COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Honduras is a democracy with a developing economy bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The national language is Spanish, although English is often spoken in the Bay Islands. The climate is generally temperate, with dry and wet seasons. During the dry season from February into May, widespread forest fires and agricultural burning can severely degrade air quality throughout the country, possibly causing respiratory problems and airport closures. The terrain includes mountainous areas, coastal beaches, and jungle lowlands. Facilities that would normally be used by tourists, including hotels and restaurants, are generally adequate in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, in San Pedro Sula, Tela, La Ceiba, the Bay Islands, and near the Copan ruins. Large sections of the country, however, lack basic public services or a governmental presence. Currency exchange is readily available at banks and hotels in the major cities. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Honduras for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Honduras, please take the time to tell the U.S. Department of State about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Local Embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of Embassies and Consulates.
U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa
Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Telephone: 011-504-2236-9320 or 011-504-2238-5114
Emergency after-hours telephone: 011-504-2236-8497
American Citizens Services Unit Fax: 011-504-2238-4357
American Citizens Services Unit Office hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The Consular Section is closed the first Tuesday of every month.
To provide better customer service and reduce wait times, the Consular Section in Tegucigalpa uses an online appointment system for passport renewals for minors (under age 16), first-time passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Appointments are required to submit your application for these services. You can find more information, including how to schedule an appointment, at the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services website. We accept walk-ins for adult passport renewals, additional passport pages, notaries and general inquiries only from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. In case of an emergency involving a U.S. citizens, please call the American Citizen Services unit at 011-504-2238-5114 extension 4400.
Consular Agency in San Pedro Sula
Banco Atlantida Building (across from Central Park) – 11th Floor
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Consular Agent in San Pedro Sula assists the U.S. Embassy in protecting the interests of U.S. citizens in Honduras. The Consular Agent may execute notarials and accept applications for passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. The Consular Agent may also assist U.S. citizens with emergency situations such as arrests and deaths in Honduras. The Consular Agent does not provide visa information or services of any kind. For additional details about all U.S. Embassy and consular services in Honduras, please see the Embassy website or visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: If you are a U.S. traveler wishing to enter Honduras, you must present a U.S. passport with at least six months remaining validity. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens, but tourists must provide evidence of return or onward travel. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their U.S. passports with them at all times so that if questioned by local officials proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available. In June 2006, Honduras entered the Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Under the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals who legally enter any of the four countries may similarly travel among CA-4 countries without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries.
Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum of 90 days. Foreign tourists who wish to remain in the CA-4 region beyond the period initially granted for their visit are required to request a one-time extension of stay from local immigration authorities in the country where the traveler is physically present. Alternatively, travelers are allowed to leave Honduras after their initial 90 day permit has expired, enter one of the neighboring countries of the CA-4 region, and then return to Honduras, at which time a new 90 day permit will be provided. Foreigners expelled from any of the four countries are excluded from the entire CA-4 region. In isolated cases, the lack of clarity in the implementing details of the CA-4 Border Control Agreement has caused temporary inconvenience to some travelers and has resulted in others being fined more than $100 or detained for 72 hours or longer.
The Honduran immigration office nearest to the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa has the following location:
Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería
Colonia Las Torres
Tel.: (504) 2234-1996/1998
To depart Honduras, travelers must clear Honduran Immigration. Travelers by air must return the copy of their immigration document received at entry. Travelers by land or sea must also return the entrance permit they received when entering Honduras. If you are departing via air, you will be charged an airport tax of $39.24. The airport tax must be paid at the airport in cash in either U.S. dollars or lempiras or by credit card. Checks are not accepted. If you stay in Honduras beyond 90 days, a fine may be imposed by Honduran Immigration prior to your departure.
For more information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Honduran consulate at 1014 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, telephone (202) 682-5948. The Honduran government also retains an Honorary Consul in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here for a current listing of Honduran consulates.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.
Special Requirements for Minors: Parents should obtain U.S. passports for infants and minors born in the United States and not rely on birth certificates for their child’s travel. Honduran entry and exit control laws require that a child under age 21, traveling either unaccompanied or with one parent only, must have written and notarized permission to travel from the non-traveling parent/s (or legal guardian/s). If the non-traveling parent is the father, he must authorize travel; the law does not delegate this authority to any other male member of the family in his absence.
