Travel in Honduras – safe or not?

Posted on 08. Mar, 2011 by in Central America, Honduras, Travel Reflections

During the eight-month leg of our trip through Central America, we crossed paths with countless travelers coming up north as we headed down south, and listened to their tips and advice for places we had yet to visit. The only place that nobody could tell us much about was Honduras. Not on many itineraries, there are two popular Honduras destinations: enthusiastic divers evangelically promote the Bay Islands, where they go to get their diving certificates, and the travelers interested in Maya culture will head to Copan Ruinas, a mere 12 kilometers from the Guatemalan border.

But what about the rest of Honduras? We had read about a lake just as great as Lake Atitlan, sleepy fishing villages on the Caribbean coast, colonial towns and the Ruta Lenca, a series of indigenous villages in the mountains – so much more than just Copan!

Even though travel in other Central American countries has also been called  unsafe on occasion, like Guatemala or Nicaragua, travelers continue to visit these countries without question. It is the culture of Guatemala and the sand, surf, volcanoes and colonial cities that attract people to Nicaragua. When it comes to Honduras, the hesitation travelers feel to visit Honduras often keeps them from visiting.

One recent reason for this current feeling of insecurity may have been a political uprising in 2009 that hit international news. Then-president Manuel Zelaya attempted an illegal political maneuver which resulted in his subsequent arrest and exile. As a result, Honduras found itself in a severe constitutional crisis and many embassies issued temporary travel warnings to Honduras.

When considering the time of our visit (end of 2010 into 2011), this could have been what was causing the distinct lack of international visitors to the country. However, neighboring Guatemala receives on average nearly 1 million visitors annually, while Honduras welcomes only one third of that at, 370,000 visitors per year.

Travel in Honduras can certainly seem unsafe. The first thing that stood out to us was the amount of machine guns displayed publicly. Even in supposedly safe and heavily visited Copan, with visitors ranging from backpackers to retirees, the sheer amount of armed policemen and private security guards on the main square and parked in front of banks was unnerving. If there is this much police presence, we thought, why exactly do they need it? Is it only precautionary? Or should we have taken out a life insurance policy in addition to our travel insurance?

During a forest hike with a local guide in Copan, we inadvertently learned more about the narco-trafficking happening in Honduras than we did about the Mayan sites on the tour. We learned the levels of involvement, from ‘mules’ who transport it up the pyramid to who runs things at a mid-management level. A pimped out pick up truck even passed and stopped for a chat with our guide, who later told us that although they seemed like friendly happy guys, they were definitely involved in the drug trade. They posed no threat to us, and they never even got out of the car or talked to us. We would have remained ignorant completely had we not been with a guide, but it was unsettling to say the least that it was that close to us – and in the middle of a forest no less.

On the Caribbean coast we felt safe, and even in the center of San Pedro Sula, a city it is said has suffered from an increase in crime, during the day didn’t feel any different from other big cities. In fact the main bus terminal was a giant shopping mall and felt more developed and travel-friendly than most central city bus terminals.

Tegucigulpa, on the other hand, felt unsafe and shady from the start. We never planned on visiting the capital, as there were no sights we felt we wanted to see, and several areas are considered overly dangerous. Unfortunately, however, after we realized that our New Year’s Day travel plans meant buses were not running directly to the Nicaraguan border, we stood at a bus station studying the guidebook to figure out a hostel for the night. While we frantically flipped the pages of our Footprint, one of the locals came up to us immediately and warned us not to stand with our backpacks there or we would get robbed. We hopped right into a taxi after that.

However, after finding an overpriced but very safe hotel (front door locked at all times, same as all other hotels in the area) we have to admit that we calmed down after a first stroll through the historic center, despite (or because of?) the heavy police presence in the area.

We made it home before dark, and wouldn’t have wanted to venture out once the sun went down. We heard several gun shots in the evening, always followed by police sirens rushing through the city. The next morning in the light of day, we went out to explore before catching the bus. The parque central was bustling with people, vendors, newspaper stands, and interesting urban art. The Cathedral is impressive, and well-dressed church-goers made the Sunday morning in the city center feel festive. After that, Tegucigulpa felt safer, though the amount of police men with machine guns left us with a strong feeling of unease and unable to fully enjoy our walk.

