Honduras - The Middle Child of Central America
Nov 30, 2012
Ok, so maybe not all middle children feel neglected… but it's a euphemism that seems to fit well when speaking of Honduras. Tucked in between Guatemala and Nicaragua, it's often overshadowed by its southern neighbor, and popular tourist/retiree destination, Costa Rica. But Honduras is so much more then a point on the Central American map - it has all the rich history, culture and stunning scenery that both Guatemala and Costa Rica have, it just doesn't promote itself and so tourists and retirees looking for a tropical location to live, aren't aware of it's potential as a destination.
Honduras can be found in the heart of Central America. Wildly verdant and ruggedly scenic, it is not without towering mountains - the Nombre de Dios (Name of God) mountain range - that house some of Central America's major rivers. Honduras is also home to 80 protected wilderness areas and 20 national parks, habitat for over 700 species of birds and 200 species of mammals. In fact, the Honduran rain forest is the largest north of the Amazon.
Copan - Honduras' History
Despite the fact that Honduras doesn't get the tourism its neighbors do, one location that has made it onto the must-see lists for those travelling in Central America, is Copan. On the western side of Honduras, near the Guatemalan border you'll find the archaeological site of the Maya civilization. Copan was one of the great centers of Maya civilization over a thousand years ago. These stunning ruins have some of the most impressive pre-Columbian art anywhere. The ruins are located in the dense, forested area just outside of Copan Ruinas, the closest town with accommodations and restaurants. The Mayans believed that the branches, trunk and roots of the Ceiba trees embodied the heavens, earth and hell, and built their pyramids, altars and monuments within the fertile river valley of the Copan region.
Islas de la Bahia - The Bay Islands of Honduras
The Bay Islands are made up of Utila, Guanaja and Roatan. They are all inhabited, with Roatan being the most popular destination. That being said, it is also the priciest when it comes to food and accommodation. The Bay Islands have a fascinating history… ruled mainly by the British during the colonial period; they were also home to the original pirates of the Caribbean. These days, the Bay Islands are known for their spectacular scuba diving. Located on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-longest coral reef in the world, people come from all over the globe to explore the crystal clear waters. Interestingly, the official language on the Bay Islands is English, making them a popular destination for North Americans to visit or live out their retirement.
Sure, the Honduran government could probably do a bit of a better job promoting its beauty and history, but its seclusion is part of its charm! It's no secret to Hondurans that each year, tourism increases and encroaches on their country a little more - a country that they have known for centuries offers gorgeous coastlines, lush forests and rugged mountains. Perhaps it's time you explored all it has to offer too!