Honduras Travel Guide
Better known for getting battered by hurricanes and battling poverty, Honduras is still a thriving playground for holidaymakers, that unveils enchanting nature, architectural marvels, impressive ruins, bustling centers and the sparkling Caribbean Sea.
The big cities offer good hotels and amenities, while the smaller ones are slowly developing. Most locals still live in poverty. Crime rates are high in touristy areas, so travelers should always be on guard. Those who stray off the beaten track will be bewitched by the low-key yet spectacular natural beauty of the country, but make sure you are equipped with every essential you can find to keep those nasty insects away.
When to Go
Honduras can be visited anytime of the year. The climate varies depending on the altitude of the location however it is mostly warm in the daytime and cool at night. The Pacific and Caribbean coasts offer breezy weather and occasional cooling rain showers.
Avoid the hurricane season (October and November) when heavy rains cause serious flooding. Since Honduras is usually sunny, pack a lot of shorts, sun dresses, swimwear and flip-flops. Leave your winter gear at home.
Getting There & Away
Traveling to Honduras is quite an easy task. International airports are located in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa (Toncontin) and Roatan, with regular services to and from Central American capitals, North America and Europe. Motorists can also drive from Guatemala, El Salvador, or Nicaragua, while taking a bus is a cheap option to get to Honduras from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Boats aren’t frequent, but fancy cruises usually stop at the Bay Islands. Hitchhiking around the country is common but not recommended. Think twice before deciding to use your thumb.
Health & Safety
Only drink water from a bottle wherever you are in Honduras. Big cities like Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are well-known for robbery and crime. Avoid walking on the streets at night, especially if you are a woman. There are safe areas and dangerous areas in most cities, so befriend locals and ask them for this ‘inside’ information.
There is high a risk of malaria, dengue fever and HIV in Honduras, while hazardous, creepy creatures such as mosquitoes, snakes, spiders and scorpions are aplenty in the jungles. If you plan to go into the woods, dress sensibly. Ditch that short camouflage skirt no matter how fashionable, arm yourself with insect-repellent and opt for a pair of long pants instead.
Food & Hospitality
Try the famous Honduran plato tipico with an interesting combination of rice, beef, fried beans (frijolitos) and fried bananas (tajaditas). Other lip-smacking options include tacos, baleadas and enchiladas. Honduran cuisine is spicy, so go easy and have a glass of water within your reach. To drink like locals, order a bottle of Salvavida, Port Royal, Imperial or Barena, the new addition to the local beer brands. Central American rum, Flor de Caña is imported from Nicaragua and is also worth a try, while those who want to play it safe can stylishly sip on licuados, fruit juices mixed with milk shakes which come in an assortment of yummy flavors.
In general, the infrastructure in Honduras is a complete basket case. Only in the big cities can good amenities be found. You can find hotels with fully-equipped facilities and fine restaurants in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. In the smaller towns, good hotels are scarce and a bit more expensive than those in the main touristy areas. But leave the comfort of your ‘Holiday Inn’ and you’re very much in the third world.
Three days in Tegucigalpa to visit the city and make a daytrip to Pulhapanzak Falls and La Tigra National Park.
- One day in San Pedro Sula.
- Two days in La Ceiba to entertain the children and enjoy the beaches.
- One day in Copán.
- Three to five days in the Bay Islands, a diver’s paradise.
tegucigalpa: the capital of Honduras is surrounded by beautiful mountains covered in pine trees, wich detract from the slums found abundantly here. Visit the old historical center and admire spectacular view from the newest addition to the city’s monuments, Christ of the Picacho.
la-ceiba: opens its door to the Caribbean coast and the Bay Islands. Children will love Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and a train ride through the pineapple fields to a lagoon. There are many great beaches to relax on, while the city boasts the biggest Carnival in Central America in May.
san-pedro-sula: different from scenic cities like Tegucigalpa and La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula is very modern. The main square, Parque Central is a good place to watch people while the exquisite, white San Pedro Sula Cathedral is worth a visit.
copan: big on history, it features remarkable ruins from the Maya civilization more than 1,000 years ago. The city itself is lovely, with a pristine location around a river valley amid lush-green, rolling hills.
Bay Islands: consists of three islands: Roatán, Guanaja and Utila, all ideal for diving and snorkeling. If gorgeous and tranquil beaches are your idea of a perfect holiday, head to Utila, the most low-key of all three.
Natural spots: the magnificent la-tigra-national-park is home to a variety of wildlife and birds as well as many kinds of fauna and flora. pulhapanzak-falls, a beautiful waterfall on the Río Lindo, is also worth the trek to get there.
Fishing: if fishing is your thing, pack necessary equipment and head out to Lake Yojoa where you can rub shoulders with local fishermen. The lake is home to more than 370 bird species, so remember to bring your binoculars.
Sailing: at Honduyate Marina, a recreational center on the East shore of Lake Yojoa, where there are many sailboats for rent. Those not into sailing can have a splash in the public pool while checking out other hot, well-tanned fellow swimmers.
Snorkeling and diving: grab those goggles and jump in the inviting, crystal clear waters surrounding the Bay Islands. This area is rich with marine life and beautiful coral reefs. The beaches are also ideal for lazing around and practicing your people-gawking skills.
Hiking: save your favorite pair of Hugo Boss and Jimmy Choo for a night out and put on your hiking boots. Pico Bonito National Park near La Ceiba has breathtaking scenery, steep slopes and lovely waterfalls to wow you away.
Shopping: panic not, shopaholics. Even though the shopping scene here isn’t exactly something to write home about, local markets are worth exploring. Ceramics, woodcarvings, cigars and leather goods are cheap and of impressive quality. Going bohemian with local straw hats and seed necklace isn’t such a bad idea either.