Getting There Away

Christina ( 446 2861) has a terminal three blocks south and one block west of the stoplight on the main drag. First class buses to Tegucigalpa (US 12, nine hours) leave at 4 10am and 7am Monday to Saturday and at 7am and 9am on Sunday. All other buses leave from the main terminal, a half-block from the Dippsa gasoline station on the main drag. La Ceiba directo US 2.75, two hours, ordinario US 2.25, three hours, every 30 to 60minutes, 5 30am to 3pm La Uni n Take any Tocoa or Trujillo bus and...

Rafting Kayaking

Honduras has some of the best rafting and kayaking in Central America, dealing up solid Class II to Class IV whitewater (even Class V during high water) while paddling through beautiful gorges and river valleys. If there's a drawback to the rafting here, it is that trips are either half-day or week-plus, and not much middle ground. Honduras' best rafting outfits are in La Ceiba (see p214 for details) offering half-day trips on the R o Cangrejal, east of town. The river tumbles down the coastal...

Refugio De Vida Silvestre Ojochal

South of San Marco de Col n, the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Ojochal (Ojochal Wildlife Reserve) is a private wildlife reserve within the pristine Sierra de la Botija mountains along the Honduras-Nicaragua border. Precious few travelers make it here those who do are rewarded with gorgeous pine and tropical forest that's brimming with wildlife, especially white-faced monkeys. There are no organized services for the refuge, and trail maintenance is uneven. The best way to visit is to contact Dr ngel...

Infectious Diseases Cholera

Cholera is an intestinal infection acquired through ingestion of contaminated food or water. The main symptom is profuse, watery diarrhea, which may be so severe that it causes life-threatening dehydration. The key treatment is drinking oral rehy-dration solution. Antibiotics are also given, usually tetracycline or doxycycline, though quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin are also effective. A handful of cholera outbreaks have been reported in Honduras over the last few...

Hiking Trekking

Honduras has excellent hiking, particularly on the country's many mountains. Well-marked and maintained trail systems are rare, however, and in most cases hikers will need to hire a guide. Foreign travelers tend to be averse to hiring guides, but it's worth remembering that this is one way local residents reap direct benefit from the national parks (and therefore have an incentive to preserve them). It's absolutely vital that travelers leave money in the local economy - that's the promise...

Festivals Events

The Festival Nacional de Mafz (National Corn Festival) is a popular celebration of all things corn, held every year during the last week of August. The festival began in Danli in 1977 it has since spread through out the country, but Danl 's is still the largest event, attracting several thousand people at its height. The festival is inaugurated on a Saturday, followed on Sunday by the traditional 'Noche Campesina,' a string concert in Plaza San Sebasti n. Music, dance, theater, sports...

Economy

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, along with Haiti, Nicaragua, Guyana, and Bolivia. Nearly two-thirds of Hondurans live in poverty - and 45 in extreme poverty - and the unemployment rate hovers at 28 . Honduras' GDP is US 7.5 billion with a population of seven million, its per capita GDP is just over US 1000. Like many developing countries, Honduras is saddled with enormous foreign debt, around US 5.6 billion. It was one of only seven countries outside of...

Hideout Internet Utila Honduras

Bundu Caf (east main st h 8am-9pm) Decent selection of books for sale or exchange, including a range of pre-loved Lonely Planet titles. Police ( 425 3145 Mamey Lane h 24hr) Facing the soccer field. Migraci n ( 425 3365 main st h 9am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Fri) Extend visas here. Located on 1st floor of the Palacio Municipal building next to the public jetty. Utila has numerous Internet centers, and some dive shops also offer Internet access to their students. Most Internet centers allow you to...

Time Dates

It's four o'clock. midnight noon now today tonight tomorrow yesterday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Qu hora es Es la una. Son las cuatro. medianoche mediod a dos y media ke o-ra es es ia oo-na son ias kwa-tro me-dya-no-che me-dyo-dee-a dos ee me-dya el ow-to-boos to hitchhike pedir jal n pe-deer ja-lon la estasyon de Where's a petrol station Quiero (diez) galones. kye-ro (dyes) ga-lo-nes Quiero un boleto a kye-ro oon bo le-to a What's the fare to Cu...

