HONDURAS - Exercise a high degree of cautionThere is no nationwide advisory in effect for Honduras. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to violent crime.
Regional Advisory for parts of Valle, Choluteca and OlanchoForeign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against all travel to San Francisco de Coray and Langue in the department of Valle; Orocuina, Apacilagua and Morolica in the department of Choluteca; San Francisco de la Paz and Gualaco in the department of Olancho due to high levels of violence and crime.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.
General elections took place on November 24, 2013. Demonstrations may occur, with the potential to turn violent, and could lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
The security situation has seriously deteriorated in Honduras. Exercise a high degree of caution throughout the country as Honduras has the highest homicide rate in Central America. Growing illegal drug trafficking, expanding transnational organized crime and the presence of street gangs contribute to a significant crime rate. Apprehension and conviction rates of criminals remain low. A large percentage of the population is armed. Guns and weapons such as machetes and knives are frequently used in robberies. Perpetrators often use violence if the victim resists.
Serious crime—including armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, home invasion and sexual assault—is common, and armed attacks on marine vessels have been reported. Although most criminals do not target tourists, some have been victims of crime in and around San Pedro Sula (including in vehicles leaving the airport), on the ferry from La Ceiba to the Bay Islands, as well as in Tela, Trujillo, Tegucigalpa and Copán Ruins. On Roatán, robbers have targeted homes and long-term leased residences. Travellers visiting the Bay Islands should exercise particular caution around uninhabited coastal areas and avoid walking on isolated beaches, especially at night. Since 2009, three Canadian citizens have been murdered in this area. Remain aware of your surroundings, particularly on the beaches of Tela and in the north coast region. Foreigners have been attacked on beaches after dark.
Travellers have been followed and assaulted. Use discretion when discussing your travel plans in public. Be cautious when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances and be extremely careful when accepting rides or invitations.
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum, or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
In resort areas, stay on supervised beaches and do not walk in isolated or unpopulated areas. Hitchhiking is strongly discouraged. Campers should always ensure that facilities are patrolled and well lit. Whenever possible, travel in a group, as there have been reports of attacks on tourists walking alone.
Robberies and bus/carjackings occur along Honduran highways. Intercity public transportation should be avoided, especially on the road from Limones to La Unión and in the Sula Valley in northern Honduras. Armed gangs frequently perpetrate robberies along road CA-11a from La Esperanza to Gracias, as well as on Route 41 in Olancho around Salamá and northward to Saba. Route 39 between Gualaco and San Esteban is also dangerous and should be avoided. Remain alert en route to El Progreso, Tela, Trujillo, La Ceiba, and on the road through Santa Bárbara. Travelling on major roads between towns and cities is safer than travelling on remote routes.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is prevalent. Be highly cautious at all times, including in the vicinity of hotels, airports, bus terminals, shopping malls and other public places. Do not display signs of affluence, such as valuables (including cameras and phones), cash and bank or credit cards. Remain alert to your surroundings after using automated banking machines, and avoid carrying large sums of money. Avoid walking or travelling alone and after dark, particularly in Tegucigalpa, in San Pedro Sula and in the regions of Atlántida, Cortés, Colón, Yoro, Copán and Ocotepeque.
Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Carry photocopies of your travel documents while leaving the originals in the hotel safe.
Narcotics smuggling and violence pose threats to the security of travellers in the northern departments of Colón, Gracias a Dios and Olancho, which is one of the most violent departments in Honduras. Travellers in that area should be particularly vigilant, as there have been incidents involving roadblocks and violence related to land disputes, particularly in the north coast area near Trujillo.
You should also exercise caution at borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and use official border points only. Cross the border in the morning, as crossings sometimes close early in the evening.
The judicial and criminal investigation systems both lack personnel, equipment and resources and have limited capacity to confront crime. You should exercise caution when dealing with police officers since corruption exists within parts of the police force.
Occasional demonstrations and strikes addressing various grievances occur in the capital and in other cities and might cause traffic disruptions. Demonstrations on the island of Roatán are frequent and have resulted in the closure of Roatán International Airport. Periodic violence may occur on the streets as a result of protests. Avoid demonstrations and large crowds, stay alert, exercise caution, and keep informed of possible roadblocks.
Unmarked landmine fields are located on both sides of the Honduras-Nicaragua border, especially in the Río Coco region, the departments of Choluteca and El Paraíso, and near the Atlantic coast. Although significant progress has been made in clearing these areas, landslides and floods have scattered many of the remaining mines, making the border area unsafe. Be extremely cautious if travelling in this area. Restrict travel to major thoroughfares and border crossings, such as El Espino (La Fraternidad), Las Manos and Guasaule.