Would we recommend traveling in Honduras?

While we were in Honduras we did not encounter one single safety issue, however due to the constant police presence (or in spite of it?) we never felt safe.  Just two days after we had left the country, we read about an attack on a mini bus, just like the ones that we traveled in, in which all passengers were shot and killed. (See why it made us nervous: a picture of the van in this Spanish news article or read the article in English)

We have always been huge supporters of travelling off the beaten path, and Honduras can certainly offer that to its international visitors. In all the towns we visited in Honduras outside of Copan Ruinas, we were almost the only tourists – in towns like Santa Rosa, Gracias or Lake Yojoa.

In our opinion, traveling in Honduras is not much more dangerous as in its neighboring countries (a similar attack on a mini bus took place around the same time in Guatemala City, a capital which experiences several such attacks each year). However, visitors flocking to other Central American countries also take that risk to discover once-in-a-lifetime places, experiences and cultures. The question with Honduras is, is there enough to visit and see as visitors to warrant safety risks. The ever present machine guns and gun culture made it feel much more unsafe.

We would say yes, Honduras is without a doubt worth visiting, and as long as you stay vigilant and avoid San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa at night, a trip to or through Honduras should be safe. Although we did not visit the Bay Islands ourselves, we have never heard any negative safety stories from people who did go, and when considering the number of tourists who visit the Roatan or Utila, the popular diving island of Honduras are probably the safest and most tourist friendly spots in the country.

After 11 weeks in Mexico, we also examined safety of travel in Mexico which you can read here.

Have you been to Honduras? If so, did you feel safe traveling through? If you decided to skip a visit there, did safety play a role? We would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not Honduras is safe to visit in the comments below.

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61 Responses to “Travel in Honduras – safe or not?”

  1. Ayngelina

    08. Mar, 2011

    I spent a bit of time in Honduras – San Pedro Sula, Copan, Utila, Tegu.

    I have to say of all the countries I’ve been in I felt the least safe here. It wasn’t the regular guns as I’m used to them, it was the hand guns people kept in their pants.

    I never had anything happen to me so I consider myself lucky but I wouldn’t recommend the country to many people.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Today I hate the Irish

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    • jess

      09. Mar, 2011

      It’s strange how we get used to seeing security guns and guards with these huge guns, isn’t it! But I know what you mean about people packing their own pistols. We actually saw that a lot in El Salvador, too. It just makes you feel so unsafe when everyone is strapped!!

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  2. Kim

    08. Mar, 2011

    I was surprised by the amount of guns in places like Antigua in Guatemala. I totally get what you mean by feeling less safe because of all the security and guards. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was really necessary at a coffee shop right on the square! All the signs at the night clubs reminding people that their guns weren’t welcome made me really uneasy too. I can’t imagine seeing people carrying their own hand guns and even MORE of a police presence. Very unsettling.
    Kim recently posted..Guatemalan Firsts- Solo Travel 3 of 3

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    • jess

      09. Mar, 2011

      Definitely know what you mean! And honestly, Antigua and other parts of Guatemala do have a lot of guns, but we saw much more of this in Honduras, and also El Salvador. Funnily enough, though, the first place we saw the whole ‘don’t bring your gun in here’ sign was in Arizona during our road trip in the South West US…

      Reply to this comment
  3. Dina

    09. Mar, 2011

    Thank you for this post. We just arrived in San Pedro Sula a few hours ago, and this give me better picture about Honduras. Feel shock about the mini bus shot, and certainly hope nothing like that haunting us. I love your pictures.
    Dina recently posted..Two days in historical Old San Juan- Puerto Rico

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    • jess

      09. Mar, 2011

      Hi Dina, the shooting was not in an area where tourists travel, so we’re sure you’ll be safe!! We really would like you to let us know how you feel about Honduras when you leave. In hindsight we like it much more than when we traveled through, but partially because Dani took some gorgeous photos of the place, and so it affects our memories.

