Introducing guest blogger Tanner from Just Dads Winning
People are usually familiar with Honduras for one of two reasons- gang violence and coffee.
What people don’t realize is Honduras is one of the most beautiful places in Central America. From jaw-dropping coral reefs to the Copan ruins, you’ll find some of the best things you’ll do in your lifetime as you explore the national parks, tropical rainforests, and best beaches on the planet.
While there are certainly areas of concern that you should stay away from, there are even more areas that are perfect for family travel, including with little kids.
This article will help you recognize the best places for tourists while exploring the most popular places for natives as well. Honduras is a great place and is sure to provide you with the best time you could ask for. Use this as a guide for your family’s travel. Rest assured, these places are safe, and you don’t have to be paranoid about something happening to your family.
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of locals
Let’s start off with the most popular tourist destination in the country- Roatan Island. Located in the Bay Islands of Honduras, Roatan is famous for its crystal clear water and white sand on West Bay Beach, the largest coral reef in the world, and the countless number of cruise ships that pass by everyday.
You could plan a 7-day vacation just on the island. While on the island, remember that it provides some of the best diving you could ask for. Mahogany Bay is the place you’ll want to be when snorkeling, scuba diving, or exploring the water in any other way.
You’ll be ecstatic to learn of the cheap prices on the island, especially when it comes to food and snacks. Your kids will be excited to try new things and you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank as you watch them stuff their faces!
Cayos Cochinos is a small island in the bay islands section of Honduras. It’s about 30 kilometers northeast of La Ceiba, one of the larger cities on the north coast.
This is a popular destination among locals because of the beautiful beaches, dive shops, and whale sharks. For these same reasons it is a perfect place for tourists as it gives off the feel of the Caribbean Sea while allowing for new experiences in the forms of scuba diving and exploring marine life.
This is truly a tropical paradise. While this island is right there by Roatan, it’s not nearly as crowded with tourists. If you’re planning on being in the Bay Islands for several days, don’t miss Cayos Cochinos!
San Pedro Sula
San Pedro Sula is one of the busiest cities in all of Latin America. It’s known as the business capital of the country and provides great tourist attractions for those who love exploring cities.
Though it doesn’t provide visitors with beaches and clear water, it does have some of the cheapest places to stay and eat. For this reason it’s still a popular tourist attraction.
One travel tip for San Pedro Sula: Visit this city on your first or last day of your trip, as this city is home to one of the few international airports, and the one you will likely use on your trip. You won’t need more than one day to do the top things in San Pedro Sula.
Lake Yojoa is the largest lake in Honduras. This is one of the great things Honduras has to offer nature lovers.
You can enjoy this lake year round, including during the rainy season, and it’s one of the few places that should be included on any travel guide.
The main reason for this is the safety issues that plague a lot of the country don’t occur here. It’s no wonder the locals love visiting this lake! And of course, while visiting the lake, checking out D&D Brewery is a must. This lodge has it all!
Copan Ruins is a special place that every visitor must see. It’s one of the most important Mayan sites in all of Central America.
While there, you will experience the archeological site in all its glory. Howler monkeys, tropical birds, and other endangered species are fun to look for. The Ruins are home to a hieroglyphic stairway and provide a lot of things for kids to do. This is a must see if you’re traveling with kids in Honduras.
They offer a guided tour if you prefer to travel that way. I suggest doing so as it’s the best way to experience everything the Ruins have to offer. The tour operators will provide insight on the different bird species while answering any questions you might have.
Pico Bonito National Park
Pico Bonito National Park is in a tropical forest. It’s a popular destination for hikers who want to explore the waterfalls and hot springs. The National Park is close to La Ceiba, but it can be hard to find if you’re not prepared.
They do offer tours as well, but this one is pretty easy to navigate once you find the main road. From there, it’s just a little bit of a drive and you’ll be able to enjoy what the park has to offer.
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve lies in the Mosquitia region of the country. It’s the home of lush rainforests and mountain peaks and will provide visitors with some of the most jaw-dropping sites and animals on your trip.
This is not a common place for visitors, as it’s a little bit out of the way, but those who do visit walk away extremely grateful they did!
La Tigra National Park
Depending on where you fly into, La Tigra National Park may be one of the first things you visit. If you fly into Tegucigalpa, this is a must see. However, for those flying into San Pedro Sula, this national park may have to wait for another time.
Similar to Pico Bonito, hikers and nature lovers find La Tigra refreshing. I recommend visiting either La Tigra or Pico Bonito, but it will be difficult to do both.
Lancetilla Botanical Garden
If you find you have an extra day to kill, check out the Lancetilla Botanical Garden located in Tela. It doesn’t take too long to see the entire garden, and you’re sure to see things you’ve never seen before. The countless number of exotic fruits will make you feel like you’re in Willy Wonka’s factory. And the best part is, sampling the fruits is part of the entrance fee!
Getting around with Kids in Honduras
While this article focused mainly on the northern coast of Honduras, there are many incredible places to see and activities to do throughout the entire country. And, it’s not as daunting to see the whole country as you might think.
Though driving takes time, Honduras isn’t the largest country in Central America, and you can get anywhere you want by using the main highways. Renting a car is the safest way to go about transportation after landing at the airport.
While they do have a great public transportation system with their buses, it isn’t the safest option in some areas. Spend a little extra money and rent a car that you can use throughout your stay, and don’t be afraid to talk to locals and find out where the most important areas to avoid are.
Sometimes those areas can change from year to year based on gang violence and crime rates. The locals will be your best source of information on this topic. Learning a few basic Spanish phrases will go a long way in your communication with locals, and they’ll be more eager to help you when they can see the effort you have put in.
Tanner Nielson is a father, husband, and writer who specializes in parenting. His blog can be found at JustDadsWinning.com where he’ll teach dads how to win with their kids. Focusing on things like teaching kids, traveling as a family, and activities to wow children, his blog will provide you with the material you need to be a successful husband and father.
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