Let's dive into your Central American adventure! You’ll probably arrive in the capital, Tegucigalpa, or in San Pedro Sula. The Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport is a great place to start your trip because you can get to beautiful La Ceiba in about three hours.
Located on the north coast, this port city is small but charming, with almost 200,000 inhabitants. There’s a saying in Honduras: "Tegucigalpa thinks, San Pedro Sula works, La Ceiba celebrates,” but there’s more to the city than its nightlife.
Want some action? Then river rafting on the Cangrejal is right for you! Or take a zip line tour in the Nombre de Dios National Park and glide through lush mangrove forests with a cool breeze on your face. If that’s too much adrenaline, take a hiking tour to explore the region by foot and be closely watched by curious monkeys who live up in the palm trees. Afterwards, jump into the clear water of any of the city’s beaches.
Be sure to get a hostel in the city centre and enjoy the nightlife without having to worry about getting lost. A night in an 8-bed dorm will only cost you about €10.
From La Ceiba, it’s easy to take a trip to the islands off the north coast of Honduras. Go to Utila Island by ferry – a one-way trip costs about €22 and takes 2 1/2 hours.
The smallest of the Bay Islands, Utila is especially popular among backpackers and is exactly what you imagine when you think of a Caribbean island: white sand, crystal-clear water, and a relaxed atmosphere. For the budget-conscious, it’s quite easy to explore Utila on foot. The island is also known for its inexpensive diving courses. If you haven't tried diving yet, this is your chance to get to know the underwater world in all its splendour.
Utila Island itself is very rocky, so you won’t find too many sandy beaches, but if you feel like sunbathing, take a trip to one of the smaller islands (called “cays”) nearby. Picturing these tiny islands is difficult if you’ve never been – they just look like floating houses connected by docks, so, you’ll have to see them for yourself!
Spend the night in one of Utila’s affordable hostels – just €23 can get you a bed in a dorm.
Next, change direction and head to the city of Copán near the Guatemalan border. You’ll need to return to La Ceiba and then continue by bus for about 8 hours. Take the night bus to save time or drive during the day to enjoy the view.
Copán was an important trading centre in Mayan times, and you can still visit the ancient ruins, which are well preserved and give a good insight into the life of the Mayas in the 8th century.
The Mayas invented chocolate, so why not visit the city’s chocolate museum and learn how the cocoa bean is made into the most delicious candy in the world? You’ll even get a chance to try some yourself!
Honduras is a prolific coffee-producing country – if you’re a coffee fan, find out where your early morning fuel comes from. Copán, in the highlands of Honduras, is surrounded by coffee fields where you can learn all about your favourite drink on a tour with a local guide.
In the city centre, you can find several hostels offering a bed in a 6-bed dorm for as little as €10 per night.
Now off you go to the highlands of Honduras, where things get really exciting. Siguatepeque (a city with an impossible name) is in the centre of the country at a height of 1,100 metres. Breathe in the fresh air of these heights, surrounded by pure nature. Even though Siguatepeque is not a great distance away, the bus ride from Copán takes around six hours because of the uneven terrain. A real insider tip for backpackers: this mountainous region is ideal for escaping the hot and humid temperatures that dominate the rest of the country.
The town, called “Sigue” by the locals, is the perfect place to get to know the country from a completely different angle. In the city centre, there are a handful of restaurants and small shops, so you can plan to spend a few relaxing days here.
Get some peace and quiet at one of the city’s hotels where a single room can cost you €26.
San Pedro Sula
The last stop of your backpacking trip is San Pedro Sula, on the other side of the country. The journey takes about four hours by bus from Siguatepeque.
San Pedro Sula is the country’s second largest city with about 700,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, the media has reported high levels of violence in the city but if you stick to a few ground rules, like not walking around alone after sunset, you won’t have to feel like you’re taking a risk.
The old town centre is much like any other big city in Central and South America. Everyday life takes place in the town square in front of St. Peter the Apostle Cathedral. Find some shade under the palm trees and watch the hustle and bustle. If you want to beat the heat (humidity can reach 90%!), head over to the Museum of Anthropology and History.
If you’d like to cool off in some cold water, splash around in the Zizima Eco Water Park or visit the Ticamaya Lagoon.
Spend the last few nights of your trip at one of the local hostels – a bed in a dorm only costs €11 per night.