our trip from florida to Nicaragua
We survived our trip. it's not a trip for the faint of heart. If you're the one in the hammer lane doing 45mph you will be run off the road. We were two guys and (1) dog. For those considering bringing a dog all you need is the USDA stamp on your vets certificate. It should be in English & Spanish, it doesn't have to be type. We drove through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras & Nicaragua only in Nicaragua did someone ever look at the dog. We did it in 8 days driving including 2 days from Florida to Mexico however we met this incredible couple in Brownsville at the Motel 6 parking lot. Billy & Bette were driving to South America with their dog and they have been driving through Central & South America for 35 years and both spoke fluent Spanish. If it weren't for them we might still be out there. It's not so much driving from the cities it's getting through the cities Billy never looked at a map. Would I do it again, absolutely but only if I know Spanish or Billy & Bette are coming through. We never felt threatened or in danger, we only drove during the daytime.
Mexico - I paid $25.00 US for a Visa Guatemala - I paid $160.00 (their money) for a vehicle permit I paid $3.00 US for a vehicle decontamination El Salvador - I paid 0 Honduras - $40 US for a vehicle permit & $45.00 US for the luxury of driving on their roads Nicaragua - $3.00 US for a vehicle decontamination $12.00 for something but I can't remember $ 35.00? for car insurance You can only get your car stamp for 30 days here. The roads aren't bad we went down the east route on 101 & 180 through Veracruz. Sometimes they got a little bumpy but not bad. Plan on driving on two lane country roads the whole way. We took Hwy 147 out of Veracruz it got off to a horrible start but got allot better. Guatemala & El Salvador was good then came Honduras. These could easily be the worst roads in the world. Potholes so big if you were driving a Smart car or a Volkswagen you would be swallowed. It's only 73 miles across the short side of Honduras but hold on to your ass you're in for a ride. If you drive at night I'm not sure what would be more dangerous the bandidos or the potholes.
Gas on the way down isn't to bad around the same price maybe a little more. We packed everything but the kitchen sink. We inventoried everything took pictures and tried the honest approach first. They tried to send us transit first in Mexico because of our STUFF but thanks to Billy & $20.00 we went tourist. When we got to the Guatemala border I did the same thing and showed them my list. They told me to never show this list again and tell anyone who asks you're going camping. The moral to this story is lie,lie,lie they'll never know. Never tell them where you're really going and when you get to the border of where you're really going lie some more and say the next country or you'll pay duty on your STUFF.
It was a fun trip thanks to Billy & Bette and maybe one day I'll do it again but for now I'm good here. Sun, sand & cerveza. Some previous post of others are true. A good set of tires we left with almost brand new tires and had no problems not one flat. We also brought (4) spares. A good set of shocks potholes & speed bumps are unavoidable not to mention the inverted humps on the road that you couldn't see until you were in them. NEW BRAKES IS A MUST I almost went through a set a brake pads. They were new when I let. Now they're about 1/4".
All in all it's a road trip of a life time but if you don't speak Spanish you're in for a struggle. The borders are a slight pain but not too bad. Everyone was pleasant and polite. The speed bumps will drive you crazy, mainly in Mexico. I'm thinking of running for president there on the common sense ticket and my platform will be,"when I'm elected I promise to get rid of the speed bumps and take that material and fill the potholes". That's about it for now. Safe travels to all