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Old 19 Nov 2004
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Location: Oregon; Qroo, Mexico
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Any advice on the most interesting route through Honduras and Nicaragua (north to south)?

On the map I see two routes from the western border of Honduras-Nicaragua that meet near Granada, Nicaragua.
The first route crosses the border near Choluteca, Honduras and follows the Nicaraguan coast. The other route crosses near Danli, Honduras and appears to be a more mountainous route through Nicaragua.

Any insight on these two routes, as well as interesting/scenic routes from Copan to the Nicaraguan border, would be greatly appreciated.



2001 KLR650
Cozumel, Mexico
Americas, '05-'06
RTW, poco a poco
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Old 20 Nov 2004
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The southern route is CA1. If you are thinking about riding CA1 through El Salvador and into Honduras, I would say this is the worse route. There is major construction on CA 1 from San Salvador through Cojutepeque, it is quite a mess. El Salvador Customs has the worst rep for motorcycle entry, and then you still have to go through Honduran Customs.

I would probably point you from Chiquimula (Guatemala) to cross into Honduras at Agua Caliente. Copan Ruinas is a bit of a tourist town, with good services, but not tacky or overpriced. The road from here through La Entrada is beautiful with very light traffic. If you head up towards San Pedro Sula, the weather gets rainier, so I would recommend the road into La Esperanza if you don't mind some hardpacked dirt sections. La Esperanza is a neat town, very remote at 5600' altitude, with a good market and a Catholic shrine carved into the mountain at one end of the main street.

The ride into Tegucigalpa (my favorite Central American city)is pretty wild, just before reaching the city you climb over one peak of 4900', then another of 4800', and then you see the city in a bowl way down below. A couple of fun things to do here is check out the markets on Avenida 6e in Comayaguela near the bridge, and also hike up to the Parque La Leona with views of the city down below.

I'm usually more of a woods and mountains person, but the Pacific Coast in Nicaragua, from Huehuete to San Juan del Sur is pretty interesting to see. Some areas are completely undeveloped, with just trails through the woods near the shore, and other areas are getting completely developed with modern seashore homes and resorts. With a little imagination, you can see this area being like the Pacific Coast of California - with real estate values to match - in a couple of decades.

Well, I hope that gives you some direction, lemme know if you have any other questions.
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Old 20 Nov 2004
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Your advice is much appreciated! Leaving in five days, can't wait.


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Old 21 Nov 2004
pif pif is offline
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I agree with mike, going from Copan Ruinas to La Esperanza and to Las Manos is a good route. Tegucigalpa was easy to go through. 40/50 miles of dirt roads before La Esperanza were not bad at all, beautifull senery. It was 2 years ago, may be it's paved now... In Nicaragua I avoid Managua, plus IT was'nt on my route. San Juan Del Sur is a nice stop before entering Costa Rica. Turn right after Rivas.
Happy trails
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Old 26 Nov 2008
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Smile Danli Kikuyu

Heading South from Copan I rode Santa Rosa (charming), Gracias (has little to be grateful for), Esperanza, Macao. The dirt road was horrendous for my CG 125, however the countryside was superb, mountains spread with open pine forest. The Hotel Medina in Macao is good value. I paid $10 for a large room with bath. Tegucigalpa is a total mess. However the Hotel Boston is excellent and cheap. Heading towards Danli you pass Zamorano on the right, the finest agricultural college anywhere specializing in tropical agriculture and well worth visiting (if they let you in - persevere!).
DANLI: If you need to service your bike, ask for The Kikuyu near the market. I have no idea why they call him the Kikuyu. He is a bike fanatic, works on all the competition trail bikes. Say hullo from the Old Bearded Brit on the Honda 125. I stopped there both heading south to Tierra del Fuego and on the way back north.
On the way north I kept to the highway from Tegucigalpa to Copan - less interesting but kinder to the butt!
You can find more information on my Blog at cover
or in OLD MAN ON A BIKE (Harper Collins) out this month - or message me.
Have fun, ride safe...

Last edited by simongandolfi; 26 Nov 2008 at 16:48.
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Old 27 Nov 2008
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Location: michigan in U.S.
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Recently took the Pan American thru there

A few weeks ago I came thru El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua to Costa Rica driving from Michigan. While somewhat pressed for time I just stuck on the main southern route across the country.
From El Salvador all the way here to Costa Rica the roads have been the best since the U.S. Guatemala and Mexico were the worst, having come down the gulf side of Mexico.
While the northern route mentioned by the other riders does sound alot more interesting if you have the time, for me I found nothing wrong with the south side of the country, and I didn't need to go into Sal Salvador at all. And as mentioned the southern Pacific Coast, to me as an inexperienced traveler down here was the most scenic, less traffic, and nicest part of the trip, especially coming out of Guatemala and Mexico and their roads. The down side is the coast doesn't last very long and you are soon away from it.
I found the El Salvador border on the Pan Am, while not quick by any means, the cheapest of all the borders, and the only one with a sign I saw saying you do not need handlers help if you don't want it. It as far as I know, (and I got ripped off alot at borders), was the only country that didn't charge and was basically free to get in, outside of maybe small fees here and there, like $10 total, or maybe less.
I have heard different experiences about El Salvador, but mine people wise were probably the best of the whole trip, mainly because I could find more that at least spoke a little English and often approached me for help not expecting anything in return. Yes tourism does have an upside to it. The fact that dollars are the main currency made life alot easier.
I am heading back north next week, perhaps getting to that beautiful Pacific coast of El Salvador for a break, a dip in the ocean and a stay at the surfers hostel if I have time. Guatemala and Mexico is no vacation if your trying to make time. Perhaps we could meet up some where if your interested. Set a date and a possible time, with a window, and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out...
Also my travel blog is freedomthrumovement.blogspot.com if you want to follow my trip and experiences coming down. If your not familar with border crossings and handlers after reading my experiences you will want to be..
Good travels...... watch your wallet!!
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