Nestled in the heart of Central America, Honduras shares a border with Guatemala to the west, El Salvador and the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Nicaragua to the east.
With the Caribbean Sea lapping its northern coast, the country is best known for its idyllic Bay Islands, where the world’s second-largest coral reef draws keen divers, but it also offers ecotourism and cultural sights, from the misty mountains of Pico Bonito in the north, to Copán’s Mayan ruins in the west.
The country may not be a massive seller for the UK trade at the moment, but it’s featured by a host of operators from regional specialists such as Journey Latin America and Tucan Travel, to off-the-beaten-track operators such as Exodus, Explore and Intrepid Travel, and escorted tour operators such as Audley Travel, Bales Worldwide, and Cox and Kings.
Unfortunately, tourism has been dealt a blow by the political crisis. At the time of writing, the Foreign and Commonwealth Officeadvises against all but essential travel. The situation remains unpredictable, particularly in the capital Tegucigalpa, although tourism is operating as usual in most tourist hubs, namely Copán Ruinas, the Bay Islands and La Ceiba.
If your clients ask you about Honduras once the travel ban has ended, here’s a taste of what the country has to offer.
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Spend the first two days at Copán Ruinas exploring the intricate tunnels, Mayan inscriptions and the acropolis-like complex of step-pyramids, plazas and palaces. In Copán Ruinas, Twisted Tanya’s serves fresh, local cuisine such as chicken with loroco, a local edible flower.
End the trip with three nights in Roatán, a short flight from San Pedro Sula. Must-dos include sunset dinners on West Bay Beach, the West End’s restaurants, and dive sites such as the Labyrinth.
Follow the above itinerary with an extra day in Copán Ruinas, factoring in time to visit Finca Santa Isabel’s coffee plantation, and enjoy a traditional Honduran breakfast. After driving back to San Pedro Sula, a short domestic flight takes you to La Ceiba, the perfect base to sample Honduran nightlife and a day trip to the Cayos Cochinos.
Stay at the eco-lodge in Pico Bonito National Park for wildlife spotting and white-water rafting before travelling to the Bay Islands for diving, snorkelling and beach time.
Holidaymakers with over a month to spend in Honduras can see the main sights comfortably. Follow the above itinerary, include extra time at Copán to enjoy the town and Pico Bonito National Park, to see more of its 420 species of birds and tropical animals.
Those seeking the road less travelled can organise tours to the lush rainforest of La Mosquitia. A longer stay also offers the opportunity to explore more of the Bay Islands, especially the lesser visited Guanaja.
With five-star resorts on Roatán, low-key boutique resorts and budget hotels on Utila, hillside retreats near Copán Ruinas, and beachfront hotels around La Ceiba, Honduras’ accommodation caters to everyone.
The eco-friendly Lodge at Pico Bonito offers luxury accommodation in one of Honduras’ top national parks.
- The national currency is Lempira
- There are no visa requirements for UK citizens
- Indirect flights to San Pedro Sula are offered by Iberia via Madrid, San Jose (Costa Rica) and San Salvador (El Salvador).
- Alternatively, fly from the UK to Miami and then on to La Ceiba, Roatán and San Pedro Sula with TACA.
- Flying London to San Pedro Sula or Roatán via Miami takes 15 hours; London to San Pedro Sula via Madrid takes 18-20 hours.
- Hepatitis A and B
- Anti-malarials recommended for some regions
- Honduras enjoys a tropical climate with cooler, more temperate weather in the mountains, and a very hot north Caribbean coast, eased by rain and offshore breezes.
- The dry season runs from November to April; the wet season from May to October.
- The hurricane season runs from June to November with September and October most prone. Hurricanes rarely affect Honduras directly, but can cause flooding
Journey Latin America’s 10-night Highlights of Honduras visits Copán Ruins, Pico Bonito rainforest lodge, San Pedro Sula and Roatán in the Bay Islands from £1,240 per person. This includes accommodation, domestic flights, land transfers, some excursions and most meals. International flights are extra. 020 8747 8315
Audley Travel offers a 10-night Honduras tour to Copan ruins for three nights and Roatán Island for six nights from £2,600 per person. The price includes accommodation, international and domestic flights, land transfers and some excursions. 01993 838 660
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