Are you a traveler that needs to get from Honduras to Guatemala? It makes perfect sense to pair these beautiful neighboring countries together whether you’re on a two-week vacation, or backpacking longterm like us. This Honduras Guatemala border crossing guide has everything you need to know!
There are two main Honduras Guatemala border crossings: El Florida and Corinto. I recently completed the Corinto crossing, and traveled from La Ceiba to Rio Dulce. Below, I’m sharing a complete guide to crossing Corinto by either shuttle or public transport.
A few weeks before that, I also crossed the El Florido border, although in the direction of Guatemala to Honduras. I’m including information on that border crossing below, too.
Whatever your travel plans in Honduras and Guatemala, this article will help you plan your route and choose the best possible option for you!
NOTE | I completed the Honduras to Guatemala border crossing in February 2023, and will do my best to keep this article updated. If you find this guide helpful, please comment below with any changes or updates! Together, we can help future travelers navigate the Honduras Guatemala border safely.
Check out my other border crossing guides…
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Honduras Guatemala Border Crossing Locations
There are two main border crossings that tourists use between Honduras and Guatemala.
Guatemala to Honduras border crossing locations:
- El Florido: This border crossing is located just 10 km from Copan Ruinas in Honduras. It is used for travelers who are departing from Copan Ruinas in Honduras, and traveling onward to Guatemala City and/or Antigua.
- Corinto: This border crossing is closer to the Caribbean side, and connects travelers departing from La Ceiba (and the Bay Islands of Utila and Roatan) or San Pedro Sula in Honduras with destinations like Rio Dulce, Livingston, and Flores in Guatemala.
I actually have firsthand experience at both those border crossings. We used the El Florido border to enter Honduras from Guatemala, and we left Honduras via the Corinto border crossing to Rio Dulce in Guatemala.
Keep reading for my recommendations for each border crossing, and a detailed account of our experience at Corinto.
Travel Requirements at the Honduras Guatemala Border
Compared to other border crossings within Central America (such as entering Honduras…), there aren’t as many requirements for entering Guatemala from Honduras. Of course, check the most recent requirements with your embassy.
Travel requirements include:
- Days remaining on CA-4 visa: Both Honduras and Guatemala are members of the CA-4 visa (along with El Salvador and Nicaragua). You are given 90 days across all member countries. At this border crossing, Guatemalan immigration will be very careful to count how many days you’ve been in the region and they will write how many days you have remaining on your Guatemala entry stamp. They may also ask about your onward travel plans, but you don’t need any proof with you.
- Six-months passport validity: It’s always good to have a minimum of six months of passport validity and at least two empty passport pages before you cross any international border. Some countries turn you away without this.
- Check entry requirements: It’s different for every nationality, so check on your government website.
- Check health requirements: Of course, things are constantly changing regarding COVID-19 travel rules. We did not have to show our vaccine cards or have any kind of health check at this border. You should check your country’s embassy page for the most reliable information.
Honduras to Guatemala Border Crossing: The Complete Guide
For the vast majority travelers, you will have to decide between the El Florida or the Corinto border crossings. Which one you choose will primarily depend on your Honduras/Guatemala travel itinerary and route.
Below, I discuss some considerations for each.
El Florido Border Crossing: Copan Ruinas to Antigua or Guatemala City
El Florido is for you if you are coming from Copan Ruinas in Honduras. It is not particularly close to any travel destination in Guatemala, but you can arrange onward travel to Guatemala City by public transport, or Antigua by shuttle.
It’s the more expensive option, but it’s possible to book a shuttle from Copan, Honduras to either Antigua or Guatemala City.
Some of the Copan Ruinas-Guatemala shuttle companies include:
- Adrenalina Tours: Shuttle Copan to Antigua. Departs 6am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only, $50 USD per person.
- Marvelus Bookings: Shuttle Copan to Antigua. Departs 11am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only, $50 USD per person.
- Atitlan Tours: Shuttle Copan to Antigua or Guatemala City. Departs 12:15pm, private service so inquire to book, $50 USD per person.
