We arrived at Leon via the Tica bus. Yes, we cheated a little but it was an 11-hour direct bus ride and I couldn’t imagine what it would have been on local buses.
Travelling on the Ticabus
I have to admit, I can get used to this. The bus had a private screen for each seat, a charging station for devices, and boasted wifi as well. Admittedly, I wasn’t impressed with the wifi as it only worked intermittently. This was a small price to pay for the comfort of not having to carry your pack, and not having to transfer to an unimaginable amount of buses to do the same trip. The trip was a little out of budget for us, at $45USD a person, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself!
The ride itself was almost uneventful. Everyone slept, well… everyone except me. We gave the kids electronics time when they woke up. We were in the capital cities of three different countries and crossed two borders. All in all, it didn’t feel like a 12-hour bus ride.
The longest part of our journey was at the Honduras/Nicaragua border. We got stuck at the border for 2 hours because they implemented a travel visa for all foreigners. Our border agent told us that it is a pretty new implementation but it is required to enter Nicaragua. He asked standard questions like:
- Where are you from?
- Where are you going?
- How long do you plan on staying?
- Do you have proof of onward travel?
- How much money are you carrying with you?
- How do you plan to afford this trip?
The funniest part of the conversation was where are you going. He was required to write down where we were going, and as Charo listed the countries he just cut Charo off and stopped his list at Panama.
The worrisome question was that of onward travel. We had none, as all we have is had was our word. From reading other bloggers they have posted that they were going to be denied entry if they could not show that they had an exit ticket of some sort. The border agent who dealt with us listened to the story of our travels, and I produced my card (thanks Yanni), and all was good.
After that, it just took time. He explained to us that this is all part of the process right now. There is a new website to do this process online. I’ll update this page if and when I find it. Lucky for us, over half the bus had to wait as well so we knew the bus wasn’t going to leave without us.
Note: I’m not sure how I would have felt if Charo was not with me translating. She asked a lot of questions, and the border agent was very open with us. We never felt worried or out of the loop. I’ve been following some posts on Facebook and that is a major complaint people have. We ended up being there for about 2 hours just waiting, and at one point the agent came out and gave all the kids a piece of candy. No matter how you feel about the process, this man was just doing his job!
Thanks for reading and happy adventuring.
Our next stop: You guessed it, Leon, Nicaragua