The Honduran Embassy is located at 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008. The Honduran Embassy can be contacted by phone at (202) 966-7702. Visit the Embassy of Honduras website for visa information. For tourist information or suggestions, please contact the Honduras Institute of Tourism at (800) 410-9608 (in the United States) or (800) 222-TOUR (8687) (within Honduras only), or visit the Honduras Institute of Tourism website.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: There are no entry restrictions or requirements for persons with HIV/AIDS entering Honduras. The 2012 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates there are approximately 33,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Honduras. The estimated prevalence is 0.5 percent, equal to the average prevalence rate in Central America. There are limited health resources in Honduras, including for treatment of persons with HIV/AIDS.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: All travelers to Honduras should review the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Honduras,which provides detailed information about security issues affecting many parts of the country, including the major cities.
Political demonstrations occur frequently in the major cities of Honduras. During demonstrations, protestors frequently block public roads. Police may use tear gas, water cannons, or rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators. Travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and never try to pass roadblocks. U.S. citizens may stay informed by visiting the U.S. Embassy website, following the local news, and consulting hotel personnel and tour guides.
While the Honduran side of the Honduras-Nicaragua border has been largely cleared of land mines, travelers should exercise caution there.
Honduras is vulnerable to hurricanes, heavy rains, and flooding. The rainy season extends between June and November. Honduras’ National Emergency Management Commission (COPECO) issues national alerts. Visit the COPECO website for current alerts.
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CRIME: Crime is widespread in Honduras and requires a high degree of caution by U.S. visitors and residents alike. U.S. citizens have been the victims of a wide range of crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, assault, and property crimes. Widespread poverty and unemployment, along with significant street gang and drug trafficking activity, have contributed to the extremely high crime rate. In January 2012, the Peace Corps suspended its program in Honduras in order to review the safety and security of its volunteers.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2011 Global Study on Homicide, Honduras has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world, with 86 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. Although crime and violent crime occur in all parts of Honduras, the north coast and central portions of the country have historically had the country’s highest crime rates. Copan, Roatan/Bay Islands, and other tourist destinations have lower crime rates than other parts of the country.
Since 1995, 115 U.S. citizens were reported murdered in Honduras; of these, just 32 cases have been resolved. Three U.S. citizens were reported murdered in Honduras between January and September 2013.
Since 2010, nine U.S. citizens have been reported as victims of rape or sexual assault in Honduras, signaling an increasing trend in these types of crimes. Two U.S. citizens reported incidents of rape or sexual assault between January and September 2013. Perpetrators of sexual assaults are often armed.
Kidnappings have occurred in recent years, with large ransoms paid and infrequent capture of the kidnappers. One U.S. citizen was reported kidnapped between January and September 2013..
U.S. citizens are primarily the victims of opportunistic crime. There is no evidence suggesting criminals specifically target U.S. citizens, but foreigners have been targeted for crime due to their perceived wealth. Weapons abound in Honduras, and armed street robberies are especially common, with criminals taking advantage of relatively isolated victims to steal their valuables. Young males working in pairs, often riding motorcycles, are perpetrating many of the armed robberies in Honduras’ urban areas. Criminals and pickpockets target visitors as they enter and depart airports and hotels, so visitors should consider carrying their passports and valuables in a concealed pouch. We have also confirmed reports of armed robbers traveling in private cars targeting pedestrians on isolated streets.
Incidents of crime along roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Honduras. There have been frequent incidents of carjacking and highway robbery on a number of roads including the main highway (CA-5) between San Pedro Sula and Siguatepeque, with the greatest risk between Potrerillos and Pito Solo in the lake area. Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places, such as congested downtown streets. Avoid driving at night. All bus travel should be during daylight hours and on first-class conveyances, not economy buses. Choose taxis carefully, and note the driver’s name and license number. Instruct the driver not to pick up other passengers, agree on the fare before you depart, and have small bills available for payment, as taxi drivers often do not make change. When possible, travel in groups.