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  4. For 91 Days Travel Blog

    09. Mar, 2011

    I have the silly habit to google stuff like “Is this and this safe to travel to” Stupid habit and I’ve decided to stop doing that. I will be looking for general recent travel warnings of a country and that’s that. Everything else just drives you crazy!
    For 91 Days Travel Blog recently posted..The Face of Argentina

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    • jess

      09. Mar, 2011

      It’s a good idea not to worry too much. There are always safer and less safe areas. Plus, safety is relative because I am from Chicago – with one of the world’s highest murder rates per year, and yet I would suggest that everyone visit Chicago!!! In general, in Honduras, we just felt this sense of unease due to the massive amount of visible weapons and security.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Dalene - Hecktic Travels

    09. Mar, 2011

    Hubby and I have been living in Roatan for 3 months now (3 more to go on a house sitting assignment), and have not had one problem, nor have we ever found ourselves in a situation that we felt unsafe. Our house is out in the boonies, surrounded only by locals, far from the tourist areas.

    That being said, there are frequently robberies, etc. in the tourist areas for those that are not diligent with keeping tabs on their belongings. Like the rest of Honduras, and Central America, as long as you have your wits and common sense about you – all will be fine!
    Dalene – Hecktic Travels recently posted..Two Meetings

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    • jess

      10. Mar, 2011

      Hey Dalene – thanks for adding to the conversation here, especially as a semi-local!!! You’re totally right – it is all about vigilance and being aware of your surroundings. As we said in the article, we honestly have not had any problems in Central America, and we had literally not a single problem in Honduras. It’s not more unsafe than anywhere, it was just this feeling we had, and then the shooting literally the day after we left. But it could have been anywhere – this happens around the world, unfortunately. By the way – very cool house sitting assignment! Central American housesits were harder for us to come by than we had hoped. We have two lined up for Spring and Summer now, and just missed one for Barbados, unfortunately. Ah well :-) Thanks again for your comments!

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  6. Juergen

    09. Mar, 2011

    I must say that we really enjoyed travelling through Honduras – more so than Nicaragua… But like every journey it comes down to personal experiences – no two trips are the same! We stayed pretty much off the main roads and out of the main cities.

    I particularly enjoyed Comayagua in the centre of the country, and driving through the densely forested mountains towards Gracias (and on to La Palma in El Salvador). Comayagua felt like an undiscovered Antigua (Guatemala): a similarly picturesque old town centre, minus the tourists! And the mountain road winding through thick forest to Gracias was a real adventure during the rain season.

    The people were rather reserved, almost shy, but once you talked to them very friendly and helpful. In Nicaragua we encountered persistant begging mentality similar to Africa, and had to be constantly watchful for not being cheated. And in Granada (of all places) serious security warnings from locals made us feel uneasy.
    Map of our route through Honduras: http://www.dare2go.com/CentralAmerica/hnmap01.shtml

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    • jess

      10. Mar, 2011

      Hey Juergen – really fascinating actually! We sincerely LOVED Nicaragua, and Honduras not so much. We only spent two weeks there though, so that could be one reason. But one of the things we genuinely enjoyed in Honduras was the distinct lack of tourists (after Copan Ruinas, of course). When we came across so many again for the first time, we felt strange – we got really used to being the only tourists in certain spots. We also liked Gracias a lot, and Santa Rosa nearby. In defense of Nicaragua – this begging mentality we felt too, but only in Granada :-). In Leon (or fav Nicaraguan city!) we never felt it – we felt people were honest about price everywhere except for Granada, where tourists were easy bait (15% tax plus 10%tip on top of every meal in Granada – which didn’t exist anywhere else in the country – grrr). One of the worst effects of growth in tourism is the begging mentality and the beggars’ dependence on hand-outs, an issue we wrestle with as we travel often. In off-the-beaten-path Honduras, you definitely won’t feel that at all!! Great map, btw – glad you like Comayagua – wish we’d’ve gone!! We spent time in Omoa (didn’t like it) and then Santa Rosa (definitely liked it) instead. Thanks for your comments and for such positive words about Honduras!

