People's experiences vary depending on crowds at the border, corrupt or honest border officials, and rules can also change. Read about individual experiences at specific borders below.
Guasaule, Honduras to Somotillo, Nicaragua,
Pretty straight forward border crossing. Step 1: Fumigation, costs $3. Step 2: Go to immigration, pay $12 per person for tourist cards ($10 for the card, $2 for tax). Step 3: Go to aduana and hand over title, drivers license and passport. The official may want copies of these. The vehicle permit is free. Step 4: Buy mandatory insurance whenever someone with a clipboard offers it. Will cost $12. Step 5: Drive out of the border area. Someone will stop and ask to see the vehicle permit, fumigation reciept, tourist cards and insurance. More detail and photos on our website here.
-- Posted by Life Remotely
Note that at Guausaule crossing, you do all the exit formalities plus the Nica tourist card on the Honduran side of the border - THEN cross the bridge to do the import paperwork for your vehicle. We bought insurance from a guy who approached us from an unsigned kiosk as we drove onto the bridge - seemed odd, but it worked! The process took longer than other borders, as we got stuck behind a busload of passports waiting to be stamped!
-- Posted by Melanie
December 29, 2008
After Honduras entering Nicaragua with a vehicle is a breeze. Be aware that after you cancel your Hondurian car permit and properly exit the country you will have to go around to the other side of the building to find the Nicaraguan immigration counter. You pay $7 USD/person to enter, they will give you a small yellow tourist card -- hang on to this, they collect it when you leave the country.
Depending on the day you cross the border, the forms may differ in appearance and the order of events may also change.
Immigration is simple, pay the $1 municipal tax, fill out the exit card, pay the $2 exit fee. Customs is a bit more of a pain. When you drive into the border area and official will take your permit and scribble on it. After you go through immigration you have to find another official in a DGA shirt who will need to sign it again (he may inspect your vehicle). Then you need to find a police officer who will also need to scribble/stamp your permit. Finally, hand the permit to a forth offical inside the aduana building (there is a window from the outside). The offical will enter a few things in the computer and return your permit full of stamps and scribbles. No cost for the permit cancellation. Only fee is $3 per person to exit paid at immigration. Full details and photos of this crossing here.
-- Posted by Life Remotely
January 20, 2009 Leaving Nicaragua here is a little confusing. You will know you're near the border when people start running toward your car and trying to tell you what to do. We chose to ignore them as much as possible. You will come to a fork in the road, where the right leads in to a street market, the left under an arch. Park at the fork in the road as you will need to pay the $1 'municipal tax.' After getting receipts for this payment, head to the left under the arch. The border official will check your passport and vehicle papers, make sure you paid the municipal tax, and hand you a boleta de revision tourismo, which is a sheet of paper for canceling the vehicle import documents. Drive down the road and take a left where the signs point for 'autos.' At this point, you need to get the boleta signed by a police officer and a border official. These people are likely just wandering around the area, and signed our papers without even looking at our car. Don't ask us what the point of this exercise is. Then go inside the building, present your passport and yellow tourist card, and pay $2 to leave the country. At the next window over, you can present your passport, boleta, and vehicle import papers. They will cancel your permit, stamp the boleta and your passport and you're good to head for the Costa Rican immigration station that is further down the street.
-- Posted by Kristin and Kelsey