Honduras is one of Central America’s most amazing getaways that holds many surprises. The capital, Tegucigalpa, has both luxury hotels and excellent hostels that are affordable and provide genuine value for those vacation dollars.
The diving and snorkeling in Honduras are some of the best, and training schools for beginners can be found almost everywhere in Honduras and its islands, with the island of Utila offering diving training along with a soaring party scene.
With great beaches, fun parties, national parks, and Mayan ruins, there is much to excite Honduran visitors.
Honduras is Central America’s second-largest country and is nestled between El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize. It borders both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Tegucigalpa.
By 150 AD, the vast Mayan empire stretched into Honduras and created the city of Copan, which became the center of the Mayan world with unrivaled power in the Mayan kingdom. As the Mayan civilization fell, so did Copan, but ruins remain in the mountains in Honduras’ western region, and they are worth exploring.
Much of Copan’s history has been preserved. Its intricate carvings, pre-Columbian artifacts, hieroglyphics, and sculptures serve as a vital link with the Mayan history. Beyond the ruins, Macaw Mountain serves as a tropical bird sanctuary, complete with hiking trails and swimming holes
Christopher Columbus arrived in Honduras in 1502. Soon, rival Spanish factions fought for control of the country and its indigenous population. Eventually, explorer Hernan Cortes solidified Spain’s presence in 1525, and Honduras became a part of the ever-expanding Spanish empire. Indigenous people and African slaves were used to turn Honduras into one of Central America’s most wealthy countries thanks to the discovery of silver.
Honduras remained a Spanish settlement until its independence in 1821.
Most of Honduras is sparsely populated and serves as a magnet for biodiversity and nature lovers. Between the two coastal areas is a plethora of rainforests and national parks with fantastic flora and fauna. The coastal beaches consist of perfect white sand, coconut trees, and azure waters that create a paradise for divers and snorkelers.
Beloved by everyone is the special Honduran coffee, which can be difficult to find outside of the country. Coffee lovers will be interested in the “Coffee Route,” which takes them through the various coffee-producing regions.
Language Spoken in Honduras
Honduras is a Spanish-speaking country. There are still remnants of indigenous languages throughout the countryside, especially among the large Garifuna population.
English is mostly spoken by taxi drivers and front-desk hotel employees, and visitors may have difficulty conversing in English with the general Honduran population. The exception are the Honduras Bay Islands of Roatan and Utila, which are geared toward tourism and where the population has adopted the English language.
Currency Used in Honduras
Honduras’ currency is the lempira, with an exchange rate of 19 lempiras to 1 U.S. dollar. The U.S dollar is usually accepted in most tourist areas, especially the Bay Islands. Fortunately for visitors, money will stretch further here than in most other Central American countries as Honduras is relatively inexpensive.
Things to Do in Honduras
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception
The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, or the Comayagua Cathedral in Comayagua, probably has the second-oldest clock in the world. The clock was built in 1634 by the Spanish Moors in Grenada, Spain. King Phillip II presented it as a gift to Comayagua’s bishop. This unusual clock requires winding each day and peals on the quarter-hour as well as the hour. The bell tower offers a spectacular view, and the Cathedral itself is beautiful and magnificently lit during the holidays.
Lluvia de Paces (Rain of Fish)
The annual Lluvia De Peces, or “Rain of Fish,” is a phenomenon occurring in the town of Yoro during the many spring rainstorms. While there has been scientific research into the reasons why live fish fall from the sky, the natives consider it a blessing from above and hold an annual parade through the streets to celebrate.
Lancetilla Botanical Garden and Research Center
The spectacular Lancetilla Botanical Garden and Research Center outside the city of Tela may logically be mistaken for the Garden of Eden and has become a major tourist destination. Visitors will find 250 different types of birds, including the Striped Toucan. The plant life ranges from palms to orchids and various types of fruit trees (apple trees?).
Honduras’ capital has an uninhibited and exciting night scene.
- The Bamboo Club on the Boulevard Morazon is busy and upscale and one of the best dance clubs in the city. Check about their dress code.
- The Casino Royal is a favorite gathering place for locals willing to try their luck. They, too, have a dress code.
- Confetti’s is a disco dance club. The floor is usually crowded, but even those who do not dance enjoy a drink at the bar.
- La Caramba has karaoke on Tuesday evenings and live salsa on Fridays.
