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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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HONDURAS TRAVEL GUIDE

Honduras – a land not frequented by the tourist for reasons of its tumultuous political upheavals and also the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 – is slowly limping back to normal. The lush rain-forests, the alpine ridges and charming little coastal towns all beckon the traveller to come and explore this land. Its rich cultural heritage found in the spectacular Mayan ruins of Copan are second only to Chichen Itza in Mexico.

 

Honduras is a Central American country with Caribbean Sea coastlines to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. In the tropical rain-forest near Guatemala, the ancient Mayan ceremonial site Copán has stone-carved hieroglyphics and stelae (tall stone monuments.) In the Caribbean Sea are the Bay Islands, a diving destination that's part of the 1,000 km-long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Tegucigalpa
  • Currency: lempira (HNL)
  • Area: 112,090km²
  • Population: 9,588 million (2018)
  • Language: Spanish, Creole English on the eastern coast, Amerindian dialects
  • Religion:Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant minority
  • Electricity: 110V, 60Hz (two-prong North American plug)

 

ETIQUETTE

Hondurans are fairly easy-going, and it's unusual for them to be easily upset or annoyed by foreigners not knowing cultural norms.

It's polite to greet people in Spanish when you first see them each day: buenas días (in the morning), buenas tardes (after midday) or buenas noches (after dark). Men tend to shake hands when they meet. Women often embrace one another, but they tend to remain on nodding terms with men, unless they know them well.

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POSTS ON HONDURAS

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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FEBRUARY

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MAY

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JUNE

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JULY

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT HONDURAS

The climate in Honduras is hot and tropical in the coastal lowlands, with annual temperatures averaging 26°–29°C; it becomes more temperate in the highlands, where annual temperatures average 16°–24°C. Average annual precipitation is lowest in the central mountainous interior (800–2000 mm) and highest in the Caribbean coast (+2,000 mm), where rainfall is year-round.

 

The Pacific coast and interior highlands have a dry season (summer) from November to April and a wet season (winter) from May to October that experiences a short break (1–4 weeks) in July/August. The Bay Islands have a slightly different timetable from the mainland, with the rainy season running from July through January and the dry from February to July.

 

  • October to February - Rainy season on the north coast and islands but dry in the interior.
  • March to April - Hot and dry everywhere, with temperatures soaring inland.
  • June to September - Peak season for viewing whale sharks in Utila.

BEST TIME FOR:

The beaches in Honduras are particularly beautiful from December to April when there is little to no rain, and the weather is just right. If you're visiting between May and November, you'll have better weather on the Bay Islands.

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HONDURAS TRAVEL COSTS

Honduras is almost two countries when it comes to cost of living – the mainland and the Bay Islands. Stating that the Bay Islands are 'expensive' is also somewhat relative when compared to the rest of the Caribbean. One should rather compare the Bay Islands to Barbados or St Barts than to the rest of Central America. The closest comparison the Bay Islands in terms of cost in the rest of Central America is probably Belize, and the Bay Islands are still cheaper. Barely.

 

That said, compared to mainland Belize, the Honduras Bay Islands are very expensive. Most visitors and expats reside in the Bay Islands and visits to the mainland offer a pleasant as to the difference. Island life in Honduras, like island life anywhere, comes at a price!

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR HONDURAS

Utila remains the biggest backpacker destination, beloved for cheap diving. Lago de Yojoa has a brewery, a great hostel and all manner of affordable activities.

 

GETTING AROUND

The airport is 6.5km south of central Tegucigalpa and taxi from the centre of town costs around L120, though going into the city from the airport costs around L220 to L250. In Tegucigalpa it's best to avoid city buses (prone to ‘taxing’ by gangs) and most colectivos (shared taxis). At night, unless you're walking a short distance on busy streets, take taxis.

 

The Bay Islands are accessible from the mainland with a short flight from San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, or Tegucigalpa, and also by boat from La Ceiba and other points along the coast. On the Bay Islands, the roads are good, and it’s safe to drive around. There are also plenty of bus and taxi options, all safe and easy to use.

 

On the mainland, self driving is an option but some roads can be in in horrible condition - even main roads like the Pan=American - drive with extreme caution. Luckily the the bus system on Honduras mainland is cheap and easy to make use of. From the main hub cities, you can get anywhere. Buses are either “economy” or “first class” in Honduras, and it’s recommended, for safety reasons, that foreign visitors always use first class.

 

In the cities, taxies are readily available. Fares are negotiated before setting off. It’s advisable to always get the driver’s name and plate number in advance as well and to ensure that he does not pick up others en route. Uber is being rolled out and as it currently stands you can make use of an UberX in Tegucigalpa.


REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF HONDURAS

  • Marvel at the intricate stone carvings and epic ancient structures of the Copán ruins, which trace back to an extraordinary Maya empire.
  • Cruise down the spectacular Río Cangrejal on a raft and take in some of Central America's best white water.
  • Discover the forgotten Caribbean town of Trujillo, with its lovely beaches, quirky history and charming locals.
  • Search for a quetzal in the cloud forests that rise above the stunningly undisturbed natural world around Lago de Yojoa.
  • Snorkel wrecks and reefs then explore the remote far east of the fascinating island of Roatán.
  • Go into the wild on an upriver adventure into Central America’s last untamed wilderness, the Moskitia.
  • Immerse yourself in the diver’s paradise of Utila, with affordable prices, great parties and dramatic reefs all around.

 

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

ONE WEEK

If you enter Honduras via the El Florido border, you'll hit a key attraction immediately: the stunning ruins of Copán. Budget at least a couple of days in the area taking in the temples and surrounding sights before making a short hop west to the atmospheric highland town of Gracias with its hot spring and Lencan villages. Then it's a long day on the road to the coastal city of La Ceiba. Set sail from here for either Roatán or Utila and indulge in some serious beach and reef time, snorkelling or diving.

 

TWO WEEKS

Back on the mainland, head out on a rafting trip down the exquisite Río Cangrejal - from there it's south to Lago de Yojoa for an artisan brew or two, hiking and boat trips. Finish your trip off with a night in either colonial, tranquil Comayagua or the bustling capital of Tegucigalpa.

 

TEGUCIGALPA & SURROUNDS

Ringed by forested hills in a highland valley, sprawling Tegucigalpa enjoys a relatively fresh, mild climate and a spectacular setting. It's a bustling and dynamic place, but one that many travellers minimize their time in or skip over entirely. This is a shame, as while Tegus (as all locals call it) is no beauty – streets are choked with traffic and its resultant pollution, along with high crime statistics – it's still a fascinating place, with some good museums, restaurants and the air of a place on the up. Downtown Tegus is the neglected heart of the nation, a cluster of once elegant but now faded streets where ropa americana (used clothing) outlets have replaced department stores. For a feel of the city, stroll the pedestrianized Calle Peatonal, visit a couple of the city's decent museums and grab a snack at the market. The countryside outside of Tegucigalpa is also worth checking out if you like pine forests and tranquillity. Don’t miss La Tigra National Park - one of Honduras' most impressive national parks. Santa Lucía, a charming old colonial mining town with a spectacular vista over the capital is 14km to the east and makes for a perfect daytrip. There’s a striking 18th-century iglesia (church) and historic streets to explore.

 

WESTERN HONDURAS & SAN PEDRO SULA

The heartland of Honduras, this mountainous, forested region encompasses some of the nation's most outstanding sights. The top attraction is easily the excellent Maya ruins of Copán, closely followed by the colonial charm of towns such as Copán Ruinas and Gracias. Hikers will love the spectacular trails inside the Montaña de Celaque cloud forest, while there's dazzling birdlife and wonderful scenery around idyllic Lago de Yojoa, which has in the past few years established itself as a major stop on the Central American backpacker trail.

 

If Tegucigalpa is the cultural heart of Honduras, then San Pedro Sula is the commercial heart. It’s big and modern and sprawling, but here is where you come to get things done. The former capital of Comayagua is also within easy reach, a colonial jewel that not many people know about.

 

Download map waypoints for Honduras here: KML / GPX

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN HONDURAS

More location information and points of interest are available in the above map

 

NORTHERN HONDURAS

The lush, tropical northern region of Honduras has seduced visitors for centuries with its natural wonders and easy Caribbean vibe. Between the beaches are mangrove swamps and jungle reserves that scream out to be explored. Rafting the white waters of the Río Cangrejal is the big-ticket experience, but there's also fine hiking in Parque Nacional Pico Bonito and the unique flavour and rhythms of the coast's Garifuna villages. Finally, isolated Trujillo, the last stop before the Moskitia, is a charming slice of the old Caribbean, with some wonderful beaches nearby and superb mountain scenery behind it.

Despite all the region has to offer, many visitors simply travel through en-route to the Bay Islands or Belize, and see nothing more than the drab charms of Puerto Cortés, Tela or La Ceiba. More than anywhere else, northern Honduras is a place where you should avoid the towns and make a beeline for the countryside.

 

THE BAY ISLANDS

Spectacular diving and snorkelling draw visitors from around the world to the three Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahía) – Roatán, Utila and Guanaja – located between 25km and 50km off the north coast of Honduras. Their reefs are part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and teem with fish, coral, sponges, rays, sea turtles and even whale sharks. Life on the Bay Islands has more in common with Belize and Jamaica than with mainland Honduras.

Diving the Bay Islands is very affordable, but lodging and food on the islands are more expensive than on the mainland Honduras. Utila is the most affordable island (and very popular with backpackers), while Roatán has better beaches and a beautiful forested interior. Diving is also good on Guanaja, though prices there are prohibitive for most travellers.

The rainy season here runs roughly from October or November to February. March and August are the hottest months; at other times sea breezes temper the heat somewhat.

