Honduras Photo by Angelo Pro

Honduras Driving Guide

Learn about driving rules, road etiquette, and top destinations in Honduras.

2021-10-05 · 9 Min.

Do you feel like going on outdoor adventures or exploring ancient heritage sites? If you do, Honduras is the place for you. Honduras is a Central American country rich in history and culture. Tourists visit to experience the wild outdoors every year, as the country is widely known for its lush evergreen forests and stunning white-sand beaches. However, it’s also home to some of the oldest Maya ruins.

With an area measuring over 112,000 sq. km and a population closely approaching 10 million, life in Honduras is never dull. The country’s official language is Spanish, but people in the major cities can also speak English, so this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re already dying for your adventure-filled island getaway, don’t hesitate and book your trip to Honduras now.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Honduras is one of the countries tourists visit for a wild outdoor experience. It isn’t popular for those who want to enjoy long relaxing trips. If you’re a first-time traveler to Honduras, this comprehensive guide can help you with all the important things you need to know when road tripping in the country. From international driving permits to the top road trip destinations, continue reading so you’d be fully prepared for your tropical getaway.

General Information

Honduras is the second-largest country in Central America. It is wedged in between other Latin American countries and is surrounded by water up north and down south. Honduras has four distinct regions: the Pacific lowlands, northern mountains and coastal plains, eastern Caribbean lowlands, and the central highlands. The country is also incredibly abundant in wildlife, which has been a tourist attraction each year.

Geographic Location

Honduras, also officially called the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. It is located between Guatemala and El Salvador to its west and Nicaragua to its south and east. The Caribbean Sea also borders it to its north and the Pacific Ocean to its south. One of its cities, San Pedro Sula, has a very high crime rate, but it’s still considered as one of the most important places industrially and commercially.

Languages Spoken

Although Spanish is the official language of Honduras, roughly 90% of the population speak it as their second language. There are also multiple dialects and variants of Spanish spoken in the country.

On the other hand, different minority languages like Garifuna, Miskito, Sumo, Pech, and Jicaque are used in the more isolated regions. Bay Islands English, an English-Creole language, is used by the people on the Bay Islands. English is also widely spoken in the area, so guests don’t have to worry about a language barrier.

Don’t worry if you can’t speak Spanish and don't want to communicate with the locals. You can always bring a map once you start driving in Honduras. However, it’s best to know some Spanish words and phrases because one way or another, you’d still end up interacting with some locals.

Land Area

Honduras has a land area of roughly 112,492 sq. km and is the second-largest country in Central America. The nation is absent in volcanoes. However, it makes up for its abundance in the mountains. The thick forests and protected areas also attract many tourists who want to experience their rich biodiversity.

History

The first inhabitants of Honduras were indigenous tribes such as the Mayas and the Lencas. Such groups had their conflicts but successfully maintained commercial relationships with each other and with other tribes in Central America. On July 30, 1502, Christopher Columbus first set foot on Honduran soil and immediately claimed the territory, naming the area “Honduras,” which means depths, for the water off the coast.

Government

Honduras has a population of 9.9 million led by a constitutional government. Under the executive branch, you have the President, the head of state, elected by the people, and must serve for four years. Under the legislative branch, you have the National Congress made up of 128 legislators who all have four-year terms. Lastly, under the judicial branch, you have the Supreme Court of Justice, courts of appeals, courts of the first instance, and justices of peace.

Additionally, Honduras is divided into 18 departamentos (departments) with one governor in each department that the President appoints. The departamentos are further divided into municipios (municipalities) and municipios into aldeas (villages). The villages are then grouped into caseríos (settlements), wherein some settlements are subdivided into barrios.

Tourism

Honduras attracts tourists with its stunning nature views, white-sand beaches, lush jungles, and historical sites. With more visitors coming in every year, tourism in Honduras significantly boosts its economy and offers more job opportunities. However, it brings not only positive but adverse effects on the country as well.

One of tourism’s detrimental effects is its harm to the environment, as more trees and mangroves are depleted due to development projects. Nevertheless, tourism has also brought in positive results by spreading awareness regarding responsible and sustainable tourism to other countries. Also, it supports businesses that hire locals, which benefits the people.

IDP FAQs

Driving isn’t always easy, especially if you’re abroad. One of the documents most countries require is the international driver’s permit, which is also informally known as the international driver’s license. Make sure not to skip this guide if you want to learn more about international driver’s permits in Honduras, their requirements, and how to get them.

Can I Drive in Honduras with My US License?

Note that foreign tourists are permitted to use their local driver’s license in Honduras for up to three months. So whether you own a US license or not, you may still rent a car and drive in the country. However, do know that it would be worth applying for an international driver’s permit if your driving licence is not in English or does not have any Roman alphabet characters.

How Long Does it Take to Get an IDP?

If you’re applying for an IDP from the International Driver’s Association, note that it would first take around two hours for IDA to review your application. Expect the physical copy of your IDP to arrive around 7 to 15 days if you’re based in the US and 30 days if you’re based elsewhere. Since the application process is completely online, you don’t have to worry about going out since you can apply for an IDP in the comfort of your home.

Do I Need an International Driving Permit?

Yes, you would need an IDP, especially if your license is not in English or printed in any characters other than the Roman alphabet. IDPs are required by car rental companies abroad and can help close the language barrier, particularly if you encounter officials or authorities who are not fluent in English.

The International Driver’s Association issues IDPs accepted in 165 countries and translated into 12 languages. If you want to obtain an IDP for your trip to Honduras, you can get yours from IDA.

Renting A Car in Honduras

Honduras is a country where road trips are a must, so it’s essential to settle your rental vehicle. Although it's fine to bring your own car, it's more convenient to rent a car instead. From SUVs and pickup trucks to hatchbacks and convertibles, this guide is going to tell you all you need to know about renting a car in Honduras.

