Honduras Travel Guide
While many travelers shy away from Honduras on Central American trips due to its violent reputation, those that take the appropriate precautions and trust that things aren’t as bad as the media makes it out to be will be richly rewarded by visiting this country.
While you would be wise not to take State Department warnings lightly (example: do not wander the streets after dark in any town or city, and ask locals for safety advice wherever you travel in Honduras), those that refuse to allow themselves to be paralyzed by fear will find a nation full of awe-inspiring ruins, untouched nature, and people that are among the most hospitable in the region.
Currency: Honduran Lempira
Languages: Spanish, Creole
What To Do
Those seeking to discover the Eastern edge of the Mayan empire will want to start their time in Honduras by visiting the Copan Ruinas.
Serving as a capital city that was at the height of its prominence between the 5th and 9th centuries AD, there is an abundance of temples, burial pyramids, ball courts, and other structures that was composed this vital City within the Mayan world.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an archaeological wonder that no cultural traveler should miss on a visit to Honduras.
After visiting Copan Ruinas, your next bus ride will likely take you to the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. While many travellers will be in a hurry to get out of here as quickly as possible, there are a number of sites that can be seen in Honduras’ largest city.
Apart from the colonial city center, which is safe during the day with a heavy police presence, an attraction you shouldn’t miss is the Museo Para la Identidad Nacional. If your Spanish is good, you will realize that this place is this country’s national museum of arts and culture, which profiles the history of its people throughout the ages.
Artifacts from the Pre-Columbian era and from the Spanish colonial days straight up to the present can be found here, along with art that has been created by the residents of this country over the years.
After visiting the nation’s largest city and capital, begin your discovery of Honduras’ wonderful natural attractions by paying a visit to Lake Yojoa. Situated at the delightfully high elevation of 2300 feet, this relaxing getaway will have you heading for the nearest hammock as soon as you drop your bags at your guesthouse, hostel, or hotel.
Be sure to hire some local fisherman to take you out on the waters of the lake at some point during your stay, as there are many freshwater fish that can be caught and then cooked for you when you get back to shore.
You can also get in touch with your inner hipster by visiting D&D Brewery, which is one of Central America’s first microbreweries, visiting local waterfalls, or head out for a hike on one of the many trails that can be found around the lake shore.
After a brief transit through San Pedro Sula (though there are many modern conveniences in this city that includes many spectacular shopping malls and cinemas), head to the wild confines of Cusuco National Park.
Stretching from sea level to a peak of over 7600 feet at its highest point, this place is an under visited and largely unknown hotspot of natural diversity in Central America. This destination is not for the posh traveler though, as there is little to no infrastructure within the boundaries of this park.
However, those that come prepared for these conditions will have an authentic experience in the wild that one can simply not get in more touristy places like Costa Rica. As far as attractions go, waterfalls, hikes to the dwarf forests at high elevations, and coffee farms where the locals make a humble living are among the things that one can experience here.
After roughing it in the wilds of Cusuco National Park for several days, you will have earned your just rewards in the form of the Bay Islands. Accessed via San Pedro Sula and the port of La Ceiba, the more popular of these delightful Caribbean jewels include Roatan and Utila.
Roatan is set atop the world’s second largest coral reef, making it a hotly sought-after destination for snorkelers and divers in the know.
Those seeking a hot nightlife scene will want to stay on Roatan, but if you want to get away from the cruise ship crowds, Utila is a better option.
This island is more friendly towards backpackers then Roatan, but staying on either of these delightful islands will end your time in Honduras on a high.
What To Eat
When the time for breakfast comes in Honduras, join the locals in having a Baleada. At its most basic, a Baleada is simply a flour tortilla filled with refried beans, sour cream, and cheese, though more complex versions will fill it with scrambled eggs or a variety of meat options.
Go staying on the tropical island of Utila will have the chance to trying a special version of this breakfast dish, as it comes with pickled onions and a special form of cheese that is native to this place.
When lunch rolls around, make an effort to have some Sopa de Caracol with whatever you’re having at this time of day. Hailing from the Caribbean coast of this country and having a popular Honduran song attributed to it from the latter part of the 20th century, it is a form of conch soup that has found national popularity throughout the country.
When the time comes for a big meal in Honduras, the locals do not shy away from consuming massive amounts of meat. This much is confirmed when they sit down to have some Carneada, which is also known as Plato Típico in many Honduran restaurants.
Resembling Mexican carne asada, slices of meat that are served in this dish are marinated in sour orange juice together with salt and pepper and a variety of spices before being barbecued. Served on the side with a spicy tomato sauce, it is a dish that you should have in Honduras before moving on to your next destination.