We were very picky in choosing cruise ships. Our first consideration is the price, then the travel destination and the facilities of the ship.
The Carnival seemed to fit our budget and our choices of islands they offer. Also, the Royal Caribean.
The Carnival developed their own ports in Honduras just for them to bring their customers...The bigger cruise ships have bigger connections in the Caribbean. They also have their own stores in every island they dock- seemed like.
We enjoyed our cruise (7-days only) in the Western Caribbean because it is so relaxing. And, I don't have to take care of everybody. The food was great and had so many choices, too many activities for children, adults and teenagers.
My only problem with them was that they don't really give you enough time to explore in the islands. And, their excursions are very expensive. But, you can have your own activities. Once you get to the islands, just pick and choose where to go.
The Royal Caribbean is also another choice. Their fleets are also nice and new...
Fondest memory: We were able to explore different countries in the Caribbean: Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; Belize and still able to see Miami, Florida.
We enjoyed the fine dining of the Carnival Cruise. They have the best waiters (mostly from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand). The staff took good care of us. Their food is absolutely delicious and super gourmet!
Favorite thing: Honduras is a good country for wildlife, especially birds. The nature trail at Copán Ruinas is particularly good. I saw an Agouti, Blue Morpho butterflies and Scarlet Macaws there. The underwater life of the Bay Islands is specatacular too.
With about 900,000 inhabitants, San Pedro Sula is the second-largest city in Honduras after Tegucigalpa. Despite being smaller than the capital, San Pedro Sula is actually the center of industry and business in Honduras.
San Pedro Sula was founded by the Spanish in 1538, and was called Villa de San Pedro de Puerto Caballos. In the eighteenth century, the name was changed to San Pedro Sula, after the Minas Sula gold mines in the nearby village of Naco. The city was established on the site of 18 local Indian villages in the middle of the Sula Valley. The Indians were forced into labor to drain swamps and clear land for plantations and cattle ranches. Nowadays, the Sula Valley is the richest and most important agricultural region in the country.
During Spanish rule, San Pedro Sula was a center for gold mining and the minting of coins. This attracted pirates, and after attacks by British and French pirates, the settlement was moved farther inland to its present location.
Up until about the 1920s, San Pedro Sula was a small, unimportant town. However, at that time, it became the center of a boom in the banana business, and the city grew and prospered. (Many of the banana plantations were owned by American fruit companies, and Honduras thus became the first "banana republic").
There is not a lot to attract tourists to San Pedro Sula, aside from an interesting cathedral and a few museums. Most tourists who go to Honduras fly into the city's airport and move on to other areas of the country. From what I saw, San Pedro Sula is a dirty and polluted city, and I really did not enjoy my short stay there. It is also the most dangerous city in the country with respect to violent crime, and it has the highest incidence of AIDS/HIV in Central America.
Tegucigalpa is the capital and largest city of Honduras. It is situated at an elevation of 3,250 feet (991 meters) in a valley hemmed in by mountains. Many of the city's neighborhoods are located on the steep slopes of hills within the valley, offering spectacular panormaic views over the city.
Tegucigalpa was founded by the Spanish in 1578 on the site of a Lencan settlement. (The Lencans were an indiginous Indian tribe related to the Mayans). The site of the city was chosen for its proximity to rich gold and silver mines. The city was initially called Real Villa de San Miguel de Tegucigalpa de Heredia. It was not long before the name was shortened to Tegucigalpa, and nowadays most of its inhabitants call the city simply Teguz. It is widely believed that Tegucigalpa means "silver hill" in the now-extinct Lencan language. However, because the Lencans did not mine silver, scholars argue that "silver hill" cannot be an accurate meaning of Tegucigalpa. Other theories are that Tegucigalpa means "place where men meet" or even "colored stones."
After independence from Spain, the capital of Honduras switched back and forth between Comaguaya and Tegucigalpa several times. But in 1880, Tegucigalpa was permanently made the capital of the country. Up until the 1970s, the city remained small and provincial. However, during that decade, many Hondurans immigrated from the countryside into Tegucigalpa. In addition, many Chinese, and even Palestinians, moved into the city, adding to its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Nowadays, there are about 1,500,000 inhabitants in the Tegucigalpa metropolitan area.
In the colonial center of the city there are several interesting churches and cathedrals from the Spanish era, as well as a few museums. Other than that, there are not many attractions in Tegucigalpa that would be of interest to tourists. Many visitors quickly move on to more interesting parts of the country, such as the national parks, the Mayan ruins of Copán, or the diving sites off the Bay Islands.
I enjoyed being able to use my Spanish to learn about people who lived very differently from myself. I went to Honduras about 10 years ago. It is at the same time a very poor but wonderful place. I loved the fact that Hondurans are so friendly and more open than we are in North America. I think that the poverty aspect causes people to be more generous with each other.