It’s also possible (and much cheaper) to do the El Florido border crossing by public transport. This is what Dan and I did when we traveled in the reverse direction from Guatemala City to Copan Ruinas. The whole journey cost us about $25 USD per person.
To complete the El Florido border crossing Honduras > Guatemala by public bus, you need to follow this route:
- Collectivo bus to La Frontera/El Florido
- Exit Honduras
- Enter Guatemala
- Exchange money
- Collectivo bus to Chiquimula
- Rutas Orientales bus to Guatemala City
I wrote a blog post all about the El Florido border crossing in the direction Guatemala > Honduras. It is very easy to reverse those directions if you are traveling Honduras > Guatemala.
For that reason, much of the rest of this blog post will focus on the Corinto border crossing, which is what we used when leaving Honduras to head back to Guatemala.
Corinto Border Crossing: San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba to Rio Dulce
Corinto is for you if you are coming from the bay islands of Utila or Roatan (and therefore the port city of La Ceiba), Pico Bonito National Park, or San Pedro Sula in Honduras. It is close to Guatemala tourist destinations of Rio Dulce and Livingston, and it’s also possible to travel onward to Flores.
As of 2023, there is only ONE shuttle company that operates from La Ceiba to Guatemala (we went to Rio Dulce, but other people on our shuttle were traveling on to Flores and Antigua – both of those are LONG journeys, and Rio Dulce is amazing, so I highly recommend spending at least a few days there).
This shuttle company is Roneey Shuttle, which we had previously used going from Nicaragua to El Salvador. They depart 8am (supposedly…. read about our experience below), and it costs a whopping $60 USD per person.
Here’s the kicker: the shuttle ONLY departs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
If you dig deep enough on the internet, you’ll find about six other shuttle companies that also list this route. I’ll save you the trouble… Dan and I contacted every single one of them and they’re all either no longer operating, or basically just reselling tickets for Roneey Shuttle.
With only one shuttle option that is quite expensive and only departs three days a week, you may be tempted do this border crossing by public transport.
Dan and I generally try to travel independently, and of our eight border crossings in Latin America to this point, we’d only done one with a shuttle. So, I did a LOT of research into how to cross Corinto by public transport, and I’ll share the details below.
To complete the Corinto border crossing, you’ll need to follow this route:
- Spend the night in San Pedro Sula – I recommend Tamarindo Hostel
- Taxi to Gran Metropolitan bus terminal
- Bus to Puerto Cortes
- Bus to Corinto/La Frontera
- Exit Honduras
- Enter Guatemala
- Exchange money
- Bus to Puerto Barrios
- Boat to either Rio Dulce or Livingston
Public Transport vs. Shuttle: What We Chose
You’ll notice that the public transport instructions involve spending a night in San Pedro Sula (the *ahem* murder capital of the world) before the border crossing. This is because we spoke to other travelers and local Hondurans, and everyone told us it was just too long a journey to travel from La Ceiba to Rio Dulce in one day, by public transport.
Look, you’re probably going to be fine spending a night in San Pedro Sula if you stay in a safe area and take taxis. I’ve done a lot of research and would recommend Tamarindo Hostel – it’s in a safe location with good reviews and a lower price.
However! This route takes up an entire extra day of your traveling, and of course the extra expense of accommodation for that night. In the end, you’re wasting time and not saving as much money.
For those reasons, and because we were also on a tight time frame with only 12 days left on our CA-4 visa to explore Guatemala’s eastern side, Dan and I bit the bullet and booked from shuttle direct from La Ceiba to Rio Dulce.
Honduras to Guatemala Border Crossing at Corinto: Our Experience
Of course, travel by shuttle is way easier than public transport. You jump in the shuttle and you’re pretty much good to go. However, if you’re interested in what really went down, then read below all about our experience traveling from La Ceiba to Rio Dulce with Roneey Shuttle.
1. Taxi to Wendy’s in La Ceiba
The night before our border crossing, Dan and I were staying at Hotel Rio in Pico Bonito National Park, a magical natural wonderland just about 30 minutes from La Ceiba.
