Honduras Food, Transportation, and Spanish Schools
[This Page - Restaurants and Food,
Recipes for Honduras food, Accommodations,
• Dining Out - Step out a
little and move beyond the recommendations that you have read about in all the
Honduras travel books. How? A good place to start when looking for food is by walking the
squares or plazas of Honduras, branching out, and looking for the places where locals are
◊ If your Spanish
is limited, you are always safe in ordering plato tipico. In
Honduras, this typically consists of
refried beans (red or black), crema, rice, a very salty piece of otherwise bland
cheese, plantains (a fried sweet member of the banana family) and corn
come prepared in different. I always ask for maduros (mature)
and they are the overly ripe ones you will see in the markets of Honduras. Often, on
the north coast, they are apt to serve them less ripe (verde). On
the islands, I saw kids walking around munching on boiled plantains.
◊ When in
Tela, Ceiba or
Roatan, the fresh fish is a must. Don't be so interested in what
kind of fish it is; merely asked for what was caught that morning. Don't
forget to try
(pronounced 'konk' in English or caracol in Spanish). We had a conch ceviche
in Honduras that was out of this
Try the Beef
◊ Beef on the mainland is good but the
range-grazed steer is a tougher cut than at home. For me, however, the taste is superior. If
you get to La Ceiba, Ricardo’s is an excellent restaurant but be prepared to pay
North American prices. Save room for dessert and the coffee is magnificent.
◊ Avoid uncooked vegetables (particularly
salads) and fruits that haven’t been peeled.
◊ You have to have fresh pineapple for
breakfast. Every day. One problem. You will never want to look at canned
(Note: In Honduran restaurants, a hostess does not seat you. Walk right
up to the table you would like and sit down. Honduran restaurants are beginning
to establish separate smoking areas.)
◊ Shop the market and look for fresh
melons and fruits. Wash them thoroughly before cutting into them.
You probably won't find fresher produce any place on the planet.
Want to Try Your Own Honduran Food?
You can't be traveling the roads of Honduras or Central America 12 months a
year. So, when you have a craving for some delightful dishes, visit our
Honduras recipe section and cook on!
◊ Drink the Water? Water
is not safe to drink anywhere in Honduras. This goes for the ice as well. Ask
for agua purificada – purified water. I always checked with the waitress to make
sure it had been boiled. If it seemed dubious, I asked for agua de botella
(bottled water, pronounced bo-tay-yah). You can find Aguazul bottled water
almost anywhere in Honduras. Grab an extra bottle for the bus trip.
I am a bit fussy where my head rests at night. We typically paid $18-$45 per
night, taxes and surcharges included, for a clean, safe hotel room. A room with
shared bath facilities begins around $12; private baths (con baño privado)
around $35 and up. At the high end of the price spectrum, exclusive resorts such
as the Lodge at Pico Bonito will set you back $190-$225 per night.
• Always ask if the rate includes taxes and
• Before entering the hotel, note where the street
is. Ask for a room off the street. I have no qualms about not accepting an
• Make friends at the front desk. Hotel staff are
indispensable when it comes to directions, places to visit away from the
“tourist scene,” areas that are not safe in which to walk, suggested amounts for
taxis costs, shops that have special items that you need, good local
restaurants, bus routes, soccer events, etc.
• Take answers from the front desk with a grain of salt. In our travels
within Central America and Honduras was no exception; answers are always
definitively provided even when surety doesn’t exist. A Honduran will always do
the polite thing -- which is to give you an answer...even if the person doesn't
know. It is a cultural expectation and they aren't trying to trick you --
merely being polite.
• (Note: Honduras has two rates for hotels: the
price for a Honduran and the price for a tourist. They are not “biting” you.
This is a practice of dual rates. It is buried in your hotel bill so you aren’t
aware of it.)
• Hotel/accommodation suggestions
(criteria - moderately priced, clean, private bath). I have stayed at
these or recommend them based on good feedback from others:
Sueños De Mar
San Pedro Sula, Hotel Ejecutivo.
If you are transiting through San Pedro Sula,
Microtel is closer to the airport, convenient, and reasonable.- Santa Rosa de Copan, Hotel Elvir
Tela, Maya Vista
Trujillo, Casa Kiwi
- Comayagua -
Hotel Casagrande B 'n B
- Copan Ruinas, Casa de Cafe B 'n B
and Hacienda San
Lucas, up on the side of the hill overlooking Copan (gorgeous).
La Casa de Don Santiago
Copáns (townhouse rental),
Casa Jaguar, (vacation rental, set-up home). More
Copan hotels here.
- Gracias, Guancascos
- La Ceiba,
Hotel Gran Paris
or Coco Pando
- Lake Yohoa Area, Honduyate Marina- Roatan - West End,
Posada Arco Iris; West Bay,
- Omoa, Cortes
An extensive list of hotels and activities for all of the Bay
Islands can be found at
• Airlines within Honduras - Before
discussing Honduran airlines, let’s discuss your return flight home. In
Honduras, you must reconfirm your return flight to Canada or the States. You can
do that before you even leave the airport. Elsewhere in the country, travel
agents will charge you 100 lempiras to make that call for you.
◊ Frequently scheduled flights -
Between Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatan. Several airlines.
◊ One flight
per week between Roatan and Copan Ruinas with
La Estanzuela Tours.
◊ Less frequent -
Utila, Guanaja, Trujillo,
and parts of the Mosquitia.
◊ Sosa Airlines, Isleña
Airlines (TACA owned), and Atlantic Airlines
all fly to different parts of the country. Be advised -- If you are booked into
Honduras with a secondary destination, you will be flying a 36- or 48-passenger Isleña
flight, not a TACA flight.
