Back in 2012, I backpacked for the first time of my life in Central America. Here are 5 tips I learned along my way in Honduras.
1. Choose your goals
Honduras is a wonderful, underestimated destination. It offers all a traveller can dream of: adventures, cultural sites, and beaches.
However, it is a big country and even if the transportation system is functional, it is very slow and often late on the schedule. Do not rely on the time given by Google Map. The reality is quite different.
If you have a limited period of time and want to do too much, you will end up loosing TONS of time in transportation. I know, ’cause that’s what I did!
I was only one week in Honduras and I decided to go from San Pedro Sula to Copán, to Tela to end up on Ùtila. It’s doable. But you’ll maybe end up at a bus station in an industrial area in a middle of the night begging a taxi driver to bring you to the next town (THAT is explained in another post).
2. Don’t be afraid to ask locals
Honduras has a bad reputation when it comes to security. But it is really less dangerous than media can let us think. Of course, you should apply common sense as you would anywhere else, but most of the people are really willing to help.
If you go in a small village, it is highly possible that streets will have no name, (Maybe U2 have been to Honduras… who knows…) and bus stops won’t be indicated.
You can struggle with your travel guide book for a long time, but the best is just to ask a local. Sometimes, you will have to wait for a bus ‘’beside the gas station, before the convince store, where there’s the Coca Cola add’’… where there is absolutely no sign of a bus stop. But still, the bus will be right there, just as they told you, and right on time (Which means eventually…)
3. Don’t pay more than 30$ per night for a room
Honduras is a cheap destination. You can easily pay less than 30$ for a room. And the quality is really acceptable for the price!
You don’t have to pay the big price except if you fall in love with a weird artistic bungalow, like I did…
4. Learn basic words in Spanish, and smile
Back in 2012, Honduras was my first back-packing trip, and I must admit that with my North-American mentality, (I know. I know. I am working on it!) I thought people would speak English wherever I went.
Of course if you stick to the touristic path you won’t need any Spanish and you can just learn ‘’Una cerveza por favor’’ to look cool.
But, if you plan to go off the road, you should at least get a little prepared by learning some basic useful sentences. Honduras is not as touristic as some other destinations in Central America. Therefore, people are not much used to tourists everywhere and they don’t know a word of English sometimes.
Plus, it is fun to learn new languages, and your funny accent will make people smile. And we love when people smile.
5. Do your PADI certification on Ùtila
Despite the fact that Roatán is the most touristic of the Bay Islands and has one hell of a reputation regarding scuba diving, I recommend the small Ùtila.
First, it is known to be one of the cheapest places to do your diving class in Central America. Second, it’s less crowded. Third, smaller places are coolest!…but maybe that’s just me.
All diving schools offer similar prices on the main street and the majority of them are trustworthy. If you have a doubt, check if the dive shop is certified by looking on PADI’s website.
You can’t totally feel the spirit of the Bay Islands if you don’t dive. During the day, Ùtila is a ghost town : Almost everybody is on charters and the only people you can find on the island are either people getting drunk or people hungover from the day before. Personnaly, I prefer watching parrot fishes.
Bonus! You will have the chance to dive in the second largest coral reef and choose between over 60 different scuba diving sites!
Have you already been to Honduras? Do you have any tips you want to share?
If you want to discover other posts about Honduras:
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