 

THE MOSKITIA

That vast part of Honduras you see on maps with very few roads, is one of the region's last frontiers of untamed wilderness. Huge expanses are virtually untouched jungle, and when combined with wetland and savanna habitats it's no wonder Moskitia is often dubbed Central America's Amazon. Manatees, tapirs and jaguars all still thrive here – they have learned to be circumspect around humans, and are not easy to spot. Crocodiles can be seen in the waters, while the birdlife, including macaws and fish eagles, is outstanding.

Not many people get out that far east and there’s a reason for that. The regions of Olancho and Gracias a Dios are virtually lawless with drug running and illegal logging part of daily life for most. You really don’t want to stick your nose in where it’s not wanted. But for the truly adventurous, this is a part of Honduras that is unmissable. Mountains, jungles, wide rivers, and rustic towns. A visit to this region is not for the faint-hearted – access is tricky and conditions on the ground rustic at best, making visiting as part of a tour the safest and easiest approach. Expect to up your normal budget considerably if you come here, and be sure to bring cash with you: there are no ATMs in this part of the country.

 

SOUTHERN HONDURAS & ISLA DEL TIGRE

Honduras touches the Pacific with a 124km coastline on the Golfo de Fonseca. This perpetually and often infernally hot coastal plain is dominated by agribusinesses: sugarcane, African Palm plantations and shrimp farms. While it's a much-travelled region (the Interamericana crosses through Honduras here), there's little of interest to travellers – except perhaps Isla del Tigre, which has some charm. But those who hang around get a treat. The city of Choluteca has its colonial charms, and the Pacific coast at the Gulf of Fonseca is stunning.

Isla el Tigre sits in the Gulf, in view of both Nicaragua and El Salvador. It’s a perfect desert island spot to lie in the sun on and decompress. It's a dramatic place covered in thick forest and with some decent beaches that attract droves of locals but very few foreigners. Its main town is Amapala, a scruffy fishing village with picturesque, crumbling clapboard architecture. Black-sand Playa Negra, in the north of the island, is arguably the island's best beach, though there are several other totally undeveloped stretches elsewhere here.

WHAT TO EAT IN HONDURAS

WHERE TO EAT

To keep costs down head to comedores (simple eateries) where a two- or three-course meal is virtually certain to be a bargain. Buy snacks from panaderías (bakeries) and markets. Cafes and restaurants in tourist towns have plenty of international dishes on their menus, including vegetarian choices.

 

WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK

Be sure to try Honduras' national dish, the baleada (a tortilla stuffed with myriad fillings, usually including refried beans and salad) available from street vendors, and also from national chain Baleadas Express. You'll find great grilled meats in the country's interior, including lots of pinchos (kebabs). On the coast seafood is superb: tapado is a legendary Garifuna fish soup prepared with coconut and spices; in the Bay Islands is a similar dish called bando. Fresh juices

LGBTQ IN HONDURAS

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WHERE TO STAY IN HONDURAS

For a first-time visit to Honduras, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your interests, whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation options in different price ranges:


Where to stay in Roatán:

Roatán is a popular Caribbean Island known for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life, making it a top choice for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Explore attractions like West Bay Beach, Gumbalimba Park, and the Sandy Bay Marine Park.

  • Budget: Posada Arco Iris offers budget-friendly accommodations in West End, Roatán. Guests can stay in simple rooms with basic amenities, including free Wi-Fi. The hotel is located close to the beach and offers easy access to dining and entertainment options in the area.

  • Mid-range: Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort provides comfortable mid-range accommodations in West Bay, Roatán. Guests can stay in well-appointed rooms and suites, enjoy access to a swimming pool, and relax at the resort's private beach area. The resort also offers dining options and a dive center.

  • Luxury: Las Verandas Hotel & Villas provides upscale accommodations in a secluded beachfront location in Roatán's East End. Guests can stay in luxurious rooms and villas with ocean views, enjoy access to a swimming pool, and relax at the resort's private beach area. The resort also features a restaurant, bar, and spa.


Tip: Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) for lower rates and fewer crowds on Roatán.


Where to stay in Copán Ruinas:

Copán Ruinas is a charming town located near the famous Mayan archaeological site of Copán, known for its intricate stelae and hieroglyphic stairway. Explore the Copán Ruins Archaeological Park, Macaw Mountain Bird Park, and the town's colonial streets.

  • Budget: Hotel Camino Maya provides affordable accommodations with a convenient location near the Copán Ruins Archaeological Park. Guests can stay in simple rooms with modern amenities and enjoy access to a swimming pool and restaurant.

  • Mid-range: Hotel Marina Copán offers mid-range accommodations in the heart of Copán Ruinas. Guests can stay in spacious rooms and suites with views of the surrounding mountains, enjoy access to a swimming pool and gardens, and dine at the hotel's restaurant serving local and international cuisine.

  • Luxury: Clarion Copán Ruinas offers luxury accommodations with modern amenities and a tranquil setting overlooking the Copán Valley. Guests can stay in stylish rooms and suites, enjoy access to a swimming pool and spa, and dine at the hotel's restaurant offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.


Tip: Consider booking accommodations with guided tours of the Copán Ruins for added convenience and cultural insights.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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