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Honduras Travel - Start Honduras in San Pedro Sula

Folks who speak Spanish or are comfortable with adventure
will benefit the most from the first travel route.  If it seems too challenging, if you pressed for time, or you are on the timid side, the second Honduras travel route (listed below) may be more your speed. 

Read through each of them before deciding.  Both routes offer a wonderfully wide variety of experiences that will make superb use of your time in Honduras.  The suggestions are nothing more than that; suggestions.  Use them as a beginning point to build your own Honduras travel route.

First Route - 'Travel Honduras - See the Best of Honduras'

This Honduras travel route begins in San Pedro Sula and offers a sampling of the best Honduras has to offer.  The variety of topography and flora in this 13 day trip is fantastic.   Spanish or "free spirit, open for adventure" is required.  Honduras is not Costa Rica.  On parts of this route, few if any, speak English.

The areas that you will travel to in Honduras are home to several of the indigenous groups - - Lencas and Garifunas.  The itinerary includes small villages with a way of life and culture relatively undisturbed by time.  You will visit mountainous ranges and tropical forest reserves.  The busy urban life is in San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba is active with its night life. 

The trip ends on one of the Bay Islands - - beaches with unrivaled scuba diving and snorkeling.  This itinerary is well worth the time invested and offers the best of Honduras travel.

●  1st Eve - San Pedro Sula (650,000 est.)  Flight arrives late afternoon.  Just taxi into San Pedro Sula and check into the hotel.  Suggest the Ejecutivo Hotel.  Clean, reasonably priced, around $45/night with a private bath (con baño privado).  Safe neighborhood.  Very helpful front desk.  Highly recommended.  Taxi to the Zona Viva for a good food. 

2nd Day – Visit the Museum of Anthropology and History while in San Pedro Sula - Arrive early (10 a.m.) so that you can take the last Hedman-Alas bus (2:30 p.m.) to Copan Ruinas.  (Just before leaving home, print off Hedman’s departure/arrival schedule and toss it into your purse.)

2nd Eve – Arrive Copan Ruinas at 5:30 p.m.  Stay at Casa de Café Bed ‘n Breakfast and put the hammocks to good use. There are other excellent hotels in town.  There are few cheap accommodations in town but most are reasonably priced and clean.

3rd Day Walk the town of Copan Ruinas.  Delightful town of 1,200; nicely gardened square.  Begin to slow down and enjoy the culture.  Visit with kids, families, and the elderly in the park.  Try several Honduras restaurants, including Twisted Tanya's and the Llama del Bosque (literally, 'flame of the forest,' a gorgeous tall symmetrical tree, crowned with bright red flowers.  We saw many of them on the road between Tela and Ceiba).Copan Ruinas Gardens, Honduras.

Visit a coffee plantation.  Notify them ahead of time, but the people at Welchez Coffee at Finca Santa Isabel would welcome you.

4th Day – Visit the ruins of Copan ($10 admission).  Superb experience.  These ruins are small in comparison to Uxmal and other Mayan ruins but much more manageable.  Use the services of a bi-lingual guide to get the most out of the experience -- $20 extra for 3 hours.

5th Day – Use chicken bus from Copan Ruinas to Santa Rosa de Copan (28,000).  (You have to change buses in La Entrada).  In Santa Rosa de Copan, stay at the Hotel Elvir (best digs in town) for about $35/night with a private bath (con baño privado).  Buy cigars in Flor de Copan right next door to Hotel Elvir.  Stroll the town, eating and drinking coffee.  Check email at DSL internet café ($1.20 per hour -- front desk can direct you to the one with high-speed connection).

6th Day – Early in day, push on east towards Gracias, Honduras (pop. 6,400).  Gorgeous mountain scenery.  Check into Guancascos Hotel.  Dutch owner Froney speaks English as well.   Visit 3 colonial churches within town.  Have dinner on terraced restaurant at Guancascos Hotel, overlooking the city.  