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      • Juergen

        10. Mar, 2011

        You see, travelling with your own vehicle !!IS!! different:
        we had all along the way in Nicaragua people jump into our way DEMANDING a handout. It started right at the border, where several small kids, younger than 7, jumped onto our steps, hung onto the mirrors with one hand, and knocked on the window with the other… Quite frightening as you can’t stop because then you can’t take off anymore until you have satisfied each and every one (you will run out of change before that).
        Then all these people who fix potholes in the road, by throwing big rocks into them. They stand on the road, often in locations where it’s difficult to get around them, holding out one hand, and with the other a pick or shovel in the way, so that you almost have to drive over their hand tools (risking a flat tire).
        Or kids who block the entire road with a wooden bar with nails pointing up, demanding a “road fee” to let traffic through – we’ve come across that twice in Nicaragua…

        Obviously they are not only targeting tourists, there aren’t enough, but it makes for unpleasant travel nevertheless. And this type of pothole-fixers we’ve seen in other countries too: Chiapas/Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Peru (Cuzco on the road to the airport) – but nowhere as insistent – hence in other countries we actually paid more frequently.

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        • jess

          13. Mar, 2011

          Thanks for your comment, Juergen. It is so interesting to find out more about someone’s perspective on safety in Central America who drives in a car – what a different experience! It seems to be quite scary sometimes… where you ever afraid to have your car stolen?

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  7. Juergen

    09. Mar, 2011

    Add-on: the one time we had something stolen on our 3-year trip happened to be in Honduras: at Lake Yojoa we left an old and damaged umbrella out to dry, and after around 2 hours in the sun it was gone! LOL – I hope who ever stole it realised how bad condition it was in…

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  8. Dina

    09. Mar, 2011

    Hi, first day impression, we enjoy being here. We went to 2 malls in San Pedro Sula, people are friendly and food are tasty. Many security guys carrying shot gun, I asked permission to take picture to one of them, he said no (but friendly). Next time will go ahead without asking. We happen to be in “safer” area, the guest house owner said, we can even walk from the house to the mall.
    Dina recently posted..Two days in historical Old San Juan- Puerto Rico

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    • jess

      10. Mar, 2011

      Hi Dina, really glad you are liking it so far! San Pedro Sula was the most built-up place the two of us had seen in ages and we definitely enjoyed the Dunkin’ Donuts there, too :-) Security guards in Central America don’t really seem to have a sense of humor about their weapons, so we’ve stopped asking to get their picture, and try to take pics when we can. Can’t wait to hear more about where you go in Honduras and how you like it!

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  9. I’m so happy you wrote this and hopefully people will read it and not be discouraged or frightened any longer. I’m so sad that Latin America’s reputation is so terrible at the moment. Breaks my heart! I’ve traveled solo all over and never once had a problem.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..FAQ’s About My Upcoming Wedding Part 3

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    • jess

      10. Mar, 2011

      Hi Andi – exactly! You picked up on the fact that even though we felt so nervous sometimes with the strapped security guards and the personal handguns, still nothing happened. It was more about how we felt than the actual safety situation. I think one thing that is important about traveling safely in Latin America is an understanding of at least basic Spanish, just so you can keep alert to situations. Otherwise, this past 9 months through Central America has been the best of both our lives!!! Thanks for your comment!

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  10. Brooke Campbell

    09. Mar, 2011

    Wow, my boyfriend has talked a lot about going on a scuba diving vacation to Honduras. He’s trying to get me to go to a place called the Laguna Beach Resort on Utila island. I imagine it would be pretty safe there, however I am a little afraid when I here about all of the guns. I wouldn’t want to be near any of that.
    Brooke Campbell recently posted..Coleman BlackCat Heater

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    • jess

      10. Mar, 2011

      Hi Brooke, that’s the thing – nothing ever happened to us while in Honduras. Also – tons and tons of people go scuba diving every year on the Bay Islands so it is going to be safe as long as you keep your wits about you. This post certainly wasn’t meant to put people off of Honduras, it’s more an observations about how we felt, safety-wise, with all the guns around. We’d rather you give it a shot, go diving, and then come back and let us know here how it all went! :-)

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  11. Sam

    10. Mar, 2011

    What a useful and interesting article. Good job, especially for writing in such a balanced and informative way.

