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

Would you happen to know a good customs broker?

@KirkinUtila contact Juan at Hyde Shipping (Hialeah, FL). 2 ways to ship- in a container or RO/RO roll on/roll off

@PRogers Hey Pat - we are doing the move from Canada to Utila through La Cieba (similar to most - senior dog that cannot travel by air).  This is a permanent move and the house is already underway so our timeline is our own to manage.  Just doing the route plan now and would appreciate any contacts or route tips you could pass on.
Mark and Sonia (Ottawa, Canada)
@bat21ms My wife and I are think of doing the same trip, ending in Roatan. We have 2 dogs to get down and most airlines have embargo's on dogs. Any chance we could connect to discuss plans?
@bat21ms. My husband wrote the previous post. Thought you should know we are also in Ottawa
  Vicki and Chris

@Remaxmainlandproperties Thank you for your information, what documents and procedures are required to go into Guatemala and Honduras with your personal vehicle?

@PRogers I also made this trip in 2007, but at that time I had a husband and was only driving a car (loaded with our things). I am traveling to La Ceiba in a few months (this time permanent) and would love any info you could give to me or any info about anyone who recently traveled. What I would really love is to find a group planning to travel and go in a caravan. This time I am traveling alone, well, with my Pitbull, Codi, she is 8 years old, driving my Dodge Dakota with camper shell with my things and also pulling a 5x8 enclosed trailer with more household goods. (During my stay in Honduras in 2007, my husband was murdered there, that has a lot to do with my fear of traveling alone, also for all the other obvious reasons.) Would love any info you could give me, not sure how I can get you my personal info on here, as I see admin deletes it. You could contact me on Facebook, Teresa Barahona Bautista (Mansur). You can friend request or just message, either way. I have a friend that recently made the trip, I have questions about customs also. She paid for her household goods in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, I find that crazy to have to pay to bring your items in when traveling, I mean, like with your car, when you get to Mexico you pay to bring your car across, but when you leave Mexico and enter Guatemala, your money is returned. I don't understand why you have to pay taxes on all your personal items if you are just driving through the country, but leaving with all your items. Would just love to speak more, pleases contact me. Thank you so much.

@PRogers Thanks, some good information. My husband and I are finally retired and getting ready to move to Roatan with our dog. Finding it hard to get her down there so we are considering the drive. We have drove up to Alaska and back, around Europe, and all over the States, but this would be a whole new adventure. We are willing to do it, we just want to be fully prepared. We plan to haul our belongings with us. I have just started researching so any info you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

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we just did this from texas to La ceiba with 2 dogs crossing into Mexico from texas with dogs no problem! Mexico to Guatemala a little harder carry about 6 copies of everything rabies health certificate,passport,car title,drivers license and it help to pay the blue shirt guys at Guatemala crossing some money!makes it a lot easier! Guatemala to honduras wasn't bad remember copies ! We met a missionary at border crossing that carries pets to honduras if you want his name let me know and see what he charge's.me and wife speak very little Spanish but made it do recommend getting a translator app be careful driving at night because of speed bump and cows and so on.we have a mexico house they we travel to all the time put have a Mexican plated car