Backpacking through Honduras!

Honduras is a beautiful country in Central America as of all the other ones. There are parts of Honduras I thoroughly enjoyed and parts I absolutely did not. From my experience, I will share to you my do’s and don’ts of this country. 

Honduras has a bad reputation for being unsafe and many people do not travel here because of this. There are parts of this country that I did feel unsafe and then there were also parts where I felt absolutely safe and even had the help of some locals. There are certainly places to see here in Honduras where is beautiful and safe to the budget traveler.

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Pulhapanzak Waterall, Lago de Yojoa

Honduras was once a cheap country, almost resembling the low prices of Nicaragua. But it is not like that anymore. The oil prices went up and the transportation is now outrageous, and with all the movements I do in a country, it put a huge dent into my bank account! I spent more in Honduras than in Costa Rica! Almost every traveler I met, just goes to Costa Rica for a short while because of the high prices. Well, I literally spent more in Honduras than Costa Rica. Weird right! But only on transportation. The food and sleeping arrangements were relatively the same price as Costa Rica.

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Hiking in Lago de Yojoa- Cerro Azul Meambar

Transportation: I took chicken buses all over the country and rather slow and crowded, I never had a problem with safety. Just don’t take ANY buses at night! And try to not be outside at night unless if you feel safe in the town you are staying at. Also, just as a safety precaution, always keep an eye on your bags. There are pick-pocketers here.

The two biggest cities, San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, are the two main cities for transportation. You can pretty much get anywhere you want to go through those cities. Just don’t be here at night.

If you ever have to get a taxi, always make sure you arrange a deal before-hand. Never say where you want to go and then hop in a cab. Ever! At the end of the ride, they will say this outrageous number! Always strike a deal before hand and don’t be shy to say no and go to another taxi to try and get a better deal.

The food is pretty cheap depending on where you go. There are numerous street vendors that sell good cheap food, and there were these vendors in almost every town I was in. So between street vendors and cooking in your hostel, food can be really cheap.

The hostel accommodations generally are from 7-10 dollars a night.

The only thing really expensive here is the transportation, and the transportation can really hurt your budget depending on how much you travel.

Where it is not safe and there is not much to do: 

Basically the whole Southeast Part of Honduras, I felt unsafe. From Tegucigalpa, to Juticalpa, to Catacamas, and even Trujillo which is on the Caribbean. Trujillo was the best out of all of those. The Caribbean side of Honduras is the safest to visit but that’s on the three main islands. Trujillo is right on the coast of the Caribbean. If you come here, you will definitely see the culture here sense there are not many tourists. Trujillo is just one of those in-between places. I didn’t feel safe but I didn’t feel threatened either. Just a little uncomfortable. There are literally guns everywhere! And the town is not so clean. Other than that though, I did like the place. You can visit the beaches here and there is hiking right behind the town to get a good vista of the Caribbean.

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Catching the Sunset while snorkeling in Utila

The three main islands off the coast are very safe, but also very touristy. This is where all the cruise ships stop, so the islands can be overpriced and overcrowded. Out of all three islands though, the island least touristy is Utila. This is a backpackers island meant for diving and scuba diving. It is here where there is one of the cheapest prices to go diving and get your certification in the whole world. Many people come here to get their certification and there are so many hostels that participate in this. Some of them will give you a three night stay for free if you book with them.

The most unsafe part of Honduras is San Pedro Sula. This is the second largest city in Honduras, the largest being Tegucigalpa. But, it also has the best and organized bus station in all of Honduras. This bus station, is probably one of my favorite bus stations because it is so organized and so easy getting around! This station also offers reasonable prices which is a great break because traveling through Honduras is so expensive!  But besides the bus station, there is a lot of crime and it isn’t recommended staying there.

Places to See! 

My favorite places in Honduras is the Island of Utila, of which I already mentioned. Cheap diving and scuba-diving, seafood, night-life, yup! What more could you ask for :). One special thing I did here was snorkel with whale sharks. Never in my life did I think I would do this before. That was such a rush! It costs 5o dollars but that is actually very cheap considering what people charge you in other places of the world. My friend went snorkeling with whale sharks in Australia and it cost him 350 Australian dollars.