    Reply to this comment
    • jess

      13. Mar, 2011

      Thanks for the kind words, Sam – happy to hear you found our article interesting.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Suzy

    12. Mar, 2011

    I can see why you would feel less safe with all of the guns just out in the open. I think when you aren’t raised around that being normal, it can seem a bit extreme. Glad you guys had a safe experience overall!
    Suzy recently posted..Blarney- Ireland Wishes You Were Here

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    • jess

      13. Mar, 2011

      Seeing armed guards and machine guns is not unusual in Central America, but in Honduras there were just so many of them – considerably more than in all the other countries. And like Ayngelina mentioned in the comments – guys just walking around with their guns hanging out of their pants… pretty scary. But in the end we would still recommend going to Honduras and not being scared off by this.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Jessica

    31. Mar, 2011

    My Husband and I moved here about 4 months ago and I grown to really like it here in Comayagua. I do NOT like tegucigalpa…But i do like San Pedro Sula… just not at night! I was nervous around the guards and police carrying big guns, especially the ones at the bank who medal detect you then look through your purse to make sure your cell phone is turned off! but now it doesnt bother me! Its really not bad! and I also still do not like seeing the people here with the guns hanging out of their pants! But overall i am enjoying my time with my husbands family!

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    • jess

      31. Mar, 2011

      Exactly! You get used to the guns, and in the end they don’t play a role in your own personal life. It’s intimidating, and makes you wonder why in the h*ll they need such big guns, but your experiences in general are safe. Glad you are enjoying Honduras, too! Spending time with your husband’s family also means getting to know the country in a much more personal way than we could have, too! Feel free to share your experiences again, and thanks so much for stopping by!

      Reply to this comment
  14. Marcelo Contreras

    22. Jun, 2011

    Im feeling so bad reading this about honduras, but this is reallity and we have to stand to tit. wish it could be diferent and have good things to say. Yes, it feels some times unsafe here, and we have to handle it and keed going.

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  15. Paola

    01. Jul, 2011

    Honduras, as a whole, is safe. It’s the big cities people need to watch out for and the roads between these cities. Just an hour away from Tegus is a small town called Danli (so small there is no movie theater) where the people who live there leave their front doors open and don’t really fear much (I know this because my sister lives there :) ) My aunt runs a non-gov, non-profit that builds schools around Honduras, particularly in towns not even locals know about where CEPRODs cars are sometimes the only cars the people see at all.I’ve had the opportunity to go to some of these places to help out and really Honduras has some beautiful landscapes. And I agree, Honduras is very untouched by tourist…which is a good thing.
    Sadly, the crime reputation that precedes San Pedro and Tegus are true and the roads between these two cities are not the safest either. San Pedro as a city bores me a little, but Tegus has the potential to be a truly beautiful city since it is surrounded by mountains (El Cristo del Picacho–a christ statue like the one in Rio–is on top of a mountain overlooking the city. It’s a national parks and makes for a great “hike”…at day time!! there is a garden funded by the gov of Taiwan, shops, and a zoo–though I’ve never seen the zoo. Walk all the way up to the Christ and you’ll see an amazing view of Tegus. I don’t know how safe it is overall, but the times I’ve been there I’ve never had anything remotely scary happen…but do check and ask around if you want to go. Tegus really can be dangerous.). It’s tegus potential that really makes the crime rate a real “crime.”
    Paola recently posted..a rainy day in new orleans

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    • jess

      04. Jul, 2011

      Hi Paola, thanks so much for this comment – it’s great to hear from someone like you who has been to so many different places in Honduras. Nothing bad happened to us either, and it’s important to keep pointing that out. We also know exactly what you mean about Tegucigalpa. The night we arrived we were warned about safety and duly frightened, but then we went for a stroll, and the cathedral was jaw-droppingly stunning and people were really friendly. The city has the potential and that’s the real crime.

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    • Paulina

      11. Feb, 2013

      Hi Paola!

      Would you be willing to get in touch regarding that NGO that ou know in Honduras? I run a NGO that certifies good volunteer projects and I am planning a trip to Honduras in April. I would love to meet trustworthy people managing non-profits and certify their volunteer projects so that more people from abroad could go and visit those places and work for good ans fair causes. Email me at paulina at vofair.org

      Many thanks!

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  16. Charlie

    03. Jul, 2011

    I live in Honduras and, In my opinion, those ‘cops’ use their machine guns mainly for intimidation to reduce crime. I read in the newspaper not long ago that San Pedro Sula’s policemen had plastic guns which looked ridicolously real.

    They won’t murder/rob you in Honduras if you don’t mention anything about football (soccer). There are a lot of ‘gangs’ across Honduras that fight over pointless things about soccer.

