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Holidays in Honduras

Understanding Honduras

Good amenities can be found in cities like Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Tela, Utila, Roatán and at Copan, but elsewhere conditions can be quite basic, especially in the rural areas

You can find good hotels even in small towns if you are willing to pay a bit more Honduras is not really an expensive country Nevertheless a visit is worthwhile, especially to the ancient Maya ruins in Copán, the colonial towns of Gracias and Comayagua, and the fantastic Caribbean Coast


During the first millennium, Honduras was inhabited by the Maya Columbus explored the country in 1502 Honduras, with four other Central American nations, declared its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821 to form a federation of Central American states In 1838, Honduras left the federation and became independent Political unrest rocked Honduras in the early 1900s, resulting in an occupation by US Marines Dictator Gen Tiburcio Carias Andino established a strong government in 1932

In 1969, El Salvador invaded Honduras after Honduran landowners deported several thousand Salvadorans Five thousand people ultimately died in what is called “the football war” because it broke out during a soccer game between the two countries By threatening economic sanctions and military intervention, the Organization of American States OAS induced El Salvador to withdraw

After two and one-half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982 During the 1980s, Honduras was a haven for the anti-Communist contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and an ally to Salvadoran government forces fighting against leftist guerrillas

The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people and caused almost $1 billion in damage, affecting seriously the development of the country and its vital infrastructure


Honduras is hot and humid almost year-round Temperatures vary by altitude rather than season The average high temperature nationwide is 32°C 90°F and the average low is 20°C 68°F Temperatures are coolest in mountain areas The Caribbean coast can experience a lot of rain, the heaviest being from September to February In Tegucigalpa, the capital, the climate remains more temperate and the dry season takes place from December to May The capital can get chilly between December and January when the temperature in the city hovers around 23°C 73°F


Mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains Has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast Experiences frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes Highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 meters

Talking in Honduras

Spanish is the primary language spoken English is hardly spoken outside of the biggest towns or Bay Islands In some areas such as Utila, Spanish and English have hybridized in the context of low educational attainment to produce a pidgin tongue that can at times be indecipherable even to native speakers of both languages Native languages Lenca, Miskitu, Garifuna, among others are spoken in various parts of the country, but a Spanish speaker should never be hard to find Keep a tourist's eye out for "missionary speakers," that is, English or Spanish speaking Hondurans who retain the strong linguistic accents of the nations of their childhood teachers despite no personal links to such countries themselves eg Irish-English overtones are prominent in Utila Exhibit caution about commenting on linguistic skills to locals even positively, as those who do not speak mainstream Spanish suffer certain social stigmas eg not “real” Hondurans, lower class, etcetera

Expressions of Honduras

What "Punta" Means

The best know traditional dance in Honduras is punta, called banguity new life by the Garífunas There are different stories about why punta is danced at wakes Claudio Mejía, a Garífuna from La Punta, Colon explains, "If a man was a happy, popular kind of guy in life, then you want to give him a happy kind of wake" This coincides with African traditions, that when the body dies, the soul is in a kind of stupor and does not leave the body immediately So friends and relatives party one last time with the deceased Here, new life is understood as making the transition from being a person to becoming an ancestor Another explanation is given by Fausto Miguel Alvarez, a teacher from Cristales, Trujillo "People dance, because even though this one Garífuna has died, another thousand will be born" Here new life is understood to be the new life created in the wee hours of the morning after people go home Garífunas, like the West Africans they descend from, believe in reincarnation The spirit of the now deceased grandfather, for example, can be reborn in one of the new grandchildren

How 'Punta' Got Its Name

The story behind the name punta is different from its Garífuna counterpart Once when an enemy died, the people said, "We are going to celebrate and dance from punta a punta point to point The punta here refers to point - a piece of land that juts out into the sea One Garífuna teacher said, "This is why some Garífunas do not agree with the dancing of punta at wakes It is as if you were dancing when an enemy died" Punta Music and Rhythm Punta was originally danced just by older people It is the only type of music played at Garífuna wakes Punta can be sung at the end of mourning ceremonies, known as fin de novenario in Spanish During a Garífuna wake, there are a number of activities going on From time to time, family members wail and cry before a coffin that has been put in a specially decorated room Then, some of the men tune up the drums to play punta The women sing People go in one by one or in pairs to dance Punta music for wakes is played with traditional instruments These include first and second drums, maracas, a conch shell and sometimes claves - two hardwood sticks that are beat together The music is sung in Garífuna with a soloist and chorus, like African music or a Gospel music choir Punta music sounds happy, but the words are often sad "Yesterday you were well Last night you caught a fever Now in the morning you are dead," says one song

