Honduras travel guide
The second-largest country in Central America – and also one of the poorest – Honduras is once ugly and beautiful. Behind the reefs and rainforests, it has the unfortunate claim to being the murder capital of the world and the high crime risk means visitors should be cautious at all times. Some may advise against visiting altogether, but to do so would be to miss out – for Honduras has much to offer those adventurous enough to visit.
The Bay Islands are perhaps the country’s biggest drawing card. The archipelago offers some of the best diving in Central America, not to mention the chance to swim with dolphins and come face to face with whale sharks. The less adventurous can lounge in hammocks and soak up the party vibe, if that sounds too wild.
Back on the mainland, sweeping Caribbean beaches are scattered with charming towns such as Trujillo, with its pirate history, and traditional Garifuna villages, whose Afro-Caribbean culture is an integral part of the national identity. The great Pico Bonito National Park boasts jaguars, monkeys and countless bird species, while the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, teems with exotic wildlife and indigenous communities.
In the midst of all this nature, Honduras’ cities are easily forgotten and although soaring crime rates in the likes of San Pedro Sula keep visitors away, it would be a shame to miss out on the colonial architecture of the capital city Tegucigalpa, the Semana Santa celebrations in Comayagua or the lively carnival in La Ceiba.
It may be troubled, but Honduras is a passionate nation, where religion, tradition and family values are the backbone of society and where a 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 hips swing to Latino beats and the national beer is called Salva Vida, meaning “lifesaver.” It is a country of untamed beauty and wild tropical adventure. Just tread carefully.
112,090 sq km (43,278 sq miles).
8,189,501 (UN estimate 2016).
78 per sq km.
President Xiomara Castro since 2022.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and see support for British nationals abroad for information about specific travel topics.
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Honduras set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Honduran Embassy in the UK (in Spanish).
There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Honduras.
If you’re showing symptoms of any infectious disease, including COVID-19, you may have to have a medical evaluation. The Ministry of Health will decide if you need testing or quarantine.
Travel in Honduras
The Honduran authorities may ask you to wear a mask when visiting:
- medical and dental settings (hospitals, clinics, vaccination centres and laboratories)
- nursing homes
Passport validity requirements
Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive in Honduras and have at least 2 blank pages.
Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.
You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.
You can visit Honduras without a visa. You’ll get a 30-day visit entry stamp in your passport when you arrive. You can apply at an immigration office to extend your stay by 90 days.
If you overstay, you may get a fine that you must pay before you leave Honduras. For information on how to extend your stay or pay a fine, contact the National Institute of Migration (in Spanish).
Applying for a visa
To stay longer (to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons), you must meet the Honduran government’s entry requirements. Check which type of visa or work permit you need with the Honduran Embassy (in Spanish).
Make sure you get your passport stamped.
If you do not get your passport stamped when you arrive, you will get a fine. If you notice your passport has not been stamped, return to the immigration desk, or go to the National Institute of Migration in Tegucigalpa as soon as possible.
Immigration pre-check form
Before you enter or exit Honduras, you must complete the online immigration pre-check form.
Take a screenshot of the form and QR code to show immigration officials. If possible, print the confirmation email and bring it to the airport as well. You will be asked for this at check-in and in some cases before you board the aircraft.
If you cannot access the immigration pre-check form or do not receive the confirmation email, contact the Honduran Embassy (in Spanish) if you’re in the UK. If you’re in Honduras, contact your travel agent or the National Institute of Migration (in Spanish):
- telephone: +504 2232 7800
- email: email@example.com
Travelling through Honduras
If you’re travelling through Honduras to another country (sometimes called ‘transiting’), you must follow Honduran entry requirements even if you do not pass through immigration. Contact the National Institute of Migration (in Spanish) for information.
Travellers aged 20 and under
To enter or exit Honduras, people aged 20 and under travelling alone or with only one parent or legal guardian must have a notarised letter in Spanish from the parents or guardians not travelling with them. Contact the Honduran Embassy (in Spanish), or if you’re in Honduras the nearest National Institute of Migration (in Spanish), for information about what documents you need. Single parents will need additional documents.
There is an airport departure tax for international flights of 48.44 US dollars (or the same amount in Honduran lempiras). This is normally included in the cost of your ticket.
There is also a departure tax for domestic flights of 54.13 Honduran lempiras (or the same amount in US dollars).
Travelling to El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua
Under the Central America Border Control Agreement (also known as CA-4), you can travel between El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for up to 90 days without a visa.
The 90-day period starts when you enter any of these countries and does not restart when you cross borders. You’ll have to go through immigration checks at borders. If you’re expelled from one of these countries, you’re also excluded from the other 3.