Car Rental Companies

Road-tripping in Central America, specifically in Honduras, is one of the best ways to travel across the country; and you must find a reputable agency during your stay there. The best places to rent a car would be in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula; these are all major cities, so don’t expect the rent to be cheap. Without further ado, here are some reputable car rental companies in Honduras:

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • Alamo
  • Enterprise
  • National car rental
  • Payless
  • Advance
  • Maya
  • Molinari


It’s important to know what companies are available in the locations you visit for easier pickup and drop-off. Usually, car rental companies would state on their website where their branches are found. So make sure to do a little research beforehand to have a good car rental experience.

Documents Required

Before you start imagining driving in Roatan, Honduras, or visiting the Maya ruins in Copán, it is crucial to bring all the essential documents you’d need to rent a car. Just like most car rental companies, the requirements you’d have to provide when renting a car in Honduras are your:

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport (usually not required but be sure to carry it just in case)
  • IDP
  • Credit/debit card


Do note that you cannot drive without your license and that your IDP is only a supplementary document. However, remember that your IDP is still important. Your international driver’s License in Honduras is an English translation of your driver’s license. And it would serve as a bridge when communicating with people who cannot understand your License.

IDA grants replacements if you lose your international driver’s permits in Honduras. Just update your address, so your new copy can be directly sent to you. Remember that you don’t have to pay for the copy, but only for the shipping fees.

Vehicle Types

Only you get to decide what type of vehicle you’d want to rent in Honduras. Most rental car agencies have different cars, from vans, SUVs, pickup trucks to luxury cars. Tourists usually rent out self-drive cars so they have more autonomy on their trip. First and foremost, it’s important to know what kind of car you want to rent for a comfortable and stress-free trip. So you must consider your passengers above all else when deciding what type of vehicle to rent.

Economy cars are one of the most commonly rented cars in the country, and they’re great for traveling in the city and for short trips. If you’re carrying extra luggage and have plans for long road trips, then a full-size estate might be for you. If you plan on driving in big groups on rural roads, then an SUV or any four-wheel drive vehicles would be a good choice, especially if you want to do off-road activities.

Car Rental Cost

The cost of renting a car in Honduras can vary among car rental agencies and depends on the season. If you're renting a car in main cities, the cost can be higher. It also depends on the hire car company. That’s why it’s important to book your vehicle early, especially if you plan on driving during peak season when many tourists are flocking in. The average cost for renting a car would be about $32 per day, but this can change depending on the car type. The average price of rental cars in Honduras are as follows:

  • Economy - $11/day
  • Compact - $12/day
  • Intermediate - $17/day
  • Standard - $40/day
  • Full-size - $22/day
  • SUV - $28/day
  • Minivan - $52/day
  • Full-size SUV - $39/day
  • Mini - $10/day
  • Passenger van - $38/day
  • Pickup truck - $28/day
  • Standard SUV - $36/day


Remember, there may also be additional costs if you rent other accessories provided by your car rental company. Additionally, extra fees will be incurred if you start driving in Honduras right after picking up or renting your car from the airport. One-way rentals will also charge you extra as you have different pick-up and drop-off points.

Age Requirements

The minimum age to drive a car in Honduras is 18 years old. However, car rental companies usually have an age requirement of 21 to 25 years. Sometimes, they might even require you to have a driving experience of 2 years. Other companies charge a Young Driver surcharge for those who wish to drive below a specified age (typically 25 years).

If you plan to rent a vehicle, note that the age requirement implemented by rental companies can be your basis for whether you should get an IDP or not. If you haven’t ordered an IDP yet, you can still apply for one from IDA. Also, don’t forget about your current address to receive your international driver’s permit in Honduras. Your zip code should also be provided for more accurate shipment.

Car Insurance Cost

Note that car insurance costs don’t have a fixed price, as it depends on what insurance you will purchase. Car rental companies also have different prices for the same insurance, so it’s important to discuss with them the costs and coverages of the insurance you’ll get.

Car Insurance Policy

Sometimes, you get so caught up in planning your entire trip that you forget to think about other important factors, like car insurance. Usually, you can purchase insurance from your car rental agency. However, you can also buy insurance from another car insurance company. If you bought car insurance from your home country, it’s best to go through it and check what it doesn’t cover. Car rental insurance in Honduras may cover:

  • Liability Coverage
  • Personal Accident Insurance
  • Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver
  • Theft Protection
  • Roadside Assistance


As mentioned, it’s important to go through your insurance to see what it covers. This typically includes liability coverage and personal accident coverage already, so make sure to always double-check so you don’t end up buying what you already have.

Catedral Metropolitana San Pedro Apostol Photo by Héctor Emilio Gonzalez

Road Rules in Honduras

Driving abroad can be challenging, especially if you’re in Honduras. Locals don’t always follow the road rules, and traffic enforcers aren’t there to implement them, so it’s important that you know how to drive in a country with roads as rowdy Honduras. Continue reading to know all about the tips and tricks every tourist should know before driving in Honduras.

Important Regulations

Every country has its own set of important regulations that every driver must follow. Make sure to read the following rules and regulations set in Honduras to ensure a smooth drive in the country.

Drunk-Driving

Compared to other countries like the UAE or Australia, Honduras doesn’t implement strict laws regarding driving under the influence. Authorities are somewhat laxer and aren’t always out to catch drunk drivers. If you’ve consumed alcohol and traffic officers stop you, your blood alcohol concentration must only be at 0.07% or below.

Nevertheless, there are still appropriate penalties, such as fines, depending on your violation’s degree. Remember, visitors entering should always be responsible tourists, so no matter what country you’re in, you still shouldn’t drink and drive. This is mainly for your safety when you’re driving in Honduras.