    I would not recommend using these two words: Ultra, and Revo. Those are the names of the two primary ‘gangs’ in Honduras. If you don’t get in troubles with them you will be fine.

    If you see 10+ teenagers/young adults under a light post, don’t worry as they are most likely posers trying to get attention.

    Most of the people won’t mind you. If anybody starts taunting you just ignore them. Don’t care about what they say. They are probably trying to get you mad and force you to follow them into a place where they may kill you.

    Reply to this comment
    • jess

      04. Jul, 2011

      Hey Charlie, that’s fascinating about cops maybe using plastic guns to intimidate/deter crime! Thanks for the tips about staying alert in Honduras. Glad that you live there are say it’s safe enough for visitors. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. michel

    14. Jul, 2011

    Ok I was in Honduras 10 years ago and things haven t change yet……………..I will never forget that around 2 o clock in the night I was in the centre of Tegucicalpa and suddenly 2 guy assaulted me and my local friend with a gun…………… I had a guitar with me and I knew I will never see it again as well as my important repertoire of songs…………..then whithout thinking I started running but my friend just put the hands up
    I was then safe and I run to the police alarming them that my friend was assaulted with a gun. The police were taken a car very slowly and of course we couldn t find this guys .When I got back to the guesthouse my friend had his teethts completely broken and whithout pants and money was mormouring his pain……………. Well just to say don t go out at night some places in Hondurass are still dangerous
    Otherwise NOBODY SAID that people are extremely friendly and sometimes people can invite you to dinner or stay in the house.Women are extremely nice and sexy and again friendly. 10 years ago I thought I will go back when the things will be changing but unfortunately nothing is better yet.Then I will wait and hope that one day this incredible nice place with so many nice and friendly people will change……………….. see you again my loveHonduras michel

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  18. Lance

    25. Sep, 2011

    “Plus, safety is relative because I am from Chicago – with one of the world’s highest murder rates per year, and yet I would suggest that everyone visit Chicago!!!”

    Hey Jess, nice friendly blog you have here!

    Are you sure you’re not confusing Chicago having ‘one of the world’s highest murder rates’ with just ‘the USA’? Chicago’s murder rates are absurdly low compared to La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa etc. I wouldn’t call Chicago a particularly dangerous city, certainly not on a world scale or compared to those in Latin America.

    I’m surprised you felt safer in SPS than Tegus however, SPS historically is much the more dangerous city though Tegus did have a big increase in 2010 which closed the gap somewhat but it’s still a bit safer. Gunshots in Tegus as well huh? Perhaps it was where you were situated in the two cities or you were just unlucky in Tegus and lucky in SPS. Who knows?

    Where did you go in the Caribbean, La Ceiba?

    I wouldn’t worry about travelling somewhere outside of a declared conflict zone because even in the most crime-ridden countries or cities, the chances of you being caught up in something are extremely low. Living there is different of course.

    Cheers!

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  19. Sarah Marshall

    05. Oct, 2011

    Hi, I am currently making arrangements to travel to the Honduras to visit Dr Sebi’s Usha Village for medical treatment. I am a 32 meek and mild Australian blonde female. I will be traveling with 2 male companions, one although he speaks fluent spanish is meeker than i LOL and the other is a fit elderly gentleman. My concern isn’t necessarily the guns or the locals as i am an experienced traveler. My biggest concern is being raped as i hear this is common. My concern is i am forced to travel 202km from San Pedro Sula to La Cieba. I am aware not to travel at night however am unsure if the road from San Pedro Sula to La Cieba is safe? Could anyone please advise if they know of anyone who has been attacked traveling from San Pedro Sula to the Usha Village. Also if there is anyone who resides in Honduras that may like to be our guide. It is such a beautiful country and Dr Sebi has the potential to cure me from my illness.

    Reply to this comment
    • Denise G

      07. Jun, 2014

      Sarah,
      wondering if you made it dr sebi’s village safely and your successes?

