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  • Suhashini L

Day 418 - Crossing Borders: Hola, Nicaragua! Journeying from Honduras to Nicaragua, the Land of Lakes & Volcanos!

Updated: Mar 6

Day 418 (23 Feb 2024) - La Ceiba, Honduras to Somoto, Nicaragua. Nicaragua is my 37th country of destination on this solo bike world tour.


DAY 418 (23 FEB 2024) – After spending 8 days in Honduras, it was time for me to leave to my 37th country of visit, Nicaragua - the largest country in Central America. In the morning, I left La Ceiba, Honduras for a 10-hour (596.3 km) ride to Somoto, Nicaragua.

It was a pleasant journey, traveling on highland roads, surrounded by verdant green fields on beautiful hillside landscapes.

Immigration and customs processing was smooth and easy at the Honduras side of the El Espino border crossing. The Temporary Import Permit (TIP) I obtained at Honduras was terminated upon exit.

On the other hand, it took me 2 ½ hours to get through the immigration processing at the Nicaragua border. At first, I had language issues since the officers could not speak English. Luckily, I managed to get help from a lorry driver who understood English and he acted as my translator.

About 6 days ago, I had submitted a copy of my passport, Malaysian driving license and motorbike registration card when applying online for the TIP. At the immigration office, the officers checked and verified the details against the original documents I presented to them.

It was interesting that despite having an international driving licence, I was asked to show my Malaysian driving license at all the border immigrations in Central America! The officers also checked my belongings for any drones, since drones were not allowed in Nicaragua.   

Then came the fumigation, which also took some time. Fumigation is a process to chemically disinfect and exterminate pests. All vehicles crossing the border were required to be fumigated, including my motorbike, which cost me NIO 81 (RM 10). The Nicaraguan currency is known as Cordoba (NIO) (RM1  = 7.7 NIO).

After going through a long process, I was finally issued the TIP and continued my journey across the border.

My passport processing fee came to about USD 14 (RM 67) while the 30-day mandatory motorbike insurance came to about USD 12 (RM 62) - both of which I was required to pay in USD.

I stayed the night at a hostel called Cabanas Gabriela in Somoto, about 20 minutes (11 km) from the border. It cost me USD 20 (RM 96) per night and although there was no Wi-Fi, the accommodation was comfortable and well maintained.

The hostel is situated at the gateway to the beautiful Somoto Canyon. Since there was a horse-riding service available, I didn’t miss the chance to give it a try! It was fun pretending to be MGR on a horse, while singing one of his famous songs!

Fun facts : Nicaragua is known as the land of fire and water because of its numerous volcanoes and lakes, as well as two coastlines. There are 19 active and extinct volcanoes on the Pacific side of the country. Nicaragua is uniquely the only country in Latin America to be colonized by both the Spanish and the British. Spanish is the official language of the country.

Another fun fact, MGR is a reference to Mr MG Ramachandran, a famous yesteryear superstar from the golden era. He was a favourite actor of mine and I grew up watching his films.



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