As expected, the immigration officer looked carefully at Naing Naing’s passport. He flipped through it a few times, furrowed his eyebrows, and eventually said he’d need to take it with him to look at more closely. We waited. And waited. Finally, we were told we needed to get off the bus and come to the immigration office, where we were told that, as a Myanmar citizen, Naing Naing needed a visa to enter El Salvador (even despite the CA-4 agreement, which, in theory, would allow any traveler to pass through Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala via land travel as long as they held a valid visa in one or more of these countries).
The immigration guards took the time to explain to us what we would need to do if we wanted to pass through El Salvador. A tourist visa or a transit visa could be obtained from the Embassy of El Salvador in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for a fee of approximately $50 and a wait time of 2 days (maximum). But we wouldn’t be able to pass through El Salvador that day, we’d have to turn back and stay in Honduras for the night.
We waited for 4 hours at the immigration office in El Amatillo for the bus to return to pick us up on its return journey to Tegucigalpa. The officers were kind enough to allow us (and our bags) to wait in the fanned, cool interior of the immigration building. We stayed in Honduras for 2 days before setting off again, during which time we decided to get a Guatemala visa instead of the El Salvador visa, and then we went up through Honduras to cross the Honduran-Guatemalan border.