Top events in Honduras

March
24

Football is undoubtedly the national sport of Honduras, and the country explodes into passionate support for the national team whether it plays at...

April
12

Held on the Bay Island of Roatan, this lively carnival is held in honour of the traditions and culture of the Garifuna people. It commemorates the...

April
14

Literally translated as ‘Easter Week’, Semana Santa sees several days of devout celebration including extravagant parades through the country’s...

Utila beaches, Honduras
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Utila beaches, Honduras

© 123rf.com / Bartlomiej Kwieciszewski

Honduras Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

112,090 sq km (43,278 sq miles).

Population

8.4 million (2013).

Population density

75.3 per sq km.

Capital

Tegucigalpa.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Juan Orlando Hernández since 2014.

Head of government

President Juan Orlando Hernández since 2014.

Electricity

110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs (with or without grounding pin) are used.

Honduras, an undulating, jungle-filled country fringed by coral reefs and steeped in colonial and indigenous ancestry, relishes its tropical personality where bananas are served with every meal, wildlife abounds and adventure is always on the horizon.

Located in the heart of the Central American isthmus Honduras stretches from the Pacific to the Caribbean, its interior a mixture of gargantuan national parks, Mayan relics and colonial towns.

The country’s tourist appeal is undeniable. It is most well-known for the Bay Islands, a group of small outcrops and even smaller islets (or cays) located a mere one hour from the coast of La Ceiba in the twinkling Caribbean Sea. Roatan, with its international airport, cruise ship terminal and low-key resorts gets the lions’ share of visitors, who come to scuba dive, swim with dolphins and bask in the hot and humid climate, while next door Utila has long been a favourite of the backpacking crowd who come to test the waters as they learn to scuba dive or swim with the World’s largest fish, the whaleshark. While the Bay Islands, with their idyllic, relaxed tropical characters are a big draw, the mainland is no less enticing.

Along the north Caribbean coast sweeping beaches are home to towns such as Trujillo, steeped in pirate history. Traditional Garifuna villages line the coast, their culture an integral part of Honduras’ national identity. The great Pico Bonito towers above the national park of the same name, whose mangrove fringes are home to manatees, anteaters and countless species of rainbow-coloured birds. The true adventurist can head into the heart of the wilderness that is the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with wildlife.

Heading inland, through rolling green hills blanketed in banana, coffee and tobacco plantations evidence of Mayan ancestry is everywhere. The great archaeological remains at Copan are amongst the most significant in the entire Central American region, immaculately preserved and providing insight into the history and people that shaped the country. The cobbled-stoned streets of Copan itself are home to colonial buildings and bohemian artists’ shops.

For nature-lovers and thrill-seekers Honduras is a playground of ecoadventure. From water sports in the Bay Islands to white water rafting the Cangrejal River, from canopy tours in cloud forests to fishing in the great Lake Yojoa, Honduras is unbridled and untamed.

In the midst of all this nature, Honduras’ cities are easily forgotten. While soaring crime rates and social instability in cities such as San Pedro Sula mean that visitors should be extremely cautious, it would be a shame to miss out on the colonial architecture of the capital Tegucigalpa, the Semana Santa celebrations in Comayagua or the lively carnival in La Ceiba.

Honduras is a passionate country, where religion, tradition and family are the backbone of society and where love for the national football team can unite even ardent enemies. It is a country where tortillas and beans are served with every meal, where pumping Latin music gets hips swinging and where the local beer is called Salva Vida (lifesaver). For despite its troubles, Honduras is a country of untamed, unadulterated tropical adventure.

 

 

Travel Advice

Last updated: 02 March 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Crime

There are high levels of crime. Most serious crime doesn’t affect tourists but attacks on foreigners including armed robbery and sexual assault do sometimes occur. These attacks can take place anywhere and at any time of the day. People have been killed and injured resisting attack. It is useful to carry a small amount of money to hand out in the event of a robbery.

The Bay Islands are generally safer than mainland Honduras, but there have been several attacks on visitors, including on the ferries to and from mainland Honduras. If you’re visiting Roatan, travel with a reputable guide. If you’re driving a car or scooter, avoid side roads in remote areas particularly Palm Beach Road close to Milton Bright. Take care on beaches in Tela and the north coast towns after dark. There have been attacks on foreigners on beaches after dark.