The rhythm pattern is very complex One drum plays 2/4 or 4/4 beat The second drum plays 6/8 This is the beat to which the feet move The women sing in 4/4 time Sometimes the songs have counter rhythms The second drum is steady, but the conch shell, maracas, and first drum improvise solos similar to jazz

This type of sensual dance performed at wakes has also been reported in Jamaica and West Africa Music also accompanies the dead to the tomb, a custom probably related to Yoruba burial customs, the same origin as the New Orleans jazz funeral

Buying stuff in Honduras


There is always plenty to do while vacationing in Honduras In San Pedro, things that revolve around shopping include visiting the City Mall and Metroplaza Mall In these Westernized areas you can stock up on practical necessities such as adventure clothing for upcoming trips into the Honduran hinterland Or, if you just like shopping, you can buy clothes and goods for everyday use at pleasingly cheap prices

Mercado de Artesanias Guamilito

Leather goods are particularly famous from here, though in truth you can find just about anything, from clothes to trinkets to food and drinks The Mercado forcibly calls for you to use your bartering skills; obtaining the price you want can prove one of the more difficult—and therefore rewarding—activities in San Pedro Sula


The National currency of Honduras is the Lempira but, like almost everywhere in Central America, the US Dollar acts as a second currency and nearly every business accepts both The US Dollar is the main currency on the Bay Islands due to the frequency of cruises that come by and by looking around, there are a lot of Americans It is wise to carry small bills under $20, especially $2 bills considered lucky and makes a good tip It is very important to use only bills printed recently and to avoid notes with tears

ATM's can be found in most cities Some ATM's dispense both US Dollars and Lempiras and nearly all can be used in English Be sure to bring cash to the Bay Islands because they do not have very many ATMs Nearly all banks exchange money just make sure to bring your passport for identification purposes

As of December 2009, there are 19 Lempiras to one Dollar Sometimes it may be cheaper to buy in Lempiras

If going to another country, exchanges all lempiras as they are useless once you leave the country, but they can be exchanged at most borders


Handicrafts - Honduras is famous for its Lenca ceramics and cotton sock manufacturing

If visiting San Pedro Sula, be sure to visit El Mercado Guamilito You will find many wonderful and cheap handicrafts like hand carved wooden boxes, Lencan pottery, hammocks, paintings, leather products from Nicaragua, and beautiful hand-woven fabrics from Guatemala

Leather Items - Honduran leather items are of fine quality at only a fraction of the price they would be overseas, making your visit to Honduras a great time to purchase these Bags, attaché cases, belts, wallets and even garments are a bargain One of the producers in San Pedro Sula whose quality is up to par with international standards is Danilo's Pura Piel

Honduras has a long history as a silver mining country Excellent artisans work the silver and produce very artistic and high quality silver products and jewelry There are several different jewelers in town Another popular item are paintings by Honduran artists These usually depict colonial towns and mountain landscapes that are typical of Honduras The best selection of these can be found at the Maymo art Gallery

Valle de Angeles, a town near Tegucigalpa, is also known for its beautiful handicrafts, such as carved boxes and tables, hammocks, etc

Food and eating in Honduras

The Honduran "Plato tipico" is the most famous lunch It consists of rice, beef, fried beans frijolitos, and fried bananas tajaditas If you are lucky, it will also come with chimol, a fresh, non-spicy salsa made of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cilantro and lime juice

Baleadas are a Honduran original A baleada sencilla simple consists of a thick flour tortilla filled with refried beans, cheese queso, and a type of cream similar to sour cream but not sour crema or mantequilla A baleada especial usually also comes with eggs in it and you can sometimes get avocado or even meat

Other choices are tacos and enchiladas, though don't expect them to be like those in Mexico The tacos are meat rolled in a corn tortilla and deep fried The enchiladas are a flat fried corn tortilla topped with ground beef, cheese and a red sauce

Drinking in Honduras

San Pedro Sula has some of the country's best nightlife and is a great place to go out and to drink and dance the night away or to catch up on all the latest movies

National beers: Salva Vida, Port Royal, Imperial and the newest Barena To add, Barena is said to be the Miller Lite of Central America

Coffee is great, and the brands from Copan are usually the best Welches is considered to be the best by many locals Coffee from Lepaera, Lempira, was judged to be the best coffee in the world but can be difficult to find, even in Lepaera itself, where most brands found in stores are from Copan

Taste Central American rum Flor de Caña from Nicaragua

Great "licuados" -fruit juices and milk shakes- mango, piña, watermelon, banana, etc

