Is Traveling Safely in Honduras Possible?
Honduras has a terrible reputation for safety, however most of this is a smoke curtain that does not really apply to travelers. As with any place in the world, there are places that you should avoid and actions you should take to insure your safety.
The places you should avoid are those neighborhoods that are gang ridden. Most gangs are confined to specific areas, and these are far from all the major tourist areas, including the big cities. This being said, it is safe to walk downtown Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba, as well as to visit National Parks and towns and villages in rural Honduras. Which neighborhoods should you avoid? Those that offer nothing to visit, simple as that. Do not wander off around town with no direction. Traveling safely in Honduras is easy: above all use your common sense.
As a general rule, public buses within the cities can be dangerous, it is best to ask your hotel front desk to help you arrange for cab. This way, you will be taken around by someone whom is known to your hotel and he will take care of you. If traveling between cities, especially the larger cities, such as between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula and or La Ceiba, use the bus companies that put an emphasis on safety. You can count on the buses operated by Viana and Hedman Alas to be safe. Sure they are a bit more expensive, but your safety is worth that extra little expense, isn’t it?
Traveling along rural areas is generally much safer, however keep in mind that it is safer to travel during the day than during the night. Most of this is based on the fact that roads are not well marked and darkness and rain make it easier to have an accident.
Remember, numbers always provide safety. If possible, travel in groups, this way you will all be protecting yourselves! If you are solo women traveler, you should take extra precautions. Do not wander out on your own, seek to stay in areas where there are other people around. Hondurans as a general rule will respect you, but it’s best not to tempt men by being out alone in the middle of nowhere. This applies to lonely beaches, lonely trails, and of course, lonely areas within cities and towns.
Do not travel around showing your valued belongings. If you purchase something and take out a large wad of dollars to pay for it in front of other people, you are making a public statement showing that you are carrying a lot of cash. The same goes for jewelry, a fancy watch, and yes, that nice smartphone that you carry with you as your personal camera. A smartphone will me a lot more attractive to a thief than a camera. It is just so much easier to turn into cash!
Just in case you where to loose or have your passport stolen, it is always a good idea to carry a copy with you. This will allow you to have the passport number at hand to report to police as well as getting a replacement at your nearest embassy or consulate. A good, easy solution to this is to send yourself a copy of your passport to your email and just keep in there. If it gets stolen or you lose it, all you need to do is get to a computer and check your email and print a copy!
Hundreds of thousands of travelers come through Honduras every year. Incidents are rare, and usually because the traveler stopped using his common sense, had too much to drink, or was high on some drugs. Traveling safely in Honduras is not only possible, but actually quite easy! Enjoy your travels in Honduras and discover all that Honduras has to offer!