This idea of writing this article and wanting to become a local expert started soooo long ago but by either a or b or any number of excuses never actually came to bear any fruits, until recently the political events in my country and all the mal intended news i saw popping out there giving the wrong idea about my country got my butt moving.
Yes there was a lot of troubles and political B.S. going on but that is a theme for a whole different article and blog but there were no mass killings in the street and we did not became a militarize zone, now with everything calming down and a new elected government I hope tourism starts up again and people will start coming back cause although tourism didn’t come to a complete stop it did slow down to a frightening level ( totally understandable) which ended up hurting the local people that live from this and had nothing to do with the past political struggle.
With that said.. Honduras is a beautiful place to visit with incredible natural landscape and with very warm loving people, an as far as safety is concern it is no more dangerous place as any other country in the world that as long as you use some good old fashion common sense nothing bad will happen.
Honduras is located in Central America between the countries of Guatemala, Salvador and Nicaragua (for a map view click http://maps.google.com/maps?q=honduras+map...17,22.5&z=6
Honduras has 2 main tourist attractions the Mayan ruins at Copan and The Bay Islands, these are the most famous and probably the main reason people come here but once here you will discover there is much much more.
Our coin is called Lempira after one of our national heroes, a native that fought against the Spanish conquistadores and write now the exchange rate is for 1 us dollar you receive 19.02 lempiras. So you will get a lot of bang for your buck here.
GETTING HERE AND AROUND:
If you are flying here it most likely you will be coming in through The Airport at the city of San Pedro Sula , there are some very cheap and affordable airfare tickets that you can use one of the main companies is spirit just beware that most of this flights come late at night around 1 am in the morning and the airport is very very far from the city you will be force to use a cab which sad to say they charge mad prices at that hour specially when they see the what the f*** am I going to do know expression on your face. So be prepare have a plan for this or expect the prices the cab ride could be around $25 dollars or more (expect the latter) also have a reservation ready on where you might stay cause looking for a hotel at this hr is no picnic. I don’t know if they close the airport but I will check if they are doing this cause staying a couple of hours in a airport bench waiting for the security of daylight is much better than wandering in the dark or investing more in your ticket and arriving at daytime might be better.
If you are coming in-land most of the big main companies end destinations are the 2 big main cities San Pedro Sula or the Capital Tegucigalpa, there are a lot of local small companies that can take you but they stop in every little town and take way much longer, that alone can be an adventure in itself and a good mix-in with the locals.
In the big cities your basic transportations will be divided between buses and cabs and the cabs in direct route or what we call “colectivos” or collectives, they are cabs that have a specific route and you share it with other people 4 per cab and at this moment they charge about $0.57 per person, the basic direct cab that you pick in any street corner will take you to the direct address you want to go and the average run will cost you around $2,50 of course you would have to use some of your bargaining skill to get a good deal.
There are some private cab companies that you can call to get pick up and are a good idea for the night time cause it will be much safer than pick up a stranger right of the street or if your flight comes late at night and you want a much better deal than the cabs at the airport that are always much more expensive, the average charge per run of a private cab in Tegucigalpa is $ 5.00 and up, San Pedro Sula is much cheaper and have competitive prices with the street cab $2.50 here are some working number of private cab companies:
Mall Multiplaza (I use this one,is safe)
San Pedro Sula:
Taxi “San Pedro” (I use this one,is safe)
9938-4000 (cell Phone)
As walking is concern is relatively safe walking here as always use common sense and have in mind that because you are foreigner you draw attention to yourself and might be a target so avoid lonely street and not walking late at night is specially if you are a women, If you are a women you will have to have a bit of patience because some guys might yell at you something like “bonita” (pretty) or “Tierna” ( baby) or stuff like they are trying to get your attention just keep on walking and not let that affect your enjoyment of the day.
I think the best walks are around the park and some markets, what I recommend is not to use anything to tight or revealing even to you will the local women showing a lot and I mean a lot of cleavage but then again you might draw more attention than them simply by being foreigner and only go out with little cash money as possible just in case, with all this said Honduran people both male and female are very warm, sincere and polite and will honestly help you if you are in need an well as give you directions or tips on what to see.
In the last years coffee shops ands stands have become very popular as hang out so they are nice place to meet people and spending one afternoon, they are gathering spots for intellectuals and artist so if you are lucky you might get some really good art pieces right from the hand of the artist, you will usually find me in one of those reading a book in the afternoons in small shopping mall called “Plaza Miraflores” at “Casa del Café” in Tegucigalpa so if you ever here and see me there don’t hesitate to say hi and we can share some stories.
Food is a mixture of flavours from different cultures mainly the black, native and Spanish descent, the main ingredient is corn from that we make a number of dishes and alcoholic drinks, Two of them come to mind that are a must that you tried if you come:
1. is a baleada which is a tortilla with beans and sour cream some add eggs and meat to it and there are two types in the north coast where the tortilla is made from wheat (this is the original version and for my taste the best one) and the rest of the country where the use a corn tortilla.
2. a alcoholic drink call “guaro” aguardiente yuscaran, this is not for the faint at heart an please don’t try it if you are not use to heavy duty alcohol its our version of tequila so u get an idea of what is like and I will dare to say it has a stronger kick, so drink with caution, lots and lots of caution.
Most food here is safe to eat I would be careful to eat right from the street vendor mostly because probably your stomach wont be used to some of the natural bacteria that’s locals are use to, most tourist I know have a period of adjustment that they go through a period of stomach problems (if u know what I mean) so bring some pepto with you and you can buy your water in a bottle and you’ll survive.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many small and nice hostel from different prices that can be a good experience and wont bite into your pocket and finding them are part of your adventure most of them are around 5 to 10 dollars, I will recommend the first day to go to a safe cheap chain hotel and spend the first night so you can get your bearings and decide calmly what you want to do, there is nothing worst than wandering with your bags down the street for a place to stay drawing attention to yourself while getting dark just because you want to save a few cents.
I recommend the Granada hotels they are nice and cheap places that you can use safely for one night and they are around 10 to 20 dollars.
Honduras has a good night life and there is everything for every taste you can find from local music and food to a small community of electronic raves, again if you use common sense you will be safe.
The local beer average around $1.40 and a shoot of liquor is around $2.10 some places charge a cover charge around 5 to 10 dollars.
I hope this was helpful, be on the look out for more information on special places in this country of mine and please don’t hesitate to ask for any questions and tips you may need.