Accommodation in Honduras

Working in Honduras

Haiti's unemployment rate is the highest in the Western Hemisphere - over 80%

Cities in Honduras

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 guacamaya  guaimaca  gualaco  gualjoco  guanaja  guarizama  guata  guatemalita  guayape  guaymitas  guinope  hicaque  ilama  intibuca  iralaya  jacaleapa  jamalteca  jardines  jerico  jesus de otoro  jicaro galan  jiquinlaca  joconal  jocon  jutiapa  jutiapa  juticalpa  jutiquile  la brea  la bueso  la campana  la ceiba  la colorada  la concepcion  la criba  la curva  la empalizada  la encarnacion  la entrada  la ermita  la esperanza  la esperanza  la esperanza  la esperanza  la estancia  la estancia  la flecha  la florida  la guacamaya  la guama  laguna seca  lagunas  laguna verde  la jigua  la jutosa  la labor  la laguna del pedernal  la libertad  la libertad  la lima  lamani  la masica  la mina  langue  la paz  la playona  la reina  la rosa  la sabana  las animas  la sarrosa  las conchas  las delicias  las lajas  las mercedes  las tapias  las tejeras  las vegas  las vegas  la tajeada  la trinidad  la trinidad  la union  la union  la union  la virtud  la zumbadora  lejamani  lepaera  lepaterique  limon  liure  llano largo  loma alta  lomitas  los arroyos  los caminos  los llanitos  los naranjos  los planes  los tangos  lucerna  macholoa  macuelizo  magdalena  mandasta  mangulile  manto  marale  marcala  marcovia  mata de platano  mateo  meambar  mercedes  mezapa  minas de oro  mojiman  monjaras  monterrey  morazan  moroceli  morolica  nacaome  naco  namasigue  naranjito  nombre de jesus  nueva armenia  nueva armenia  nueva esperanza  nueva florida  nueva granada  nuevo celilac  nuevo chamelecon  nuevo jalapa  ocote paulino  ocotepeque  ojo de agua  ojojona  ojos de agua  ojos de agua  olanchito  omoa  orica  orocuina  oropendolas  oropoli  ostuman  palkaka  palo pintado  paptalaya  paujiles  pena blanca  pespire  petoa  piedras amarillas  pimienta  pinalejo  portillo de gonzalez  potrerillos  potrerillos  potrerillos  prieta  proteccion  pueblo nuevo  pueblo nuevo  pueblo nuevo  puente alto  puerto castilla  puerto cortes  puerto lempira  punta de piedra  punta 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juan de planes  san juan pueblo  san juan  san lorenzo  san lucas  san luis de planes  san luis  san luis  san manuel  san marcos de colon  san marcos  san marcos  san matias  san nicolas  san nicolas  san nicolas  san nicolas  san pedro de tutule  san pedro sula  san pedro zacapa  san sebastian  santa ana de yusguare  santa ana  santa ana  santa barbara  santa cruz de yojoa  santa cruz  santa cruz  santa cruz  santa elena  santa fe  santa lucia  santa lucia  santa maria del real  santa rita  santa rita  santa rita  santa rosa de aguan  santa rosa de copan  santa teresa  santiago de puringla  san vicente centenario  savannah bight  sensenti  siguatepeque  silca  sinuapa  sonaguera  subirana  sulaco  sula  suyapa de lean  talanga  tamara  taragual  taujica  taulabe  teguajinal  tegucigalpa  tela  tepanguare  tepusteca  teupasenti  texiguat  tocoa  toloa adentro  tornabe  toyos  travesia  trinidad de copan  trinidad de quebradas  trinidad  trojas  trojes  trujillo  urraco  urrutia  utila 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What do you think about Honduras?

How expensive is Honduras?
Meal in inexpensive restaurant5.53 USD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)22.12 USD
McDonalds meal5.52 USD
Local beer (0.5 draft)1.49 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.11 USD
Cappuccino1.74 USD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)0.92 USD
Water (0.33 bottle)0.79 USD
Milk (1l)1.03 USD
Fresh bread (500g)1.51 USD
White Rice (1kg)2.06 USD
Eggs (12) 2.59 USD
Local Cheese (1kg) 3.16 USD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 5.68 USD
Apples (1kg) 2.58 USD
Oranges (1kg) 1.92 USD
Tomato (1kg) 1.6 USD
Potato (1kg) 1.37 USD
Lettuce (1 head) 0.99 USD
Water (1.5l)1.45 USD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 7 USD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)1.5 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.37 USD
Cigarettes1.88 USD
One way local bus ticket0.53 USD
Monthly pass for bus27.63 USD
Taxi start2 USD
Taxi 1km1.82 USD
Taxi 1hour waiting5.64 USD
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.27 USD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment132.38 USD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 11.14 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 266.74 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 265.2 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 476.62 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 371.36 USD, your travel companion

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