Do you want to go somewhere with incredible nature and almost no tourists? Then Honduras is the place to go. It is quite easy and inexpensive to travel within this country, as there are good private bus companies operating between cities. On the tropical islands of Roatan and Utila, you can enjoy the slow life on white sandy beaches or dive to see the whale sharks and colourful schools of fish. For backpackers and other travellers who want to escape high profile tourism in favour of a less developed experience, Honduras is a real gem.
Get off the beaten track and head to this incredible hidden place! Take a bus to La Ceiba and then hop on a local bus to reach the beautiful sceneries of Rio Cangrejal. You won’t find many other tourists there. In this extraordinary place, you will see a beautiful turquoise river surrounded by tropical forests. You can lay on the smooth, polished rocks or go for a swim in the flowing river.
The bay islands of Honduras
As you travel along Honduras' rustic coastal towns, you can feel the special Caribbean vibe. Take a ferry from La Ceiba to the tropical islands of Roatan or Utila. Roatan is a bit more popular, and therefore expensive than Utila; however, it also has more lively nightlife and a greater variety of restaurants. Utila is a bit calmer and has a small-town feeling. Both islands have beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Diving is quite popular on these islands as well! In Utila, you can book a hostel and a diving experience as a packaged deal. Utila is well-known for whale sharks – a diver's dream come true!
The island is also surrounded by the world’s second largest coral reef. In Roatan, you can do a special shark dive, worth every penny of the price! This activity is probably better for more experienced divers, as you'll be about 17 meters deep with a whole school of reef sharks circling around you. The experience requires nerves of steel, but you’ll never forget it!
Big cities like Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are quite typical Latin American cities. If you need to do some shopping, these places offer the best variety. However, be aware of crime on these cities and avoid walking alone, especially after dark. Remember, it won't hurt you to know some basics in Spanish!
On another note, the Maya ruins of Copan near the Guatemalan border, are worth a visit for those who are fascinated by this mystical civilization.
Getting around in Honduras
From Honduras, you can travel by bus or plane to neighbouring countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, or El Salvador. For safety reasons, taxis are recommended in big cities. Fortunately, they are also a comfortable and cheap way to move around. The locals use the public busses, also known as “chicken busses”, which are old yellow school busses. They stop everywhere along the roads to pick up passengers and are by far the cheapest way to travel (but maybe not the fastest). Exercise caution when moving around, as since some roads and highways might be subject to criminal activity. You should also always avoid using these busses at nighttime. Many travellers have used these chicken busses without any trouble, but it doesn't hurt to be aware.