Top 6 things to do in Honduras from scuba diving to Mayan ruins

Top 6 things to do in Honduras from scuba diving to Mayan ruins

The country's mighty rivers, lush mountains, Mayan archaeological sites and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef beckon adventurers from all over the world. Honduras — a popular port of call for large cruise ships, and passengers often squeeze multiple activities into the eight-hour layover window. Visit Honduras on your own and take the time to experience all that this wonderful Central American country has to offer.

Dive

Honduras is considered by many to be one of the world's best diving destinations, with or without scuba gear. One of the country's three main gulf islands, Roatan has many spectacular dive sites in the Roatan Marine Park, a designated area that protects corals and marine life. 

Sea turtles can be seen on the tour , rays and many tropical fish. With luck, you might even encounter the elusive whale shark.

However, Roatan — is not the only popular diving site in Honduras. The other two islands of the bay, Guanaja and Utila, along with the smaller Cayos Cochinos archipelago, also boast some of the best diving in the world.

Utila is known all over the world not only for the wealth of the underwater world, but also as a center of youth culture.

Rafting on the Rio Cangrejal

If you want to go to For a truly exciting adventure, head to the El Naranjo area in the Cangrejal River Valley, about 10 km from downtown La Ceiba.

Here you can go rafting on the Rio Cangrejal through rapids III–V class, which are formed from boulders rising from the riverbed.

In addition to the actual rafting, excursions can be organized at the Jungle River Lodge.

Another adventure — it's canyoning with guides at Las Cascadas Lodge who will take you on a jungle trek up a river gorge to then rappel down to a series of waterfalls. The slow and careful descent of 15 meters is not for the faint of heart, as the force of the falling water hits the body, but it's worth it.

Birdwatching

Bird lovers flock to Honduras, home to over 760 species of North American and South American bird species.

Birdwatching is especially great in the national parks of Honduras, where hiking trails allow you to explore the area, unless of course you stand on the spot with binoculars.

You don't need to be an expert to be amazed by the wild toucans, hummingbirds and parrots you'll see while walking through the rainforest through Pico Bonito National Park.

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Cerro Azul Meambar and Montaña de Santa Barbara National Parks, located on opposite shores of Lake Yojoa in the western part of the country, are also worthy birdwatching spots with great hiking trails.

Panacam Lodge &mdash ; good place to stay in the area. From here birding experts lead hikes and inspire even the most seemingly uninterested people to study ornithology.

The national bird of Honduras — majestic scarlet macaw — sure to get everyone's attention. The chance of seeing one in the wild is high in and around the Ara Mountain Bird Park and Nature Preserve.

This is not actually a national park, but a rehabilitation sanctuary for macaws, parrots, toucans, cassowaries and others feathered creatures.

Introducing the Maya

Several scarlet macaws can be found in the wild around the ruins of the Copan Ruinas Archaeological Park, site of a once great Mayan city, built in 300 AD.

Since there was not much gold in this former settlement, the 16th-century looting by the Spanish was not as horrific as it was in other Maya habitats throughout the region. Accordingly, although this place is known for its “ruins”, it is highly preserved.

Climbing the famous hieroglyphic stairs of Copan, the longest known Maya text inscription tells the story of five Mayan kings. The staircase was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, along with Guatemalan Tikal.

Although the ruins of Copan are in good condition, the red paint that once adorned its temples has faded.

To see Copan in all its former red splendor, head to the Copan Sculpture Museum, located directly across the parking lot from the main entrance. The highlight is the reconstructed temple of Rosalila. Now it looks the same as it did centuries ago. 

Entrance to the park costs approximately $15, guide services are not included, but there are written descriptions of each attraction. Entrance to the museum is paid separately. 

Walking around the cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula

The two largest cities in Honduras, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, have a less than brilliant reputation when it comes to crime. However, since they are home to the country's two main airports, it is impossible to avoid them. Consider spending more than just a night here: if you control yourself, you will find that these two cities are as safe as any major metropolis.

The capital of Tegucigalpa is the political center of the country with government buildings and remnants of the Spanish colonial past. Most of the historical sites are located in El Centro, the area surrounding Plaza Morazán. It is named after the former president of Central America (1830–1839), who is immortalized in a monument.

Strolling among locals and a handful of tourists in this square, you will find shops, restaurants and the city's Catholic Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel.

Nearby is the Garinagu Cultural Center, where you can learn about Honduras' indigenous African-American Garifuna community. There are several interesting museums nearby; if you only have time for one, choose the Museum of National Identity. 

There are always many vendors around selling baleada, a Honduran delicacy — flour tortilla stuffed with variations of the traditional mixture of fried beans, cream and cheese.

San Pedro Sula — industrial and commercial center of the country. Like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the tall letters representing the instantly recognizable Coca-Cola brand rise atop a tall, green hill to the east of the city.

Other places to visit include: Angeli Gardens, a cross between a botanical garden and an elegant restaurant, the main Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Central Park, the Museum of Anthropology and History, which displays exhibits dedicated to the past of Honduras.

Honduras Nightlife

Throughout the country, as the sun goes down, Hondurans throw their own parties with alcohol and music. If you are a craft beer lover, in San Pedro Sula you can order Cerveceria La20 in a cool beer pavilion or beer garden. outdoors. Alquimia Cervecera attracts the public with its live music. For an evening of dancing, head to Morena to eat, drink and meet the local youth. 

The capital city of Tegucigalpa, known locally as “Tegus”, also has its fair share of nighttime hotspots. Head to Santé for live music that ranges from Coldplay covers to tribute metal bands. If club vibes are your thing, check out the Vegas-style poolside dance parties with DJs at Blu Bar, a rooftop venue at the Real Intercontinental. 

While popular nightlife venues are located in major cities, smaller towns tend to be more compact and therefore easy to walk between. The nightlife of La Ceiba is concentrated mainly in and around the coastal area known as El Malecón, where the bars are located next to each other.

In its eastern part is the popular beach bar La Casa del Jugar. If you're brave enough, order their signature diabolical Semen del Diablo cocktail. 

In the Bay Islands, nightlife is centered on the main streets of the city. In Roatan, head to the West End Road, lined with one bar after another. Live music can be enjoyed at Sundowners and Blue Marlin, while pirate-themed Booty Bar has dance floors for DJ nights.

If you want to have fun and remember your college days, head to party bar Tranquila or at La Cueva for amazing karaoke nights that last until dawn.

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