When we told our friends and families that we would be traveling through Honduras, many of them were not impressed so let’s start with a fact, shall we? Honduras, as a whole, is NOT dangerous.
Au contraire! We discovered a beautiful peaceful country where people were incredibly friendly and helpful, landscapes were incredibly beautiful and food was incredibly addictive (see my shameless post on baleadas). I won’t deny that some parts of the country still have issues with some idiots who are on a power trip (gangs known as maras, what else…). Would you however stop traveling to the USA because of their 33’000 gangs? Would you refuse to travel to China because of the triads? Would you postpone a trip to Italy because of their Mafiosi? Didn’t think so. So why should we let the maras keep the travelers away from such an incredible place? Spread the world fellow travelers, a gem is waiting to be discovered.
M & I fell in love with it and our 10 days exploring Honduras were wonderful. Everything felt right, adventurous and exciting and we are leaving Honduras with a heavy heart. Since we were not interested in diving and we knew that we would have plenty of beach time in El Salvador, we decided to skip the northern coast and the bay islands. The untouched East (la Mosquitia) was really really tempting but the time needed to reach it was a deal breaker as we still have plenty of places to explore before mid of August. We therefore preferred to focus on three places in the west: Copán, Lago de Yojoa and Gracias.
If like us, you only have 10 days in Honduras, here is our itinerary:
- Day 1 / Copán: lovely town – imagine our surprise when our bus didn’t get attacked by banditos, we didn’t get robbed nor murdered and it was safe to walk at night without a police officer. Our hostel, Berakah, was perfectly located to explore Copán and its ruins. Its kitchen was nice to cook our meals. We ended up cooking for 8 people as some other travelers were happy to join our homemade dinner. This was the first time on the road that I felt surrounded by friends and it made me very happy. Believe it or not, hostel life can be pretty lonely, especially when you travel with your better half. People tend to assume we want to keep for ourselves. The fantastic backpackers we met in Copán definitely made a difference
- Day 2 / Copán ruins: They were not massively impressive but our visit with Fidel, our guide, turned out to be fun and it was an interesting way to keep ourselves busy for a few hours surrounded by flying macaws
- Day 3 / Macaw bird sanctuary: This was my highlight in Copán. Our hostel was within walking distance (MY walking distance. I wouldn’t trust M’s walking distance as he uses the term walking distance way too often for 5 to 6 km distances. Nutter!). So it was an easy stroll to the park. It was a real honor to meet such dedicated people who are passionate about rescuing birds, breeding and releasing new borns into the wild and educating the local populations.
- Day 4 / Lago de Yojoa: some chilling (eating) time in Los Naranjos where our hostel, D&D brewery, was located. It was very nice thanks to their friendly staff and comfortable dorms
- Day 5 / Puhlapanzak falls: this beautiful waterfall is 65 meter high and is easily reached by public bus from Los Naranjos. Pack your bathing suit as you can swim in the pond above the falls. You can even hide a guide to walk behind the falls. Well you can imagine that our budget didn’t quite allow us to do it but the idea is fantastic
- Day 5 / Los Naranjos Ecological and archeological park: The park has 6 km of trails that wind through the forest over hanging bridges and on a boardwalk, ideal to spot the local wildlife. Pack your repellent, the fcukers are very active over there!
- Days 6 & 7 / El Dorado: we really enjoyed our homestay there with our Honduran family during a two-day. Cute family, very interesting dad (he knew so much about the local fauna and flora), a wonderful host mom who showed us how to prepare some tortillas and two sweet daughters. We felt like we were part of the family. Thanks Dennis and Nell! Thanks to the other villagers who welcomed us for dinner as well
- Day 6 / Cave del Cante: during our homestay, we had the possibility to explore the surroundings and caving over there was… well definitely an adventure! We first had to find the entrance! Yes, people are going to the cave THAT often. When we thought our bus rides were scary, try going down a dark cave (the only light being the one on your head) with a broken ladder, slippery rocks, hundred of bats flying around and lurking giant spiders. This should give you some goose bumps! Not for the faint-hearted!
- Day 7 / hiking and birdwatching in Santa Barbara mountain: an easy hike that took us through some coffee plantations and cloud forest. We were blessed enough to spot a Quetzal and two toucans!
- Day 8 / Cerro Azul-Meámbar NP (known as Panacam): we really enjoyed the Sinai trail as we were granted the presence of a deadly but majestic viper on our trail, the view was panoramic and some natural pools were waiting for us. What else does a happy hiker need?
- Days 9 & 10 / Gracias: this quiet colonial town with hot springs and a renovated fort that used to protect the town was a perfect place to get ready for our next destination. We especially loved the street food stalls on the Parque Central at night
We really hope that you felt our enthusiasm and feel like jumping on the next plane to Honduras. One of my friends, in love with Honduras, has founded his own company to promote this incredible country and if you would feel more comfortable with a tour, do not hesitate to get in touch with Markus! He is amazing and passionate and could surely help you to plan your perfect Honduran trip!
Next stop: El Salavdor!