Sleeping Eating

Hotel Yu Baiwan ( 433 6348 s d with fan US 16 19, with air-con US 19 24 a) Puerto Lempira's best hotel is also its best value, considering that the other hotels in town charge only a few dollars less for significantly inferior rooms. Here you get plenty of space, firm beds, clean linens, cable TV, and friendly service. The original nine rooms are all on the ground floor, while a rather grand curving stairway leads to nine new rooms being built on the 2nd floor. To get here, look for a narrow...

El Corpus

Just 17km from Choluteca, El Corpus' cool climate and quaint cobblestone streets seem a world apart from the hot, bustling department capital. Perched on a hillside, the small stone plaza has beds of flowers and benches overlooking the sloping valley below. The fortunes of El Corpus have long depended on those of its on-again, off-again mining industry (mostly gold). It was once one of the richest mining towns in the country but is now much reduced. There are at least two good hikes around...

Dive Shops

Roatan is a diver's paradise, with near perfect Caribbean conditions and innumerable dives, from wrecks and reefs, to swim-throughs and drift-dives. There is plenty of great diving within a few minutes' boat ride of West End, including spots like Hole in the Wall, Texas, Sponge Emporium, Black Rock, and Lighthouse. Most shops offer three single-tank dives per day, starting at 9am and spending their surface interval back at the shop. Dive shops in West End have worked hard to standardize prices...

Sights

Omoa's claim to historical fame is the Fortaleza de San Fernando de Omoa ( 658 9167 admission US 2 h 8am-4pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat & Sun), on the main street. The fort was built under King Fernando VII of Spain between 1759 and 1775 by enslaved Indians and Pirates played a significant and tangible role in the history of Honduras and Central America, and still loom large in the language and culture of many Hondurans. In La Moskitia, the city of Brus Laguna derives its name from 'Brewers...

Birth Of A Nation

On September 15, 1821, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua declared independence from Spain, and shortly thereafter joined the newly formed Mexican Empire. The relationship didn't last long, and in 1823, the same countries declared independence from Mexico and formed the Federal Republic of Central America. Though Honduras was the poorest and least-populated of the countries, it produced some of the federation's most important leaders. Chief among them was the liberal...

Laguna De Caratasca

Laguna de Caratasca is by far the largest of La Moskitia's lagoons if you include the cluster of smaller lagoons around it, the area practically amounts to an inland sea, complete with tides, waves and powerful currents. The lagoon is curiously shallow, however, averaging just 3m deep. Manatees, birds and other wildlife abound, especially in those areas isolated from human encroachment and poaching. Puerto Lempira is the largest town on the lagoon (and in La Moskitia) and there are a handful of...

Glossary

Here are some useful words you may come across during your time in Honduras. For definitions of food and drink terms, see p66. aguardiente - a clear, potent liquor made from sugarcane can also be referred to as ca a alcald a - city hall alfombras - colorful and intricate carpets made of Av - abbreviation for avenida (avenue) balneario - public swimming area barrio - district, neighborhood caba a - cabin or bungalow (also called cabina) cayo - cay small island of sand or coral fragments centro...

El Pino

The original entrance to Pico Bonito is at the town of El Pino, 19km west of La Ceiba on the highway toward Tela. El Pino Tourism Committee ( 386 9878) offers several guided trips. The prices are surprisingly high for day hikes - as much as US 26 per person - but this has partly to do with the fact that the park charges foreigners a US 6 entry fee. The committee also works to provide guides with a competitive wage, around US 8 to US 11 per trip. The tourism committee does not have an office,...

Taxi

Taxis don't have meters in Honduras, but in most towns there is a fixed one-ride fare, usually from US 0.50 to US 1 per person. You can expect longer journeys in a major city to cost around US 4. In many cities, colectivos (shared taxis) ply a number of prescribed routes, costing around US 0.50 per passenger. In all cases, confirm the price of the ride before you get into the cab. If it seems exorbitant, negotiate or simply wait for another cab. Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for...

Availability Cost Of Health Care

There are a number of first-rate hospitals in Tegucigalpa (Honduras Medical Center p71) and San Pedro Sula (Hospital Centro Medico Betesda p127) In general, private facilities offer better care than public hospitals, though at greater cost. Adequate medical care is available in other major cities, but facilities in rural areas may be limited. Many doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance. If you develop a life-threatening medical...