Fondest memory: I loved going to la Fortaleza de Omoa; Golfo de Fonseca b/c you can see three of the countries at one time(El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua); In Tegucigalpa some of the old Spanish catedrales and the museos were quite interesting to see; and I love swimming in the Gulf at Tela.
Favorite thing: Little Maria Gabriela in the centre of this picture is the child of my first boyfriend, Abner Mauricio Garcia Molina. She is 5 years old in this picture and is dressed, along with her friends, in the folk costume of Honduras. Maria Gabriela is dressed up for the children's markets where the kids were selling their wares to raise money.
The five stars symbolise the 5 countries in the original union of Central America - Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
For a list of Honduran Consulates abroad click the link. This website is in Spanish.
All citizens of USA, NZ and Australia do not require a tourist visa to enter Honduras. I am not sure about the other countries' citizens but check the link to find your nearest consulate to get more details. Most tourists are issued with a 30 day visa that can be extended up to 6 months. If you are planning to study or work in Honduras then the appropriate visa will need to be obtained in advance from a consulate.
If you would like to see the full set of my pictures of the Ruins at Copan you should visit my Mayan Page on MSN Communities.
Amazingly while looking at the carved steles in the main Plaza at Copan, I heard a rustling sound and then to my surprise saw a group of 6 deer come bounding down into the Plaza and then scurry off in the other direction.It was a very pleasant sight.....
Ahhh- but I'm just kidding of course. Honduras lost a close match to the United States after a spectacular American goal, and there was no protest or dissent.
However, San Pedro Sula, as a city is unattractive, dangerous at night and not a place a tourist would like to hang around in. When you see that every store and hotel has private security guards who carry sawed off shot-guns, you sense that not everything is going well. I am also particularly not fond of being told by men in the street that I should pay them to watch my car, because the obvious implied threat is that something will happen to the car if I don't.
Anyway, after a somewhat restful night in the Executive Hotel (er- not recommended - except for the sweet young girl at the desk named Eva) I was off the next day driving 90 miles to the south to the town of Copan Ruinas. 15 minutes out of San Pedro Sula I was seeing the real Honduras, calm, rural farming country with tiny towns full of hard working and humble people.
Erin & Chris are two very nice people from New York that we met while staying at Hotel Rotterdam in La Ceiba. They have been traveling the world for the last 4 years on their BMW motorcycles seen here. They have some really great travel logs that cover pretty much every country in the world.
Now I know this is not a tip, per se, but check it out. Their journey has been an amazing one and offers great insight into many world-wide destinations including many travelogues from their experiences in Honduras!
Favorite thing: Copan is propably the best known place in Honduras. Copan, just at the Guatemalean border, hosts one of the most beautifull Maya-sites in the region. While you go to Tikal for the impressive piramides and temples, Copan is the place to admire the wonderfull sculptures. It is certainly a must when you're in the neighboorhood!
Favorite thing: Utila is as one of the bay islands, one of the favourite Honduran touristic destinations. Just at the end of the Barreer reef and with cheap diving facilities thats maybe not even strange. While money have to grow on your back (a Flemish saying) when you visit the Belizean cayes, this is much more a destination to the budgettravelers....
Favorite thing: Tegucigalpa is the unknown capital of Honduras. Most tourists even don't come here and go immediately to the coast or to the Copan ruins. They have reason too! There's not much to see here, Tegucigalpa is just such a tipical urgly Central American capital which most people rather want to avoid. But I don't!!! Just because a good friend of me lives there...
Honduras has barely been registered on the Western radar, apart from its short role in the 1980s as a breeding ground for US covert operations. But that's another story! It is not for nothing called the Pentagon state!
Wathever the history, it was and is a wonderfull country with wonderfull people! Slowly that is being discovered by foreign tourists. especialy the bay islands in the Caraïbean are popular spots for cheap dives.
However, the country was devastated by one of the strongest hurricanes of the 20th century - Hurricane Mitch in October 1998. Thanks to international relief efforts, much of the infrastructure has now been repaired and tourism has returned to pre-Mitch levels.
My favorite place of all is the Copan Ruines. It´s a peaceful place with a lot of history. You learn about the Mayans and experience the spirit of the place at the same time. You can take a tour or simple go it alone. It´s breathtaking!!
Fondest memory: Olancho has the experience of being in the past. The people are very friendly and helpful, no matter what people say...my husband is from there.
3 kms anParque Arqueologicotes del, Copan, 504, Honduras
Good for: Couples
I had read good comments about this hotel, and, as is my custom, I wanted a reservation for my first...more
Colonia Palmira Avenida, Republica Del Peru No. 21, Tegucigalpa, 2115, Honduras
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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