Honduras

8 M
Population
Lempira
Currency
When is the best time to visit Honduras?
  • The very best time to go is from February to April (neither hot nor cold)
  • A good time to go is the whole year (if you pack the right clothes)
  • This is purely from a climate point of view of course.
Safety and security

Crime

There are high levels of crime. Most serious crime doesn’t affect tourists but attacks on foreigners including armed robbery and sexual assault do sometimes occur. These attacks can take place anywhere and at any time of the day. People have been killed and injured resisting attack. It is useful to carry a small amount of money to hand out in the event of a robbery.

The Bay Islands are generally safer than mainland Honduras, but there have been several attacks on visitors, including on the ferries to and from mainland Honduras. If you’re visiting Roatán, travel with a reputable guide. If you’re driving a car or scooter, avoid side roads in remote areas particularly Palm Beach Road close to Milton Bright. Take care on beaches in Tela and the north coast towns after dark. There have been attacks on foreigners on beaches after dark.

Take care if you are travelling alone. In remote areas it may be safer to travel with others or take part in a tour. Never accept lifts from strangers or attempt to hitchhike. Be vigilant of your surroundings at all times and in all locations. 

There have been reports of violent attacks on cars and buses. Using a reputable tour company for longer journeys may reduce the risks. On shorter distances, use radio or hotel taxis.

Petty theft is a problem in cities and tourist areas, including the Bay Islands (Roatán, Utila and Guanaja). Avoid walking around Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and other main towns and cities on mainland Honduras. Be particularly careful at bus stations, airports, isolated beaches, tourist sites and on public transport. Keep your valuables locked away in a safe if possible. Avoid displaying valuable items like jewellery, cameras, MP3 players, iPads and mobile phones.

It’s safer to withdraw money from ATMs in shopping centres and to change money in hotels or banks. Don’t withdraw too much money at one time. There have been attacks on foreigners after they have withdrawn money from ATMs. Avoid withdrawing money at night.

Foreign visitors and residents can be targeted by scam artists. The scams come in many forms, and can pose great financial loss. If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to Honduras make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it.

Local travel

The Honduran military has been deployed in some parts of the country to support the national police.

Don’t travel around after dark as you greatly increase the risk of attack. Roads that have seen attacks include routes from Limones to La Union, from Olancho via Salama to Saba, from Gualaco to San Esteban and from La Esperanza to Gracias. The isolated roads of the Department of Santa Barbara have also seen criminal activity, and hijackings of vehicles have occurred on roads in and around Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo and El Progreso.

Take particular care near the borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Travellers have been targeted by armed robbers after crossing the Honduran border into El Salvador. It is often better to cross borders in the morning as they sometimes close in the early evening or remain unmanned at night.

There are unmarked minefields in/around the border with Nicaragua. Take care and avoid walking on unmarked paths or off main roads in these areas.

Road travel

You can use your UK Driving Licence to drive in Honduras if you are visiting for under 3 months, but an International Driving Permit is recommended.

Make sure you have adequate insurance. If you are involved in an accident, contact the police (199) or the fire brigade (198) and stay with your vehicle. If you are in a serious accident you may be held in custody regardless of responsibility. Seek legal help and inform the British Embassy in Guatemala. Take full details of the other driver (who may not be insured), and don’t rely solely on the vehicle’s number plate.

Driving standards in Honduras are generally poor. You may need a 4x4 vehicle if you are not travelling on main roads. You should avoid road travel at night. Many vehicles travel without lights, and animals often wander across the roads causing accidents.

It is generally safer to travel on main roads between major cities and tourist destinations. Lock vehicle doors and keep windows closed. If possible, travel in convoy. Following any traffic accident, you should normally wait for the police to arrive.

Public buses are often poorly maintained, overcrowded and recklessly driven. Accidents are common and sometimes fatal. You should avoid travel on public buses. There has been an increase of armed attacks by local gangs on bus drivers and conductors, often resulting in serious injury or death. There have been reports of violent muggings, including rape and assault against foreigners on these buses. Luxury buses, normally operated by private companies, are usually better maintained.

Political situation

Protests and large demonstrations can often occur with little or no notice. Most demonstrations are peaceful, but they can turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations. You should not attempt to pass through any blockades. Please monitor local press, radio and TV, or contact the British Embassy, Guatemala for local updates.

