Honduras

Understand

Good amenities can be found in cities like Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Tela, Utila, Roatán and at Copan, but elsewhere conditions can be quite basic, especially in the rural areas.

You can find good hotels even in small towns if you are willing to pay a bit more Honduras is not really an expensive country. Nevertheless a visit is worthwhile, especially to the ancient Maya ruins in Copán, the colonial towns of Gracias and Comayagua, and the fantastic Caribbean Coast.

Climate

Honduras is hot and humid almost year-round. Temperatures vary by altitude rather than season. The average high temperature nationwide is 32°C 90°F and the average low is 20°C 68°F. Temperatures are coolest in mountain areas.The Caribbean coast can experience a lot of rain, the heaviest being from September to February. In Tegucigalpa, the capital, the climate remains more temperate and the dry season takes place from December to May. The capital can get chilly between December and January when the temperature in the city hovers around 23°C 73°F.

History

During the first millennium, Honduras was inhabited by the Maya civilization in the western part and other Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures in the rest. Columbus first explored the country in 1502, and Honduras became a Spanish colony. Honduras, with four other Central American nations, declared its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821 to form a federation of Central American states. In 1838, Honduras left the federation and became independent. Political unrest rocked Honduras in the early 1900s, resulting in an occupation by U.S. Marines. Dictator Gen. Tiburcio Carias Andino established a strong government in 1932.

In 1969, El Salvador invaded Honduras after Honduran landowners deported several thousand Salvadorans. Five thousand people ultimately died in what is called “the football war” because it broke out during a soccer game between the two countries. By threatening economic sanctions and military intervention, the Organization of American States OAS induced El Salvador to withdraw.

After two and one-half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Honduras was a haven for the anti-Communist contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and an ally to Salvadoran government forces fighting against leftist guerrillas.

The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people and caused almost $1 billion in damage, affecting seriously the development of the country and its vital infrastructure.

Terrain

Honduras consists of a mountainous interior with narrow coastal plains. The Pacific coast is short but the Caribbean coastline is long, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast. This land experiences frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes. The highest point is Cerro Las Minas at 2,870m