◊ Our experience with Isleña was bad. They
bumped us -- despite reservations and being 2nd in line; at first they provided
no information and then misinformation. They were totally indifferent to us as
customers. From my reading and discussions with others, our experience isn’t
isolated. We also used Sosa and were very pleased.
More thoughts on Honduras airlines:
◊ Scheduled flights within Honduras are price-regulated, so there
is no need to price shop. Schedules change often. Sosa Airlines has a site with a
schedule of flights
within Honduras. (Sale means departs; llega is arrives and
dias are days of the week). Isleña/TACA does have a
site that will give you an idea of frequency.
◊ Arrival and departure times are pretty loose. Carry a good
◊ Keep ~$32 back (in $s or lempiras) to pay the exit tax when you leave
Honduras. At the La Ceiba airport, they have added about a $2 tax when you fly
out of the airport.
• Chicken Buses – To my
delight, the standard-class buses in Honduras were better than Guatemala (well,
anything would be) and Costa Rica. Chicken buses -- aged, transported North
American school buses -- go everywhere and quite frequently. They are very
It is best to print out the
and connections from San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa before you leave home
(scroll to the bottom of the page for each city's schedule). Keep in mind
that these routes may change. Other schedules throughout Central
America are listed at
this bus schedule
from southern Mexico to Panama City.
◊ San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa have
numerous bus stations located throughout the cities. Be alert to which bus
station you need.
◊ When possible, find out if there is a
directo (non-stop) bus. If there is, take it and be prepared to stop 14 times
◊ Easy on the liquids before bus rides. You
may have a long wait.
◊ Carry small lempira bills so change
doesn’t become an issue. Learned that one the hard way in Guatemala.
◊ Honduras This Week has some
good tips on busing in
For the most current info on bus routes and
schedules in the Western Highlands, suggest visiting Warren Post's site,
Santa Rosa de Copan.
• First class buses –
Hedman-Alas has routes which link San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Tegucigalpa, and
Copan Ruinas -- with a connection through to Guatemala City for those venturing
on. Here is Hedman's
Hedman offers excellent service. Most recently, Hedman has added a bus that
leaves from the San Pedro Sula airport to the downtown office. All their
buses have on-board
toilet. Hedman has its own separate bus stations in very secure areas.
◊ Note: As a foreigner, your ticket price
is more than the
posted price in the Hedman station (posted rate is a price for citizens). Other buses
have the same price for tourists
• Ferries - Ferries run
daily from La Ceiba to Utila and Roatan (Guanaja once a week). The port is
located a few miles east of Ceiba. The trip to Roatan takes about 1.5 hours and runs
around $10. For those prone to motion sickness, the ride from the islands back
to La Ceiba is gentler. The ferry leaves in the a.m. for Utila and at 1.45 pm
and 4.15 pm for Roatan. Always check the Honduras Tips magazine (available throughout the country) for
There is no getting around that speaking Spanish will make your vacation richer
and easier. Earlier I listed an
itinerary for those who don't speak Spanish.
That specific tour provides a vast exposure to different areas and cultures of
Honduras while not putting the non-Spanish speaker into too many jams (expect
some - learn to enjoy them when they do arrive).
Honduras has many schools to learn Spanish immersion style. Years ago, I 'dove
into' this approach in Guatemala for 4 weeks. Our instruction was one-on-one
which is superior to group instruction. After four weeks, I came home
functionally conversant in Spanish (and a bit brain-dead as well). It was a
phenomenal experience and has served me well ever since.
Honduras offers the
advantage of being less expensive than other Central American countries.
Additionally, with fewer English speaking tourists in Honduras, you are less
tempted to revert to your first language after class.
I visited four Spanish schools and can recommend the first two
just based on first impressions and the interactions I had with staff.
Little Roses in San Pedro Sula, where they can tailor study depending upon
in Copan Ruinas (see a Summer 2005 visitor's laudatory comments in the
right column above)
• Central American Spanish Schools in La
Ceiba/Utila/Roatan/Copan Ruinas (I visited the La Ceiba school)
• Centro Internacional de Idiomas in La Ceiba/Bay
Mango Spanish School in Tela (not visited)
Conversa in Tegucigalpa (not visited)
and several others in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.
If you choose to study, I encourage you to do one-on-one
rather than classroom. Also, try and go in months other than June, July, and
August. Schools are stretched due to enrollment during the summer and your
instructor might be an "add-on" rather than a regular. You will pay about $225
per week for 4 hours of instruction and room and board with a local family. By
all means, consider it a good investment of your time and money.
I would appreciate your on any Spanish language immersion programs that you have attended in Honduras and
how it went for you.
High speed internet connections are available at cyber
cafes throughout Honduras. Ask at your hotel's front desk for the cafes
with the fastest (DSL) connection. The Ceiba area has the best speeds at
the most reasonable price if you need to do more significant internet
Money issues can always be perplexing. Let's see if we can make
Honduras money easier for you.
Tips 1 |
Thoughts on studying Spanish in Honduras
from Stacey H, a Summer 2005 visitor:
"Thanks for your website,
Spent 2 weeks this summer studying in Copán Ruinas at the
Ixbalanque school and had a
wonderful experience. The school directors, Kathea and Amadea, are
helpful and wonderful and the instructors thorough and interesting, and
the school experience includes visits to surrounding areas, in my case a
village on the Guatemala border to watch pottery being made, a visit
through mountain villages to a hot springs, and another trip to a new
health clinic in a neighboring village.
Copán is a wonderful area to explore and to practice - not many English
speakers there! I also had a positive home stay experience."
Read entire account on Copan Ruinas from