A beach in the Bay Islands
A beach in the Bay Islands

Backpacking Honduras: Top experiences

 

  1. Exploring Copán Ruinas
  2. Getting to know the locals
  3. Drinking fantastic coffee with a once-in-a-lifetime view

 

My Trip

 

I only had ten days to split between backpacking Honduras and Guatemala. I was also traveling with my mom, so while we were on a backpacking budget, we were able to share rooms and get better value for money. We only spent two nights (three days) in Copán.

 

Despite my short time there, Honduras is by far my favorite Central American country. It got under my skin in a way that neither Guatemala nor Nicaragua did. I can’t put my finger on why — sure, people were friendlier and it felt more laid-back, but it was more than that. I’d highly recommend backpacking Honduras, even if you can only manage a short time there.

 

Know before you go

 

Budget

 

Accommodation:

 

Honduras was slightly more expensive than Guatemala. We splurged a bit on a guesthouse and stayed at the incredible Casa de Cafe. It still wasn’t expensive by U.S. standards (around $20/person), but definitely more than I would have spent if I’d been on my own.

 

Food:

 

There were not a lot of options in Copán Ruinas. There were a couple local spots around the corner from our guesthouse, but the food was nothing to write home about.

 

Activities:

 

Most people are here to see the ruins. The ticket is $15 and it includes the main ruins site and a second, smaller site a couple kilometers away. Definitely go to both — the smaller site will give you a much better idea of how people actually lived. Plus, there was no one there and we got a personal guided tour by the keeper (don’t forget to tip!).

 

The faces at the entrance of the Copan ruins are a unique feature
The faces at the entrance of the ruins are a unique feature

 

Transportation

 

We heard some sketchy things about the road from Guatemala to Honduras, and we had to leave really early in the morning going in both directions, so we opted for tourist shuttles. It was around $15/person each way.

 

Any pretense of safety vanished pretty fast when the shuttle broke down not once, not twice, but about half a dozen times along the way. The drivers gave up at the border. They threw all our luggage onto the back of a pickup truck and sent us on our way, split up among a few different cars. We thought we’d never see our stuff again, but there it was, right where it was supposed to be, when we arrived.

 

Bus breakdown in the middle of nowhere
Bus breakdown in the middle of nowhere

 

Safety

 

Backpacking Honduras is definitely more dangerous than backpacking many other countries in the region. But it really depends on where you are.

 

Copán is considered very safe. You’ll see lots of guys walking around with rifles, machetes, and other dangerous weapons, but they’re just cowboys and they’re not going to bother you.

 

Most tourists backpacking Honduras are headed for the Bay Islands, which are also considered safe.

 

I’d stay out of the big cities like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigulpa. And I’d be generally more cautious in Honduras than elsewhere in Central America. Banditry is still pretty common, so when in doubt, pay a bit more for the transportation that’s safer.

 

For women alone

 

No problems whatsoever.

 

Ready to get started?

 

Check out the posts from Guatemala and Honduras.