Travel to Honduras: What You Want to Know
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
While Honduras may have a rocky history, it doesn't mean travel is off-limits. When you travel with caution and common sense, travel to Honduras may be beyond what you ever imagined. El Salvador isn't the only country in Central America that surprised me.
Honduras means "great depths" in Spanish - named after the deep waters along the coast by Christopher Columbus. Honduras offers the Jewel of the Caribbean, the largest hieroglyphic in the world, and rich biodiversity with over 700 species of birds and plants.
Jewel of the Caribbean
I didn't plan on travel to Honduras in 2021. I stayed open to it. When a digital marketing project and press trip to Honduras presented itself with Hotel Sandoval and Turicentro Sandoval, I immediately said yes! Hotel Sandoval is rated consistently with 5 stars on Google Reviews.
A great way to travel to Honduras is to start with Nueva Ocotepeque, Honduras after traveling to El Salvador. That's what I did and couldn't imagine a better way.
Travel to Honduras includes insights, considerations, requirements, and everything you want to know before you visit.
Travel to Honduras
Travel to Honduras is easier than you think. The country offers four international airports in Roatan, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, and San Pedro Sula. There are national airports in Honduras to help make your travel easier.
Depending on where you are traveling to, it may be easier to fly to San Salvador, El Salvador. If you want to make Nueva Ocotepeque, Honduras your first stop in Honduras, it makes sense to fly to San Salvador airport in El Salvador. Whether you explore El Salvador or not, the El Poy border is about 2-3 hours away by car.
For airline travel, I use sites including Kiwi, Volaris, and Skyscanner. With driving in between destinations, I either ask an Uber driver I had a great experience with or ask for trusted sources from locals and Airbnb hosts. I fly to San Salvador with Volaris Airlines.
For your travel to Honduras, consider destinations of Ocotepeque, Roatan, and Copan. They are known to be safer tourist destinations. Tegucigalpa, one of the dual capitals of Honduras, maybe a place you visit with a guide.
Ocotepeque, Honduras may be the first spot you visit for peace, accessibility, and an abundance of nature nearby.
History of Honduras
Honduras was discovered on July 30, 1502, by Europeans and Christopher Columbus arriving at Bay Islands on their fourth voyage. On August 14, 1502, Columbus landed near modern Trujillo. After the deep waters off the coast, Columbus named the country Honduras ("depths"),
Spain began a conquest of Central America with profound impacts to the natives that would result in 100s of years before independence. The northern coast of Honduras falls to the British who own the coast until 1860.
Central American Federation comprising of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras celebrated 200 years of independence from Spain on September 15, 2021.
The years after gaining independence from Spain would not be without strife for Honduras. The turmoil in the country continued with Nicaragua seizing Tegucigalpa in 1894, US involvement in 1907, and the overthrow of President Miguel Devila of Honduras in 1911.
US involvement from 1911-1922
The US continued to have a military presence in the country from 1911-1922. In 1924, US Troops returned. The instability continued with martial law, and a state of siege was declared in 1932. Che Guevara, an Argentinian Revolutionary sets out for a Central American tour in 1953.
Hurricanes from 1961-1976 kill over 5,000
From 1961 to 1976, natural disasters ravage the country including Hurricane Fifi, Alma, and Hattie killing over 5,000. In 1976, an earthquake with a 7.5 on the Richter scale leaves over 22,000 dead in Honduras and Guatemala.
Earthquake leaves >22,000 dead in 1976
Politics, hurricanes, and earthquakes aren't the only thing causing conflict. In 1969, a Honduras v El Salvador Football (Soccer) Match Kicked Off a War. In BBC News, El Salvador and Honduras fought a four-day conflict that cost thousands of lives and displaced thousands more - a bloody struggle still remembered as the Football War.
In 1982, Honduras adopts and enacts a constitution
Like anywhere in the world, Honduras has a history. Its history undoubtedly impacts the country with poverty, corruption, violence, and fragile democracy.
According to the World Bank, Honduras possesses resilience for faster rates of growth and prosperity, with its location, resources, exports, youthful growing population, and tourism.
In recent years, Honduras registered the second-highest economic growth rates in Central America, only behind Panama. The country’s GDP growth reached 4.8 percent in 2017, 3.7 percent in 2018, and 2.7 percent in 2019, above the average in Central America and well above the average in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
However, the country has been facing high levels of poverty and inequality ranging from approximately 50%+ with the global pandemic did not help the rising numbers.
San Pedro Sula is considered the most dangerous city, not just in Honduras, but around the world. If you visit, don't be surprised when you see armed forces all around San Pedro Sula. This isn't one of those cities to get lost on the streets on or go at it alone. Similar to other larger cities around the world, be mindful of purse-snatchers and pickpockets.
Despite its reported 60% living in poverty, narco-state designation with drug trafficking, and violence, a journey to Honduras is worth taking.
Honduras is more than a destination. It is experiencing history at your feet, nature, and wildlife, and discovering new worlds. It's a country rich in natural beauty, biodiversity, resources, and adventure.
Honduras - More than a Destination
Over 2,000,000 tourists think so. 2019 tourism numbers spending over $550 million.
When you visit Honduras, you will discover new worlds. Undoubtedly, you will likely visit the Roatan Barrier Reef. It is known for being the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is a haven for snorkelers, scuba, and freedivers alike.
I started my visit in Ocotepeque in the west of Honduras near El Salvador. I will be visiting Roatan in the north of Honduras, and going Free Diving for the first time!
A Whole New World
The country offers rich natural resources including coffee, fruit, sugar cane, and Tilapia.
Natural resources aren't the only thing Honduras offers. Nature is abundant all around Honduras. Beyond the barrier reef, Bay Islands, and Roatan, you will find National Park Pico Bonito, Lake Yojoa, and Copan Ruins. Not to mention, colonial towns, waterfalls, and Macaw Mountain Bird Park.
Start Your Visit with Ocotepeque
If you start your visit with Ocotepeque as I did, you may visit Piedra Cayaguanca, Guisayote National Reserve, Tilapia, and Coffee Farms. I'll be sharing my One Day and Top 10 Things to Do Guides.