A Travellerspoint blog

Honduras

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

To go or not to go…

sunny 98 °F

Here is the description of San Pedro Sula from the USA state government website:

“…crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. San Pedro Sula is considered to be the world’s most violent city, with 159 murders for every 100,000 residents in 2011.”

A trip to Honduras is almost impossible without a stop in San Pedro Sula as it is the hub for all bus connections to the places we wanted to go - Bay Islands, Copan, and the ferry to Belize. So we planned ahead, made arrangements to be picked up at the bus terminal and spent two different one night stop overs and traveled to/from the city 6 times! Lucky for us, our hotel room had a TV with a music channel that played Gusttavo Lima’s Balada (Tchê tcherere tchê tchê) video a few times an hour!
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Many people we met were shocked and ask “Did you feel safe in Honduras?” The answer is, yes, mostly. Every one’s hometown city has its dangerous spots, even ours. If we had not been prepared by making prior arrangements for accommodation and transport, our answer may have been different. Had we selected countries to travel based on the state.gov’s warnings, we wouldn’t have been able to visit half the places on our route. That being said, we didn’t actually walk around through the neighborhoods freely. When we took a local bus, we had a fairly substantial drive through of the streets and saw a recently (as in that morning) torched minibus… while we were all asked out of the van to be searched by the military we were told that it was an early morning message from one of the gangs.

Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 20:31 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Utila, Honduras

Scuba Lessons!

Utila is one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras and is known for its PADI (party and dive in-between) certifications. It is a backpackers paradise as the certifications are relatively cheap and the diving is spectacular. Hands down this was the clearest water we have ever seen. We went down 40ft and had visibility all the way to the top and way further down!
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We had fun enjoying the local staple foods, one of our favorites were the Baleados (kind of like a stuffed quesadilla).
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Island life was just as you’d expect, we snorkeled just steps from our door step, people never showed up on time, and there were amazing sunsets!
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The only downside to Utila Island is that people drive recklessly through the one street town in golf carts, scooters, motorbikes, and quad bikes. Way to kill the serenity of an island getaway Utila! Luckily it’s easy to escape the small downtown and get to nice beaches and forests in just minutes. We took advantage of the quiet mornings to catch up on our exercises.
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Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 17:32 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Copán Ruinas, Honduras

The first of many Mayan Ruins

rain 91 °F

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, and San Pedro Sula is considered the world’s most violent city… that being said, we survived our stay in Honduras without any problems. Luckily, the little town of Copan Ruinas is a pleasant town that is quiet and safe for tourists. On our first morning, we decided to go on a reckie (reconnaissance run) to the entrance of the ruins to get an idea of logistics for our visit the following day… we ended up on a very nice interpretative nature trail with the loudest scarlet macaws hanging out in an ancient Ceiba tree.
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We then headed to the interactive Casa K’inich Children’s Museum. It’s designed to teach young children about the Mayan Culture. Now THIS is the type of museum that we enjoy! It was interactive and had great displays explaining the ancient Mesoamerican ball game that was played by the Mayans. We tried out new skills at the real ruin site the following day:
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We arrived early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds, and can now take pride in the fact that we were the FIRST people to enter the site on that day. What probably most impressed us was how many temples are still hidden under mounds of dirt and trees. It really gives you an appreciation for how old they really are.
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To finish off our first Mayan cultural experience, we went to a tea and chocolate café for a few traditional Mayan made snacks and hot chocolate over sunset. We hope the ancients don’t mind that we spiked their raw chocolate drink with some local rum.
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Nearby Copan is a 375-acre jungle shade grown coffee farm for Welchez coffee. We didn’t have high expectations for Finca Santa Isabel but were blown away by the tour. First of all, we had our own private tour with a really knowledgeable guide. Secondly, we didn’t know that we would be served a three-course lunch in the heart of forest next to a babbling brook! We had a lovely walk through the mountain farm and were amazed by how the coffee integrated with the forest. The comparison of this large scale farm to the small one we saw in Panama was immense. Beans were washed through huge machines and sorted through several mechanical processes before then sorted by a lineup of real life old lady hands!
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Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 19:23 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

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