The Nicaraguan-Honduran border at Las Manos is a collection of huts along the highway with a large gate across the middle, in the midst of green hills dotted with fields of coffee. Both the Honduran and Nicaraguan immigration and customs offices are theoretically open 24 hours a day, but sometimes it can be difficult to roust people at late hours so it’s best to come through during the day. The Honduran officials take a half-hour lunch break at noon.
Services at the border comprise a Hondutel office, casa de cambio, comedor, and pulpería. Official and freelance exchangers have basically the same rate. Buses continue into Nicaragua every hour or so from the border until 6 p.m. It takes about an hour to get to the next big town in Nicaragua, El Ocotal, and costs US$3.
The entire trip from Tegucigalpa to the border can be accomplished in three hours by bus, if you don’t have to wait long at El Paraíso for a bus to Las Manos. Taxis out to the border from El Paraíso run US$5, for up to four people. The last bus returns to El Paraíso from the border at 5 p.m.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition