I spent 2.5 weeks in Honduras a year ago and was lucky enough to help with building a home for an underprivileged family on a volunteering project.
When I wasn’t flexing my muscles on the building site however, I had the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in Honduras.
Visit The Town of Copan
I loved Copan. It has many layers to it, plenty of guesthouses, hostels and hotels to use as a base for your stay, it has a multitude of activities to keep you out of trouble and it also felt really safe to wander around when I was on my own.
During my stay in Copan I found the following things to do:
- Copan Mayan Ruins – this was my first experience of any Mayan ruins, and it’s fair to say that I was blown away! I felt like I was on a film set as the guide led us around then left us to explore at our leisure (read – take silly photos posing on the ruins)
- Eat at Hacienda San Lucas – a 100 year old restaurant set high on the hills overlooking Copan – get there early to watch the sunset with a drink in your hand…bliss.
- Take a Zip Line Tour over the Mayan ruins! My number one activity during the trip. The longest wire was 1km long and the scenery was just amazing as you fly over the forest.
- Horseback tour – I’m not a horse fan, but others that did this loved it and felt like real cowboys.
- Dance the night away in local bars with swings instead of bar stools.
Eat the food!
Rice and beans, beans and rice with a side dish of refried beans and soured cream with EVERYTHING.
True, beans and rice are a staple food in Honduras, and you’ll either love them or hate them. I loved the refried beans in particular, very filling after a day of building. Wash it down with a cold Salva Vide beer.
Other dishes you should try are a plato tipico which consists of cuts of meat, plantain, guacamole, cheese and tortillas – everything I love on one plate! Breakfast usually consists of coffee, fresh fruit, eggs, tortillas, plantains and plenty of sour cream. It takes some time to get used to eating sour cream in the morning, but I could get used to that…
I’m not even a smoker, but a guy on the trip recommended a local brand at a ridiculously low price in a fancy box and I couldn’t resist. I’m a sucker for a fancy box. It was something like $2 for a box of 6. I think I gave a couple out as gifts and smoked a few on ‘special occasions’ i.e. a Tuesday.
Get the best head massage…under a 140 foot high waterfall!
We visited Pulhapanzak waterfall towards the end of the trip. Pulhapanzak waterfall is 140 feet high, just 30 foot shorter than Señor Niagara in fact, so I understand. There’s a slight difference between Niagara and Pulhapanzak though… you can wade under the Pulhapanzak falls and have your senses absolutely pounded by the deafening water around you – unreal.
Before the tour starts, you’re told to wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet, what they didn’t tell you is that you get soaked to your very bones after being under that waterfall! I think I was draining water out of my ears for a few days after!
To get behind the waterfall, you have to jump in to a rock pool as the water pounds all around you and the spray gets in your eyes. You then have to hold hands in a chain with your fellow water mates as the guide goes ahead and leads the way through the waterfall, and you climb up on to a ledge behind the fall – no health and safety regulations here!
Now, I’ll admit that I was a massive coward at this part of my trip, I felt like I’d done enough adrenaline fueled activities, but I’m proud of what I did do. I’m not a strong swimmer either, and the water was easily up to your shoulders, you couldn’t see anything and every breath you took in you swallowed a good section of the waterfall. I jumped in to the rock pool and got up to where the waterfall was smashing on to my shoulders but I decided that I wouldn’t go behind the waterfall. I don’t regret it at all because it was still amazing to be so close to the fall!
Natural Hot Springs
Easily one of the best things I’ve done in Honduras and I was lucky enough to visit two different natural springs in Honduras. You go to a natural swimming pool of sorts and there are different pools that branch off from that pool. As you move through the pools, they either get hotter or colder and some are so hot you’re not actually allowed in them as they are close to boiling point! When you consider this is all natural, it’s amazing!
Some of the springs have piles of natural mud next to them that you can slather on yourself and wait for it to set, then wash it off… bliss! Others have man made rock floors to exfoliate your feet as you walk round in them, there are also warm waterfalls you can sit under too. Sitting in a natural hot spring with a cold beer takes some beating.
So there we are. I could easily list another five things; maybe there’ll be another post!
I didn’t make it to the Bay Islands on my trip. Oh well, a reason to go back I guess! I think there’s something in Honduras for everyone, I met some amazing people and saw amazing sights. Plus, it might be different for other countries, but in the UK Honduras is still seen as somewhat off the beaten tracks compared to places like Costa Rica, so it was great to try somewhere new.
Have you been to Honduras? What was your favourite part of your trip there?