Eating

La Ceiba has a large, if not totally remarkable, selection of restaurants and small eateries. Outside of town, The Lodge at Pico Bonito and Omega Tours Jungle Lodge (see boxed text, opposite) both serve terrific food and are open to nonguests, provided you call in advance. Pupuser a Universitaria (Map p213 440 1070 1a Calle near Av 14 de Julio pupusas US 0.70 lunch & dinner) Honduras and El Salvador don't agree on much but they do agree on the merits of corn-dough patties stuffed with cheese...

The St Century

Honduras' tourist industry was just recovering from Hurricane Mitch, when the September 11, 2001 terror attacks slashed the number of travelers once more, especially the all-important American diver market. Later that year Hondurans elected Ricardo Maduro as their president, on promises to promote tourism and, more importantly, to reduce crime. Gang violence was then - and still is today - the prevailing preoccupation of average Hondurans. Rival gangs (maras) have spread to Honduras from El...

Environmental Issues

Deforestation (see boxed text above) is without question the number one environmental issue facing Honduras. But other issues of conservation and habitat protection remain critical. In September 1999, oil experts hired by the Honduran government confirmed that the country is sitting on top of four to five billion tons of untapped oil reserves. However, the bulk of these lies along La Moskitia, one of the most environmentally sensitive regions in the country, and indeed Central America. The oil...

Nonalcoholic Drinks

One of Honduras' most popular drinks, among locals and foreigners alike, are licuados (smoothies), which are made of fruit, ice, and several tablespoons of sugar blended with either water or milk. Though Never drink unpurified water, even in mountain areas where locals do. Bottled water is cheap and easy to find, and canned and bottled drinks are a safe alternative. Fortunately, virtually all eateries and restaurants use purified water in their drinks and ice. Avoid uncooked, precut fruit and...

Plants

Despite rampant deforestation, Honduras' forests still cover a larger total area and represents a larger percentage of its total land mass than any other country in Central America. Honduran forest falls into four general categories pine forest, cloud forest, rain forest and mangrove. It is a testament to Honduras' mountainous terrain that the pine is the national tree. In fact, Honduras has seven different species of pines, primarily the Caribbean pine and the ocote pine. They tend to occur at...

Car Motorcycle

Rental car rates average US 50 per day, more for a 4WD vehicle, less for an economy car or for longer-term rentals. If your credit card offers rental insurance, you may be able to save US 5 to US 12 per day by declining the insurance provided by the rental agency. Not all agencies allow this, but it's worth trying. Be sure to ask about the deductible (the amount of damages you have to cover before insurance kicks in) as it can be as high as US 1600. Airport desks are open daily, but renting...

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood clots may form in the legs during plane flights, chiefly because of prolonged immobility. The longer the flight, the greater the risk. Though most blood clots are reabsorbed uneventfully, some may break off and travel through the blood vessels to the lungs, where they could cause life-threatening complications. The chief symptom of DVT is swelling of or pain in the foot, ankle or calf, usually but not always on one side. When a blood clot travels to the lungs, it may cause chest pain and...

Children Pregnant Women

In general, it's safe for children and pregnant women to go to Honduras. However, because some of the vaccines listed previously are not approved for use in children, or pregnant women, these travelers should be particularly careful not to drink tap water or consume any questionable food or beverage. Also, when traveling with children, make sure they're up to date on all routine immunizations. It's sometimes appropriate to give children some of their vaccines a little early before visiting a...

Sleeping

Hotel Bertha's ( 448 3020 2a Av NE near 7a Calle NE r tw US 11 22, r with air-con US 16 a) Housed in a relatively new building near the Tela Express bus terminal, this hotel is kept very clean - spotless, really - and has lots of plastic hanging plants and framed posters. The rooms are small but not suffocating and all have private bathrooms. Hotel Sinai ( 448 1 486 fax 448 3195 5a Av NE at Calle Jos Trinidad Reyes s d tw with shared bathroom US 6 7 11,s d tw US 11 14 16,air-con US 3 a) Near...