Things to Check Before Your Trip

Driving in Honduras can be a bit of a challenge, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced driver or not. Roads can be rough, and the crime rate is quite high; thus, it’s good to prepare yourself before getting behind the wheel. Here are some things you should know before driving in Honduras:

  • Always bring your documents with you, including your passport, License, IDP, car insurance, and other related papers
  • Make sure to plan your itinerary so that you could reach your destination quickly. Find the best route to get to your destination. Knowing the main routes ahead is beneficial if you want to find the best route.
  • Talk to locals, so they can give you advice about safety tips and areas to avoid
  • Always check your car and ensure that it’s in good condition, such as brakes are responsive, ignition is fine, locks still work, no minor or major damages to the car
  • Don’t forget your emergency kit and spare tire


Before you leave for your destination, be sure to check if all your documents are valid. Your driver’s license shouldn’t be expired; and if your IDP is not valid anymore, visit the IDA website to get an international driver’s license in Honduras that’s updated.

Rules to Remember While Driving

The driving standards in Honduras aren’t that high, and many drivers don’t obey traffic rules. There are instances where they might suddenly enter highways from side roads, causing vehicles on the main road to break abruptly. Here are some things tourists must remember when driving in Honduras:

  • Adhere to the speed limit and road signs at all times
  • Don’t get distracted and always be aware of the road— Drive defensively to avoid accidents as drivers can be reckless
  • Keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you
  • Keep an eye for potholes— they’re prevalent in Honduras
  • Always lock your doors and windows to avoid robbers
  • Drive cautiously at night since streetlights are sparse
  • Roads are slippery during the rainy season, so it’s best to pull over if you think you can’t handle wet roads

Parking

Since Honduras is somewhat notorious for carjacking, make sure you park your vehicle in safe areas and attended parking lots. Designated parking spaces are also available, so do note that it’s illegal to park in these specific places:

  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Curves
  • Bridges
  • Areas less than five meters from an intersection


Lastly, remember that the tires must be at most 15 inches away from the curb; and that many crimes happen at night. So it’s best to stay indoors than to go out and experience the nightlife just to be safe.

Seatbelt Laws

Seat-belt use can reduce casualties and significant traumas to the body during accidents. Honduran officials would require you and your passengers to wear seatbelts no matter what, as wearing seatbelts can reassure your safety when driving in Honduras.

Additionally, there may be no Child Restraint Laws, but guardians should always keep an eye on children below five years old while they’re in a moving vehicle. Passengers below 12 years old are also forbidden to stay in the front seat of any car. Tourists must follow this rule since enforcement is relatively stricter than other road rules like drunk driving or even overspeeding.

General Standard

Driving in different countries would always be a new experience. Road tripping can either be easy or challenging, but that’s what makes traveling fun. Nonetheless, that doesn’t give visitors a pass to disobey the government’s general rules and standards.

If you plan to drive in Honduras, you have the option of choosing manual or automatic cars. Note that there are offroading activities offered in the county, so renting a manual car would be a good idea for that. But if you’re staying in crowded cities with heavy and unpredictable traffic, you might want to rent an automatic car, especially if you’re not used to a stick shift.

Speed Limit

Road accidents are the second leading cause of death in Honduras, so tourists must obey traffic rules at all times, mainly speed limits. This is to avoid not only violations but accidents as well. The speed limits tourists must always remember and adhere to are as follows:

  • Urban speed limit - 40 kph
  • Rural speed limit - 80 kph
  • Freeway speed limit - 80 kph

Driving Directions

If you’re driving in Honduras, you’d most likely encounter a roundabout, which is also known as a rotonda, glorieta, or redondel in Latin America. And just like any other country, there are particular rules when driving in one. Before entering a roundabout, remember to give way to the vehicles inside, especially if there are road signs instructing motorists to yield. Also, don’t forget to always flash your hazard lights if you’re making a specific turn or moving to an outer lane in a roundabout.

Additionally, don’t forget to exit a rotonda via the right lane, and never cross straight. When it comes to passing, do know that it is possible to do so in a roundabout if you give other drivers enough warning. Lastly, since the driving side in Honduras is on the right, motorists must overtake on the left.

Traffic Road Signs

Each country has its own set of road signs that would guide drivers or help them avoid accidents. Honduras has five types of traffic signs. These are:

  • Informative Signs are mainly for tourism, indicating the location of certain areas like airports or restaurants. These can be square or rectangular and can be in blue, white, or green. Examples of these signs are:
    • Restaurant
    • Aeropuerto (Airport)
    • Gasoline Station
    • Teléfono (Telephone)
    • Puesto de Primeros Auxilios (First Aid Station)
  • Restriction Signs instruct vehicles to stop or give way. They also indicate prohibitions and restricted passages. Some examples include:
    • Velocidad Maxima (Maximum Speed)
    • No Virar A La Izquierda (No Left Turn)
    • Prohibido Girar A La Derecha (No Right Turn)
    • Ceda El Paso (Give Way/Yield)
    • Una Vía (One Way)
  • Danger or Warning Signs alert vehicles if they are approaching risky or dangerous areas. Some of these signs you might see are:
    • Slowly
    • Curve Ahead
    • Intersection Ahead
    • Warning Landslide
  • Direction Signs indicate the name and location of destinations
  • Safety Signs warn drivers if there is road work or construction ahead. Examples of these road signs you may encounter include:
    • Bridge Under Repair
    • Road Under Repair
    • Machines Working
    • Construction Work in Progress

Lastly, if you plan on driving in Honduras, make sure to brush up or learn a bit of Spanish as the road signs are usually in this language. Knowing some Spanish words can also help you, especially if you’d need to communicate with some locals who barely speak English.