La Ceiba Rafting Adventure
Enjoy white water rafting down the Cangrejal River inside of the Pico Bonito National Park. Preparations begin at the Jungle Lodge before moving on to the river. The rafting trip includes a hike and a refreshing shower beneath a waterfall.
The incredible Pulhapanzak Waterfalls tumble over 140 feet and are the largest waterfall in Honduras. There are hidden caves behind the falls to explore or visitors can also swim by the base. Tour guides are recommended to explore the trails around the entire falls area. Those who dare can jump into the fall from a height of about 25 to 30 feet.
Honduras’ coffee route has been attracting many visitors for its one-of-a-kind coffee experience. Six different regions, Copan, Opalaca, Montecillas, Comayagua, El Pariaso, and Agalta has approximately 60 coffee shops competing for the best java high. Here, each cup of joe has its own personality.
Best Regions to Visit in Honduras
Tegucigalpa is the cultural heart of Honduras. It is surrounded by mountains and the gorgeous La Tigra National Park, which offers scenic hikes, great wildlife, and tranquility. The city offers old-world charm with cobblestoned streets, colonial buildings, and beautiful parks.
The Museum for National Identity lays out the history of Honduras and the people who created it. Above the city, on the hill of El Picacho, a statue of Christ can be seen from anywhere in the city. A hike up the hill ensures one of the best views of Tegucigalpa.
Visit the popular Sabor Cubano for its delicious Cuban food and return in the evening when it transforms into an exciting bar and dance club.
San Pedro Sula
San Pedro Sula is Honduras’ second largest city and is located by the Ulúa River valley near the Gulf of Honduras. While Tegucigalpa offers culture, San Pedro Sula is Honduras’ center of commerce, industry, and more. The Museum of Anthropology & History has a large selection of pre-Columbian pottery. This commercial city has an abundance of markets that sell jewelry, textiles, and other items. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride on nearby Lake Yohoa and swim on the beaches of Punta Sal National Park.
The Caribbean and Bay Islands
Bay Islands is the region that attracts the most visitors. The Islas de la Bahia (Bay Islands) are surrounded by a coral reef and is where visitors come for diving, sailing and fishing. There are three major islands. Each island has retained its own unique culture.
Guanaja is 25 kilometers long and can be accessed by water taxi. cost of living. Most of the inhabitants live in Bonacca, which has plenty of fairly expensive shops. The cays by the eastern end of the island and Black Rocks have excellent diving beaches. Hikers will enjoy the trails leading up to Michael Rock Peak, which is Bay Islands’ highest point with a wonderful view.
The island of Roatán is the largest Bay Island. It’s the place for luxury resorts with superb watersports. The island’s delightful villages should also be explored.
Utila is the smallest Bay Island and the least expensive. The calm water is a great place for inexperienced divers, and there are several diving schools. People also come here for snorkeling and swimming, especially in the Blue Bayou, which is about 20 minutes from the town center. Utila is known as one of Honduras’ best budget travel destinations.
Best All-Inclusive Resort or Hotel in Honduras
Palma Real Beach Resort & Villas is located in La Ceiba, a port city in Honduras’ northern region. This beachfront resort offers suites and rooms with a view of its private beach or gardens.
The dining is all-inclusive at the upscale buffet and Japanese restaurant. Guests can also relax around the swim-up bar. The disco offers nightly entertainment while the kids’ club keeps the children entertained. The resort also has outings such as nearby ziplining for its guests.
Best Resort or Hotel for Couples in Honduras
Barefoot Cay on the Bay Island of Roatan is located at the marina for easy boat mooring. It has deluxe beachfront villas with fully equipped kitchens for ultimate privacy and enchantment.
The resort offers a special seven-night package that includes meals, dive packages, and a welcome to Barefoot Cay cocktail.
The resort has a pool and a pool-side dining room. They also have kayak and snorkel equipment available. For the ultimate in relaxation, the spa offers several types of massages.
Best Resort or Hotel for Families in Honduras
Anthony’s Key Resort in Bay Island’s Roatan has special diving packages, snorkeling packages, and special honeymoon packages. Families and or couples merely need to show up. There are bungalows of various sizes to fit every need. The resort is surrounded by the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, where dolphins and a variety of marine life swim, and the view is stunning.
Simply relax, take snorkeling lessons, and dance the night away, Anthony’s Key Resort makes vacation dreams come true.
Children have their own Dolphin Scuba Summer Camp which allows them to swim with and feed bottlenose dolphins and become adept at diving and snorkeling.