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Honduras - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Honduras due to violent demonstrations following the November 26, 2017 elections, and violent crime.
Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía in the department of Cortés due to high levels of violence and crime.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Honduras. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía, Cortés (see Advisory)
Murder rates in the Cortés municipalities of Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía are very high. Several street-level criminal groups operate in these areas.
Presidential, parliamentary and local elections took place on November 26, 2017. Violent demonstrations occurred in many cities since the elections, and could continue for some time. These could lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
Avoid all highway travel and all political demonstrations and large gatherings. Be extremely vigilant in public places, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
There is a high level of violent crime in Honduras, and the country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and the presence of street gangs pose significant security concerns. The government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly respond to, investigate and prosecute cases. As a result, criminals linked to organized crime operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras.
Kidnapping, extortion, home invasion, robbery, sexual assault and other forms of aggravated assault are carried out by criminals acting individually or as a group. Assault, armed robbery and carjacking are serious problems along Honduran highways. A large percentage of the population in Honduras is armed. Incidents of armed robbery occur mainly on urban streets during the day and on intercity buses at night. Guns and other weapons, such as machetes and knives, are frequently used. Although most criminals do not target tourists, some travellers have been victims of crime in major cities and in areas frequented by tourists, especially at night. If you are threatened by robbers, do not resist; injuries and deaths have occurred when victims have resisted.
Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid walking or travelling alone and after dark (including travelling in vehicles leaving the airport). Due to the threat of violent crime, particular vigilance is recommended in and around the cities of La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa–Comayaguela; in Atlántida, Copán, Cortés, Ocotepeque and Yoro departments; along the border with Guatemala; in rural areas north of Nacaome, in the department of Valle; and north of Choluteca, in the department of Choluteca.
Narcotics smuggling and violence pose threats to the security of travellers in the northern departments of Colón, Gracias a Dios and Olancho. In Colón, there have also been incidents involving roadblocks and violence related to land disputes, particularly in the Aguán valley and in the north coast area near Trujillo. Remain alert to local conditions and maintain a high level of personal security awareness in these areas.
In resort areas, stay on supervised, populated beaches and avoid isolated areas. Whenever possible, walk in a group; attacks on tourists walking alone have occurred. Foreigners have been assaulted on beaches in the Bay Islands and along the Atlantic Coast, mainly at night.
On Roatán Island, robbers have targeted homes and long-term leased residences. Since 2009, four Canadian citizens have been murdered in the Bay Islands. Coxen Hole should be avoided after dark. 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.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is prevalent. Be highly vigilant 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 jewellery, watches, cameras, phones, cash and bank or credit cards. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Carry photocopies of your travel documents, and leave the originals in a secure hotel safe.
Use only automated banking machines (ABMs) found in well-lit public areas or inside banks or hotels, and do so during the day only. Remain alert to your surroundings after using ABMs and avoid carrying large sums of money. Credit card skimming is a concern. Keep your credit and debit cards within sight while making transactions at hotels and restaurants.
Hitchhiking is strongly discouraged throughout Honduras. Campers should always stay in well-lit campgrounds that have security patrols.
Exercise caution at borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and use official border crossings only. You should cross borders in the morning, as crossings sometimes close unexpectedly early in the evening.
Exercise caution when dealing with police officers because corruption exists within parts of the police force.
Spiked food and drinks
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 the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
The ports on Roatán Island are cruise-ship stops. The port agencies at Mahogany Bay and Town Center have worked to improve taxi service to and from the ports. Taxis can be found inside the port facilities; taxis are white and every taxi driver carries an ID card with the name of the port. Book tours and sightseeing trips through reputable tour companies.
See Advice for Cruise Travellers for tips to ensure your well-being during a cruise.
Recreational activities and rentals
When planning water activities, monitor the weather warnings and follow the instructions provided by local authorities. Only undertake scuba diving and other adventure sports with a well-established company. If you have any doubt concerning the security of an installation or equipment, refrain from using it. Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for recreational activities.
The number of traffic accidents involving tourists has increased. Avoid renting cars and motorcycles from operators who do not provide insurance. Ensure that helmets meet international safety standards. Renting motorcycles in Roatán is not recommended due to poor road conditions.
