Do you use apps like Google Maps and Waze when traveling in Honduras?
As recently as yesterday, May 8th, 2016, I met some travelers who had booked a room at La Villa de Soledad B&B at the Cangrejal River As it turns out, they were driving their own car from Managua, Nicaragua to La Ceiba, Honduras where they would overnight and then continue to Roatan the next morning.
As most modern travelers, Carl and Beth used modern technology to help them get to their destination; it seems easier and more accessible than finding a map and having to read it. This is where my comment to be careful with apps like Google maps and Waze when traveling in Honduras comes into place:
Google maps correctly showed the route taking highway CA1 from Managua to Somoto, then taking CA6 across the Border at Las Manos and all the way to Tegucigalpa, where they would take CA5 to La Barca and then connect with CA13 to La Ceiba, however, it gave them a tip: take an alternate route and save 20 minutes. This alternate route took them through a detour towards the Villa de San Francisco, on to Talanga and Campamento and then across Olancho from Campamento all the way to the Aguan Valley, just east of Olanchito; then on to highway CA13 from Saba directly to La Ceiba. This route in principle looks great, except that Google Maps and Waze do not tell you that you will be traveling on unpaved roads, lonely highways in remote places. Don’t get me wrong, some of the views and scenery along this route are outstanding, but if you have a regular sedan vehicle, you will be demanding a heck of a lot more from it than it was designed to take! Saving 20 minutes, might end up costing you a couple of tires, a broken shock, and being in a broken down car in the middle of nowhere for hours! Not to mention that in the end the trip could be a lot longer!
So my advice, is to be careful with apps like Google maps and Waze when traveling in Honduras, and Central America for that matter. Although they provide useful information, they do not necessarily give you all the information to take an educated decision. Stick to the main routes, where highways are paved, where there is more traffic on the road and where it will be easier to get assistance if needed.
While in the process of talking about driving in Honduras and using modern technology to get around, I will once again insist on not driving at night in Honduras. The reason for this is because roads and not well marked, potholes can appear out of nowhere and are hard to see at night and cattle does not use tail lights to show their position on the road. If you add the fact that it is common to find trucks and vehicles without functional tail lights after dark, it just makes for hazardous driving conditions!
Happy travels throughout Honduras!