Getting around

Air

There are airstrips in all large towns and many of the cut-off smaller ones. Internal airlines include
Isleña
, www.flyislena.com,
Sosa
and
Atlantic Air
.
Atlantic Air
serves La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Teguc, Roatán and Utila.
Sosa
, the largest domestic carrier, serves Roatán, Utila, Guanaja, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and other destinations in Honduras. La Ceiba is the main hub for domestic flights, especially for
Sosa
and
Atlantic
, and most flights to and from the islands stop there. Airport
departure tax
is payable (not charged if in transit less than nine hours). There is a 10% tax on all tickets sold for domestic and international journeys.

Road

The road system throughout the country has improved rapidly in recent years and Honduras probably has the best roads in Central America. However, many roads were built and maintained with US money when Honduras was supporting the contras in Nicaragua and are now showing signs of lack of maintenance. Traffic tends to travel fast on these apparently good roads and road accidents are second only to Costa Rica in Latin America. If driving, take care and avoid driving at night. Total road length is now 15,100 km, of which 3020 km are paved, 10,000 km are all-weather roads and the remainder are passable in the dry season.

Bus

There are essentially three types of service: local (
servicio a escala
), direct (
servicio directo
) and luxury (
servicio de lujo
). Using school buses, a
servicio a escala
is very slow, with frequent stops and detours and is uncomfortable for long periods.
Servicio directo
is faster, slightly more expensive and more comfortable.
Servicio de lujo
has air-conditioned European and Brazilian buses with videos.

Buses set out early in the day, with a few night buses running between major urban centres. Try to avoid bus journeys after dark as there are many more accidents and even occasional robberies.

If you suffer from motion sickness, the twisty roads can become unbearable. Avoid sitting at the back of the bus, take some water and sit by a window that will open. Minibuses are faster than buses, so the journey can be quite hair-raising. Pickups that serve out-of-
the-way communities will leave you covered in dust (or soaked) - sit near the cab if possible.

Car

On entering with a car (from El Salvador at least), customs and the transit police give a 30-day permit for the vehicle. This must be renewed in Tegucigalpa (anywhere else authorization is valid for only one Department). Charges for motorists apply. They are also substantially higher on weekends and holidays. You will have to pass through Migración, Registro, Tránsito, Cuarentena, Administración, Secretaría and then a police vehicle check. At each stage you will be asked for money, for which you will not always get a receipt. On arriving or leaving with a vehicle there are so many checks that it pays to hire a
tramitador
to steer you to the correct officials in the correct order. No fresh food is allowed to cross the border. The easiest border crossing is at Las Manos. The
Pan-American Highway
in Honduras is in bad condition in parts. One reader warns to “beware of potholes that can take a car. They suddenly appear after 20 km of good road without warning.” If hiring a car, make sure it has all the correct papers and emergency triangles, which are required by law.

Cycling

Bicycles are regarded as vehicles but are not officially subject to entrance taxes. Bicycle repair shops are difficult to find, and parts for anything other than mountain bikes may be very hard to come by. Some buses and most local flights will take bicycles. Most main roads have hard shoulders and most drivers respect cyclists. It is common for cars to blow their horn to signal their approach.

Hitchhiking

Relatively easy. Travel is still by foot and mule in many rural areas.

Taxi

Widely available. Tuk-tuks have become very popular in Honduras, and are a quick and cheap way to move around in towns and cities.


This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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