - Crossing from El Salvador to Honduras and then onto Nicaragua at El Espino with a motorcycle. Full details including process, costs, photos and GPS coordinates can all be found at

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Honduras --> Nicaragua.
Leaving Honduras - go to immigration, get exit stamp. Aduana - stamps on import permit and passport for vehicle exiting country. Get a photocopy of each, free to go.
Entering Nicaragua. $3 fumigation, $12 insurance, $12/person tourist card & tax. No copies needed, they scanned original documents. Smooth & easy.

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This post is from Logan and Brianna of  PanAm Notes. To read their full experience and see photos, see the detailed article at:

EL ESPINO Border Crossing (Honduras into Nicaragua)
Close: 6PM

Remember: No necisita ayuda. Por favor, dejame in paz, no voy a pagar. Vaya!
Honduras exit: You will know you have arrived by the roped entrance with a cardboard shack on the left. Do not expect the official to come to you. You must get out with the paperwork (copy of driver’s license, passport, title, and the original vehicle import permit) and meet him in the shack. The official will check your VIN and stamp the permit, further processing is needed down the road at immigration.Drive past the rope gate, park in front of the blue and white Immigration building. Obtain exit stamp at the window on the right, $0.Make three copies of the passport page containing your new Honduras exit stamp.Go to Aduana, to the left of immigration in the same building. Provide the official with a copy of the driver’s license, passport, passport page with Honduras exit stamp and original Honduras vehicle import permit (they keep it).You are done with Honduras, continue through to Nicaragua (another roped entrance where the official will check your passport).Approaching the Nicaraguan immigration building, a familiar blue and white building on the left, park on the right side.Immigration: Go to the front of this building, use the window that says “Entrada Nicaragua.” Hand over your passport for entry stamp. You will also pay the tourist card fee here ($10US/person). Additionally we paid a $4US municipal tax. Keep your tourist card and receipts.Nicaragua Immigration, slightly more welcoming than Honduras
You have probably already been approached by an insurance agent with a clipboard by now. This is necessary and costs a fixed fee of $12US. Provide the agent with 2 copies of the driver’s license, passport, and title. The agent will handle the majority of the insurance paperwork for you, this all goes down inside the building behind immigration.If there is no line, expect your vehicle import permit to be filled out by the Aduana official (yet another Sunday bonus) otherwise you do it yourself. Vehicle inspection is next.Receive your vehicle import paperwork, make three copies. One copy will be collected by an official as you leave the border area.If needed, change money to Cordobas ($1 US= $22 Cordobas).Leaving immigration, you will be asked to show your insurance, import permit, tourist card, and receipts. Then of course, pay US$3, keep the receipt. Drive safe, they’re waiting to pull you over for speeding and crossing a solid yellow line.

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