The Honduran Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners. If you take part in demonstrations you may be detained and/or deported.

Consular assistance

There’s no British Embassy in Honduras. If you need consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy in Guatemala City, or one of our two Honorary Consuls in Honduras:

Consular Section, British Embassy, Guatemala City: Telephone: +(502) 2380 7300; Email: guatemala.consulate@fco.gov.uk

Honorary Consul (Tegucigalpa): Email: Fortin-HonCon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

Honorary Consul (Roatán & Bay Islands): Email: Matthew.Harper-honcon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

There are severe penalties for drug trafficking (15 to 20 years in prison and a very large fine) and drug use (from 3 to 9 months in a rehabilitation centre). Honduran prisons are overcrowded and violent.

In Honduras, local people are largely tolerant of individuals’ personal lifestyles and small displays of affection between same sex couples are accepted. There is a more conservative attitude outside Tegucigalpa City and public displays of affection by same-sex couples are not recommended.

Carry a photocopy of the personal details page of your passport for identification purposes.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Honduras. You can get a 30 day visit entry stamp on arrival. If you wish to extend this you can do so up to a maximum of 90 days by applying at an Immigration Office.

If you overstay your visa then expect to pay a fine at the Immigration Office when you apply to extend your stay or before departure. For information on which office to go to and how to follow this process contact the National Institute of Migration.

For more information on entry requirements for other purposes, like voluntary work, contact the Honduran Embassy in London hondurasuk@lineone.net.

Children travelling with only one parent or without both parents or legal guardians must present a notarised letter of consent from the non-travelling parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to enter and exit Honduras. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Honduras, or if you’re in Honduras the nearest National Institute of Migration, for information about the process and language requirements for consent documents.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Honduras.

Central America Border Control Agreement

Honduras is party to the Central America Border Control Agreement (CA-4). Under the terms of this agreement, British tourists can travel within any of the CA-4 countries (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala) for a period of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities at border immigration checkpoints. This period begins at the first point of entry of any of the CA-4 countries. Fines are applied for travellers who exceed this 90-day limit, although a request for an extension can be made for up to 30 days by paying a fee before the 90 day limit expires. If you are expelled from any of the four countries you are also excluded from the entire CA-4 region.

Land borders

If you arrive or depart at a land border, the immigration authorities may charge you a fee of US$3 at the border crossing. Keep the receipt until you leave the country and make sure your passport is stamped.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

There is a US$45.97 (or Lempira equivalent) airport departure tax which should be included in the price of the ticket (if not, be prepared to pay this in cash or with a credit card). There is also a US$2 (or Lempira equivalent) airport departure tax for domestic flights.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry into Honduras. ETDs must also have a minimum period of 6 months validity from the date you enter Honduras.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website

UK health authorities have classified Honduras as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Standards of medical treatment vary. State-funded hospitals are under-funded and medicines are in short supply. Health insurance is required and you should carry evidence of your insurance at all times. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. You should use private clinics where possible, though these are only available in major towns.

Dengue fever is present in Honduras.

Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Honduras. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Malaria is common in remote, low-lying parts of the country.

Unfiltered water is not generally safe to drink but bottled water is cheap and widely available.

There is a hyperbaric decompression chamber on Roatán and there are decompression facilitates on the Bay Island of Utila. However, emergency medical facilities on the Bay Islands are extremely limited.

In the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 376,000 adults aged 15 or over in Honduras were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.8% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 195 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Natural disasters

Honduras is particularly susceptible to hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. Drought and forest fires are also common.

Hurricanes

The hurricane season in Honduras normally runs from June to November. Roads throughout the country can be affected by landslides and flooding. You should monitor weather updates from the National Hurricane Centre. For information in Spanish, see the Honduran national civil protection website (COPECO). See our Tropical Cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

Earthquakes

Make sure you know what action to take if an earthquake occurs. Read the hotel earthquake instructions. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see this advice from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Money

Credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are available in the major towns. It’s safer to change money in hotels or at banks. Check ATMs for evidence of tampering, although affected machines may not be easy to spot. Check with your hotel as to which ATMs to use, especially in Roatáan. Sterling can’t be changed in Honduras.