Incidents of piracy off the coast of Honduras can occur. In 2012, a U.S. citizen reported that his boat was boarded and his passengers were the victims of an armed robbery while sailing in Honduran waters near Puerto Cortes, three miles north of Punta Sal. In 2011, a Canadian citizen was killed in a similar incident. U.S. citizens should exercise caution while sailing or mooring in Honduran waters.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times, especially when entering or exiting their homes, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. It is also recommended that drivers vary their routes and schedules so as to not create a predictable routine. Individuals should also limit the sharing of personal information and closely screen personal employees. Should a U.S. citizen be kidnapped, local authorities and the U.S. Embassy should be contacted immediately.
The Honduran government conducts occasional joint police/military patrols in major cities in an effort to reduce crime. However, Honduran law enforcement authorities’ ability to prevent, respond to, and investigate criminal incidents and prosecute criminals is limited. Honduran police generally do not speak English. The government has established a special tourist police in the resort town of Tela and other tourist destinations including Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatan, but the number of tourist police deployed is small and coverage is limited.
The Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa, also known as Suyapa Church or Cathedral, is an important religious site and popular
tourist destination. However, it is situated in a high crime area and has been the site of numerous armed robberies and thefts.
U.S. citizens in Honduras on U.S. government orders are only allowed to visit the Basilica of Suyapa with an organized tour
group that provides armed security for the group.
The San Pedro Sula area has seen armed robberies against tourist vans, minibuses, and cars traveling from the airport to area hotels, and there have also been armed robberies along the road to Copan. Armed men have forced vehicles transporting tourists off the road and robbed the victims, occasionally assaulting the driver or passengers. In past years, several U.S. citizens have been murdered in San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba shortly after arriving in the country. Assaults in these areas may be based on tips from sources at airport arrival areas, so visitors are strongly urged to exercise caution in discussing travel plans in public.
Although Copan, Roatan/Bay Islands, and other tourist destinations have a lower crime rate than other parts of the country, thefts, break-ins, assaults, and murders do occur. Exercise particular caution walking on isolated beaches, especially at night. Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan should be avoided after dark.
The Government of Honduras has a very limited law enforcement presence in some northern coastal areas, including parts of the departments of Olancho, Colon, and Gracias a Dios. These areas are well known for narcotics smuggling and violence. Travelers in those areas should use extra caution. See the description of highways/areas to be avoided in the “Traffic Safety and Road Conditions” section below for details.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law and be subject to local penalties.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates ). If your passport is stolen, we can help you replace it. For violent crimes such as assault and rape, we can help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and help them send you money if you need it. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you understand the local criminal justice process and find an attorney if you need one.
The local equivalents of the “911” emergency line in Honduras is 199 for National Police; 198 for fire fighters; and 195 for the local Red Cross. The operators typically speak Spanish only.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Honduras, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Honduras are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. There are also some activities that might be legal in the country you visit but illegal in the United States; for example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Honduras, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not in Honduras.
If you are arrested in Honduras, you have the right to request the authorities to alert the U.S. Embassy. Doing so ensures that consular officers are aware of your condition and can provide you with appropriate consular assistance.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Marine Safety and Oversight: The areas off both coasts of Honduras are the subject of maritime border disputes between Honduras and its neighbors. The Honduran Navy patrols these areas and all private vessels transiting Honduran territorial waters should be prepared to be hailed and possibly boarded by Honduran military personnel to verify documentation. While the Honduran Navy previously used private vessels as patrol vessels, this is no longer the case. In the event that any vessel is hailed in Honduran waters in the Caribbean by a non-military vessel or any suspicious vessel and directed to prepare for boarding, the vessel should immediately contact the U.S. Coast Guard Operations Center by radio or INMARSAT at (305) 415-6800. Anyone needing more information can also contact the U.S. Embassy during working hours and request to speak with the U.S. Military Group office. There have been incidents of armed assaults against private sailing vessels by criminals posing as fishermen off the northeast coast of Honduras, particularly in the numerous small islands northeast of the Department of Gracias a Dios. Sailors should contact the U.S. Coast Guard and yacht facility managers in their areas of travel for current information.