Getting Started

Like most tropical countries, Honduras experiences a rainy season and a dry season, known locally as invierno (winter) and verano (summer), respectively. In the interior, especially the west and south, the rainy season runs roughly from May to November. Rains usually come in the afternoon and last an hour or so. On the north coast and Bay Islands, the rainy season is later, around September to December, with nortes ('northerners', cool storms from the north) possible into February. Hurricanes...

Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas Punta

Standing on the beach at Tela, you can look to the west and see a long arc of land curving out to a point. This point, Punta Sal, is part of the Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas, one of the most scenic places on the north coast. The park has several white-sand beaches, the prettiest and most popular being Playa Cocalito. Born in Tela in 1947, Blanca Jeannette Kawas Fern ndez did not become involved with environ-mentalism until late in life. In 1992, having returned to Tela after many years of...

Pronunciation

Consonants are pronounced as they are in English g is always as in 'go' , and vowels are similar to those in Spanish see Pronunciation on p327 . Stress is usually placed on the first syllable of two-syllable words and Also available from Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated by a type of Salmonella known as Salmonella typhi. Fever occurs in virtually all cases. Other symptoms may include headache, malaise, muscle aches, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain. Either diarrhea or constipation may occur. Possible complications include intestinal perforation, intestinal bleeding, confusion, delirium or rarely coma. Unless you expect to take all your meals in major hotels and restaurants,...

Downtown Tegucigalpa

I'HI'IWW Nuevo Hotel Boston Map p79 237 9411 Av M ximo J rez 321 s d tw US 12 16 19 Located in a colonial-style building, the rooms here are very well kept and have high ceilings, talavera tile floors and squeaky clean bathrooms. Rooms facing the street can be noisy but they're big and have nice balconies. Two large and airy common rooms have couches, rocking chairs and TVs for guests to use. Free coffee and cookies are always available too. Hotel Granada No 2 Map p79 238 4438 fax 237 0843...

Car Motorcycle Bring Your Own Vehicle

Bringing your own car into Honduras can be a headache, mostly due to all the fees and paperwork. Arriving at the border you'll be swarmed by tramitadores, young men who help you through the morass and are worth the expense. Travelers report widely different experiences and costs - from US 20 to US 150 and from an hour to all day -depending mostly on the number and amount of bribe money it takes. Get to the border early and bring plenty of cash though try not to pull out a huge wad, of course ....

Sights Activities

San Pedro's cathedral Map p128 Parque Central admission free various is worth peeking into. Occupying almost a full city block, it has high, pale-yellow walls and pillars, and an even higher central cupola. The walls are laden with paintings of the saints and other Catholic imagery and hand-carved wooden statues of the same. Like so many huge urban cathedrals in Latin America, this one offers instant respite from the hustle and bustle on the street. Don't let its '70s look fool you the Museo de...

Parque Nacional La Muralla

Deep in the heart of Olancho, Parque Nacional La Muralla used to be one of the gems of the national park system - a spectacular virgin cloud forest and a well-organized COHDEFOR office that did a good job maintaining trails, cabins, camping sites, even a youth guide service. For a number of reasons - not the least of which was ongoing and sometimes violent conflict between environmentalists and illegal loggers - the visitors center was closed and maintenance halted. The park remains a gorgeous...

Tawahka Region

Further up the R o Patuca, and deep in the rainforest, are the towns of Krausirpe and Krautara. Both are considered Tawahka communities, though Krausirpe, like Wam-pusirpi, has a growing Miskito population. Krautara is smaller and more isolated, and remains 100 Tawahka. Community leaders in Krausirpe have tried to establish eco-tourism programs like the ones in Las Mar as and elsewhere in the Moskitia, though with little lasting success. Whether this is due to a lack of infrastructure or...

Dangers Annoyances

San Pedro Sula has great restaurants, nightlife, shopping and sights. It also has a serious crime and gang problem. It's perfectly possible to enjoy and avoid the latter, provided you use some basic common sense. The tips are familiar by now leave expensive jewelry and watches at home, and be discreet when you pull out your money or camera. Be discreet in how you dress and act too - shorts, sandals and loud conversations in English American Express see 13 Arrecife Tours 1 B2 C1 Banco Atl ntida...