Right of Way

Knowing the right of way in any country can help you avoid any arguments or confrontations with other drivers. Here are some situations where you’d have to yield to other vehicles in Honduras:

  • You must yield to the other vehicle if you come to a complete stop because of a STOP sign
  • You must give way to the other vehicle if you come across a “GIVE WAY” sign
  • If you are about to turn left into an intersection and have come across a stop sign, you must give way to the car that is driving straight
  • You must yield to a vehicle if you are entering the main road coming from a secondary road
  • You must especially give way if you encounter a stop sign
  • If you are at a secondary road and have encountered a stop sign, you must yield to the car that is entering from the main road
  • Suppose you are on the main road and are about to turn left into the intersection. Then you must give way to the other vehicle, which is also on the main road and is about to turn right in the same direction as you are going
  • Other vehicles you must also yield to include military convoys, emergency vehicles like fire trucks or ambulances, cars of public officials, or the national police

You can start driving in Honduras as soon as you turn 18 years old. However, if you plan to visit the country and rent a car, you must be 21 to 25 years old. The minimum age requirement of car rental agencies would usually vary, and there may be other requirements, such as having a minimum driving experience.

If you want to drive in the country at 18, you should have a car beforehand. Assuming you want to rent a vehicle. You can do so, but remember that you have to reach the minimum age requirement, which would probably require you to pay a Young Driver Fee.

You can start driving in Honduras as soon as you turn 18 years old. However, if you plan to visit the country and rent a car, you must be 21 to 25 years old. The minimum age requirement of car rental agencies would usually vary, and there may be other requirements, such as having a minimum driving experience.

If you want to drive in the country at 18, you should have a car beforehand. Assuming you want to rent a vehicle. You can do so, but remember that you have to reach the minimum age requirement, which would probably require you to pay a Young Driver Fee.

Laws on Overtaking

You must always be careful when passing vehicles in Honduras since the locals can drive quite recklessly, and road rules are lightly implemented. Here are a few things you must remember when overtaking a car in the country:

  • Alert the vehicles behind you by flashing your signal lights
  • Honk your horn to inform the vehicle ahead of you, especially if you plan on overtaking them at night
  • Make sure there are no road signs indicating that overtaking is prohibited
  • Don’t overtake a vehicle when there is less visibility
  • Never overtake when you’re at a curve, bump, or intersection
  • Before passing, allow the vehicle ahead of you to drive along— this is, so no car occupies the left side of the road; and you can see if any vehicle is approaching
  • Be cautious when passing that you do not violently overtake the vehicle ahead of you, resulting in potential collisions

Driving Side

Like most of the world’s countries, Honduras also drives on the right side of the road. For tourists coming from countries that operate on the right side, this would be fairly easy for you. But if you come from a country that drives on the left, it might take some getting used to. Here are some tips for you to quickly adjust to right-hand traffic:

  • Practice “driving” on the right side— may it be walking on the far right of a sidewalk or pushing a shopping cart on the right side of the aisle; accustom yourself to stay on the right
  • Familiarize yourself with the road rules— if you get to know the traffic rules, there are fewer things to worry about, and you can focus on driving on the right side of the road
  • Stick with the traffic’s flow, so you are constantly reminded to drive on the right
  • Stay alert and always be cautious; you might revert to driving on the left side when you think you have the road all to yourself

Driving Etiquette in Honduras

Driving outside your home country can be intimidating. How much more if you experience car troubles or road accidents? Honduras isn’t exactly the ideal place to experience situations like these, especially since it has a high crime rate. Be sure to read this guide to know what to do if you end up in these unfortunate circumstances.

Car Breakdown

Before you go on your road trip, you must always prepare yourself for all possible scenarios. This may be getting into accidents, losing your way in the city, or having your car break down. Here is a list of things to do in case you’d experience car troubles in Honduras:

  • Use your hazard lights to alert oncoming motorists of your current situation
  • If your car hasn’t completely broken down yet, make sure to pull it to the side of the road
  • If you’re on a slope, turn your car’s wheels away from the road and use your emergency brakes to reduce its chances of rolling off the hill
  • Stay inside your vehicle; only go out of your car if it’s safe, and if there aren’t any vehicles passing
  • Put up your reflective triangles behind your car
  • Contact police or roadside assistance

If your car just needs minor repairs, then you can set off to your destination right after it’s fixed. However, if major repairs need to be done, you’d have to broaden your options. You might need to rent a new car or book a room if the day’s about to end. Some emergency numbers that you should remember when you’re in Honduras are:

  • 199 (for inquiries) / 237-1400 (for actual emergencies) - Police
  • 195 - Ambulance
  • 198 - Fire

Police Stops

Police in Honduras won't stop you unless you have committed any violations or crimes. Usually, they’d do short inspections and let tourists go their way. But to be safe, make sure to bring all your documents with you as you drive. You may encounter corrupt police during your trip to Honduras, so you must always be careful if you think the police stopping you is corrupt.

Not all cops have bad intentions, but there are many cases where cops fine tourists just to get money. Thus, it’s always good to be vigilant. Make sure to bring all your documents with you, but don’t present them to the police right away. If they ask for a copy, don’t provide them your original copies. Instead, hand them photocopies to be safe. This is also where your IDP will come in handy. Make sure to visit the FAQs page to know more about international driver’s licenses.

Asking Directions

If you’re driving in Roatan, Honduras, you’re bound to be surrounded by people who can speak English. However, if you plan to travel to areas where some people can only speak Spanish, knowing a few Spanish phrases would be helpful. On the other hand, if you don’t want to talk to locals at all, driving in Honduras with a map also works.