Real Estate Investment: U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution before entering into any form of commitment to invest in real estate, particularly in coastal areas and the Bay Islands. Honduran laws and practices regarding real estate differ substantially from those in the United States, and fraudulent deeds and titles are common. U.S. citizens considering investing or buying real estate in Honduras should be aware that rights to such property do not enjoy the same level of protection as in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of privately held land is either untitled or improperly titled. Inadequate land title procedures have led to numerous investment disputes involving U.S. citizens who are landowners. Historically, title insurance has not been available in Honduras. Recently, some U.S. insurance companies have begun offering title insurance in cooperation with Honduran attorneys. In addition, there are complaints that the Honduran judicial system often prolongs disputed cases for many years before resolution. U.S. citizens have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and experienced years of frustration trying to resolve property disputes, even in cases where local attorneys and Honduran and U.S. real estate agents had given assurances to the investor. Violence has been used against U.S. citizens involved in disputed property cases. Potential investors should engage competent local legal representation before making any commitments. Investors should also thoroughly check the references of attorneys and real estate agents.
Honduran law places certain restrictions on land ownership by foreigners in coastal and border areas. Squatters have claimed a number of properties owned by U.S. citizens. U.S. government officials may not act as agents, attorneys, or in a fiduciary capacity, and the Embassy staff is prohibited from providing legal advice. U.S. citizens who own property abroad and who have assumed responsibilities concurrent with ownership of property in a foreign country should take steps on their own initiative to safeguard their interests and to employ private legal counsel when the need arises. For further information on investing in property in Honduras, please review the State Department’s Investment Climate Statement, part of the Country Commercial Guide. For information on contracting Honduran legal representation, please check with other investors. You may also refer to the list of attorneys available on the U.S. Embassy’s home page.
Financial Market Investment: Due to poor regulation and lack of guarantees, investment in the Honduran ”Bolsa de Valores,” or securities market, as well as banking institution bonds, “fideicomisos” (trusts), and certificates of deposit from uninsured financial institutions pose high risks to investors. Extreme caution should be exercised before and while undertaking such activities, as U.S. citizens have lost large sums of money through investments in such markets. For further information on investing in Honduras, please review the State Department’s Investment Climate Statement, part of the Country Commercial Guide.
Corruption: Many U.S. firms and citizens operating in Honduras have found corruption to be a serious problem and a constraint to successful investment. While some U.S. firms have satisfactorily resolved cases through the courts, many have difficulty navigating the legal system. There are complaints that the Honduran judicial system exhibits favoritism and vulnerability to external pressure and bribes. Corruption appears to be most pervasive in government procurement, government permits, and in the buying and selling of real estate (land titling).
Customs Regulations: U.S. citizens who intend to stay in Honduras for an extended period of time and who bring vehicles or household goods into the country should consult Honduran customs officials prior to shipment. With the exception of “antique” cars, all cars imported into Honduras by foreigners must be less than ten (10) years old. Buses, pickup trucks, and dump trucks must be less than 13 years old. For specific information regarding customs requirements, please contact the Embassy of Honduras in Washington, DC. Honduran customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import and export of items such as antiquities, medications, and business equipment. For example, Honduran law prohibits the export of antiques and artifacts from pre-colonial civilizations. To protect the country’s biodiversity, it is illegal to export certain birds, feathers, and other flora and fauna. For specific information regarding exportation requirements, please contact the Embassy of Honduras in Washington, DC and see our Customs Information page.
Firearms: No one may bring firearms into Honduras, except for diplomats or individuals participating in shooting or hunting sport events who have obtained a temporary firearm importation permit from the Honduran Ministry of Security prior to their travel to Honduras.
Firearms for personal safety or for purposes other than those mentioned above must be purchased locally through a store named “La Armería.” These stores are regulated by the Honduran Armed Forces and are located throughout Honduras.
Diplomats or individuals participating in shooting or hunting sport events seeking a permit for the importation of firearms can contact the Ministry of Security at the following address:
Secretario de Estado en el Despacho de Seguridad Pública
Cuartel General de Casamata
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras, C.A.
Fax: (504) 2220-4352
Firearms that arrive without the requisite Honduran permit will be confiscated and the bearer could be prosecuted to the full extent of Honduran law.
