Whenever I happen to be elsewhere in Central America, such as in neighboring Guatemala and Nicaragua and other tourists realize that I live in Honduras, I am always subjected to the same question: Should I skip Honduras or not?
I admit that I am biased as far as Honduras is concerned. I have lived here for 23 years and counting, I have travelled throughout the country and made, many, many friends. Most important of all, I have always felt very safe. So with that in mind, when I get the “should I skip Honduras” question, I emphatically answer “of course not!”
Despite the fact that Honduras is right in the middle of Central America, and that the region is quite small, the truth is that Honduras is very different to its neighboring countries. For one, Honduras has the most rugged and mountainous terrain in the region. This means many, many incredibly scenic routes and towns. Second, Honduras has the largest forests in Central America. Most of the mountains in central, eastern and western Honduras have extensive pine forests. The Caribbean coast offers some of the best preserved tropical rain forests in the Central American region. 38% of Honduras’ territory is under a protected status, which means that efforts to preserve the abundant tropical nature are all in place.
Speaking of the Caribbean, Honduras is the only Central American country that has developed its Caribbean coast. Atlantida, for example, is a great destination that offers fantastic beaches, outstanding national parks, and the unique Garifuna culture, providing endless sun and beach, eco tourism and adventure activities in one compact destination. Perhaps the most popular Caribbean destination in Central America is located within Honduras! The Bay Islands of Honduras, a small archipelago consisting of 6 islands and many tiny sand cays offers the best diving in Central America, as well as some of the best beaches in the World. The largest of these islands: Roatan, Guanaja and Utila are each different and special, and provide by themselves, a good enough reason to say no to the “should I skip Honduras” question.
And then, there is Copan, the crown jewel of the ancient Mayan Civilization is right here, in Honduras! Best of all, it has a charming colonial town right next to the ruins, so you can combine exploring the magnificent archaeological park during the day, and then enjoy the small town atmosphere with many different bars, restaurants, bistro’s and boutique hotels at night.
Last but not least, easily the best of Honduras are its people: Hondurans are friendly, amicable and generous people, who are always willing to give you a friendly smile and go out of their way to help you. As you can see, the only possible answer to the question: should I skip Honduras? Is no, you should plan on visiting it! You will find it will be one of the highlights of your trip through Central America!
When you do come to Honduras, make sure that you take full advantage to experience the “real Honduras” For example, when on your way to the Bay Islands of Honduras, do not pass the opportunity to spend a couple of days at the Cangrejal River Valley area, just outside La Ceiba. Here, you will find cozy, incredible beautiful boutique hotels, such as La Villa de Soledad, where you will be able to relax in nature, choose from a variety of eco or adventure activities, and get to see the real Honduras that few get to experience!