Honduras’ slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism make it particularly appealing to travelers (well-armed with with insect repellent) who enjoy getting off-the-beaten track. Take your pick from the spectacular Mayan ruins at Copan, the long and lazy Caribbean coastline, the idyllic Bay lslands, the tropical rainforest of the Mosquitia region, colonial mountain towns, the cool cloud forest of La Tigra National Park, and the manatees and birdlife in the country’s protected coastlands, wetlands and lagoons.

May to June for the festivals

Diving in the warm, crystal-clear waters of lslas de la Bahia Fossicking through the pyramids and temples of Copan Ruians Visiting the Spanish colonial mountain town of Gracias Experiencing the spectacular cloud forest of Parque Nacional Celaque Exploring the Rio Platano biosphere at La Mosquitia, here monkeys, toucans and jaguars roam the forests Taking eight-hour ride up the Rio Platano to Las Marias through virgin rainforest

Read El Gran Hotel/by Guillermo Tuscaran (one of Honduras’ most celebrated writers) or The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski, which is about the 100-hour war between Honduras and El Salvador known as the Guerra de Futbol (the Football War)

Listen to Garifuna band Los Menudos

Watch El Espiritu de mi Mama (Spirit of my Mother) directed by Ali Allie, about a young Garifuna woman

Drink Port Royal or Salva Vida beer

Buenos dias (good day)

The Mosquito Coast; inexpensive diving; Copan Ruinas; the brief Football War; howler monkeys

lslas de la Balia from part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world; Honduras is experiencing the most rapid urbanization in Central America

The traditional Garifuna band is composed of three large drums, a turtle shell, some maracas and a big conch shell, producing throbbing rhythms and melodies. The chanted worlds are like litany, to which the audience often responds. The dance is the punta, a Garifuna dance with a lot of hip movement.

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