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Fish on the reef.

If you are on a budget, you can rent snorkeling gear from a shop for like three dollars, and go snorkeling on your own. At the end of the strip, there is a blue house right on the lake. You are allowed to go snorkeling from there for free and the reef is literally right off the dock! So that is really cool!

Almost every hostel costs the same. So if you get offered to stay at a hostel for 9 or 10 dollars, you really won’t find anything cheaper. That’s what all the prices are. You arrive to this island obviously from a boat, and as soon as you get off this boat, expect a line of people trying to get you to stay at their hostel and join their diving coarse. It can be a little overwhelming. Everyone gets around by tuk tuks here. The streets are too narrow for cars so it’s kinda cool seeing everyone either ride on tuk tuks or golf carts or motorbikes.

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Overlooking the Caribbean in La Ceiba.

Getting to Utila, you depart from La Ceiba. This city is the third largest city in all of Honduras. Walking around here is pretty safe, especially around the center. I would try and stay clear of night time but the day is pretty thrilling. The market is huge and there is a lot to see. There is also a national park right behind this city for some really good hiking. Pico Bonito is the park and is recommended to get a guide if you want to hike up to the top. These mountains are in the cloud forest and the view is supposed to be spectacular. I tried to do this on my own, with out a guide and failed. So I would recommend paying the extra money and getting a guide.

Lago de Yojoa: 

This lake is the largest lake in all of Honduras and is on the country side. It is up in the mountains so at night it tends to get chilly. There is quite a bit of hiking around here. There is the famous waterfall, Pulhapanzak which I highly recommend. It’s really short. There isn’t much hiking. You basically arrive at the park and the waterfall is right there but it is so beautiful! You can get here cheap if you take the chicken bus. Just say the name of the waterfall to the driver and they will drop you off right at the main road that leads you to the park. There are signs. You can walk and follow the signs to the waterfall.

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Hiking Cerro Azul Meambar with views of the lake

There is also hiking in the mountains just off the lake. There are two National Parks; Parque Nacional Cerro Azul Meambar and Santa Barbara National Park. They both offer views of the lake, waterfalls, wildlife and high mountains. Parque Nacional Santa Barbara has the second tallest mountain in all of Honduras. It is recommended to get a guide though to do this hike, where Cerro Azul Meambar has a very distinct trail where you can hike on your own and save some money.

The D&D Hostel is where I stayed and from my experience, it was a great hostel to stay at. They organize tours for you if you want and the nights stay is very cheap. They are also a brewery so you can have some good beer as well.

Copan Ruins

The town by the ruins is called Copan Ruinas. This is a nice little town filled with cobble stone streets. It’s really nice, but this place is also REALLY touristy and the prices are quite high for eating and drinking.  But not far, actually within walking distance, is the Ruins. Yay, you can save money!!! The ruins cost 15 dollars to get in and I thought the ruins were pretty cool. My favorite part though, was seeing all the Macaws! Loved them and there are so many of them.

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There is also hot springs around here. Pretty touristy but people say it is one of the best hot springs in all of the Honduras. It is ten dollars to get in. The hot springs are called Luna Juguar.

There are so many hostels around town so you should have no problem with getting a place to stay.

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Copan Ruins

Well, that is my advice on Honduras. I hope this helps you out and if you have any additional questions, you can always write me. I hope you enjoyed! Stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely,

Shelly/Livingonthedirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

By | 2016-12-27T15:11:36+00:00 December 27th, 2016|All Blog Entries, Honduras|1 Comment

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Shelly! A traveler, hiker and an outdoor enthusiast. My dream my whole life was to travel, so I stopped dreaming and started doing. I quit my job and I am currently doing whatever it takes to keep going. I'll pick up jobs along the way and do what it takes to keep being a full-time traveler! I can prove that you don't need to come from money or anywhere special to live your dream. You just have to have the power of your own life to finally say YES!

One Comment

  1. Justin July 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Great advice Shelly! It’s hard to know if a place is truly safe or unsafe until you experience it for yourself, you get a ‘feeling’ whilst you are there.
    Thanks for sharing your experience of Honduras

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