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driving in Central America

over 7 years ago about Nicaragua

is it possible to drive safely and comfortably through Honduras & Nicaragua these days? we're planning to travel by car & have heard mixed reports about the state of the roads.

we're a family of 4 and we'll be driving a newish (reliable) car with Canadian plates. I haven't been there in over 20 years and last time the roads were a real mess, not to mention the armed para-military look-outs who watched them from the hilltops.

we have destinations in Belize and Costa Rica. we would also like to spend some time in Guatemala.

if the roads aren't a great option, what about boats from Belize or Mexico to Costa Rica? any ideas?

THANKS!

Asked by Philly Markowitz Philly Markowitz via Site_iconTravellr.com

4 Answers

  • +1

    well, I have my answer, thanks to ex-pat Canadian who runs a B&B in Granada (I found him on twitter). here's what he has to say:

    You won't believe the changes. Friends in nearby countries CR, Guat have told us we have the best chunk of PanAm highway in Central America. They've been repaving ever since Ortega's reelection, primarily to increase efficiencies of business transport but, whatever the reason we're all benefitting. We don't have a vehicle or ever drive (cost-cutting CO2 saving) but, friends who do rarely have any difficulties. Spot checks and police are ever present but mostly they're looking for drug trafficers, stolen cars and DWI. They're really been cracking down on the DWI - too many late night fatalities. Not sure about the rules in the rest of Central America here but, expect a fine if you don't have a fire extinguisher and a road side hazard orange fluor triangle. The police here are extremely honest and proud of the profession (not like the rest of CR), though too tourists do offer bribes and I'd wish they stop the corrupting influence.

    so it looks like we won't have to dodge the potholes as much as I expected after all. ; ) over 7 years ago

    Answered by Philly Markowitz Philly Markowitz via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    Wow that sounds like an awesome trip. I hope that I can do a road trip through the Americas one day.

    I agree the tourists should stop being stupid and bribing police. It happens everywhere in South America and it is only because the tourists take stupid risks that they wouldn't take if they were in their own country and then get caught... and try everything they can to get out of the possibly really bad situation

    Just a question though. What does DWI stand for?
    In Australia we call it drunk driving and I thought the acronym was DUI (Driving under the influence) over 7 years ago

    Answered by Nicholas Roberts via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    I suspect DWI was a typo for or variant of DUI... "driving while intoxicated", perhaps? over 7 years ago

    Answered by Philly Markowitz Philly Markowitz via Site_iconTravellr.com
  • 0

    I travelled through Nicaragua along the Pacific region and the roads are not only in great condition but much safer than Costa Rica in terms of criminal presence (ie. vehicle theft, robbery, violence, etc)... not sure about the Honduras section of the Pan-Am as I've never been there.

    The only thing you have to watch out for on Nicaraguan roads is late-night drunk driving, otherwise the cops are not noticeably corrupt like in neighbouring country Costa Rica.

    I actually much rather vacation in Nicaragua than Costa Rica as it has more natural beauties and abundance as well as cheaper, but would like to visit Belize to check it out. almost 6 years ago

    Answered by via Site_iconTravellr.com

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