It was my favorite place in all of Honduras and one of my biggest regrets from our year in Latin America that I didn’t spend more time here. It’s a hidden gem in the true sense of the word, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Around 6:45am we took a taxi from Hotel Rio to Wendy’s in La Ceiba. Roneey Shuttle will pick up from either the Utila Dream ferry port or Wendy’s, and we chose Wendy’s since it was closer to us.
Once at Wendy’s we had time to kill so we got coffees, Dan got breakfast (Wendy’s doesn’t have that many options for celiacs, lol), and just relaxed. There’s wifi here so we also downloaded some offline maps while waiting for the shuttle to turn up.
Cost: 400 HNL / 200 HNL per person / $8.11 USD per person for taxi
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
2. Board Shuttle
The Roneey Shuttle finally arrived around 8:15am, despite telling us pick up was at 8am. 15 minute wait? Whatever. Could be worse. Of course, then it did get worse!
There were three shuttles that arrived to Wendy’s from the ferry port, and for some reason they decided to compress all those people into just two shuttles. Maybe one shuttle was broken. Or more likely, they wanted to save a few bucks.
Everyone seemed to have a different destination. We were the only ones going to Rio Dulce. Other travelers had destinations like Flores, Antigua, Guatemala City, Leon (Nicaragua!), Copan Ruinas, and San Pedro Sula (honestly, why take a shuttle?! Book a local bus for 10% the cost!).
THEN, everyone started ordering breakfast, taking a smoke break, and binge drinking beers. I repeat, it was 8:15am. Look, I know I don’t party as much as your average backpacker but what the hell, lol.
The shuttle drivers were totally disorganized. First, they told everyone the shuttle was overbooked and we’d have to sit four people to three seats. Our (drunk) fellow travelers loudly refused. So they moved all the bags and luggage onto the roof.
Finally, at 9:30am (!) the driver took a roll call, and realized he’d miscounted. It wasn’t overbooked at all. We promptly crammed into the shuttle and off we went, an hour and a half late.
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
3. Drive to Corinto
The drive from La Ceiba to the border at Corinto was looong – we left Wendy’s at 9:30am and arrived to the border at 4:30pm. Seven hours.
However, the journey was pretty easy and only slightly eventful.
Around 10am our driver pulled off to the side of the road to buy an energy (“adrenaline max”) drink. Boy did the energy drink work because he was speeding along.
Speeding so much, in fact, that at 10:50am we were stopped by the Honduras police and he got a speeding fine.
After that we had a few more stops. One at a gas station for a bathroom break, one at the San Pedro Sula bus station so the driver could help a couple buy bus tickets to Copan Ruinas, one at 2:30pm at a gas station for lunch, and finally one at 4pm when the Honduras police stopped us again for unclear reasons.
Time: 7 hours
4. Exit Honduras
At 4:30pm we were finally at the border. Dan and I agreed at this point that despite the disorganization, we’d made the right choice to go by shuttle because trying to get from La Ceiba over the border in one day is just too long.
We drove past maybe a mile of stopped semi trucks and the shuttle stopped right at the immigration building. At all Honduras Guatemala borders, the two countries share one singular building, which is convenient and means no lengthy “no man’s land” crossings!
We waited in line to “exit Honduras,” which was simple and just involved having our fingerprints taken and passport stamped.
Time: 15 minutes
5. Enter Guatemala
Next, we walked to the neighboring window and got in line to “enter Guatemala.” Once at the front of the line, it took the Guatemalan immigration official a bit more time because he was sorting through our passport stamps. At that point we’d already been in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and had nearly used up our 90-day CA4 visa, so I can see how it was confusing.
He stamped our passports and wrote “43 days” as our allotted time (which should’ve been 12 days… I’m pretty sure he missed our Nicaragua stamp).
In any case, we just smiled and nodded and took our passports back. We had plans to exit Guatemala and the CA-4 region for Belize on our 89th day, anyway.