7th Day – Take first bus/mini-van (or hop a pick-up) to La Campa, a Lenca village (ask for times from Guancascos Hotel or Hotel Patricia), about 20 kilometers.  BefMaize (corn) drying on St. Matthias' terrace, La Campa, Honduras.ore getting off in La Campa, find out return times to Gracias!   Visit pottery cooperative, San Matias Church where corn is dried on the terrace, and take in village life. Catch last bus back to Gracias.

8th Day – Take first bus/mini-van to La Esperanza.  No alarm clock needed anywhere in Gracias -- 817 roosters’ voices will greet you at 4:00 a.m.  Even the score.  Eat chicken for the remainder of the trip. 

At La Esperanza (coolest spot in Honduras due to elevation; take a jacket), visit the open-air market for a true experience of a Honduran market.  Catch bus to Siguatepeque or better yet, press on to the Lake Yojoa area, staying at Honduyate Marina.  It is at Km 161 on the Tegus-San Pedro Sula highway.  (You will have to tell the bus driver where you want off).

9th Day – Grab an early bus to San Pedro Sula.  Back to Hedman-Alas and take next bus (2 p.m. or 6 p.m.) to La Ceiba (150,000 pop.), riding through acres and acres of lush tropical crops.  Stay at Gran Hotel Paris.  Being refurbished.  About $40/night with private bath.

10th Day – Crash around the pool for a day in La Ceiba. Walk endlessly through a city full of spirit and life.  Bus/taxi to the sea (5 minutes).  Have fresh fish for lunch.   Evening - dine at 'Ricardo’s' for superb beef.  Taxi to a club on the sea for Caribbean music and dancing.  Yes.  Do Ceiba.

11th Day – Fly 15-seater with Sosa or Atlantic (avoid Isleña Airlines) from the airport at La Ceiba to Roatan.  (There is a ferry available but not wise for those prone to motion sickness).  The view of Roatan Island, its barrier reef, and the indescribably gorgeous blue sea from the air will take your breath away.  For quiet and the best beaches, stay anywhere on West Bay.  For a funky Key West experience (right out of the early ‘60’s) and a more vibrant nightlife, stay in West End.  Oh yes, I like funky.

12th Day through conclusion – Scuba dive, snorkel, lie in surf, eat fish, take water taxis from West Bay to West End, walk.  Dine at 'Lighthouse Inn' with Miss Mavis at lunch (almuerzo), ordering a catch-of-the-day platter.  Try a smoothie at Rudy’s.  Soak in the serenity on a quiet stretch of West Bay’s beach.  Take a collectivo to Coxen’s Hole, seeing another side of Roatan.  Note:  There are several flights off Roatan between 7:00 – 9:30 a.m.  If you schedule your return flight to North America appropriately, you will have this extra night in Roatan.  Do it.   

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Second Route - 'But I Don't Speak Spanish' Route, 7-10 Day Trip

This itinerary is suggested to offer you the best of Honduras travel when:

1)  you are pressed for time or,
2)  if don’t speak Spanish.  While knowing some Spanish would enhance the experience, the trip listed below can be done without knowledge of Spanish.  My wife (without Spanish) agrees but keep in mind Honduras is not Costa Rica, for those who have traveled there.

For this route, follow the 'See the Best of Honduras travel' route detailed above, but return to San Pedro Sula from Copan Ruinas.  Hedman-Alas can ticket you all the way from Copan Ruinas to Tela or La Ceiba (same price - ~$13).   The driver just needs to know if you plan on exiting at Tela. 

Tela offers a choice of three wonderful forest/national parks within the immediate area.  Many recommend the Maya Vista for a night’s lodging.

From the North Coast, push on to the island of your choice.  Utila is home to the backpacking crowds (okay, admittedly that is an over-generalization).  Roatan is more upscale and offers a very wide array of accommodations.  Guanaja is for those who enjoy quiet, peace and more solitude.

On To Roatan?
No trip to Honduras is complete without a stop in one of the Bay Islands.  See if Roatan might be for you.

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'San Pedro Sula'

Part 1 - The City

Part 2 - Best Routes for Honduras Travel

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