Though Honduras rarely makes it to the top of traveler's must-visit list, its relative obscurity may surprise some. With Utila and Roatan situated in northern Honduran waters as popular vacation destinations – along with their close neighbors Mexico – few travelers venture south toward this Central American nation. In fact, Honduras is currently the least traveled country in all North America outside of Alaska!
In a way, this situation is self-inflicting as the reasons are actually manifestations of its problems. The lack of tourists visiting the country has curtailed necessary infrastructure development (primarily due to an extended history of government corruption), rendering it more difficult to entice new ones in.
Ultimately, Honduras proved to be an incredibly confounding destination. But in the end it afforded me a profound level of immersion into authentic Central American life unlike any other place I've visited before – and all for the sake of those difficulties along the way!
Upon making the journey from El Poy, El Salvador into Ocotepeque, Honduras through the border crossing at San Mateo I noticed an instant and profound difference. Whereas their neighboring country is also a highly impoverished nation with lamentable road conditions, my journeys in Central America were all business-as-usual; fast and inexpensive while bus timetables are punctual – providing ample opportunities to undertake trips across this part of Central America.
In Honduras, one encounters a tranquil and serene setting that belies its impoverished situation. The roads are in disrepair, yet they remain passable despite being overgrown by dense vegetation at certain points on the journey to Santa Rosa de Copan – which takes 2 and a half hours.
The majority of transport within Honduras takes the form of a microbus; smaller than El Salvador and Guatemala's recycled school buses, yet still capable of accommodating throngs upon throngs.
During my stay in Honduras, I traversed from the western mountainous region with esteemed cities such as Copan Ruinas and Santa Rosa de Copan all the way to its eastern end. In between these regions lay Tegucigalpa – a capital renowned for its beauty; along with Lake Yojoa – an overlooked treasure nestled amidst this country's captivating landscape.
In my quest to traverse eastern and western America by bus, I found myself traversing many buses from east to west before retracing my steps and returning eastward again. The fatigue that came from riding so many busses on arduous journeys under sweltering temperatures was relentless at times – like when I reached the end of my journey!
Despite having navigated my way around the winding roads of Honduras and Guatemala, I experienced a serious setback in Santa Rosa de Copan; an area that boasted spectacular sights but which ultimately proved to be too much for my bus-riding companion.
At first glance, one might initially assume that Im composing an unfavorable assessment of Central America's most maligned country – yet I wish to demonstrate the contrary. Hondurassend be daunting for those who have never ventured its rocky path; however, it can also provide exhilarating experiences if one is up to the challenge.
Honduras is a land of captivating and enigmatic cities, where you may find yourself the sole visitor from afar. Despite this peculiarity, communities often welcome visitors with open arms and hospitable hearts!
Santa Rosa de Copan, Gracias, Comayagua and Siguatepeque are three Honduran cities bursting with colorful Honduran culture, coffee and delectable food – all chockfull of visitors yet devoid of any mass tourism presence to impart an authentic experience. Specialities like baleadas (meat-filled pastries) or casabe (stewed meat) are unparalleled in Central America; that is unless you venture off the more frequented mainland destinations!
Intriguing sites like the Copan Ruinas, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts possibly the finest Mayan ruin site in Central America and Los Naranjos on Lake Yojoa offer ample throng of visitors to Belize; however, they remain miniscule compared with neighboring countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Despite its reputation as a daunting city, Tegucigalpa proved to be not an easy place to navigate. During my stay there I witnessed plenty of confused faces and incredulous remarks from locals regarding my desire to visit their prominent capital–especially once they discovered that I was traveling on vacation.
Yet, despite its shortcomings, Honduras is a haven if one's willing to invest in overcoming the rough edges. Moreover, it can be perceived as whiny to complain about having to endure the country's infrastructural woes and yet Hondurans have been enduring them for generations!
At last, we are presenting the photos in their entirety. These destinations should not be understated as they offer unique experiences that many people should partake in; after all, it is completely unadvisable to dwell on the perceived dangers of El Salvador. Instead, enjoy this beautiful country and let its serenity imbue your sense of wellbeing!