Crossing Guatemala (without stopping…)
Time for another Central American border crossing! This time from Santa Ana, El Salvador to Copan Ruinas, Honduras. Like our last border crossing from Nicaragua to El Salvador, this one involved crossing through a third country to get there – in this case Guatemala. So once again we would need to pass through two sets of immigration controls. When we did the last border crossing it involved making FIVE bus journeys. Looking at this crossing, we found that it would be SIX buses?!
As tempting as it was to try and break the ‘number of buses’ border crossing record, when we found out that there was a shuttle service that left at 12pm that would pick us up from the hostel – that would only take four hours, and drop us right by the hostel in Copan Ruinas – then we couldn’t resist…! 🙂 Yes, we had suddenly turned into ‘soft’ backpackers and we paid our extra $16 USD per person (the difference in cost between this and the public buses) to be picked up from one hostel and dropped off at another.
Yes, I know you can’t believe it… 🙂
So, all we had to do was wait to be picked up! 🙂
Even this turned out to be difficult?! The shuttle finally arrived at 3:40pm – yes, it apparently started somewhere else in El Salvador and had been stuck in traffic. Nobody seemed to have a clue when it would arrive, only that it was ‘always late’… After we boarded the shuttle, it proceeded to drive all around Santa Ana picking up various people – with the driver not seeming to know where anything was (he was from Honduras…) and the backpacker at the front guiding him using his phone…
Yes, it wasn’t an inspiring start – but the minivan was comfortable and not very crowded, and once we left Santa Ana we settled in for the ride. Both border crossings were easy and efficient – with almost nobody else crossing – and the van dropped us right at the entrance of each immigration building. The driver was pretty speedy and we had nice countryside to look at along the way. We arrived at around 7:45pm and checked in to the hostel.
It actually felt like we hadn’t even made a journey… it was SO EASY – it was kind of a weird feeling – like you get when you take a plane and you suddenly arrive somewhere completely different but all you’ve done is sit down! It was the total opposite extreme of our last border crossing.
There’s not much else to say about our first tourist shuttle experience in Central America – so I will leave you with some pics…