You can extend your stay by up to 30 days by paying a fee before the 90 days expires. If you overstay, you may get a fine.
Land border fee
If you arrive at or depart from a land border, the immigration authorities will charge you a fee of 3 US dollars. Keep the receipt until you leave Honduras and make sure you get a stamp in your passport.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Honduras guide.
Depending on your circumstances, this may include a yellow fever certificate.
There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Honduras. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Terrorism in Honduras
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Honduras, attacks cannot be ruled out.
Protests can happen anywhere in Honduras. Although normally peaceful, these can rapidly turn violent with a general breakdown in law and order, including looting. The police have frequently responded with tear gas and there have been deaths and injuries.
Although protests are normally restricted to the main cities (especially Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba), the authorities can set up roadblocks anywhere at short notice and these cause significant travel disruptions. Your travel plans may be affected at short notice.
It is illegal for foreigners to participate in political activities. If you take part in protests, you may be detained and deported. Avoid all demonstrations and protests and do not try to pass through blockades. Follow the advice of local authorities and your tour operator or airline and monitor local and social media.
There are high levels of crime in Honduras. Most serious crime does not affect tourists, but there have been attacks on foreigners, including armed robbery and sexual assault. Attacks can take place anywhere at any time.
Protecting your belongings
Petty theft is a problem in cities and tourist areas, including the Bay Islands (Roatán, Utila and Guanaja). Avoid walking around Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and other main towns and cities in 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, tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
Criminals have robbed foreigners after they’ve withdrawn money at ATMs.
ATMs are available in the major towns. Check with your hotel which ATMs to use, especially in Roatán. It is safer to withdraw money from ATMs in shopping centres and to change money in hotels or banks. Check ATMs for evidence of tampering, although affected machines may not be easy to spot. Do not withdraw a lot of money at one time and avoid withdrawals at night.
People have been killed and injured resisting criminals. It is useful to carry a small amount of money to hand out if you’re robbed.
Violent attacks against vehicles
There have been violent attacks on people in cars and buses. Using a reputable tour company for longer journeys may reduce the risks. For shorter distances, use radio-dispatched taxis or hotel taxis. It is generally safer to travel on main roads between major cities and tourist destinations.
Take precautions such as:
- locking vehicle doors
- keeping windows closed
- not travelling after dark
- travelling in convoy
- not picking up hitchhikers
Take care if you’re travelling alone. In remote areas it may be safer to travel with others or join a tour. Do not accept lifts from strangers or hitchhike.
Avoid travelling on public buses (repainted US school buses). There has been an increase in armed attacks by local gangs on bus drivers and conductors, often resulting in serious injury or death. There have been violent muggings, rape and assault against foreigners on these buses. Private intercity coach services are safer but not immune from attack.
There have been attacks on roads:
- from Limones to La Union
- from Olancho via Salama to Saba
- from Gualaco to San Esteban
- from La Esperanza to Gracias
- in the Department of Santa Barbara
- in and around Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo and El Progreso
Scam artists target foreign visitors and residents. The scams come in many forms and can cause great financial loss. Warn your friends and family to be sceptical if they’re asked to transfer funds to you in Honduras. Tell them to contact you to check that you’ve made this request.
State of exception (emergency)
As part of its plan to address extortion, the Honduras government announced a state of exception (emergency) in December 2022. This measure has been repeatedly extended and remains in place, affecting over 100 municipalities across the country.
During this time there may be restrictions on freedom of movement and other rights in the affected municipalities. Seek advice from your travel agent. You must always carry a valid ID and be prepared for checkpoints.
- allow extra time to reach your destination
- monitor local media for updates and information on restrictions
- avoid crowds or demonstrations
- always co-operate with military and police officers
Laws and cultural differences
Personal ID and travel documents
You must always carry photo ID. Carry a copy of the photo page of your passport with you. Leave the original in a safe place.
Make sure you always have the documents for your hotel, car rental, tour or ticket reservations. Local authorities may stop you and ask for documents confirming your travel plans.
Illegal drugs and prison sentences
There are severe penalties for drug trafficking (15 to 20 years in prison and a very large fine) and drug use (from 3 to 9 months in a rehabilitation centre). Honduran prisons are overcrowded and violent.
Homosexuality is not illegal. There are no laws guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. There is no recognition of same-sex marriage. People in the capital, Tegucigalpa, are largely tolerant of individuals’ personal lifestyles and accept small signs of affection between same-sex couples. There is a more conservative attitude outside the capital and showing affection in public is not recommended.
Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.
