DRIVING TIME: 3.40 hours
HWY: CA 9, CA 19, CA 18, CA 10, CA 11
BORDER OPEN: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Upon leaving Guatemala City, locate CA 9. It’s unimaginably easy to get lost around Guatemala City. After entering Guatemala City, turn right at Puente Periferico and continue to Avenida Marti. Once on CA 9, head for Jalapa on CA 19. Then on to Esquipulas on CA 18.
If you need to pull over and ask, use the next large city as a reference. If you’re too late for the border at Agua Caliente, Esquipulas is a nice place to rest for the night. Don’t forget those border entries may take several hours. Therefore, it’s best to start early in the morning.
Hotel & Eats
Hotel Cristo Negro, an excellent place to stay the night and a short distance from the Honduran border, is located just past Esquipulas. If you have some free time, check out the Cathedral and the surrounding area in Esquipulas. During the evening, the gates are closed at the Hotel Cristo Negro, thus, if you arrive late, bang on the gates, and they will open them.
On my trip, I missed the juncture for Esquipulas, so I had to drive to Zacapa and back down to Chiquimula for the turnoff leading to Copán. You can usually find an alternate route not too far out of the way when you get lost or turned around.
Honduras & Beyond
After crossing the Honduran border at Quezaltepeque, you can head north to Chiquimula and on to El Florido or Copán. Once you get to the border you have another 20-minute drive to Copán. I stayed in Copán for a few months and loved the place. If you are driving through Honduras, plan to spend a few days in this majestic Mayan town with exceptional ruins.
Next Section of Drive
Copan – San Pedro Sula