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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 7 Jul 2007
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Avoid the Guatemala-Honduras Border at Corinto

My friend and I left Toronto, Canada on June 2nd 2007. I am riding a 2007 KLR650 and my friend is riding a 2007 Suzuki DR650. We are tentatively planning to ship the bikes home from Santiago, Chile at the end of August. We´ve had a fantastic trip so far (although not without some mishaps). We´re in Costa Rica at the moment. If you´re interested in our trip details, I´ve been blogging at 15,000 miles, 15 countries, 3 months.

I feel compelled to share our experience trying to enter Honduras from Guatemala at the Corinto crossing (which is in the north, close to the Carribean). My advice is to not use this crossing at all. Getting the bikes into Honduras ended up being a two day ordeal. We actually had to spend the night camped at the customs office it was so bad. We got so frustrated that we even tried to sneak across the border under the cover of darkness, after having been given false information that the road block was unmanned after 6:00 PM and was only designed to stop cars, but not motorcycles (it turned out that it was manned by about 10 police officers - so much for our dash to freedom).

You will be asked to pay 500 Lempira (about $25) per motorcycle before the process even begins. This is not for a temporary vehicle import permit. It took us a day to figure it out, but this fee is for a "custodian" to escort you to the immigration office in Puerto Cortes, about 65 km inside Honduras. In our case, we had to pay 1000 Lempira even though we only required one custodian. The custodian rode as a passenger on the back of my bike, helmetless, for the 65 km to Cortes. I´m not sure how he got back to Corinto. Did he take a bus? It seems that the custodian can be any Honduran with a driver´s license. A random truck driver offered to do it the first day (but then we thought it was some sort of scam and didn´t go for it). It´s hard to believe that this is official government policy, but it is. It is actually required by law to pay L500 for an escort to Puerto Cortes.

We started the process on day 2 at 6:00 AM. We had camped there overnight, so at least we were first in line when the office opened. By the time we had our papers (given to our custodian, not to us), it was 7:00 AM. We also had to pay $3 each for stamps of some sort at another office. We were given receipts for everything. We arrived at the immigration office at about 7:45 AM. It opened at 8:00, but no one showed up in the vehicle office until about 8:30. By lunch time they still weren´t finished. We were told that nothing would happen until 1:00 PM because the office closed for lunch. Sure enough, they locked the doors and everyone left until about 1:30.

On two separate occaisions, several hours apart, I had to go to the bank down the street to pay various fees, which amounted to $38.50 per motorcycle. Finally, at about 3:00 PM, we were given our precious one page temporary vehicle import documents, ending a process that had begun at noon the previous day.
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Old 7 Jul 2007
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Another rider had reported what a screwy crossing this was for him. Sounds similar, but eventually he went to the El Florido border.
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