You should visit Honduras because of the Bay Islands, the tropical beaches, the Copan Mayan ruins, diving or snorkeling, the natural parks, the culture, the people, and much more. These are just some of the reasons why you and many other travelers should visit Honduras.
Honduras is one of the largest countries in Central America. It has all the tropical and historical attributes that countries like Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador have. But it has the distinction as being the less visited by tourists in the region.
To begin with, Honduras has a significant public image problem thanks to its crime statistics; and additionally for being part of the countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America.
Because of those reasons, a lot of travelers skip Honduras entirely; and move on to other popular destinations in Central America such as Costa Rica or Panama. A vast majority of people who decided not to visit Honduras points to safety as the main deciding factor for not traveling to Honduras.
However, a vast majority of travelers who have been to Honduras; will tell you that the situation couldn’t be more different from what is in the news. Also, most of these travelers go back home raving about Honduras; a country in Central America that is frequently overlooked by travelers.
These are some reasons why you should travel to Honduras.
The Bay Islands
The Bay Islands of Honduras are a top notch attraction to this tropical Country. The main islands are Roatán, Guanaja, and Útila, with the minor island of Cayos Cochinos, further south.
Roatan is the largest of the islands, it has better beaches and is the most developed. Guanaja is the second largest and offers excellent diving as well as pristine tropical beaches. Utila is one of the smallest that is mostly known as a low-key fun island which is a popular destination for backpackers. Finally, there is The Cayos Cochinos or Cochinos Cays which consist of two small islands major cay and minor cay, and 13 smaller coral cays.
Spectacular diving and snorkeling draw visitors from around the world to the three principal Bay Islands, Roatán, Utila and Guanaja. The reefs at Bay Islands are part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world that also covers Belize.
The islands have a different cultural feel than the mainland. Now with the presence of Spanish-speaking Hondurans and expats from North American and European who are moving in growing numbers to the islands, the culture of the Islands is continuously being reshaped.
The Hondura’s Barrier Reef
Hondura’s barrier reef is part of The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System; also popularly known as the Great Mayan Reef. This marine region stretches over 600 plus miles starting from Contoy island at the top of the Yucatán Peninsula, then to Belize, Guatemala and ending at the Bay Islands of Honduras.
The reef system holds several protected areas and parks including the Cayos Cochinos Marine Park in Honduras.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world; and it is visible from shore at Roatan Bay Island. It seems that the Barrier Reef practically surrounds the Roatan island. Furthermore, in many places around the island, the reef is reachable by merely just walking out to it.
The Reef is excellent for Diving or snorkeling; the vibrant colors of the Reef mixed with the gentle waves and abundant marine life makes it a perfec thrilling area to spend the day.
The Tropical and Excellent Honduran Beaches
Between the mainland and the Bay Islands, Honduras has over 400 miles of amazing coastline. With that much coastline, any traveler for sure will be able to find the perfect beach to visit.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from; some will be considered to be on the Pacific Ocean and other on the Caribbean Sea. Nonetheless, you will find the perfect beach with sand that can be either pearly white with turquoise waters or the stunning contradiction of black sand and red sunsets.
Furthermore, each beach offers a slightly different experience. Some are suitable for snorkeling, diving, some are isolated and almost private, and some are filled with tons of things to do.
Here are some of the best beaches to vist in Honduras:
- West Bay Beach, Roatan
- Water Cay, Utila
- Chachahuate, Cayos Cochinos
- Trujillo Beaches, Mainland
- Mahogany Bay, Roatan
- Guanaja Beaches, Guanaja
- Tela, Mainland
Some of these Honduran beaches get great reviews from the major travel publications. I am sure that once you walk on the white sand beaches or take a dip in the turquoise Caribbean waters, you’ll be raving about them as well.
The Copan Mayan Ruins
Copan is an ancient Maya city located in western Honduras near the border with Guatemala. It lies within the city of Copán in the department of Copán.
This ancient city was constructed between 400 and 800 A.D., And even though Copan was well known since the early 19th century, excavation didn’t begin until 1975. Moreover, recent studies of skeletons suggest that the city was abandoned after becoming unstable around 800 A.D.
Copan is considered by many as one of the most magnificent cities of the ancient Maya civilization. The complex is known for its impressive stone temples, altars, and hieroglyphs.
The entire ruin site includes more than 4,000 structures spread over 24 square kilometers. However, most of the focus placed on the main group of ruins which covers approximately two square kilometers.
Copan is the main group and more substantial site, is a Mayan complex built for the high nobility, whereas the smaller one, Las Sepulturas, is a Lenca residential complex built for well-established residents.
Since the sites sit in an unbelievably green valley, it is easy to spot a variety of animals that roam around the ruins. Among those are monkeys, parrots, and macaws, among others.
Visit Honduras and Explore the National Parks
Without doubt, Honduras is mainly known by tourist for the Bay Islands and the beauty of its tropical beaches. However, this country has a lot to offer in the form of Natural Beauty. This natural beauty can be seen just by visiting one of the many natural parks all over the country.
Honduras is one of the most ecologically preserved countries in Central America. The country has about twenty national parks and dozens of smaller reserves all over the country.
These parks and reserves have helped to preserve the region’s most mountainous and forested areas of the country; and at the same time protect the thousands of rare species that live within it.
Because Honduras is still an underdeveloped country, some of these parks are not easy to get to. Nonetheless, some fantastic natural parks are easy to get to.
Click here to see a list of national parks in Honduras by wikipedia.
Visit Honduras and get great value for your money
Because travelers to Honduras are not as many as the other touristy countries in the area. The competition for those travelers is tough, and this works to travelers advantage. Travelers can get reasonable prices for activities and tours, and the cost of lodging will be way lower than most other countries in the region.
Furthermore, Honduras is not a wealthy country in the first place. So depending on what you are looking for; you could get by comfortably on US$25 per day for food and lodging.
Why visit Honduras
I hope the items I listed help you in deciding whether to visit or not visit this great country. Yes, Honduras has some issues and is underdeveloped; however, exploring this land could be one of your greatest adventures in Central America.