I traveled to Honduras after Guatemala, it was an easy transition. At similar cost, maybe even cheaper, Spanish speaking country, same kind of food and kind people. Here I will describe my experiences and hope you find this useful tips.
As a Dutch citizen we don’t need to request a Visa, we get one in our passport for three months when we arrive in the country. Please check your visa status when traveling to Honduras.
Several websites show different recommendations for vaccinations. For Honduras you are required to have these standard essential vaccinations: Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio vaccine and varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. I got an extra shot of Measles because I was not sure I got it in the past and to make sure I was covered I took a shot. Beside these vaccinations I have the recommended vaccinations: Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Optional vaccinations are Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever and Rabies.
I got a three days emergency package of Malaria pills with me for my entire trip to Central America. Have you been feverish or flu-like in the tropics for more than 24 hours? Keep in mind that it may be Malaria. Go to a hospital to have your blood tested for Malaria. Preferably consult with your travel insurance company about a good hospital on the spot. Does research show that you have Malaria; use the emergency package of Malaria pills (Malarone) as treatment; no need to take the pills during the whole trip.
All I heard when I told people I went traveling to Central and South America: “Is it safe?” “A woman all by herself!” And all I can say, you have to be cautious and be prepared. I wrote a separate blog on Safety during my travels; Travel Tips to keep Safe.
The local people in Copán Honduras are very friendly. It is real mix of a lot of backgrounds; the Mayas and Afro-Caribbean Garifuna people. I haven’t experienced any unsafe moments even at night, just stay alert and keep your head clear.
I used shuttles and tuk-tuks in Honduras, it was not very easy like in Guatemala. Shuttles didn’t run every day and to all the other touristic places. I wanted to travel to Juayúa, El Salvador, but the shuttle dropped me off in Santa Ana; no direct connections. In Copán itself I walked and used the tuk-tuk to get to the Bird Park.
Compared to other Central American counties, I found Honduras similar or a bit cheaper than Guatemala. Because I stayed here only three days and changed my last Quetzals into Lempiras. And the rest I used my US$ that I bought with me to cover all my expenses here. You can pay with all Credit Cards in the main hotels and restaurants (some with additional costs) and you have ATM’s to get cash Lempiras. The exchange rate is ±24 Lempira (L) for 1 US$.
Tip: Bring some cash US$ with you in case of emergency.
You can buy a SIM card for your phone, but I only used the WIFI at the hotels and restaurants; it’s available everywhere, no need to buy extra data in my opinion.
Before I left to Central America and Belize I already downloaded the app; Maps.me. This is an off-line map provider. You download parts of a country in advance where you intent to go. This was very helpful by walking in the city streets where there was no reception and you still can find your way!
Check here the Copán inspirations.