When people think of Central America, they automatically gravitate towards countries like Costa Rica, Belize, and Guatemala. Honduras is often left out – a shame, considering the variety of unique and beautiful places to visit within its boundaries. Add friendly locals, a lush and diverse natural landscape, some of the most spectacular beaches on the planet, ancient Mayan ruins, and it’s almost a no-brainer.
Still, Honduras has an unfortunate stigma due to high levels of crime and gang activity in its major cities, and many travelers are fearful that they might become a target. Fortunately, most criminals do not target tourists, and by avoiding major cities as much as possible, steering clear of illegal or risky activities, and keeping your wits about you, it’s easy to stay safe in Honduras.
So if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination where your dollar stretches far, with stunning landscapes, tasty cuisine, and amazing Caribbean beaches, this is the place for you. Here’s why.
1. Remote & Wild Rainforests
With one of the largest unspoiled stretches of Central American lowland rainforest, Honduras is a prime destination for birders and adventure tourists looking for the type of thrill the early explorers might have felt when they landed on these shores hundreds of years ago. The jungle is home and host to thousands of species, from jaguars and sloths to monkeys and tapirs, hundreds of species of reptiles and amphibians, and a wide variety of birdlife.
2. Great value for your money
Because the country is less touristy than its neighbors, you’ll find that your dollar stretches much further here. From luxury resort stays to tours, transportation and food, Honduras offers an excellent bang for your buck without sacrificing quality. Prices here are comparable to Nicaragua, another of the cheapest countries in Central America.
3. The beaches are amazing
Besides the mountains and the lush jungle landscapes, Honduras’ pristine Caribbean beaches might well be some of the best in the world. With 760 kilometers (470 miles) of beaches along its coastlines and the Bay Islands, there’s a lot for a beach goer to love here. Powdery white sand, palm trees, protected, enclosed bays and clear turquoise seas, and hardly another soul in sight most of the time. Sign us up!
4. No crowds
Honduras isn’t a touristy place, and while that means that some of the tourist infrastructure might not be firmly planted here, it also means that you won’t be encountering hordes of people that are trying to do all of the same things you want to do. There are certainly areas where more tourists congregate – Roatán is a frequent stop for cruise ships, for example – but for the most part, you’ll have these beautiful landscapes all to yourself.
5. The diving is excellent
If you’re a big fan of scuba diving, or you’ve always wanted to learn, Honduras is the place for you! The island of Utila is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your PADI certification. Aside from that, the country is home to some of the best and most affordable diving in the Caribbean, with three main dive areas – Utila, Roatán, and Guanaja. So what will you see? There have been over 300 species of fish identified in the Bay Islands, from parrot and pufferfish to whale sharks, eels, eagle, sting and manta rays. Not to mention fascinating crustaceans including crab and lobster the size of small children, and a variety of corals both hard and soft.