Planning a trip in 2014 through Mexico and Central America to Costa Rica and want to take our very well behaved dog. Will likely travel through Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Hondurus. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Besides proof of up-to-date vaccinations and a health certificate, what do we need to bring? Any input will be appreciated.
How are you traveling? Big difference between self driving and staying in hotels compared to backpacking, using public transport and staying in hostels.
Also, do you speak Spanish?
We plan to self drive, camping some (depends on finding safe accommodations) and staying in hotels some. I do not speak much Spanish but my daughter does.
That's great you're self driving, it would be way too much hassle otherwise.
You'll have to Google up the requirements for each border crossing but my guess is that they'll mostly be like Mexico - fairly straightforward. The occasional one might have some dumb rule abut requiring a vet signature (Honduras used to be horrible) and you might get dinged for the odd bribe, but your daughter's Spanish will be a great help.
Cover your ass by having your vet certificate, shots and whatever other documentation translated into Spanish and have lots of extra colour copies of everything.
Fleas and especially ticks will be an issue too. Never leave Fido tied up alone, if you're not around lock him in the vehicle - it's not just theft you have to worry about, it's packs of local dogs looking for trouble.
You will have trouble re-entering the States, believe me. It also won't do your canine any favors - I plead with you to leave the poor thing with a good caregiver at home.
I personally recommend obtaining a pet passport for your pooch. It will help greatly going from country to country and returning to the US.
Check out: PetTravel.com
It has a drop-down menu of countries. Each one will give you the requirements for that country and if quarantine is absolutely required. The pet passport contains all the health and vaccination information about your dog. (Some of them even get stamps in them.) If not already done, have your dog micro-chipped by your vet. Having the passport can help avoid some of the requirement of companion animals without those documents.