Thieves pose as victims of road accidents. Do not stop to help a person at the side of the road; instead, report anything suspicious at the next police point or call 911. Be cautious when approached by police, as gang members and criminals sometimes disguise themselves as police officers.
Do not use shared taxis. Individuals travelling in shared taxis are regularly assaulted and robbed by thieves posing as occupants.
There have been incidents of sexual assault against women travellers. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information specifically for Canadian women.
Demonstrations and strikes occur regularly in cities throughout the country and often result in significant traffic disruptions and minor vandalism. In Tegucigalpa, demonstrations are known to target the National Congress, Central Park, Presidential Palace, United Nations offices and the United States Embassy. Demonstrations often transit along Centroamerica Boulevard, La Paz and Los Próceres avenues, and Suyapa Boulevard.
Anti-corruption demonstrations occasionally take place on Fridays in Tegucigalpa. Some groups of protesters gather on Friday afternoons in Tegucigalpa, and often follow any of the following routes:
- from Tigo Building on Morazán Boulevard to Presidential Palace, the U.S. Embassy and/or United Nations offices
- from Kennedy neighbourhood (“colonia”) to Presidential Palace
- from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to Presidential Palace or the National congress
Vehicle demonstrations in Tegucigalpa generally move along the Peripheral Ring Road. In San Pedro Sula, protesters gather at the monument to the mother (Monumento a la Madre).
There are ongoing student demonstrations at UNAH campuses throughout the country, with larger gatherings at the campuses in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Students block roads, throw rocks at passing vehicles and engage in altercations. In some locations, students have been forcibly removed by government security forces.
Avoid demonstrations and large crowds, as they can turn violent with little notice. Exercise caution and keep informed of possible roadblocks. The Honduran constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners. Do not participate in political discussions or activities in public, as doing so could lead to arrest or even deportation.
In 2004, Honduras concluded all planned projects related to the destruction of antipersonnel mines. No incidents involving landmines have been reported since 2012; however, you should still be cautious along the Honduras–Nicaragua border, especially in the Río Coco region, the Choluteca and El Paraíso departments and near the Atlantic coast. Travel only on major thoroughfares and through authorized border crossings.
Road travel is unsafe in Honduras. Maintain a heightened awareness along all routes. Traffic accidents are frequent and a common cause of death and injury. Heavy rains, floods, landslides and bridge collapses have damaged many roads, including on Roatán Island. Local motorists generally do not follow traffic regulations or safe driving practices. Vehicles can be in very poor condition, including insufficient headlights. Many roads are poorly delineated and not well-lit. Plan to travel within daylight hours and allow for possible traffic delays, which can be caused by slow moving, overloaded trucks or vehicles with poorly secured cargo. There is often heavy traffic volume in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.
Drive with windows closed and doors locked at all times. Carry a cell phone in case of emergency. At roadblocks, verify that there is a police vehicle and green cones. At least five police officers should be present. If you have any doubts, call 911 to confirm the location of the roadblocks and the identity of the individuals stopping you before you roll down your window or open your door.
Avoid 33 Street and southern San Pedro Sula when travelling from the airport in San Pedro Sula; take route CA13 instead.
Use caution between Tegucigalpa and Choluteca due to winding, two-lane mountain roads; from El Progreso to La Ceiba due to animal crossings and poorly maintained bridges; from Chamelecón via Cofradía to Copán; and from Copán to Gracias Lempira due to winding and poorly maintained mountain roads.
Avoid intercity public transportation due to the risk of armed robbery. If necessary, use companies that have direct, non-stop executive service from your place of departure to your destination. Never travel on intercity buses at night.
Most urban public buses and shared taxis (colectivos) are poorly maintained and erratically driven. Accidents are common. There are regular incidents of individuals boarding a bus to rob all of the occupants and/or to shoot an occupant and/or the driver. Several buses have been intentionally set on fire since 2013. For inter-city travel use buses operated by private, well-established companies only.
