While Honduras may not be at the top of most people’s travel wish list, enterprising visitors will find a vibrant country that offers more untouched wilderness and one-of-a-kind experiences than most of Central America. While you still have to be careful in the cities especially, Honduras is now officially an under the radar destination worth exploring!
Want to learn more about Honduras?
Where is Honduras?
Honduras is located in Central America and borders Nicaragua to the southeast, El Salvador to the southwest, and Guatemala to the west. It has a small coastline with the Pacific Ocean to the south as well as a larger coastline along the Caribbean Sea (or more specifically, the Gulf of Honduras).
When is the best time to visit Honduras?
Generally speaking, March to September is the best time to visit most of the country. The weather especially is ideal during the spring months.
Flights to Honduras
Round trip flights between Toronto and Honduras generally start at about $650 Canadian. Your best bets are to fly into Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula – which you choose will depend on where your intended destinations are in relation to the cities.
Getting around Honduras
Buses are decent for long distances, though some can be quite fancier and more expensive than normal. In cities, buses are generally not considered safe. Driving is possible, though local habits can be very aggressive and dangerous. Taxis are solid in cities, just make sure you go with a reputable company and ideally share a ride with a friend.
Where to go in Honduras
While Honduran cities have a (deservedly) tepid reputation – the capital and largest of them is still worth getting to know if you’re careful. While some areas of Tegucigalpa are best avoided, you’ll find over 1 million people ready to welcome you with great cuisine, cultural events, a bustling nightlife, and some solid museums. While the cityscape can’t compare to the natural setting beyond (largely hills and forest), it’s hard to say you really know Honduras until you get a feel for Tegucigalpa.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Honduras is the offshore Bay Islands. Sitting amidst the world’s second largest coral reef, they are a mecca for divers, backpackers, and, erm…beachers? Roatán is the most well know of the three main islands and is home to the best beaches and a wild interior. Utila is the best for budget travellers while Guanaja can be a bit pricey. Really outside of Utila, expect to pay more here than anywhere else in the country. While the diving is unbeatable and many rustic escapes remain, you can expect resorts and other such developments to continue cropping up across the Bay Islands. Regardless of these nitpicks, they are a must-see.
The other most well known destination in all of Honduras is ancient Copán. These Maya ruins are some of the best you’ll see in the region, and delivers a far more ‘exclusive’ feeling than what the Yucatan has to offer in Mexico. In many cases, you might find that you’re the only one amongst the hundreds and hundreds year old structures, as you observe hieroglyphs and more. The nearby town is easy to visit and charming in its own way – and deserves a look as more than just a place to rest your head on the way to the ruins.
Lago de Yojoa
Translated as ‘Lake Yojoa’, this is a scenic and serene sight worth it for the landscape alone. While it has seen an increase in visitors in recent years (thanks in part to the local brewery), you’ll find it easy to escape from the crowds as you spot wildlife, row across the lake, hike along the shores, stumble across coffee growers, and more. This is rural Honduras at its best, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Are you someone who enjoys the thrill and adrenaline rush of zipping down rapids in a small watercraft? Well white water lovers rejoice; Río Cangrejal is here to scratch your itch. There is nowhere else in Central America (that we know of) that can compare to this river when it comes to rafting. Even if this isn’t something that appeals to you, the surrounding area is full of birds, trails, and mountain views – meaning it’s a worthy stop for anyone.
This large region in the east of Honduras is for a real adventurer only. It consists of mostly jungle, with very few roads, some fearsome and amazing wildlife (including jaguars, crocodiles, plus numerous birds), and little in the way of accommodation. However if you shell out some extra money and tag along with a tour (or strike out on your own if you’re capable enough, not recommended except for those with the necessary skills), this can be the experience of a lifetime
Language in Honduras
The main language in Honduras is Spanish, so you should definitely brush up on some phrases before visiting. You will also hear a variety of indigenous languages depending on where you go. English is common in some areas – especially around the more popular tourist sites.
Prices in Honduras ($)*
For the most part, Honduras is considered cheaper than many other (already generally affordable) Central American countries. That being said, some areas such as the Bay Islands or La Mosquitia will cost more to visit depending on where you stay and how you travel. Overall though, expect to spend about $38 Canadian a day with a budget of $8 for accommodation and $10 for food. Thrifty travellers could keep costs closer to $15 a day.
Is Honduras safe?
Before we get into safety, we have to touch on the current health issue with regards to the Zika virus. Spread by mosquitos, the sickness is usually mild and short term, resulting in fever, headaches, rashes, muscle pain, and other flu-like symptoms. That being said, pregnant women (and women considering becoming pregnant) should avoid the country for the time being. Be sure to talk to a healthcare professional before deciding to travel to Honduras.
It’s no secret that Honduras has a very high murder rate, however like other countries (such as Mexico) a safe visit can be arranged as long as you’re smart. The Canadian government recommends a high degree of caution throughout the country while stating that ALL travel should be avoided to Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía.
Violent crime, gangs, kidnappings, extortion, burglary, and gun crime are prevalent throughout – especially in the cities. While tourists aren’t usually targeted directly, they can be involved. Always travel with someone and do not wander around after dark in most areas. You should also avoid any demonstrations and be aware of scams (especially of the credit card variety). You should also be wary on the road, as local driving practices and conditions can be dangerous.
Be sure to do your research before heading to Honduras, as there is a lot to keep in mind. That being said, more and more people are discovering that this Central American country is viable to visit as long as you follow some standard advice. So stay safe and you’ll uncover a place that is worth every penny!
For more on travel safety, check out the Canadian Travel Advisory for Honduras.
For more information, check out the official Honduras tourism site.
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