Take care if you are travelling alone. In remote areas it may be safer to travel with others or take part in a tour. Never accept lifts from strangers or attempt to hitchhike. Be vigilant of your surroundings at all times and in all locations. 

There have been reports of violent attacks on cars and buses. These have included armed attacks on vehicles leaving the international airport in San Pedro Sula. Using a reputable tour company for longer journeys may reduce the risks. On shorter distances, use radio or hotel taxis.

Petty theft is a problem in cities and tourist areas, including the Bay Islands (Roatan, Utila and Guanaja). where the number of reported incidents has been increasing Avoid walking around Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and other main towns and cities on mainland Honduras. Be particularly careful at bus stations, airports, isolated beaches, tourist sites and on public transport. Keep your valuables locked away in a safe if possible. Avoid displaying valuable items like jewellery, cameras, MP3 players, Ipads and mobile phones.

It is safer to withdraw money from ATMs in shopping centres and to change money in hotels or banks. Don’t withdraw too much money at one time. There have been attacks on foreigners after they have withdrawn money from ATMs. Avoid withdrawing money at night.

Foreign visitors and residents can be targeted by scam artists. The scams come in many forms, and can pose great financial loss. If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to Honduras make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it.

Local travel

The Honduran military has been deployed in some parts of the country to support the national police, for example in Bajo Aguan.

Don’t travel around after dark as you greatly increase the risk of attack. Roads that have seen attacks include routes from Limones to La Union, from Olancho via Salama to Saba, from Gualaco to San Esteban and from La Esperanza to Gracias. The isolated roads of the Department of Santa Barbara have also seen criminal activity, and hijackings of vehicles have occurred on roads in and around Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo and El Progreso.

Take particular care near the borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Travellers have been targeted by armed robbers after crossing the Honduran border into El Salvador. It is often better to cross borders in the morning as they sometimes close in the early evening or remain unmanned at night.

There are unmarked minefields in/around the border with Nicaragua. Take care and avoid walking on unmarked paths or off main roads in these areas.

Road travel

You can use your UK Driving Licence to drive in Honduras if you are visiting for under 3 months, but an International Driving Permit is recommended.

Make sure you have adequate insurance. If you are involved in an accident, contact the police (199) or the fire brigade (198) and stay with your vehicle. If you are in a serious accident you may be held in custody regardless of responsibility. Seek legal help and inform the British Embassy in Guatemala. Take full details of the other driver (who may not be insured), and don’t rely solely on the vehicle’s number plate.

Driving standards in Honduras are generally poor. You may need a 4x4 vehicle if you are not travelling on main roads. You should avoid road travel at night. Many vehicles travel without lights, and animals often wander across the roads causing accidents.

It is generally safer to travel on main roads between major cities and tourist destinations. Lock vehicle doors and keep windows closed. If possible, travel in convoy. Following any traffic accident, you should normally wait for the police to arrive.

Public buses are often poorly maintained, overcrowded and recklessly driven. Accidents are common and sometimes fatal. You should avoid travel on public buses. There has been an increase of armed attacks by local gangs on bus drivers and conductors, often resulting in serious injury or death. There have been reports of violent muggings, including rape and assault against foreigners on these buses. Luxury buses, normally operated by private companies, are usually better maintained.

Political situation

Presidential and Congressional elections last took place in Honduras in November 2013, and the inauguration of President Juan Orlando Hernandez took place in January 2014. The political situation has stabilised following the 2009 constitutional crisis butyou should stay away from large gatherings, including political rallies, and places of public protest. You should not attempt to pass through any blockades. Please monitor local press, radio and TV, or contact the British Embassy in Guatemala, for local updates.

The Honduran Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners. If you take part in demonstrations you may be detained and/or deported.

Consular assistance

There’s no British Embassy in Honduras. If you need consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy in Guatemala City, or one of our three Honorary Consuls in Honduras:

Consular Section, British Embassy, Guatemala City: Telephone: +(502) 2380 7300; Email: consular.guatemala@fco.gov.uk

Honorary Consul (Tegucigalpa):
Email: Fortin-HonCon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

Honorary Consul (San Pedro Sula):
Email: Edgardo.Dumas-HonCon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

Honorary Consul (Roatan & Bay Islands):
Email: Matthew.Harper-honcon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

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