      Reply to this comment
  20. Daniel Duron

    15. Nov, 2011

    Hello i’m from Honduras and it kinda makes me sad to see how bad reputation the country where i was born has, anyway, even when i would like to say good things and defend my country, sadly, i have to accept the reality and acknowledge that Honduras is really falling apart year after year, the violence rate is simply too high and it still increasing. Its not that i wanna make bad propaganda of Honduras but actually i wouldnt recommend anyone to come here cause based on the thoughts that you kindly shared about the main post it seems that (in my opinion) all of you guys dont really know too much about how unsafe you can be here, obviously, like everything, there are places where visitors can stay more or less safely like islas de la bahia or bay islands (sorry if i mispelled it) than for instance san pedro sula or tegucigalpa. But if you really want to come to Honduras i would recommend you to wait, who knows, maybe the situation here change from here to 5 or 10 years. BTW if you’re about to visit my country it was not my intention at all to scare anyone, i just said all this because i’m honduran, i live in tegucigalpa and i know how things are here.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      17. Nov, 2011

      Hi Daniel, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Your country has such beautiful scenery and gorgeous little colonial town – it’s a shame that it is so unsafe and that people are scared to visit. Hopefully the situation gets better one day!!

      Reply to this comment
  21. Sarahi Jaar

    08. Apr, 2012

    Hey, I’m from Honduras! Honduras is a very dangerous place to live, but I believe that it is more dangerous for us natives than tourists. I say go visit honduras, it is very beautiful, we have great food and awesome people. Just be careful where you go and the time you go out at.

    Reply to this comment
    • jess

      09. Apr, 2012

      Honduras really is a beautiful place and it’s such a massive shame about the crime. Good advice – visit, but stay alert. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Reply to this comment
    • José

      09. Aug, 2012

      Sarahi Jaar i agree with most of what you wrote except the part when you say that Honduras is safer for tourists than for natives, it’s not like that at all, i’ve heard plenty of cases where foreigners have been robbed, kidnapped, raped and even killed.
      P.S. I’m also from Honduras.

      Reply to this comment
  22. Peter Grant

    18. Apr, 2012

    I spent 1/2 of each year from 2000–2009 in Omoa and Tela…finally Ensenada.
    I was robbed a couple of times…….when I was not paying attention to surroundings….walking in places I knew risky.
    As to all the “official” armed men….a friend told me that many had the guns…few had the bullets.
    I love Honduras. I will return.

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    • Dani

      18. Apr, 2012

      Interesting to hear that many of the guns don’t have bullets, Peter! Wish we’d known that while we were in Honduras, it sure would’ve made us feel safer :D

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  23. Clarissa

    16. May, 2012

    Hi and thanks for the post!
    I was born and raised in Honduras, but I haven’t lived there in several years… Honduras is an awesome country, with magical villages, wonderful landscapes and nature, nice and friendly people and delicious food!!!
    I can just say that it is worth to visit at least once… Is it unsafe? sure it is, just like most contries in Latin America, and many in Africa, Asian and even some cities in Europe… but you have to inform yourself and be cautious. There are really dangerous areas that travellers should avoid, but in general it is more about having some common sense. I hope you all enjoy your time in Honduras and I might be posting some experiences since I am travelling there with some finnish friends in a couple of weeks, I hope they enjoy the time there and of course they have the advantage of a local guide!.

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    • jess

      18. May, 2012

      Hey Clarissa, thanks for commenting. We definitely want people to consider traveling through Honduras as you are right, some of the most beautiful countryside we have seen was there. It’s just a matter of keeping up to date with dangerous locations such as Tegucigulpa and even more San Pedro Sula, which currently has the highest murder rate I think in all of Central America. We get a lot of interest in this post because people are so interested in going!!! Let us know how your trip goes!

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  24. Rey

    13. Jun, 2012

    Well all of you are right one thing or another, but, in Honduras as any other country in Central America keeps the guns on handy. Here in the USA they keep the gun in the car or at home, so they will used it when they need it as well. Security guards used guns here too. My believe is that you die when you get your time, everybody has a day and I do travel a lot. Good luck to everybody.