Note that before you ask for help from anyone, don’t forget to have a warm and approachable demeanor, as locals are known to be friendly and hospitable people. If you think you’re lost, feel free to approach strangers but be polite and respectful. Here are some basic Spanish terms to use in Honduras in case you have to interact with some locals:

  • Hola (Ola) - Hello
  • Adiós - Goodbye
  • Gracias - Thank you
  • De nada - You're welcome
  • Por favor - Please
  • Qué tal? - How are you?
  • Bien, gracias - Fine, thank you
  • Buena mañana - Good Morning
  • Hoy (oi) - Today
  • Ayer - Yesterday
  • Tarde - Afternoon
  • Mañana - Tomorrow
  • Tarde - Evening
  • Noche - Night
  • Dónde? - Where?
  • Cuándo - If / When / As?
  • Por que? - Why?
  • Qué? - What? / Which?
  • Sí / No - Yes / No
  • Perdón - Excuse me?
  • No he entendido - I do not understand
  • Izquierda / derecha - Left / Right
  • Ayuda! - Help!
  • Dónde está el puesto de policia? - Where is the police station?
  • ¿Dónde está la farmacia más cercana? - Where is the nearest pharmacy?
  • Cuánto cuesta? - How much does it cost?
  • Dónde hay …? - Where can I find ...?
  • Dónde hay un banco / cajero automático? - Where is a bank / ATM?
  • Dónde puedo comprar una tarjeta telefónica? - Where can I buy a phone card?

Checkpoints

Checkpoints are common in Honduras, particularly on the Pan American Highway and any border crossing. When you encounter police checkpoints, make sure to have your documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, IDP, rental car papers, and insurance. If your License isn’t in English, your international driver’s permit in Honduras will be useful, as it is an English translation of your native license.

The police are friendly— they’d typically greet you, check your documents, and let you go. Before, a checkpoint was the perfect opportunity for corrupt Honduran police to bribe drivers. However, this has improved since 2017 as checkpoints have become safer, so tourists don’t have to worry anymore.

Other Tips

Vehicular accidents are common in Honduras. And as scary as it is to think about getting into one, you must prepare yourself in case you get involved in a collision. Here are some things to remember if you get into an accident in Honduras.

What if I Get Involved in an Accident?

Most times, you never envision your trips going wrong. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenarios may occur, especially if you’re in a country with lax road rules. So it’s always good to be prepared in case of accidents. Here are some things you should do if you get involved in an accident in Honduras:

  • Stop your car and park it on the side of the road. If you don’t have any injuries, contact the authorities immediately. Assuming the accident is serious, don’t move your vehicle from the accident scene until the police arrive.
  • Flash your signal lights to alert motorists approaching, and be careful as you exit your car.
  • Inspect your car if there is any severe damage, such as fuel leaks, sparks, and excessive heat that can cause more significant accidents.
  • Suppose another car is involved, and you are free of injuries. Then you may help the other party if they are injured; bring them to the nearest hospital immediately.
  • Don’t forget to document the scene. Take as many pictures as possible so you can present this to the authorities.
  • If you damaged someone’s property, contact the owner immediately and give them your name and address. If the owner cannot be contacted, leave all the details of the accident in a note. Make sure to notify authorities right after.
  • In cases where there is no police, you must make a complete written incident report. This should be given to authorities within 24 hours, especially if there are casualties.

Driving Conditions in Honduras

Honduran drivers can be scary, but the roads might scare you as well if you’re not used to them. Before road-tripping in Honduras, know all the important facts and information about their road conditions and driving situations, so you’d fully know what to expect when you reach the country.

Accident Statistics

Road accidents are quite frequent since driving laws are lax in Honduras. Traffic accidents are also the second leading cause of death right after homicides. According to the National Directorate of Roads and Transportation, there were more than 7,000 road accidents and 1,157 deaths reported in the past year. So if you’ll be traveling in Honduras, always stay alert and keep an eye out for reckless drivers.

Common Vehicles

The day-to-day cars you’d typically see in Honduras are the family-sized compact cars. Other vehicles also include motorcycles, bicycles common in the Bay Islands, and pickup trucks. In terms of public transportation, you’d see a lot of buses. Other modes are the taxis in cities and mototaxis in smaller towns. Moto taxis are vehicles quite similar to the tuk-tuks of Thailand. Colectivos or shared taxis are also quite common in major cities.

Another interesting thing to note about Honduras is that roughly 70% of their cars are second-hand cars. Of course, this has both pros and cons. One of the main benefits of buying used cars is the low price of these vehicles. However, these cars usually aren’t in mint condition anymore and may be challenging to maintain due to constant tune-ups.

Toll Roads

Most of the main and well-paved highways in Honduras have tolls, but you don’t have to worry because although you have to pay regularly, it only costs around L20 for cars, which is less than a dollar. Note that bigger vehicles are required to pay higher tolls, but these charges are much lower if the toll roads are in municipalities.

Road Situations

You could still find decent highways when you’re driving in Honduras. Meanwhile, smaller roads are known to be less maintained and are typically dimly lit. They can also be pothole-ridden. As you travel to more rural areas, the road situation may seem bleaker if you’re used to well-maintained and paved roads. That is why it is advisable to drive a 4x4 if you plan on traveling to these types of regions.

Other road conditions can also vary depending on their location. For example, El Progreso’s roads to La Ceiba are notorious not only for animal crossings but the poor state of their bridges caused by flooding. So stay vigilant and cautious when driving in the country. However, one thing's for sure: your road trip to Honduras will surely be unforgettable.

Driving Culture

Foreign drivers will find that driving in Honduras can be a bit problematic. Aside from dimly lit roads and inconsistent traffic signs and markings, road rules aren’t strictly implemented. Thus, locals can get away with almost anything.

However, foreigners must still be responsible drivers. Police advise drivers to drive defensively so vehicular accidents and mishaps can be avoided. On a good note, the Honduran government is modernizing and prioritizing the road and transport systems. Hopefully, foreign drivers can get to see these improvements when they’re driving in Honduras in the near future.

