Latin America

Latin America Map




HURRICANE SEASON:

Typical formation areas for Tropical Cyclones by month. Typical tracks of tropical cyclones are also shown by white arrows:

Latin America Hurricane Map

Source: NOAA Hurricane Climatology.


DRIVING IN LATIN AMERICA?

I thought about Driving Latin America but decided not to this time.

I will use public transport instead.


CA-4 REGION:

When you, as a foreign national, first arrive in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua, you are generally awarded a maximum of a 90-day tourist visa.  This visa allows you to pass through all four countries without the necessity of a separate visa for each.

But there’s a bit of a dark side to the CA-4 tourist visa, too:  the 90 days awarded are for ALL FOUR COUNTRIES, and your visa will NOT refresh when you cross between the CA-4 countries.  In other words, passing from (for example) Guatemala to El Salvador doesn’t affect your ORIGINAL visa stamp at all – the clock keeps ticking on the original 90 days.  This can be a negative thing, especially considering that, if you plan to see a bit of all four countries, you’ll very possibly need more than 90 days to do so!

Rumor has it:  upon entry to Honduras, travelers may be issued a fresh 90 day visa for the CA-4, but then again, maybe not (I’ve heard all kinds of things).  Additionally, El Salvador may not honor this fresh Honduran visa should you cross to the south!

Well, here’s a treat for you: it seems that Guatemala and Honduras really don’t care how long you stay as long as you are here on a current visa.

In Honduras, you can pop into the local immigration office and tell them you’d like to stay in their wonderful country longer and ask if they can help you out. One suspects that this is also be possible in Guatemala. There’s no harm in trying this in El Salvador and / or Nicaragua… In Honduras:

  • You can extend another month for relatively cheap, but then you’ll have to do a visa run to stay longer; OR
  • You may be able to pay L3000 (US$140) and later that day, or the next, you’ll be able to return to pick up your passport with a nice new 90-day stamp.

The fee for overstaying your CA-4 visa in Guatemala is Q10 (about $1.30 US) per day of overstay.  Nicaragua charges 50 cordobas per day (about $2.00 US).  Clearly stated official information on El Salvador and Honduras overstay fees has been a little harder to find.  I’ve read $114 US for any overstay in El Salvador.


It seems that the CA-4 Agreement simply means that you don’t have to complete paperwork or formalities when crossing borders, BUT it is possible to buy / get a new visa when crossing an internal CA-4 border… you just have to go through the paperwork and it will take a little longer.