Honduras

Honduras FlagMuch like its neighbor to the north, Belize, Honduras has a natural beauty and laid back lifestyle that makes it very appealing to travelers. Unfortunately, its restless political history and underdeveloped infrastructure keep most tourists away. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch, which hit in October of 1998, but relief efforts have helped renew the tourist interest in this rough but enticing country. When traveling in Honduras, be aware that street crime is a problem throughout the country. Armed robbery, purse snatching, and pickpockets are on the rise, especially in the larger towns and cities like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. The areas near Tela and Santa Rita de Copán--including the El Rubi waterfall--can be extremely bad with reports of robberies, assaults, and even rapes. When traveling in Honduras, use extreme caution and practice common sense. Traveling in Honduras Honduras MapFlying to any of the bay islands from the major cities is easy. Even flying to the remote areas is getting easier each year. Most larger towns have buses that run from morning until evening. There are trains from San Pedro, Puerto Cortés, and Tela, but they can be slow and unpredictable, so it's best to check schedules often. Launches run between the mainland and the bay islands, but again, schedules vary. You can also take a taxi, but they are not metered so make sure you negotiate a fare before you go anywhere. Rental cars are available and can be a good way to travel if you can deal with dusty roads in the dry season and wet, possibly washed-out roads during the rainy season. Hitch hiking is common in many rural areas where trucks will usually stop and pick you up, but it's best not to do this alone. Honduras is quite affordable. Travelers can get by on as little as US$20-$30 a day, and traveler's on a buget can often do it for much less. Most businesses deal only in lempiras, the country's currency. American dollars are easiest to exchange, though Canadian dollars and pounds stirling can be changed at Lloyd's Bank in Tegucigalpa. Health Risks in Honduras Health risks include cholera, dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, and dysentery. It is advised that you consult a doctor about what shots you may need before traveling to Honduras. Weather in Honduras Weather in Honduras can be unpredictable. From the cool mountains of the interior to the rainy days along the coast, it can vary greatly. Between May and October can be especially rainy in the mountains; it rains almost daily year round on the coast. Honduras Information North / Central AmericaPopulation: 6,249,598 Government: Constitutional democracy Square Miles: 43,870 sq mi (112,492 sq km) Capitol: Tegucigalpa (pop over 1 million) Official Languages: Spanish, Creole English and Indian dialects People: 90% mestizo, 7% Indian Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic, plus other Christian sects and indigenous forms of worship Major products/industries: Coffee, bananas, beef, sugar cane, tobacco, forestry