Other Tips

Aside from the main driving conditions, there are a few things to know before you drive in Honduras. Here is some additional information that you might find necessary if you’ll be driving in the country.

Are They Using Kph or Mph?

Honduras is one of the countries that use Kph as a unit of speed. Except for a few nations like the USA and the UK, most of the world uses Kph. So this won’t be a problem if you belong to the majority. On the other hand, suppose you are from any of the minority countries. Then you’ll have to get used to seeing Kph on the speedometer as you drive in Honduras.

Don’t worry, as speed limit signs are present on the road if you have to slow down. As long as you see these road signs and follow them, you won’t break any traffic rules and cause potential accidents.

Is It Safe to Drive at Night?

Honduras is one of the countries in the world with a very high crime rate. Political unrest, petty crimes, and natural disasters may fend away some tourists. However, you cannot deny the beauty of the country. For novice travelers, avoid driving at night since theft and other street crimes usually occur when it’s dark. Make sure not to bring a huge amount of money and flash your belongings like jewelry and expensive gadgets to avoid attracting small-time criminals.

Things To Do in Honduras

Suppose you want to move to Honduras. It’s important to consider all the possible documents you’d need so you could relocate to the country, whether it be permanent or not. This article will guide you through all the necessary steps and requirements needed to process the Honduran documents you want to obtain, from driver’s licenses to residence permits.

Drive as a Tourist

If it’s your first time driving in Honduras, expect a few bumps along the way. However, you’ll get used to it over time, so you don’t have to worry too much. As a foreigner, you’re required to be responsible and follow all the country’s rules and regulations. Don’t forget to bring your passport, driver’s license, IDP, and car documents before you set off.

Don’t forget that an IDP is not an official document that permits you to drive. However, it makes driving abroad much easier, especially if there would be a language barrier in the way. If you don’t have an IDP yet, you can get yours from the International Drivers Association.

Work as a Driver

Many foreigners move and settle down in Honduras, particularly due to their cheap cost of living. Tourists who wish to stay in the country and work as drivers may do so, but they’d have to apply for a Honduran driver’s License.

Honduras has different types of Licenses depending on the driving job you’re applying for. These Licenses also vary in requirements and qualifications. However, you must apply for a standard “first-time” driver’s License before you can convert it into other types of Licenses.

Work As a Travel Guide

If you think you’re well versed in Honduran history and culture, then you may try to apply as a travel guide. Do know that there are two types of tour guides in Honduras. One who is assigned to a specific location, and another who is assigned to a particular activity. To be a tour guide, one must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be of legal age
  • Be a Honduran or permanent resident
  • Must have finished elementary school (for local guides) or college (for national guides).
  • Applicants for local guides may also be accepted if they have sufficient experience and knowledge in their field. However, they will be accredited only if they continue their studies
  • Note that researchers, professors, and scientists may also act as guides
  • Must have good mental and physical health
  • Does not have any criminal records
  • Possesses a first-aid certificate

Before you get the title of a tour guide, do know that you’d still take an accreditation exam. If you want to read more about becoming a tour guide, you can check out this copy of the National Regulations of Tourist Guides of Honduras. Do know that the document is in Spanish; nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a hindrance if you wish to pursue the field of tourism in Honduras.

Apply for Residency


The cost of living in Honduras is relatively low, and many foreigners fall in love with the country. If you want to move to Honduras, you first need to process your residence permit. The Secretary of Justice processes these permits, so you’d need a lawyer’s help for this. Do note that the entire application may roughly take a year or so to process. These are the requirements you’d need when applying for a residence permit in Honduras:

  • Passport that is valid for a year since the date of application
  • Police record
  • Health certificate
  • Your photograph
  • Documents related to the residency you are applying for
  • Other documents you must get in Honduras, such as migratory records

As mentioned, you’d also need some documents related to the type of residency you are applying for. These are the types of residence permits you can get in Honduras:

  • Rentista - Should have an income of $2,500 per month from a source beyond Honduran soil
  • Retired - Required to have a lifetime benefit of $1,500 per month from a government or private institution
  • Investor - Must have a business represented by an investment worth $50,000
  • Relative - Is a family member or relative of a Honduran national

Other Things to Do

Relocating abroad isn’t easy, especially if it’s in a country where most foreigners would have to adjust to the chaotic yet charming lifestyle. It’s also challenging to travel safely if you don’t have a car or a license, as public transport is not a hundred percent safe. If you’ll be owning a vehicle or working as a driver in Honduras, a license is essential, so here are the steps in obtaining one.

How Do I Apply for a Honduran Driver’s License?

You will need a Honduran driver’s License if you want to stay in the country for more than 90 days or plan to work as a driver. Like other nations, Honduras also has special licenses aside from its regular driver’s License, and it’s important to know all about these if you wish to apply for one.

How Do I Get a Honduran Driver’s License “For the First Time”?

Suppose you want to move to Honduras. Then obtaining a driver’s License would be a smart decision, especially if the validity of your foreign driver’s License has already expired. Getting a License will also be handy if you plan to work in the country as a driver. Here is a list of documents you’d need for the application for a Honduran driver’s License:

  • Physical, psychological, and eye exam
  • Valid residence permit
  • Blood type chart
  • 2 passport-sized photographs

Remember that you must also book an appointment at the Atlantida Bank Agency, where you’ll be paying the fees for your application. Additionally, applicants are required to attend seminars in training centers or driving schools before taking a mandatory theoretical and practical exam.

How Do I Get a License for Heavy Non-articulated Vehicles?

