Only spent just under two weeks in Honduras and half of that time was spent at the Bay Islands which is a bit of a different world compared to mainland Honduras. Out on the islands there is a bit of mass-tourism going on while not many travelers actual travel mainland. Part of me feels I should have spent some more time in the country but another part of me feels the two weeks were enough. So not really sure how I feel about the country even if I left two weeks ago...
Reminds me of a little tiny mini Antigua and it is normally the first destination when arriving from Guatemala since it's only a 20 minute drive from the El Florido border. You go here for the Copan Ruins which I heard are small but still very different and interesting from other ruins and a positive thing is that they are walking distance from town. I still didn't go but people I met said they were worth a visit. So if that's what you in to and find yourself in Copan Ruinas then you know what to do.
During my one and only full day here I had a lovely breakfast with above view, walked around town a couple of times and consumed my own weight in ice cream and street food. Don't need to do much more sometimes.
Where I stayed:
Iguana Azul Hostel: HNL 280/ USD 12/ EUR 11
I felt it was time for some beach and island life so made the trip up towards the Bay islands. There was beaming sunshine when I left mainland but after an hour boat ride I was met by some heavy heavy dark clouds when arriving at Roatan. You would think that I learned to check when rainy season is after I kept on following it a few months ago but no. Anyhow got in to a collectivo (shared taxi) to the area of West End. Roatan is huge compared to most island I normally go to and if you ever find yourself here then I highly recommend to stay in this area. Good mix of backpackers, package holiday tourists and people staying long term. The place has a very laid back feel to it and you have restaurants, bars, hotels and hostels with prices suited for everyone. Be warned though: the island is expensive compared to mainland Honduras.
In the end I only stayed three full days due to the heavy clouds and rain. I still managed to catch some sun on the beach that was across from the place I was staying. I also did a very pleasant 90 minute walk when the sun was out to and from West Bay, the next town. West Bay seems to be package holiday and cruise holiday paradise so nothing for me. On the day when it was pretty much raining from morning to evening I had my dives booked. I conceder that being a bit lucky since you under the water so you wet anyway. Only downside was that I got so cold even wearing a long wetsuit in 28 degrees water. The dive shop gave me a second wetsuit and a hood for my second dive and all was good! The dives around Roatan were awesome, why? Because we saw about ten thousands turtles, ok maybe not ten thousands but we saw a lot of them! I would have definitively stayed longer in Roatan if I had been guaranteed better weather but unfortunately it looked like it was getting worse so I moved on...
Where I stayed:
Georphi's: HNL 240/ USD 10.50/ EUR 9.50
Where I did my dives:
Reef Gliders: Two dives incl equipment HNL 1880/ USD 80/ EUR 73.50
For every two dives you get a free night in the dorm at Georphi's or a ten dollar vouchers that can be used towards a private room.
I was slightly disappointed with Utila, not sure if it was because I had really enjoyed West End in Roatan or if it was the dark clouds that came with me the first day or if it was that someone stole USD 30 from my private room so in the end I only stayed for two nights. I shouldn't complain to much on the weather for my 1.5 days here because on my one full day we had clear blue sky!
So main reason coming here was to go diving and so I did. My expectations were high after my amazing dives in Roatan but in the end I was a bit disappointed here as well. Oh I sound like such a moaning bitch now! Visibility was great, we got really close to an Eagle Ray and we saw some other good marine life so as with the weather, I shouldn't really complain!
By the way, on both Roatan and Utila it's more common to pay with USD then with the Honduran Lempira. Prices are showed in USD in all restaurants, hotels dive shops etc. There is no probs paying with one or the other though, just keep an eye on the exchange rate.
Where I stayed:
Parrot's Divers: HNL 235/ USD 10/ EUR 9**
Private room with shared bathroom
**Make sure to use their safety box for valuables and cash, especially change since that's what I had stolen here. Other then that the rooms are very basic but still I would recommend if on a budget.
Where I did my dives:
Parrot's Divers: Two dives incl equipment HNL 1880/ USD 80/ EUR 73.50
For every two dives you get a free night stay.
SAN PEDRO SULA
Three years ago San Pedro Sula was ranked the most dangerous place in the world but now the homicides have dropped by more then 60% so things are looking good for the city... Like with a lot of Central American big cities you still shouldn't walk around in a lot of areas at night!
Not sure if I can count San Pedro Sula as I've been there since I just got there early afternoon and left first thing the next morning, so in the end I didn't get to downtown. The only thing I did was to hike from my hostel up to the Coca Cola view point. Yes, Coca Cola has placed a "Hollywood" sign up on a mountain in this town. One problem with this sign though is that I believe Coca Cola forgot to put a maintenance program in place because there are trees and bushes growing in front of it so you can't really see the whole sign. Anyhow it was a pleasant 8 km walk in total and I was the only traveller around but plenty of locals were going up and down. The majority of them seemed to use this as an exercise track, so a lot of power walking going on and even met some that was running it. Once at the top there was a tiny kiosk selling ice cream and refreshments. The view wasn't the most impressive one I experienced but still ok.
Where I stayed:
La Hamaca: HNL 300/ USD 12.80/ EUR 12.80
Another Central American capital with an awful bad reputation so of course I decided to stay here for two nights. Started my time in Tegucigalpa with a half an hour walk from the bus terminal to my hostel or that's kind of a lie. The number one thing I did after getting off the bus was to sit down to get some lovely BBQ pork accompanied with the normal tortilla, rice & beans and a tad bit of salad. Two reasons for my lunch stop... Number 1: I was starving, Number 2: I needed to figure out what direction to walk and to get rid of all cab drivers who wouldn't leave me alone. No-one walks any longer distances in this city by the way and that counts for locals and tourists. Anyhow, my walk to the hostel with a slight detour since the hostel is marked in the wrong place on maps.me was very pleasant and I didn't get mugged at all. People were not as smily and helpful as in Guatemala City but I did end up having a 10 minute conversation with an old man after asking for directions. He got very excited when I said I was Swedish, reason for his excitement was that he visited many years ago and he went fishing and the bears were sleeping. At least that's all I understood, then he went on and on about some other stuff that I didn't understand what so ever. Did what I do best in these "my Spanish is a bit crap" situations -smiled and nodded...
A part of me want to write some really great stuff about Tegucigalpa and highly recommend it but I don't really have anything after walking around for a day and a half. Maybe I would have something good to say if I would have done a walking tour or something but that didn't happen so I have nothing... What I saw was a bit of a run down city and the people was not as smily and helpful as in other places. I did feel that I had to look over my shoulder a bit more here then in Guatemala City and San Salvador when I was down town, I still didn't feel unsafe at any time and I never got mugged as I said earlier. There are definitive areas to be avoided in the city and you don't hang around down town after dark but again it's not as dangerous for tourists as some will have you believe.
Where I stayed:
Palmira Hostel: HNL 220/ USD 9.60/ EUR 9
WHAT TO EAT
Baleadas are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner... A freshly baked big, bit thicker tortilla with refried beans, cheese and what ever else you want on there... My two favorites are eggs & avocado or just the one above that only has vegetables on it but as I said, the options are endless you could get chorizo, chicken, pork, beans etc... You also have unlimited amount of pickled beets and hot sauce on the table to pimp it up a bit!
Best ones I had was in West End in Roatan at this mini market/restaurant. You order and pay in the shop then head up to where they make them and hand over the little piece of paper you got when you paid. At this place, one is well enough as a meal!
Cost: HNL 30-40/ USD 1.30-1.70/ EUR 1.20-1.60
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
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