Driving from Canada to La Cieba Honduras

Hello Everyone,

We are looking at our options as we are moving to our new home in Utila Honduras and we have a dog, cat and a 11 year old daughter as coming with us.  Our dog is 6 years old and has some anxiety and emotional issues and we are very concerned in putting her in Cargo and not sure we want to take the risk.  We are looking how doable it is to drive to Honduras and sell our 2014 Dodge Durango in San Pedro Sula or La Cieba as we have no need for a vehicle in Utila.  Can we get a TIP or do we need to fully import and pay a ton of fees and taxes, even though we want to sell the vehicle?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

The trip itself would be an adventure, especially during this Pandemic.
I'm not sure how difficult (or safe, from a health point of view) It would be to go through USA, Mexico and Guatemala.
What I do know if that You may "bring" the car into Honduras as a Tourist, so your Passport will be stamped with an annotation in regards to the vehicle.- That would mean that the Car will be allowed temporarily (30, 60 or 90 days), so It has to leave the Country afterward, or pay the Import Duties (and fines).
If You want to sell the car, then You might as well start advertising It, to find a potential buyer.
You have to take into consideration that the Import Duties will be paid by The Buyer, so that is how You should advertise it.
The other option is that You include the amount of the Import Duties in the PRICE that You are requesting (so that You may pay Them and "discharge" the car from your Passport).
A good piece of advice would be to check the listings in San Pedro Sula to find out the market value.
Also, ahead of time, You should contact a Customs Broker to request a Quotation of the Fees and Taxes for Importation.

Hoping You the very best on the new life that You are planning in our Country, I send You my regards,

JORGE

This sounds like a plot to a movie.  Don't do it!  Lots of bad things are happening at the US Mexican border.  You will probably get shaken down by the Mexican police for money.  If the cartels get a hold of you, you might get held hostage for ransom or they might take your vehicle and leave you and your family on the side of the road...if your lucky.  Don't want to scare you but it's things that happen on a regular basis.  Good luck.

Hello and Welcome,

My family and I drove from FL to La Ceiba when my 2 children were toddlers.  As with any adventure one must excercise caution. My husband and I had a map which I highly recommend getting as signal can be spotty, specific locations where we had planned to stop and did not drive after 5:30pm and before 6am. This gave us plenty of time to rest. We avoided "short cuts" perhaps paid a little bit more by taking the expressways but was well worth it. We never felt intimidated or scared by authority or others. You do pay a fee to get into Mexico which is returned to you upon exiting the country. The journey was exciting it took us 6.5 days and would definitely do it again. FYI we did a round road trip.  Would be glad to share more pointers. Feel free to reach out.

Vivianna

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Hi,

Personally, I have made this trip, and know several others that have also. They're mostly good stories, but there are a few bad ones.

This is not a trip you should take likely, but at the same time don't be scared out of it. The whole way could be considered an adventure, like what Jorge said, but a serious one as you are traveling with your family through some potentially crazy places.

Like one of the last commenters said, you need to worry about Mexico first before really diving too deep into the rest of the trip. Relations and situations crossing through MX are currently a little more volatile than in recent years past. There are several potential hazards to be aware of in MX, and more now I'm sure.

Before I get going let me stress the importance of being able to spot a speed bump! These things are strategically placed in the roads of MX that will take out any oblivious tourist flying through. We finally lost a wheel south of Coaxzacoalcos and were stuck waiting on parts and labor for several days.

On an "adventure" like this, get ready for the unexpected.

Ok.. first, you'll get swarmed in border towns.. Try to make your first bathroom/whatever stop in MX past a couple of towns past the border. Further is better, if possible. My recommendation: Stay at a hotel the night before crossing in MX, and get there early and fresh with a full tank of gas.

Next, never drive at night, and try to be at your next stop ( higher-end hotels probably safest ) before 5-6pm. Try not to leave too early either. We came in through Brownsville TX and did the day drive to Tampico. The next day from Tampico to Veracruz. (We got stuck at this point with a bad wheel, but if we had continued as planned...)From Veracruz to somewhere in Chiapas, maybe Tuxtla. The Chiapas area is a little less intense, as most of the crazy stuff stays in central to northern MX.

That will put you in striking distance of Guatemala. At that point your options kind of open up more. But for the first part of the trip, I highly recommend following a path like the one above.

It does length the trip and increases the costs to travel this way, but statistically, it appears to be the safest method.

We drove through Guatemala without stopping and got to the Honduras border somewhere in the middle of the night and slept in the truck. The next morning, we crossed in and it was all downhill from there... mostly.

If possible, try to get into your stopping point around police shift change time ( guessing 4-5pmish).

Here's why I bring up police.. Once you cross out of the US, get ready for random police checkpoints on the highways. The further south you go, the more you will see. I am not sure totally in MX at this moment, as I haven't passed through there in years. But I'm pretty sure Guatemala still has many, and I know Honduras has them everywhere.

The police aren't always your friends, so beware. Some of the bad stories from others I met in Honduras revolved around crooked greedy cops at checkpoints in MX. This will be a potential hazard in just about all countries south of the US. I've been shaken down a few times in Honduras, but this is becoming less of an issue.

Having all the paperwork you could ever possibly need on you and ready will save you some of the time. Make sure you have all the documents for your vehicle, for yourselves, and all the medical/legal docs needed for your pets. Have a few copies of each set of docs in case you need to leave them with agents at the border. I saw that them having copies of the pet docs was a thing, and they have an expensive copy shop right there available "if" you need it.

I travelled through with a loaded Dodge Ram with 2 dogs and a step-dad. Our destination was La Ceiba, where I've now lived mostly almost a decade now.

Over the years I've met a few people, and if you would like to more tips, I might help you get in contact with one who has done this very recently. He is one of my neighbors and drove his RV from Canada a couple of months ago. Send me a private message for this info.

Cheers,
Pat

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