From rolling green hills and rushing creeks surrounding ancient Mayan ruins in the west, to the congested explosion of mountain-surrounded capital, Tegucigalpa, to the almost uninhabited rainforest in the northeast, to one of the premier diving retreats in the world at Honduras’ portion of the second-largest barrier reef in the world, Honduras offers a surprising combination of excellent travel options. The fact that apart from the ruins at Copan and the Bay Islands, the country is rarely visited by tourists is appealing to all those who want to get a pure taste of Central American culture.
Weather and Climate
March and April are the best times to visit Honduras, although the weather depends largely on the region of the country. The Caribbean Coast is wet and hot from October to February and the climate hot and drier the rest of the year. The Mosquitia Region in the northeast is rainforest, so while November and December are the wettest months, you should expect rain year-round. In higher altitudes, like the capital of Tegucigalpa May to November is wet and temperate. December to February brings cool dry days with cooler nights, while March and April have warm days and cool nights.
People and Culture
Although suffering from economic hardships and a high HIV/AIDS rate on the Caribbean coast, Hondurans are warm and welcoming. You will find a variety of cultures, especially on the coast, where, in addition to Latino Hondurans, there are many descendents of Jamaican and other Caribbean people from the times of British rule. The Garífuna people are a mixture of African and Carib Indians and have their own language, a mixture of Arawak, French, Yoruba and maybe more, as well as their own foods, dance, music and religion. In the Mosquitia Region, there are many isolated tribal groups that use the rainforest in similar ways to their ancestors did thousands of years ago. All of these communities have started opening their doors to tourism.
Among the highlights in Honduras are:
– The beautiful Bay Islands, Honduras’ most popular tourist destination, consist of three large islands: Utila, Roatán and Guanaja; they are surrounded by about 70 smaller, mostly uninhabited islets, and an extension the world’s second-largest coral reef after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
– The Ruins at Copan are believed to have been inhabited by the Maya as early as 1200 BC and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not as impressive in size as Tikal in Guatemala or pre-Columbian ruins in Mexico, the Copan Ruins nonetheless have some intricately carved pillars, or stelae, of former leaders and a well-preserved ball court. Excavation is still in process and some of the pyramids remain partially buried.
–The Mosquitia, or Mosquito Coast, is a large rainforest that fills Honduras’ northeast corner along the Caribbean Coast. This forested, swampy section of Honduras is rich in wildlife and flora and is sparsely inhabited with native tribal groups that still practice traditional lifestyles.
Honduras is a nature lover’s paradise in the heartland of Central America.
You can immerse yourself in its National Parks, Mayan Ruins, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, Mosquito Coast, from towering mountains to coastal plains and 500 miles of the most pristine beaches in Central America. It also boasts one of the Western Hemisphere’s most complete botanical garden, in Lancetilla, with exotic plants and birds native to Central America as well as plants from around the globe.
The beautiful Bay Islands are just 30 miles off the coastline, located in the second largest Barrier Reef of the world!
The Ancient Mayan Copan ruins are a Unesco World Heritage Site famous for the elaborate artwork and carvings found beneath hundred year-old giant trees. Copan at its peak was considered the Paris of the Mayan civilization.
Honduras also holds another mystery at The Cave of the Glowing Skulls filmed in a special documentary for Discovery Channel.
You will also see why author O’Henry fell in love with Honduras and set his famous book Cabbages and Kings the country which for a period he called home.
Honduras boasts four international airports, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, and Roatan.