The border near El Poy, El Salvador is not a popular one for tourists. There are no fixers on the El Salvador or Honduras sides to help point the way, so it’s a good thing we have done our homework and read lots of online reports.
As we ride up we are stopped by two officers on the road in front of the Immigration buildings and are asked for our bike permits. These men confirm the VIN numbers and chat a few minutes about our travels and then stamp the permits and return them to us. Making things easy, the El Salvador Imigracion building looks just like the one we entered in through when coming from Guatemala with its sloped columns and blue and white paint.
We go in to get processed out of the country.
Then we head over to the Aduana where there is a short line of truck drivers waiting to be processed. We walk around to another window and are told by a supervisor that we don’t need to do anything to other than get the stamp on our bike permits that we were given by the officers out on the road. We pass a small blue and white building just past the main blue and white Imigracion building and stop for a moment to show the guard our papers are stamped out. So off we go toward No Man’s Land and on to Honduras.
We easily drive right past the Imigracion building which is a small one on the left as we ride into the next group of buildings. That was the shortest No Man’s Land I think I’ve been though so far in Central America. We park across the road in front of a street food vendor and walk across to begin the process.
There is a very short line here. We have to complete a short form and answer a few questions (in Spanish as again this is a less tourist-travelled border) about how long we intend to be in Honduras. And we have to pay $3 USD each. They didn’t have change on hand, so exact change would have been best.
Next we head ot the peaches and cream colored Aduana building up the road a couple of hundred yards and on the left. I was caught off guard by nearly every closed small storefront advertising “aduana” on the front but then realized these are small import businesses that help truck drivers get their goods in and out of the country.
We went to the first open window we could find, and luckily it was the one we wanted. a super nice guy and his trainee worked with us for nearly an hour to complete the vehicle import permit process. We provided copies (which we made in advance) of our passports, vehicle titles and registration, drivers licenses, etc. I was then handed an invoice for $551+ Lempiras and another for $135 Lempiras and told I needed to go back to the bank (which was right next door to the Migracion office) and pay the entries fees and get these invoices stamped. So I walked back down the road to where I had just come from.
The aduana official also returned my passport to me with a big half-page stamp in it and requested I stop to get two photocopies of this made to return to him. The copiadora (copy shop) was located right across the road from the aduana building and I was charged 1 Lempira per copy. I had to show the guard (who was packing a shotgun) at the bank my papers before he would allow me in and then I was told to wait in a chair while the teller finished with another client. He processed my paperwork and I paid the appropriate fees in Lempira (which I picked up from a street money changer back at the El Salvador side) and then I headed back to the Aduana via the copiadora. Then off past the last checkpoint and…welcome to Honduras.