Why go on holiday to Honduras?
a real adventure as this Central American country is still relatively
untouched by tourism. It's laid-back, full of stunningly beautiful
areas of jungle and forest, and a great place to learn to scuba dive.
How much will it cost?
Unfortunately the likelihood is that you won't be able to find direct
flights to Honduras. As a rough guide, a flight via New York will cost
in excess of £500 per person return. It's cheap once you get there
though. A room in a mid-range hotel will cost from about £8 per night.
When should I go?
Honduras is fairly mountainous so climate varies around the country. In
the coastal regions it changes little throughout the year, with
temperatures reaching the high 20Cs and low 30Cs in the middle of the
day. The rainy season runs from May through to December, but it's still
warm and the rain's very patchy.
Who's it for?
Those who like to get off the beaten track. Tourism is still fairly low
profile but it's an easy place to get around and the people are very
friendly. If you're also looking for a good place to learn to scuba
dive, Honduras has some of the best and cheapest diving in the
Caribbean. The country is rich in Mayan history too with magnificent
ruins at Copan.
What are the must-sees?
The three Bay Islands of Utila, Roatan and Guanaja lie just over 50km
off the north coast of Honduras. Surrounded by coral reef, the islands,
in particular Roatan have calm, clear waters and pristine reef which
are perfect for scuba diving. There are lots of sand flies though so
you'll need the right repellent.
Visit Copan for one of the most impressive Mayan sites in all of Latin
America. Take in the grand plazas, the pyramids, the ball court and the
hieroglyphic stairway in the peaceful jungle environment. The nearby
colonial town of the same name is a lovely place to base yourself for a
few days while you explore.
Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital with the tongue-tying name, is an
intriguing mix of colonial old town and commerce-driven modern city.
Nestled in a valley, it has a leafy central square with a few sights
around it. Visit the Los Dolores church with its beautiful faÃ§ade, the
Christo del Picacho, a huge statue of Christ overlooking the city and
the Republic Museum in the former Presidential Palace.
Just 11km outside the capital is La Tigra National Park, a cloud forest
of over 238 sq km. The protected area is one of only a few cloud
forests left in Central America. Wander the pine forests spying orchids
and over 200 bird species. You can even stay in a mountain lodge, La
Estancia. The lodge's setting is spectacular and it's an especially
good spot for a bit of bird watching.
If you fancy getting really remote, head to the Pico Bonito National
Park, in the mountains close to La Ceiba on the north coast. Within the
park you can hike, kayak, bird-watch and even visit a butterfly farm.
Definitely worth a visit is the Cuero y Salado Wildlife and Manatee
Refuge, where you can hop on a boat and take in the howler and
white-faced monkeys, iguanas, alligators and with a little luck, the
What will I spend?
A decent meal costs from about £2 per person. The entry-level PADI
diving course can be done for under £140 per person which includes
equipment, training materials and certification.
Any special events?
The Easter week celebrations all over Honduras, but particularly in the
capital Tegucigalpa, involve beautiful processions and colourful
floats. Semana Santa, as it's known locally also features the
traditional building of elaborate mosaics for the religious processions
to walk all over. The mosaic carpets are usually made from sawdust.
If you enjoy a good rave, the Utila Sunjam, in the first week of
August, is a massive party that takes place at Water Key on Utila. It's
an all night affair, and many revellers bring a hammock along to
suspend below the palm trees so they don't have to walk far when it's
time to bed down.
Honduras Independence Day is on September 15 and they like to celebrate
their break from Spanish rule in style. There are generally lots of
traffic-stopping parades, dancing, music and drinking.
On October 3 every year the Hondurans celebrate the birthday of
Francisco Morazan, the man who led the country's resistance against the
Spanish in the early 19th century. Such were his efforts, a national
holiday is put aside to party in honour of this national hero.