Adventure Sports: Honduras’ growing tourism industry attracts a number of people interested in adventure sports such as whitewater kayaking and rafting, scuba diving, and canopy tours. Travelers should be warned that in addition to the inherent risk of injury and death in these activities, there is little or no oversight of safety standards for adventure sports operators in Honduras. At least eight U.S. citizens have died in these sports in Honduras since 2009. While many operators use good practices and attempt to meet internationally accepted safety standards, travelers should be diligent in researching potential adventure sports providers to make sure they are using internationally-acceptable or certified equipment, guides, safety measures, and instruction. Please see the section titled “Medical Facilities and Health Information” for more information on access to medical care when injured.
Special Issues for LGBT Travelers: Honduran law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. Despite this, many Honduran Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality and human rights activists report that many crimes committed against the LGBT community go unpunished. There are several LGBT night clubs in major Honduran cities such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Though rare, there have been cases of police harassment of patrons in some of these establishments. LGBT public events are held regularly without incident. Nonetheless, LGBT travelers should consider exercising caution when visiting Honduras, especially with regard to expressing affection in public. According to local advocacy organizations, many LGBT persons are reluctant to display affection in public (including holding hands) because of societal intolerance of homosexuality. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
Accessibility: While in Honduras, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Honduran law requires access to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, in practice few buildings are accessible. If you are traveling with a disability, please review the information on our website.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical care in Honduras varies greatly in quality and availability. Outside of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, medical care is inadequate to address complex situations. Support staff facilities and necessary equipment and supplies are not up to U.S. standards anywhere in Honduras. Facilities for advanced surgical procedures are not available. Wide areas of the country, including the popular tourist areas of the Bay Islands, do not have a general surgery hospital. Ambulance services are limited in major cities and almost non-existent elsewhere. Emergency services may be contacted directly through their local numbers, including 199 for the national emergency line and 195 for the local Red Cross.
The U.S. Embassy encourages visitors who are considering medical care in Honduras to obtain as much information about the facility and the medical personnel as possible. Medical tourists should confirm that the facilities they are considering are accredited, purchase medical evacuation insurance before traveling, and confirm that the cost and payment for their treatment is clearly understood by both parties. In addition to other publicly available information, U.S. citizens may consult the U.S. Embassy’s website for a list of hospitals and air ambulance services..
Scuba diving is popular in the Bay Islands, but limited medical facilities there pose a special risk in the event of an emergency. There is a decompression chamber on Roatan and Utila for divers, but no advanced medical care on either island for diving related accidents.
Mosquito-borne illnesses are a problem in Honduras. Malaria is present throughout the country at altitudes <1,000 m (3,281 ft) and in Roatan and other Bay Islands. Additional information is available at the CDC website. Take a prophylactic regimen best suited to your health profile. Dengue Fever, a viral disease carried by day biting mosquitoes has become a major problem in Honduras with over 20,000 cases in the first nine months of 2013. Cases have been reported throughout the country with the greatest problem reported in the departments of Olancho, Atlántida, and Choluteca and the cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.Unlike traditional mosquito-borne illnesses, there is no medicinal prophylactic or curative regimen for dengue fever. Travelers should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes to reduce the chance of contracting such illnesses, such as avoiding standing water even around the yard, wearing long sleeves and pants in both day and night, and applying insect repellent regularly.
Severe air pollution, which can aggravate or lead to respiratory problems, is common throughout the country during the dry season due in large part to widespread forest fires and agricultural burning. Travelers with respiratory or cardiac conditions and those who are elderly or extremely young are at greatest risk for complications from air pollution, including coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or chest pain. Acute respiratory infections are also widespread; more than 100,000 cases are reported annually.
Honduras lacks a substantial infrastructure for maintaining water purity. Travelers are strongly encouraged to avoid drinking tap water or any beverage that contains ice from an unknown source (even alcoholic drinks). Bottles and bags of purified water are widely available. It is also recommended that individuals traveling to Honduras avoid eating untreated raw vegetables, fruits that cannot be peeled on the spot, raw fish like ceviche and undercooked shellfish, and products containing mayonnaise, pastry icing, and unpasteurized dairy products. Hot cooked food, fresh bread, dry foods such as crackers, bottled carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, and beer are usually safe, provided such food items are not purchased from street vendors. All fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly with detergent and running water. Those that will be cooked or peeled can then be stored in a sealed container until used. Those that will be eaten raw and will not be peeled should be soaked for 15 minutes in a solution of chlorine bleach (or 5 percent household bleach) and water (one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water), rinsed with potable water, and allowed to air dry.
