Updated: February 26th, 2021
[Note: Covid-19 international travel requirements are changing quickly. Do not rely on this article for your up-to-date source on immigration requirements. This is just my experience.]
I have traveled solely by land from the USA all the way down to Nicaragua during the Covid-19 epidemic. I went through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua (just skipping Belize). I’ve had no problems crossing borders until now where I wait in Nicaragua until the Costa Rican land border opens.
I crossed into Mexico on August 27th at McAllen which was easy because they never closed their borders nor did they or have they ever required a covid test. I crossed into Mexico at a time when all countries below Mexico were still shut down. I anticipated countries would start opening up as I approached Guatemala and sure enough, I was in luck.
I crossed into Guatemala at El Ceibo on November 8th. It’s a very small border town that I didn’t even know exist until I zoomed into google maps and saw a road connecting both countries. There is nothing on the Mexican side but there is a small town on the Guatemalan side. Be aware that all electricity shuts off in this town and surrounding areas from like 22:00 to 8:00 every night. Anyways, this country required a Covid test but I showed up without one. Along with that, I didn’t complete an online Guatemalan Health Pass form and I lost my Mexican Tourist Card inside a wallet that slipped out of my pocket while riding a bike. So, instead of paying a $25ish dollar fee to get a replacement Tourist Card at the Mexican immigration office at the border I went to the Guatemalan side and told them my situation. We worked out a reasonable deal and he stamped my passport with a 90+ day Visa (This visa is good for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) without a Mexican exist stamp and Covid test. I reckon I’ll run into problems when or if I return to Mexico but that’s a problem for another day. For now, Mexico was behind me.
Next, I crossed into El Salvador on November 24th at San Cristobal. I went up to the immigration gate and I was pleasantly greeted by an English-speaking officer but once again, I didn’t have a Covid test. So, he refused my entry. I thought we could work out some kind of deal like I did in Guatemala but the politics in El Salvador is impressively clean. Instead, I found another way in involving a taxi-drivers knowledge of this border town and a locals can-do attitude. Indeed, when I exited the country legally, I had a little problem but it was settled after paying a $25 fee. It sure beat a $100 Covid test.
Next, I crossed into Honduras on January 13th at El Amatillo. But this time I had a Covid test. So, to avoid another $150 covid test in Honduras I just decided to transit Honduras and enter Nicaragua within 72 hours, allowing me to cross two borders on one covid test.
In the afternoon of January 14th, I crossed into Nicaragua at Guasaule. I attempted to cross the night before but after receiving my exit stamp out of Honduras I was refused entry into Nicaragua without paying a fee for a “quick and easy” process at the first checkpoint. I refused because I wasn’t feeling their bullshit and I wasn’t in a hurry. Anyways, after a long night and a long morning I finally crossed into Nicaragua.
I’ve been in Nicaragua longer than expected with the Costa Rican government extending the land border closure from February 1st to March 1st and once again to April 1st. Check for updates below
Costa Rica’s land border may open on April, 1st. You can check on updates here:
Anyways, if you have any questions about my hitchhiking and biking travels feel free to find out more here or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org