Time: 15 minutes
6. Exchange Money
While waiting for our fellow travelers to get their passport stamps (one guy had drunkenly passed out and nobody realized he was still in the van, so he had to be woken up to get in line to get his passport stamp) we went to exchange money.
There were only a couple money exchange people around, and the rate to exchange HNL to GTQ was 3.33 (for reference, the market rate at the time was 3.14).
Time: 10 minutes
5. Drive to Rio Dulce
A bit after 5pm we all loaded back into the shuttle for the drive to Rio Dulce. After an uneventful drive, we arrived to Rio Dulce town at 6:40pm.
Roneey Shuttle did not give the option to drop anyone off at hotels, and instead deposited us at a nondescript parking area under the bridge. Everyone else on our shuttle was transferring to a different shuttle to either Antigua or Flores, so Dan and I said our goodbyes (good riddance? Again, this was a super strange shuttle group!) and left.
Since we’d originally planned to do this border crossing on a Saturday, before we realized shuttles didn’t run on Saturdays, we actually had no accommodation booked.
We walked along the main road and went into Posada Del Rio (location linked), where we got a private room with bathroom and AC for 250 GTQ ($32 USD). It was bare bones and loud from passing trucks (I’m a deep sleeper, but others might have an issue). You could shop around for cheaper options nearby, but we were tired and it was dark, and this did the job.
Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Onward Travel in Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Dan and I had an unexpected extra day in Rio Dulce due to our scheduling mishap, and it ended up working out well.
For dinner, we walked to La Torre grocery store (location pin) where I found Schar gluten free bread (!!!) and we bought sandwich-making supplies. We headed back to Posada Del Rio to watch Netflix and have a sandwich dinner.
The next morning, we bought a Guatemala SIM card and data, and went to an ATM to get cash out for our next accommodation – Boatique Hotel and Marina, a more remote lodge on the Rio Dulce river.
Top tip: definitely stay at a river lodge, and don’t waste more than one night in Rio Dulce town, which is inarguably a horribly crowded little place and not the reason to come here!
Around 12pm, we took the free shuttle boat from SunDog Cafe to Boatique Hotel and Marina and began our next five days of relaxation in Rio Dulce!
Feasibly, we could’ve gone straight to Boatique Hotel and Marina after our shuttle, if we’d booked accommodation that night. They have a 9:45pm free shuttle and also can arrange private trips.
However, the hotel was fully booked that Friday, and ultimately the extra night in Rio Dulce town wasn’t the end of the world.
Other destinations in Guatemala you should add to your itinerary include:
- Livingston – You can take a boat tour here from Rio Dulce, or stay overnight. I prefer Rio Dulce and recommend basing yourself there at Boatique Hotel or another river lodge!
- Semuc Champey – Our next stop after Rio Dulce. We took a truck by Marvelus Bookings from Rio Dulce to Semuc Champey. It’s a looong day, a bumpy ride, and expensive, but worth the trip to see this natural wonder.
- Flores – We went here from Semuc Champey, before crossing to Belize. It’s a cute island town and the base for visiting Tikal Ruins.
- Lake Atitlan
- Guatemala City
Honduras to Guatemala Border Crossing Overview
Everyone’s border crossing experience is going to be different. Ours is based on traveling from Pico Bonito National Park / La Ceiba to Rio Dulce in a shuttle.
Total time: 11 hours
Total cost: $68.11 USD per person
This was our most expensive border crossing in all of Latin America, but we were paying for convenience (and also to have an extra day to enjoy Guatemala, rather than be stuck on public buses in Honduras). You could certainly save some cash by going on public buses instead.
Hondururas to Guatemala Border Crossing
I really hope this guide was helpful to any fellow travelers attempting the Honduras Guatemala border crossing at either Corinto or El Florido!
It is worth planning out your travel route in advance and be sure to choose a day in which either shuttles are operating, or you’re close enough to the border to do the crossing in one day.
If you find this guide helpful for your own border crossing journey, I’d really appreciate it if you leave a comment below. Let me know how your trip went, and any updates or changes from what I’ve written here. I will keep this blog post updated so it remains useful for all of us!