Individuals traveling to Honduras should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date, particularly measles and rubella vaccination. The Honduran government issued a declaration in May 2011 requiring proof of measles and rubella vaccination for all foreign travelers from North America, Europe, Africa, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Vaccination against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid is strongly recommended for those traveling to Honduras from the United States. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination should also be considered for travelers who plan a visit greater than four weeks or for shorter periods if they plan on extensive animal contact. Travelers should avoid direct contact with animals, especially stray animals on city streets or in rural areas, as even friendly appearing animal may be infected with rabies. Honduras requires vaccination against yellow fever for those traveling to Honduras from countries where there is the risk of transmission. Travelers taking prescription medications should bring an adequate supply with them when coming to Honduras and ensure that their prescriptions are properly labeled.
You can find information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You cannot assume your insurance will cover you when you travel. It is very important to find out before you travel whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy does not cover you when you travel, it is a good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Honduras, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Honduras is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Because of crime, poor road conditions, and heavy commercial truck traffic, driving can be very dangerous, and travelers should carry a cellular phone in case of an emergency. Travelers should exercise extreme caution while driving on isolated stretches of road and passing on mountainous curves. Rockslides are common, especially in the rainy season (May through December). Traffic signs, even on major highways, are often inadequate, and streets in the major cities are often unmarked. Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places such as congested downtown streets. Honduran roads are poorly lit and poorly marked. Vehicles are often driven at night without adequate illumination, and animals and people wander onto the roads at all hours. For these reasons, and because of the high incidence of crime, the U.S. Embassy discourages car and bus travel after dark.
Major cities are connected by an inconsistently maintained system of paved roads. While the main road network is being upgraded and widened in key positions, most of it consists of only two lanes.
Significant construction on the highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula will likely continue through 2013, so drivers can expect delays. Many secondary roads in Honduras are unpaved. During the rainy season, even major highways are often closed due to rockslides and flooding from heavy rains.
In the event of an accident, contact the Honduran Transit Authority (“Transito”) immediately. It may be contacted either directly through local numbers, or through the national emergency number, 199. Honduran law requires that no vehicles involved in an accident be moved until Transit Authority agents arrive, not even to clear a traffic obstruction, unless you are in serious physical danger. Besides informing the Transit Authority, car insurance companies should be notified as soon as possible. Personal identification documents, including driver’s licenses, copies of passports, and vehicle registration cards should be carried while driving.
In addition to incidents of carjacking and robbery on the main highway, CA-5, between San Pedro Sula and Siguatepeque in the lake area, similar incidents have occurred on the highway between San Pedro Sula and Tela, with the greatest risk near the palm tree plantations near El Progreso. These carjackings and robberies have targeted SUVs and usually occur at night; therefore, driving at night is highly discouraged. In Olancho, on the road from Juticalpa to Telica, and from the turn off to Gualaco on Route 39 to San Esteban and Bonito Oriental, rival criminal elements have engaged in violent acts against one another. Travelers should avoid this road. In addition, delivery trucks throughout Honduras are common targets of highway robberies.
Some of the most dangerous stretches for road travel include: Tegucigalpa to Choluteca, because of dangerous mountain curves, and El Progreso to La Ceiba, because of animal crossings and the poor condition of bridges from flooding. On July 11, 2011, a bus overturned nine miles after Santa Rosa de Copan en route to San Pedro Sula, killing ten people and injuring 20.
The only recommended route to the north coast from the south is CA-5 to route 21 to CA-13 via Tela to La Ceiba and Trujillo. Hijackings of private and commercial vehicles from the United States to Honduras have occurred. While Honduras and the United States have signed and ratified a Stolen Vehicle Treaty, existing Honduran laws protect good faith buyers (even of stolen vehicles), so the recovery and return of these vehicles to their original owners is not guaranteed. Vehicle insurance may mitigate loss; please check with the National Insurance Crime Bureau or with private insurance carriers about coverage details.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Honduras’ Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards for the oversight of Honduras’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Honduras dated March 14, 2013, with updates to the following sections: STEP, Entry/Exit Requirements, Threats to Safety & Security, Crime, Special Circumstances, LGBT Travelers, Medical Facilities, and Medical Insurance.