El Salvador to Honduras Overland Border Crossing

Crossing the border from El Salvador to Honduras is stress free

We have crossed the border overland from El Salvador to Honduras. As there is a lack of reliable information available, we want to share how it’s done.

Especially when it comes to crossing the border at El Poy in the central part of El Salvador. Salvadorians didn’t seem to know the way. Even asking information on how to get to a town more than two hours away could prove testing.

Border Crossings between El Salvador and Honduras

There are two overland border crossings. One in the east of El Salvador, called El Amatillo. The other, in the centre, is called El Poy. Here is how to get to El Poy.

Travelling from San Salvador

If you are coming from the capital San Salvador, it’s easy. Get on bus 119 from the Oriente Terminal and head north for four hours. The cost is $1.50.

Travelling from Santa Ana / Route des Flores / the west of San Salvador

Coming from the east, you will need to make your way to highway. Here you can flag down Bus 119 on it’s way north.

Our personal departure point was Juayua on the Route des Flores. We left our hostel at 7:30AM to catch Bus 238 to Santa Ana. Although we later found out the next departure was 9:00AM and then every two hours. A long wait ensued.

Two and a half hours later we were in Santa Ana and no-one had a clue how to get to the border. We checked Google Maps for a central town and caught Bus 201 east, to the town of Apopa. It is here that you can go north on the ‘Carretera Troncal Del Norte’ (Northern Trunk Road).

Apopa El Salvador
This is the spot on the highway in Apopa where we caught Bus 119 north to the border

The bus drops you at a garage in Apopa. All you need to do is go across the street and wait for Bus 119. The ride to the border takes about three and a half hours. I am informed that Bus 119 travels north every half an hour, but stops around 17:30. Make sure you confirm this with a local.

Crossing the border

Departing the bus, there is a five minute walk to the border. Here, there will be people offering to exchange money. The rates were actually quite good. The official rate being 24 Lempiras to $1 USD and the rate given being 22 Lempiras to $1 USD. Not bad if you want to get some funds before withdrawing money in Honduras.

Smiling armed guards will then wave you in to ‘no man’s land’ and then you enter a building. Now, you undergo he usual formalities; “Where have you been?”, “Where are you travelling to in Honduras?” and so on.

El Salvador to Honduras Border Crossing
El Poy border crossing between El Salvador and Honduras

Formalities over, you exit and proceed on foot. Two minutes later and you reach the next check point. Here you talk to Honduras border control through a glass pane. They’re not too friendly compared to the incredibly helpful and polite El Salvadorians. They laughed at my broken Spanish as they took electronic fingerprints and a photo.

There is a $3 USD charge to pass and you are given a receipt for this. It is official and not a scam.

El Salvador Honduras Border Muriel
We had entered Honduras

Once in Honduras there should be shuttles waiting and they will take you to Ocotepeque. It should cost 20 Lempiras or $1 USD for the 10 minute journey. This is the closest town to the border and there are onward buses to the rest of the country.

We travelled on a Sunday and crossed the border at 17:00PM. As it was Sunday, the shuttles had stopped and we needed to get a taxi for 25 Lempiras each. If it’s too late to continue your journey north, there are plenty of places to stay cheaply in Ocotepeque ($10 USD per night). In the morning you can get buses to anywhere in the country.

Visa Requirements for El Salvador

If you are unsure of your country’s visa requirements for El Salvador, you can check this link.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top