If you want to work as a driver for heavy non-articulated vehicles like trucks, then you’d have to apply for a different kind of license. The requirements you’d need for this type of Honduran License are:

  • Residence permit
  • Original and photocopy of your primary education diploma
  • Certificate of your police record from DPI
  • Proof of criminal record from the court
  • Physical, psychological, and eye exam
  • Original and photocopy of your previous driver’s License

Obtaining this kind of License has a few differences from your standard Honduran License. First, you must be at least 25 years old; second, you should have 5 years of experience driving light vehicles.

Visit the website of the National Police of Honduras to know more about Honduran Licenses and their fees. However, for non-Spanish speakers, note that their website is in Spanish, so you’ll have to translate their page to read their announcements.

Top Destinations in Honduras

Honduras offers a wide variety of outdoor experiences, and you must come to the country with a travel itinerary. From ancient ruins to pristine national parks, your stay in Honduras won’t be a bore. Plan your travel and take a pick from the list of top road trip destinations in the country.

Cerro Azul Photo by Paulo Freitas

Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park

The Cerro Azul Méambar National Park is a national park found near Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortés. It is also one of the parks near Lake Yojoa. The national park boasts trails that foreigners typically use for hiking, bird watching, and other nature trips.

Most of the park’s activities can be booked if you visit D&D Lodge, Brewery, and Restaurant. It’s also the primary lodge that hosts outdoor adventures for Lake Yojoa. So if you want to see the national park, make sure to drop by the lake as well for the full experience.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, head northeast on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  2. Turn right to stay on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  3. Turn left onto Bv. a Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  4. Merge onto CA-13.
  5. Turn right onto Carr V-846 and continue on the road.
  6. Turn left onto CA-5.
  7. Turn right onto RN-54.
  8. Turn right onto RN-72.
  9. Turn right twice.

These directions lead to D&D Brewery, Lodge, and Restaurant, the most popular site that hosts the national park activities.

Things to Do

Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park is known for its view overlooking Lake Yojoa. If you’re visiting the park, it would be a ghost idea to stop by the lake as well since many of its activities are interconnected. Here are some fun things you can do when visiting PANACAM.

  1. Hike in the National Park

    One activity you can do is hike in one of the best national parks in Honduras. Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park, commonly known as PANACAM, has trails that tourists can easily follow, as maps and guides are found at various path points. Exploring the park gives the guests the opportunity to see the waterfalls, creeks, trees, and other wonders, as well as a view of Lake Yojoa.
  2. Visit Coffee Plantation

    The Finca Paradise Coffee Plantation owned by the Mierisch Family is found near D&D and PANACAM. Visitors can walk through its trails and access a higher viewpoint to some surrounding areas. Additionally, guests can swim in a natural spring called Pozo Azul (“Blue Well”), whose name was given due to the vibrant color caused by limestone.
  3. Go Birdwatching

    Of course, with lush flora comes abundant and diverse fauna. Birdwatchers and other animal enthusiasts can enjoy sightseeing the different birds that flock to Cerro Azul’s thick forests. If you want to stay at one of the best birding lodges, you can go to PANACAM Lodge inside the National Park to have the best view for birdwatching.
Copán Ruinas Photo by Donal Caliz

Copán Ruins

Experience the deep culture and heritage of Honduras by visiting the Copán Ruins. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also the most studied Maya city. The ruins date back to around 2,000 years ago and are famous for their altars and stelae built during the years 711 and 736.

Other things to see on the archeological site include the ball court, the hieroglyphic stairway, a temple home to the longest Maya text, and the Acropolis. To learn more about the ancient Maya life, don’t forget to drop by Las Sepulturas archeological site and visit the Sculpture Museum of Copán. Remember that not only would this trip be fun, but it’ll be educational as well.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, head northeast on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  2. Turn right to stay on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  3. Turn left onto Bv. a Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  4. Take the ramp and merge onto CA-13.
  5. Turn left onto 33 Calle.
  6. Turn right onto Segundo Anillo
  7. Make a U-turn.
  8. Make a slight right toward 33 Calle.
  9. Make a slight right onto 33 Calle, then merge onto Bulevar del Sur/CA-5.
  10. Turn right onto CA-4.
  11. Turn right onto CA-11.
  12. Turn left onto V-342.
  13. Turn left. Your destination will be on the left.

Things to Do

Visiting Maya ruins always feels so fulfilling, especially if it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Copán Ruinas in Honduras is home to the most studied Maya city. So if you’re dropping by, this is a list of activities you can do in the area.

  1. Explore the Maya Ruins

    It’ll be so ironic if you go to the town of Copán Ruinas and not visit the Maya ruins. The archeological site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the most studied Maya city. It may not be as grand as other ruins. Nonetheless, the place boasts stunning hieroglyphics, sculptures, and structures.
  2. Visit Museo de Escultura

    Aside from taking a look at the ruins themselves, make sure to drop by the Museo de Escultura (Sculpture Museum) for an additional educational trip. Copán is particularly unique for its collection of sculptures; if you want to see the best and finest for display, then spare some time to visit the museum.
  3. Go Horseback Riding

    If you want to explore the countryside, be sure to do it through horseback riding. The tour leads you along the river and into the mountains to discover a hidden indigenous village. This activity is perfect for travelers who want to immerse themselves in Honduran culture and heritage.
Honduras Photo by Ubu Komarova

La Tigra National Park

La Tigra National Park is around 20 km from Tegucigalpa and is one of Honduras’s most famous national parks. It has an altitude of 2,270 meters and is home to stunning flora and fauna. Besides the unspoiled and lush forest, you might get to see ocelots, monkeys, and pumas if you’re lucky.