US dollars are widely accepted for exchange and payment. It is difficult to exchange British pounds in Honduras.
If you are planning to drive, see information on driving abroad.
You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in Honduras for up to 3 months. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence or get the correct version of the international driving permit (IDP) as well.
Hire car companies often have stricter requirements for their customers, such as a year of driving experience, a higher minimum age and holding an IDP.
Make sure you have adequate insurance.
If you are involved in an accident, contact the police or the fire brigade (telephone: 911), stay with your vehicle and wait for the police to arrive. If you’re in a serious accident, you may be taken into 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 do not rely solely on the vehicle’s number plate.
Driving standards in Honduras are generally poor. Avoid road travel at night. Many vehicles travel without lights, and animals often wander across roads causing accidents. You may need a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are not travelling on main roads.
Public buses are often poorly maintained, overcrowded and recklessly driven. Accidents are common and sometimes fatal. Luxury buses, operated by private companies, are usually better maintained.
Some roads remain damaged by hurricanes that struck in 2020.
Airlines in Honduras can change their schedules at short notice. Before you travel, check with your airline or travel agent.
Extreme weather and natural disasters
Drought, forest fires and flash flooding are common in Honduras.
See extreme weather and natural hazards for information about how to prepare, and how to react if there is a warning.
The hurricane season in Honduras normally runs from June to November. Landslides and flooding can affect roads throughout the country. You should monitor local weather reports and check the warnings from the US National Hurricane Center. Follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See the Honduran national civil protection website COPECO (in Spanish).
This section has safety advice for regions of Honduras. It only covers regions where FCDO has specific advice.
Borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua
Armed robbers have targeted travellers after they cross the Honduran border into El Salvador. It is often better to cross borders in the morning as they sometimes close in the early evening and remain closed at night.
There are unmarked minefields in and around the border with Nicaragua. Avoid walking on unmarked paths or off main roads in these areas.
You may experience delays at the land border crossings between Honduras and Guatemala due to the passage of migrant caravans.
Bay Islands and north coast
The Bay Islands are generally safer than mainland Honduras, but there have been several attacks by criminals on visitors, including on the ferries to and from mainland Honduras. If you are visiting Roatán, travel with a reputable guide. If you are driving a car or scooter, avoid side roads in remote areas, particularly Palm Beach Road close to Milton Bight.
Take care on beaches in Tela and the north coast towns after dark. There have been attacks on foreigners on beaches after dark.
There is a risk of criminal attacks and carjackings in and around Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo and El Progreso.
Before you travel check that:
- your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
- you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation
This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
Emergency medical number
Call 911 and ask for an ambulance.
Contact your insurance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Vaccinations and health risks
At least 8 weeks before your trip check:
- the latest information on vaccination recommendations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Honduras guide
- where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page
Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Honduras. Read more about altitude sickness on TravelHealthPro.
Tap water is not generally safe to drink, but bottled water is cheap and widely available.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.
The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.
You cannot use British-issued prescriptions in Honduras. To find a pharmacy (‘farmacia’) look for one of the big national chains such as Farmacias Siman, Farmacias Kielsa or Farmacia El Ahorro.
Healthcare facilities in Honduras
State-funded hospitals are underfunded and medicines are in short supply. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Always carry evidence of your insurance. Use private clinics where possible, though these are only available in major towns.
FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in Honduras.
There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Honduras.
Hyperbaric decompression chambers
There is a hyperbaric decompression chamber on Roatán and there are decompression facilitates on the Bay Island of Utila. However, emergency medical facilities on the Bay Islands are extremely limited.
COVID-19 healthcare in Honduras
The public health system has limited capacity for handling severe and critical cases of COVID-19.
Some private hospitals are accepting patients with COVID-19, but admission will cost 1,000,000 Honduran lempiras (over £30,000), with the final medical bill potentially higher.
Small clinics can provide testing, basic medical attention and medication to COVID-19 patients who do not require special medical care.
Travel and mental health
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.
Emergency services in Honduras
Telephone: 911 (ambulance, fire, police)
Contact your travel provider and insurer
Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.
Refunds and changes to travel
For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.
Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:
- where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
- how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim
Support from FCDO
FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:
- finding English-speaking lawyers, funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Honduras
- dealing with a death in Honduras
- being arrested or imprisoned in Honduras
- getting help if you’re a victim of crime
- what to do if you’re in hospital
- if you’re affected by a crisis, such as a terrorist attack
You can also contact FCDO online.
Help abroad in an emergency
If you are in Honduras and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Guatemala which covers Honduras.
FCDO in London
You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.
Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)
Risk information for British companies
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.