Use a reliable taxi company recommended by a major hotel chain and negotiate the fare in advance. Do not board taxis at taxi stands or flag taxis in the street. When travelling by air, pre-arrange your pickup with your hotel prior to your arrival. Otherwise, make sure to use authorized airport taxis whose drivers wear easily identifiable picture identification badges. Never share a taxi with strangers. Note the driver's name and licence number. Ensure that the driver does not pick up other passengers along the way to your destination, and have small bills available for payment, as taxi drivers often do not make change.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international 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 scuba diving and other adventure sports with a well-established company. If you have any doubt concerning the security of an installation or equipment, refrain from using them.
Police response to criminal incidents may be limited and delayed, and the Honduran police do not generally speak English or French.
There are tourist police forces in Tegucigalpa, Roatán, La Ceiba, Copán, Tela, Choluteca and San Pedro Sula.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Honduran authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Honduras.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Required
Travellers intending to study in Honduras can apply to the immigration authorities for a student permit once they have arrived in the country.
Determine the correct entrance fees before presenting yourself at a border crossing. A fee of US$3 or 70 lempiras is charged upon arrival and is payable at the immigration office in cash only. Deal exclusively with state border officials and avoid dealing with anyone suggesting that they can obtain your documents more quickly or cheaper on your behalf. Dealing with local officials is the only way of ensuring that you will obtain all legal documentation required to enter and exit Honduras. You can enter with a Canadian vehicle at border crossings for a fee but again, deal only with local authorities to ensure that you have all required documentation. For more information, contact the Honduran embassy in Canada.
Central America Border Control Agreement
Under the terms of the Central America Border Control Agreement (CA-4), Canadian tourists may travel within any of the CA-4 countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
When entering Honduras by air, land or sea, you must meet the immigration authorities. Ensure they stamp your passport and verify that the length of the visa is for a period of up to 90 days. Note, however, that the period of the visa is determined at the discretion of the immigration officer. Travellers who fail to present an entry-stamped passport when departing Honduras will incur fines and possible delays.
Travellers who exceed the 90-day limit can expect to pay a fine. An extension of up to 30 days is permitted. You must request this extension and pay the required fee to immigration authorities before the initial 90 days expire; the decision of an extension is at the discretion of immigration authorities. Please note that the initial visa period starts at the first country of entry. Stays are cumulative and includes visits to any CA-4 countries.
A departure tax of approximately US$45.97 (or lempira equivalent) is usually included in the price of your plane ticket for international flights. For domestic flights, the tax is US$2 (or lempira equivalent) and is payable in cash only.
Children and travel
Dual citizens and minors born in Canada should possess a valid passport. Honduran immigration entry and exit control laws consider that a person under 21 is a minor. If the minor is traveling unaccompanied or with one parent only, a written and notarized authorization to travel from the non-travelling parent/s (or legal guardian/s) must be submitted. If neither parent is traveling with the minor, both parents must sign the authorization. If you are coming from Canada, the written authorization should be translated and authenticated by Honduran authorities in Canada.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central America and Mexico, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central America and Mexico. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central America and Mexico, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus, and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Central America and Mexico, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Though limited in number, private hospitals and clinics in urban areas (including San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa) are often better staffed and equipped than public or rural facilities. Medical facilities on the Bay Islands are limited and expensive. Medical care outside of populated areas is generally only adequate for minor illnesses and injuries. Major medical procedures and surgeries may require medical evacuation from the Bay Islands to a major centre.
Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and medical evacuation, if required. Physicians and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical care. Credit cards are usually accepted.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
There are severe penalties (15 to 20 years in prison and a very large fine) for drug trafficking and drug use.
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.
Drivers involved in road accidents where another person is badly injured may be held in custody, regardless of culpability.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Honduras.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Honduras, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
The currency is the lempira (HNL). You cannot exchange Canadian dollars in Honduras, although U.S. dollars and travellers cheques are easily converted. It is best to travel with U.S. dollars. 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 and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Rainy and dry seasons
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, and severe air pollution resulting from these fires can lead to respiratory problems.
Earthquakes and volcanoes
Honduras is located in a moderately active seismic zone. Familiarize yourself with earthquake precautionary measures. Consult the Honduran disaster relief agency COPECO (Commission Permanente de Contingences) (in Spanish only) for more information.
Emergency services exist but may be subject to certain limitations. In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 911
- medical assistance: 195
- firefighters: 198
Tegucigalpa - Embassy of Canada (Program Office)
San José - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Tegucigalpa and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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