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  25. Peter Grant

    16. Jun, 2012

    I spent 6+ months in Omoa….a beach resort losing it’s beach cause of a very long jetty which changed the water movement.
    I moved to Tela….love the town, the old USA compound houses on stilts.
    Then spent almost 3 years ( 6-7 months per year) in Ensenada……a Garifuna village on the Caribbean Coast.
    It was incredible. New Years, guys wore very large hats with eye slits in the mouths; women’s dresses with ribbons…really colourful..played drums..a small guuy all painted with clay came with an arco..the little children were really scared; my step son said because he could turn them white..every house gave them money.
    I would walk along paths in Triunfo de la Cruz…a bigger village……hear drums…….young men would be dancing…my thought were……..very old traditions.
    I was robbed 3 times in La Ceiba…..each time not paying attention………each time walking from La Zona Vida to my hotel…only the last time did I feel in danger……after that i took taxis at night.
    Honduras is beautiful; the non robber, non gangster incredible..pleasant…welcoming…

    Reply to this comment
    • Jess

      17. Jun, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Peter. Honduras can really be a welcoming place and there is definitely loads of tradition. Sorry to hear that you had safety issues while you were there, and thanks for recommending people to take taxis at night. That’s a helpful tip!

      Reply to this comment
  26. dmitri

    27. Jun, 2012

    I have been to Rostand 5 times each spending 2 to 3 months at a time. Roatan’s west end, west bay and sandy bay with most other areas are very safe. Avoid coxen hole at night. Avoid walking around most locals towns like cozen hole at night if your a fringing and cannot speak Spanish fluently. Avoid wearing jewlry and leaving things within reach. Common sense. Laceiba didn’t seem too safe for grings stilling around at night either. Go out with a cab to a safe destination then take a cab home. No messing around all night. Bottom line. West end and west bay is the safest for the most obvious of gringos. Nowhere else. Utila is very safe. On the strip at night but not in the back road all hours. Just have respect for locals and don’t stand out and you can go most places.

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  27. dionis

    27. Feb, 2013

    yes hi…im traveling to honduras in june…been there like 5 times…Tegus and San Pedro whit mi wife…but now i have dougther realy realy white with red hair…im very concerd about kidnaping…can anybody please respond to me

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  28. Evelyn

    25. Sep, 2013

    Hi there, I am traveling to Honduras in May with Global Brigades. We will be providing medical and dental care in a few of the rural communities. Although we will be a few hours from either Tegu or San Pedro Sula where crime is prevalent, I am still concerned! Each day we will be drive 1-3 hours from the compound to our destinations and are worried about running into trouble while driving. Thank you for this article it has some great tips!

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  29. 13

    28. Sep, 2013

    Hello

    My grandma lives in honduras tegusigalpa and my aunt in san pedro sula .. I’m going to visit Honduras soon, and I am very scared but at least i have a big family there and a big house. Still i’m just 13 years old, and i’m very nervous :/

    Sorry about the bad english i live in finland ;D

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  30. megan

    30. Sep, 2013

    im planning on going to san pedro sula with my friend who is from there and im very nervous. recently read that last yr 2012 san pedro sula was named the most violent city in the world. ive heard stories about the violence in general in honduras but really always wanted to go. i plan on renting a car to visit agua blanca sur in el progresso yoro so i can meet my boyfriends mother and family. are there any dangers in doing that?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jess

      02. Oct, 2013

      We can’t really answer that in a concrete yes or no way, Megan. The best answer we can give is that it was definitely one of the most violent cities, we had heard that too, so you have to be smart about where you go and what you do. The advantage you have is that you would be traveling with locals, which is obviously always better as they know how things work. We went and we survived, as do many others of course, so definitely consider both sides of the safety coin and take precautions!

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  31. victoroa

    26. Nov, 2013

    I went to Honduras almost twenty yrs ago. I was shocked back then to see all the machine guns and folks guarding banks etc. But I did like the people and spoke fluent Spanish. I went to omoa, tegus, comayaguela, danli, choluteca, campamento, lago yojoa. Also I forgot we went to tela. We couldn’t go to copan b c of hurricane warnings. I loved Honduras but there were dangerous parts. La valley de angeles tiene many things for souvenirs. I don’t believe is to back again. I understand nowadays the maras. R quite bad. I also went to el Salvador. Frankly I enjoyed the bit of el Salvador better. Though again there were machine guns evwrywhere. I would go back to central America but is check out Guatemala Nicaragua panama . I do not regret going to Honduras however u have to be well aware of your surrpundigs and realize bad things can happen.

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  1. Woken by explosions at 5 am in Honduras | Vagabond Quest - March 22, 2011

    [...] after dark is not recommended. A fellow travel blogger that had been in that city mentioned they heard gunshots during in the night, followed by wailing [...]

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