I'm travelling on my own to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize during December '06 and January '07 and wondering if anyone has any advice about Tica Bus? I'm a little worried about finding hotels or hostels in the capital cities in the dark and then waiting around the bus terminal by myself. Please help me out with any suggestions or comments that you have.
You shouldn't be concerned about TicaBus. It's one of the biggest and best secured bus companies in that part of latin-america. I've travelled with them a couple of times a few years ago ( i.e nicaragua-costa rica) and it went smoothly. No problem getting assistance at the bus terminal either. Loads of helpful people. A bit expensive perhaps, though.
Belize has no Tica Bus Service, you'll pick that up in Guatemala City. Do your homework on each city you'll be stopping over in and take a taxi to your reserved hotel or hostel on arrival. Remember that when you stop over on Tica Bus, you must make your onward reservations in person at the terminal, at least 24 hours in advance, as the buses fill up fast. In El Salvador, stay at one of the hostels or guest houses in and around the National University, not at the hotel-terminal the bus stops at. OK if just traveling through to Nicaragua or Costa Rica. The majority of the travelers on Tica Bus are usually natives and can give you some good advice.