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Central America and Mexico Topics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
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  #1  
Old 26 Apr 2006
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Thumbs up need your border opinion on borders

Hi guys , I will be crossing Central America this summer and I will appreciate your opinion as far as which border you may consider been the best in Central America , I will appreciate any good comments.

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  #2  
Old 27 Apr 2006
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In which of the 7 countries of CA will you travel?
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Old 27 Apr 2006
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Central america

Thanks for the reply ,
Here is what I planned so far , I will enter Mexico in Laredo , will cross to Guatemala in Tecun and then cross to El salvador, Honduras,Nicaragua,Costa Rica , Panama and then drive back to Miami . I bought the maps of all these countries but after hours of research I am still looking at which crossing will be the best ,I will also be using a GPS with world map in it.on my way back I will go across the Cooper Canyon. I am use to travel on and off road so if there are some little border that maybe better but difficult to get I am OK with.I will going this summer so maybe the weather will be a pain thrue the river but no one knows.

Thanks .
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  #4  
Old 27 Apr 2006
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I suggest La Mesilla as a good xing into Guatemala, and always lean towards the smaller border xings.
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Old 28 Apr 2006
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Thanks , I will use it .
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  #6  
Old 28 Apr 2006
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Central America borders

Don't sweat the border crossing stuff, your anxiety about them may be worse than they actually turnout to be. No need to go to all manner of trouble on dirt road crossings during the summer, the rainy season. Just make it a point to have all your document photocopies ready and do the border crossings early in the day.Some may be busier than others but that changes constantly . A bus dropping off a load of passengers for the border can happen anytime and bring a hectic bit of traffic. Stay calm and watch your wallet.
If entering Guatemala at Tecun Uman consider spending the night before in Tapachula, a nice city with lots of cheap hotels. Cd.Hidalgo at the border is a bit rough with all the border traffic, truckers and illegal aliens juggling for position.Or , from Tapachula the other crossing a bit north is near Cacahoatan, but sits in the bottom of a gorge, usually busy like a cattle drive..
Note that for both these crossings the Mexican EXIT stamp and formalities can now b e performed at the new customs facility on highway Mex 200 at Huixtla 40km west of Tapachula.
Similarly if you leave Mexico for GT at La Mesilla you must do the Mexican exit things at the customs post which is 4km into Mexico well before the hilltop border at La Mesilla. Get an EXIT STAMP but keep all your Temp.Import and tourist card papers, they will be valid for your return trip..
La Mesilla border is usually not overly busy , but the street through town is hectic.
Most crossings at the regular paved routes take about an hour , with all the beurocratic stamping and shuffling of paper , but some crossings are getting upgrades as we speak. If going from east end El Salvador to Honduras at the Rio Goascaran crossing be ready for the worst one of the lot , count on three hours, anything shorter is a bonus. Be early, be patient. Coming from the west bypass the kilometers of trucks waiting , but do stop at the little kiosk to get the first step started , then scoot to the actual crossing 4km farther. If it is getting late afternoon maybe check in at one of the border hotels in ES. If going west ,ditto at the Hotel Arcos right at the border in Honduras, you do not want to be doing this stuff after dark.
Resist the urge to do two border crossings in one day, though it is possible at the mentioned ES entry to race across Honduras to the Nicaragua crossing at Somotillo and actually get to hotels in Chinandega before dark IF you get started early.
Border crossings with Costa Rica and Panama are quite efficent , computerised passport readers and such , can be processsed with little effort.
A nice return from Panama to CR is at the north coast west endof the Bocas del Toro province at Guabito,Pan./SixaolaCR. Very interesting , the bridge is ( in March'05) still just the railroad tressle of the Chiquita banana trains- but there are no trains anymore. All pedestrians , trucks, bikes ,buses cars , have to alternate one way, , the CR side has wide pavement up to the bridge.Open hours here are limited , others on the main highway are usually 24 hours open.
Honduras to Guatemala, El Florido Copan is very efficient and paved Near the north coast the road from S.Pedro Sula via Omoa to Cuyemelito is now in finishing stages to becoming a first class higway, a cakewalk . Honduras exit formalities are at border but GT entry kiosk will send you to the Customs terminal in Puerto Barrios to get processed in.
GT to Belize , very easy crossings
Enjoy the trip
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  #7  
Old 28 Apr 2006
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I agree, small crossing are normally the best.

USA - Mexico: Recommend avoiding Laredo. Go for Nogales or Naco to get into Mexico.
Mexico - Guat: La Mesilla better than Tapachula
Guat - Honduras: Avoid Aguas Calientes like plague. Go for Copan Ruinas
Hond - Nic: Only ever done main Pan Am route. Busy but OK.
Nic - Costa Rica: ditto
Costa Rica - Pan: mmm - north route is definitely more interesting and involves the banana bridge at the border and also a second bridge about 10 miles down the road (where the train DOES run!). But much more fun that the main Pan Am.
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  #8  
Old 28 Apr 2006
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The main hwy border xing at Laredo (not downtown) is very modern with all offices within 50yds of each other - Vehicle Permits across the same room from Tourist Cards, Copias in the same room, Banco next building over.

Obviously, if your passport isn't stamped when entering Mexico, there is no need to be stamped out.
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  #9  
Old 29 Apr 2006
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Another good option to get into Guatemala is through "El Carmen" border. It is the neaerest to the city of Tapachula. Don't use Tecun Uman border. Another option would be La Mesilla border, but it depends where you are coming from. The border crossings from Guatemlala into El Salvador are pretty much easy. Like someone said before, have plenty of photocopies of the papers, and the bike on your name and you will have no problems
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