Border crossing fees
To avoid possible excessive charges at land border crossings, determine the correct fees from the embassy or consulate of each country you plan to visit before presenting yourself at a border crossing.
Heavy rains, flooding, landslides and bridge collapses have damaged many roads. Roads are often poorly marked and lit. Avoid driving at night, as vehicles often travel on roadways without proper lighting and animals and pedestrians are common on roads after dark. Traffic accidents are a common cause of death and injury. Drivers involved in road accidents where another person is badly injured may be held in custody, regardless of culpability.
The most dangerous stretches are from Tegucigalpa to Choluteca (mountain curves); from El Progreso to La Ceiba (animal crossings and poorly maintained bridges); and from Tegucigalpa to Copán (mountain curves and poor road conditions). Carry a phone in case of emergency and travel during daylight hours.
Thieves are known to pose as victims of road accidents, so do not stop to attend to a body on the roadside; report it to the next police point instead. Be cautious when dealing with police officials, as gang members sometimes disguise themselves as police officers. Drive with windows closed and doors locked at all times. At roadblocks, establish the identity of the individuals stopping you before rolling down the window or opening the door.
Most urban public buses are poorly maintained and erratically driven. Accidents are common. Use buses operated by private companies.
Use taxis from a reputable taxi service. Note the driver's name and licence number, arrange with the driver not to pick up any other passengers on the way to your destination, and agree on the fare in advance.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
In the area off the northeast coast of Honduras, armed assaults against private vessels have been perpetrated by criminals posing as fishermen. Sailors should contact local authorities for current information.
General safety information
Only undertake sea diving and other adventure sports with a well-established company. If you have any doubt concerning the security of the installations or equipment, refrain from using them.
The emergency number for local police is 199. Police response to criminal incidents may be limited and delayed, and the Honduran police generally do not speak English or French.
There are tourist police forces in Tegucigalpa, Roatán, La Ceiba, Copán, Tela and San Pedro Sula.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Honduran authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Honduras or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Honduras, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 30 days
Student visa: Not required
Travellers intending to study in Honduras can apply to the immigration authorities for a student permit once they have arrived in the country.
Central America-4 Border Control Agreement
Under the terms of the Central America-4 Border Control Agreement (C-4), Canadian tourists may travel within any of the C-4 countries – Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala – for a period of up to 90 days, without completing entry and exit formalities at border immigration checkpoints. This period begins at the first point of entry to any of the C-4 countries. Travellers who exceed the 90-day limit can expect to pay a fine. An extension of up to 90 days is permitted once a year. You must request this extension and pay the required fee to Immigration authorities before the initial 90 day-limit expires. The length of the extension is at the discretion of the Immigration authorities.
A departure tax of approximately US$38 is required for all international flights.
Children and travel
Dual citizens and Honduran residents under 18 years of age departing the country alone or with only one parent are required to present a legally certified document stating that both parents (if travelling alone) or the parent remaining in the country (if travelling with only one parent) agree to their travel.
Please consult our Children page for more information.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.
The Agency strongly recommends that you consult with a travel medicine clinic or health care provider preferably six weeks before departure.
The Agency publishes travel health advice for Honduras.
Private hospitals and clinics in urban areas (including Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula) are often better staffed and equipped than public or rural facilities.
Physicians and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical care. Credit cards are accepted. Medical facilities on the Bay Islands (Roatán, Útila, Guanaja) are extremely limited.
Laws & Culture
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ for more information.
Honduran law prohibits the export of firearms, antiques and artifacts from pre-colonial civilizations. It is also illegal to export certain birds, feathers and other flora and fauna.
An International Driving Permit is required.
The currency is the lempira (HNL). You cannot exchange Canadian dollars in Honduras, although U.S. dollars and traveller’s cheques are easily converted. A passport is required for all financial transactions; however, institutions accept a certified photocopy of the identification page. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Natural Disasters & Climate
The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
In the rainy season, which extends from May to November, major highways are often closed due to rockslides and flooding. Follow regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly. During the dry season (from December to April), widespread forest fires often cause airport closures. Severe air pollution resulting from these fires can lead to respiratory problems.
Honduras is located in an active seismic zone. Familiarize yourself with earthquake precautionary measures.
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