If you have a penchant for bird watching, then you’d enjoy this park. La Tigra National Park is home to over 200 bird species, including trogons, toucans, and quetzals. You can also go on a hike, as there are hiking trails around. Walking along the courses allows you to appreciate the tropical flowers blooming within the area. Lastly, if you don’t want a guide, be sure to grab a map at the visitor’s center, so you don’t get lost in the winding trails.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, head northeast on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  2. Turn right to stay on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  3. Turn left onto Bv. a Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  4. Merge onto CA-13.
  5. Turn right onto Carr V-846 and continue on the road.
  6. Turn left onto CA-5 and continue to follow CA-6.
  7. Take the ramp onto Anillo Periférico, then continue straight ahead.
  8. Exit onto RN-25, then merge onto RN-25.

Things to Do

La Tigra is the oldest national park in the country, home to very diverse flora and fauna. For travelers planning to visit the park, here are some of the most enjoyable things to do.

  1. Be on the Lookout for the Wildlife

    La Tigra National Park is home to a diverse set of wildlife, so make sure to stay on the lookout while hiking. However, don’t expect to see a puma or quetzal right away since it’s difficult for novice hikers to spot any of the elusive animals. But if you’re keen on finding some, be sure to hire a seasoned guide who could help you along the way.
  2. Go on a Hunt for the Endangered Ferns

    Aside from the wildlife, the park is also incredibly rich in fauna, so plant lovers can explore the area and check out the plants if they want to. If you want an extra challenge, try to find the six different endangered fern species within the park that blend perfectly with the rest of the greenery.
  3. Explore the Old Mining Town

    Are you up for a little urban exploration? If you are, then make sure to explore the old mining town in La Tigra National Park. The site has been abandoned for decades and experienced considerable damage after Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998. Nevertheless, sightseeing the ghost town is another fun thing to do, especially if you want something slightly different from the usual outdoor activities,
Santa Cruz de Yojoa Photo by Esteban Benites

Lake Yojoa

Lake Yojoa, the biggest natural lake in the country, can be found along the main road between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Tourists can enjoy many activities in the lake, such as canoeing or kayaking. If you want to explore the mountains bordering the lake, you can visit Santa Bárbara National Park up north or Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park down south.

The lake has seen over 480 species of birds, so you can bring a camera and snap a shot of them as they pass by. If you want to discover other natural wonders nearby, you can hike to the waterfalls or explore the cave system underground. The D&D Brewery, Lodge, and Restaurant host the activities for Lake Yojoa, so make sure to stop by the place to book a room and an adventure package before you set off to enjoy the area.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, head northeast on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  2. Turn right to stay on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  3. Turn left onto Bv. a Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  4. Merge onto CA-13.
  5. Turn right onto Carr V-846 and continue on the road.
  6. Turn left onto CA-5.
  7. Turn right onto RN-54.
  8. Turn right onto RN-72.
  9. Turn right twice.


These directions lead to D&D Brewery, Lodge, and Restaurant, the most popular site that hosts activities by the lake. This is also the same lodge where you can book activities for Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park. To cut costs and save money, you can choose to stay in the lodge to experience both the lake and the national park.

Things to Do

Lake Yojoa is the biggest natural lake in the country, and since it’s surrounded by lush vegetation and other stunning natural wonders, visitors can do so many things by the lake. Here are a few activities that could be named.

  1. Visit the Caves of Taulabe

    Taulabe has a good and well-developed cave system that guests can access. The paths are easy to pass and have sufficient lighting to guide its trekkers. However, since the first half of the tour is relatively easy, you have the option to delve deeper into the cave with a guide for a more challenging adventure.
  2. Hike to Pulhapanzak Waterfalls

    Make sure not to miss hiking to Pulhapanzak Waterfalls. Tourists who’d visit the falls can choose between the top and bottom observation points to admire the view of the cascading waters. Visitors can even go ziplining over the falls if they want an extra boost of adrenaline.
  3. Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding

    One of the best ways to discover and explore the entirety of Lake Yojoa is to go kayaking or paddleboarding. Tourists who wish to do so would not only get to have a fun yet s

Lancetilla Botanical Gardens

The Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, which are around five kilometers from Tela, are the world’s second-largest tropical botanical gardens. It was established in 1926 by the United Fruit Company as an experimental site mainly for economic purposes. Today, visitors can see the lush hardwood trees and vegetation which have been protected in the area.

Like many other regions, the botanical gardens are also home to more than 200 tropical bird species. These birds have flocked to the gardens due to the fruit trees that serve as their food source. You can also explore the trail with a guide to learn more facts about the majestic fauna you’d encounter along the path. If you’re an avid nature lover or an advocate of the environment, the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens is another must-see.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, head northeast on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  2. Turn right to stay on Blvd de Ent Al Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  3. Turn left onto Bv. a Aeropuerto Ramon Villeda Morales.
  4. Merge and continue onto CA-13.
  5. Turn right onto RV-367.
  6. Turn left.

Things to Do

If you don’t want to visit a national park, but you still want to keep in touch with nature, be sure to stop by the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens. You may not have the ambiance of a typical national park, but you’re still surrounded by nature, nonetheless. Here is a list of activities guests can do to have a fun time at the gardens.

  1. Hike in the Bamboo Forest

    Suppose you’ve hiked in the many forest trails in the various national parks in Honduras, and you’re craving a change of scenery. You can hike in the bamboo forest in the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens instead. With the tall majestic bamboos swooping overhead, you’re bound to have a different experience from the usual hike in a tropical forest.
  2. Visit the Plant Nursery

    If you’re a plant lover, you’ll surely have the time of your life at the plant nursery, where plants of various species all come together. If you’re not interested in plants, you can still take your trip to the gardens as a learning experience to know more about the different fauna in the area. Who knows, you might see them elsewhere, and all the things you learned in Lancetilla might be useful.
  3. Buy Some Local Products

    If you want to take something home, feel free to purchase some of the gardens’ locally-made preserves and beverages. Remember that by buying local products, you’re not only satisfying your craving for food, but you’re also helping boost the economy of the country you’re visiting.

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