Honduras General Information

Honduras

Quick Facts

Region: South America & Central America

Population:
7,833,696

Religion:

Predominantly Roman Catholic (97%), plus other Christian sects and indigenous forms of worship. There is no state religion in Honduras. However, the armed forces have an official Roman Catholic patron saint. The government consults with the Roman Catholic Church and occasionally appoints Catholic leaders to quasi-official commissions on key issues of mutual concern, such as anticorruption initiatives.

Language:

Spanish is the official language and is spoken throughout the country and taught in schools. About 100,000 people, mostly along the Caribbean coast, speak Garífuna, a creole that has elements of French, Spanish and English. Only a few thousand people routinely speak indigenous languages, the most important of them being Mískito, which is spoken more commonly in Nicaragua. English is understood along much of the coast.

Area (sq. km):
112,090 square meters

Time:

Honduras is 6 hours behind GMT.

When To Travel

Honduras has a long, warm Caribbean coastline and a cool, mountainous interior. Due to its tropical location and varied topography, Honduras enjoys a variety of climates. The temperatures are warm all year around but the patterns of rainfall, humidity and tropical vegetation vary depending on the altitude, prevailing winds, the location in relation to the coasts, and to what extent the mountains block the passage of clouds. Some patterns apply to the country as a whole, however. The coastal zones are generally warm and humid, while the central mountain region is cooler and drier. There are two well-defined seasons: the rainy season from May through October, and the dry season from November to April. Temperatures during the rainy season range from 15 degrees Celcius in western Honduras to 30 degrees Celcius in the central part of the country. During the dry season, temperatures average 24 degrees Celcuis in the highlands, 23 degrees Celcuis in the west and 30 degrees Celcuis in the south. Along the northern coast and in the Bay Islands, it is hot and very humid and there is rainfall all throughout the year. October through November is the rainiest time.

The most popular time to visit Honduras is from February to April, however, anytime of year has its benefits to travel. The coast is hot and humid year round whilst the highlands are considerably cooler.

Useful Travel Facts

Airports:

There are about 30 local airports and 4 international airports (at Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Roatán, and La Ceiba), and more than 100 small airfields are in use.

Telephone:

The international dialling code for Honduras is +504.

Electricity:

Honduras has both 110 and 220 volt electricity supplies. Most places use 110 volts, as in the USA and the rest of Central America.

Food:

Honduran food is similar to the food in many other Central American nations. First, tortillas. And then, more tortillas. Tortillas are an every day staple along with beans, which come in the red and black variety. Honduras runs on tortillas and beans! One of the most common foods, which can be found all over the country is the baleada, a white flour tortilla filled with beans, cheese, and cream. Baleadas are sold on the numerous snack vendors lining the streets, an inexpensive and filling snack, several baleadas could constitute a meal. A salad of some sort is often served with your food in Honduras. Usually, it will be a shredded cabbage, a few slices of carrots, and moistened with a light oil/vinegar (hint of sugar) dressing. Salsas grace every good table and often spice up the food. The national dish of Honduras is Plato Tipico, a plate of food with many accompaniments including beef, the stable diet of the country, fried plantain, beans, marinated cabbage, sour cream, and plenty of tortillas on the side. In Honduras there are several options for eating out. In the principal towns and cities you can find a wide variety of restaurants with varying price ranges. The larger cities also have international options as well as local eateries. The less expensive places are known as comedores. You can also buy cheap snacks on the street and in the markets, such as fruit and grilled corn. The different regions of Honduras have a variety of particular specialties.

Transport:

Regular air services operate between the capital and regional centres. Most aircraft are small. Road transportation is the most wildly used form of travel and there are excellent bus services between all major centres. There are also ferry services to the most popular Honduran Islands in the Caribbean. Honduran railways, employed principally in the transport of fruit, extend for about 988 km along the northern coast. The mountainous character of the country has made aviation an important means of transport. About 30 local airports, 4 international airports (at Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Roatán, and La Ceiba), and more than 100 small airfields are in use. The total length of roads is 13,603 km, of which 20 per cent are paved. The Inter-American Highway links the country with Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Shopping:

Look out for Honduran crafts that include woodcarving, colourful woven basketry, embroidery, and textile arts, leather craft, wooden musical instruments, cigars, replicas of Mayan carvings and ceramics.

Visa: Australians, British, Canadians, New Zealanders and Americans do not require a visa to travel to Honduras for stays of up to 30 days. Passports are required by all visitors.

Useful Words & Phrases

Spanish

1: uno
10: diez
2: dos
3: tres
4: cuatro
5: cinco
6: seis
7: siete
8: ocho
9: nueve
Bicycle: bicicleta
Breakfast: desayuno
Can I take a photo?: Le puedo sacar una foto? Por Favor
Car: auto/carro
Cheaper: Mas barato
Closed: Cerrado
Dinner: cena
Do you speak English?: Habas ingles?
Entrance: Entrada
Exit: Salida
Fine, Thanks: Bien, gracias
Goodbye: Adios/Chau
Hello: Hola!
How are you?: Como estas?
How do I get to_____?: Como puedo llegar a_____?
I don't speak much Spanish: No hablo mucho espanol
I don't understand: No entiendo
I would like_____: Quisiera
I'm looking for_____: Estoy buscando
I'm vegetarian: Soy vegetariano
Information: Informacion
Lunch: almuerzo
Mr/Sir: Senor
Mrs/Madame: Senora
my hotel: mi hotl
My name is_____: Me llamo_____
My names is_____?: Me llamo_____
No smoking: No Fumar
Open: Abierto
Police: Policia
Taxi: taxi
the airport: el aeropuerto
the bank: el banco
the bill: la cuenta/la factura
the post office: el correo
the train station: ka estacuib de ferrocarril
Toilets: Banos
too expensive: muy caro
Turn left: A la izquierda
Turn right: A la derecha
What does_____mean?: Que quiere decir?
What is your name?: Como te Ilamas?
Where is_____?: Donde esta_____?

Further Reading

Honduras Adventures in Nature – James D Gollin and Ron Mader. Honduras: The Making of a Banana Republic – Alison Acker Honduras: State for Sale – Richard Lapper Honduras: Portrait of a Captive Nation – edited by Nancy Peckenham & Annie Street Points of Light: Honduran Short Stories – Guillermo Yuscarán Gringos in Honduras: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Guillermo Yuscarán