CA-4 Travel Realities
I just completed a trip to Guatemala and back. I will be posting some items about the trip here and others on http://a42.com this week. This post is specifically about CA-4 travel as things don't seem right. That is, what happened, doesn't make sense.
Here are the parameters. I was traveling on a US passport (because my Nicaraguan cédula was expired -- itself another story). I paid an overstay fine and headed to Guatemala by air. When I entered Guatemala my Passport was stamped and I was given a 90 day visa (and no fee to enter). So far, that made sense.
I left Guatemala by bus (another story). On exit, my passport was stamped as leaving Guatemala (which surprised me as I had assumed once in the CA-4 on a tourist visa there would be no passport stamping until I left the CA-4. There were no passport stamping entering or leaving El Salvador. Thus, my passport looked like I was nowhere.
Honduras is where things get really strange. First, there was an entry fee of $18 (for usanos or Canadians, $3 for citizens of Nicaragua and other countries). TicaBus collected our passports before entering Honduras and they were returned to us, with Honduras entry and exit stamps, by Nicaragua at El Espino. We never even set foot on Honduran ground. There was no Nicaragua entry stamp and no Nicaragua fees.
At this point, here is how things look:
- The last stamp with a visa attached was my entry into Guatemala.
- I have no entry stamp that does not have an associated exit stamp.
- If CA-4 travel works I should not have had to pay a fee for Honduras.
- If CA-4 travel doesn't work I should have had to pay a fee to enter Nicaragua.