Honduras things to see and do

Tourist offices

Instituto Hondureño de Turismo

Colonia San Carlos, Edificio Europa, Tegucigalpa, CP 3261, Honduras
Tel: (504) 222 2124 ext. 502 or 503.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1700
www.letsgohonduras.com

Things to see and do

La Moskitia

This vast and untamed tract of wilderness is characterised by tropical cloud forests, swamps, rivers and mangroves, and is one of the premier ecotourism destinations in the Americas. At its heart is the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with wildlife and birds.

Lake Yojoa

Honduras’ largest freshwater lake is a magnet for hundreds of species of birds and considered the country’s premier bird watching destination. At 6.4km (4 miles) wide and 16km (10miles) long, the lake in the west of the country is surrounded by coffee plantations, hot springs, caves and waterfalls and there are plenty of hiking and fishing opportunities.

Swimming with whale sharks

The Bay Islands are considered one of the best locations to spot the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. Measuring up to 10m (33ft) in length, these gentle, plankton-eating creatures glide through the waters and it is possible to slip gently into the water and swim alongside them.

Bay Islands

Make a splash in the exotic archipelago of the English-speaking Bay Islands, famed as one of the premier diving destinations in the world. Hilly, tropical Guanaja and Roatan are protected by a great coral reef. Utila has wide sandy beaches ringed by tiny cays surrounded by palm trees. There are several smaller islands, worth visiting including the Cayos Cochinos.

Birdwatching

Go birdwatching in Honduras' premier destination, Lake Yojoa in the west of the country.

Boat trips

Take a boat trip along the winding canals of the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge on the edge of the Pico Bonito National Park, which provides a habitat for numerous animal species, including monkeys, alligators and manatees, and dozens of birds. The great wetlands lead all the way to the Caribbean Sea.

Canopy touring

Try canopy touring: a series of cables are fixed from tree to tree and, attached to a pulley while wearing a harness, you can 'fly' through the canopy of the rainforest. Honduras’ abundance of thick rainforests and jungles mean there are various opportunities for some thrillseeking canopy tours in Roatan, Sambo Creek and Copan.

Comayagua

Seek heritage and history in Comayagua, former capital of Honduras and now a masterpiece of Spanish colonial buildings, cobbled streets, tiny plazas, whitewashed houses and grand churches. The best time to visit is during the unique and fervent celebrations of Easter week (Semana Santa).

Copán

See the ancient city of Copán. The Copán Ruins Archaeological Park is the best remaining testament to the culture of the Mayan Indians. Among the best of the ruins are the magnificent Acropolis, the Great Plaza, and the Court of the Hieroglyphic Stairway. The nearby modern town of Copán is charming with cobbled streets.

Cuyamel Caves

Go spelunking (also known as caving or cave exploring) in the Cuyamel Caves, near Trujillo. The caves have been used by various ethnic groups since pre-Colombian times and are rich in Mayan archeology. Hire a guide as they are well hidden but worth seeking out.

Hiking in Pico Bonito National Park

Take advantage of the excellent hiking on offer in Pico Bonito National Park, near La Ceiba. It offers spectacular scenery, dense green jungle, steep slopes and numerous waterfalls. Pico Bonito itself is a challenging, steep climb, but there are plenty of gentler hikes through the vast park.

Scuba dive

Scuba dive in the crystalline waters and pristine coral reefs of the Bay Islands. The islands are one of the world's top destinations for learning to dive, with warm, calm waters and high quality dive centres. For those already certified, there are courses in underwater photography, cave diving and instructor training.

Tegucigalpa

Admire the view across Tegucigalpa, the temperate capital city, from the site of the city's most recent monument, Christ of the Picacho, set atop a mountain. Be sure to take a look around the city itself too, especially the old historical centre with its colonial buildings and winding stone streets.

Trujillo

Play at being a pirate in Trujillo on Honduras' gorgeous Caribbean coast. Once a thriving port and the old capital of colonial Honduras, Trujillo is today home to many old Spanish buildings, a fascinating pirate history and superb tropical beaches. Nearby are several traditional Garifuna villages and the city is surrounded by national parks.

White-water rafting

Experience some of Central America's best white-water rafting along the Cangrejal River, near La Ceiba. The steep terrain of the Pico Bonito National Park creates rivers and waterfalls, the most spectacular of which is the Cangrejal River. Several outfits offer jungle lodges and rafting experiences outside of rainy season.

Wildlife refuges

Wildlife refuges and national parks all over the country offer an exciting, unspoilt landscape, a multitude of flora and fauna, and huge biodiversity including rare mammals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, anteaters and tapirs. Cloud forests, mountains, dry forests, pine forests, coastal wetlands and huge rivers create a wonderful opportunity for eco-tourism.

Edited by Jane Duru
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