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Travel Security Advice for Honduras

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

A coup d'etat against the elected government took place on June 28, 2009 when the democratically elected leader ,President Zelaya was ousted and exiled to Costa Rica . Neither the United States, the Organization of American States, the United Nations nor any other country has accepted the de facto authorities in Honduras as the legitimate government of that country. The country has a developing economy. The national language is Spanish, although English is often spoken in the Bay Islands. The climate is generally pleasant and temperate, with dry and wet seasons. During the dry season from February into May, widespread forest fires and agricultural burning can lead to severely degraded air quality throughout the country possibly causing respiratory problems and airport closures. The terrain includes mountainous areas, coastal beaches, and jungle lowlands. Facilities that would normally be used by tourists, including hotels and restaurants, are generally adequate in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, in San Pedro Sula, Tela, La Ceiba, the Bay Islands, and near the Copan ruins. Large sections of the country, however, lack basic public services or even a governmental presence. Currency exchange is readily available at banks and hotels in the major cities. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Honduras for additional information.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

Americans living or traveling in Honduras are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Honduras. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy or consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at:

Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Embassy website.

Telephone: 011-504-236-9320 or 011-504-238-5114
Office hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 am.
American Citizens Services Unit Fax: 011-504-238-4357

Consular Agency in San Pedro Sula:
Banco Atlantida Building – 11th Floor
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Telephone: 011-504-558-1580
Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Consular Agent is available during limited hours to perform notary services, assist U.S. citizens with emergencies, and accept U.S. passport and U.S. Report of Birth applications for adjudication at the Embassy in Tegucigalpa. The Consular Agent does not provide visa information or services. For more details about all U.S. Embassy and consular services in Honduras, please see the Embassy website or visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A U.S. passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry is required to enter Honduras. A visa is not required for American citizens, but tourists must provide evidence of return or onward travel. Parents should not rely on birth certificates for their children’s travel; rather, prior to travel they should obtain U.S. passports for infants and minors born in the United States. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their U.S. passports with them at all times so that if questioned by local officials proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.

As of July 24, 2009, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert advising American citizens to defer non-essential travel to Honduras due to the political instability there. The travel alert is valid until October 20, 2009, subject to extension.

In June 2006, Honduras entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals who legally enter any of the four countries may similarly travel among “CA-4” countries without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries.

Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days. Foreign tourists who wish to remain in the “CA-4” country region beyond the period initially granted for their visit are required to request a one-time extension of stay from local immigration authorities in the country where the traveler is physically present, or travel outside the CA-4 countries and reapply for admission to the region. Foreigners “expelled” from any of the four countries are excluded from the entire “CA-4” region. In isolated cases, the lack of clarity in the implementing details of the CA-4 Border Control Agreement has caused temporary inconvenience to some travelers and has resulted in others being fined more than one hundred dollars or being detained in custody for 72 hours or longer.

Honduras has the highest adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the region. Over 63,000 people in Honduras have HIV/AIDS. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Honduras. For these individuals, medical certificates are required. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Honduras before you travel. For more information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Honduran consulate at 1014 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, telephone (202) 682-5948 or a Honduran consulate in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, or San Francisco. The Honduran government also retains an Honorary Consul in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here for a full listing of Honduran consulates.

The Honduran Embassy is located at 3007 Tilden Street, NW, Wasthington DC 20008. The Embassy can be contacted by phone (202) 966-7702. . Visit the Embassy of Honduras’ website for the most current visa information. For tourist information or suggestions, please contact the Honduras Institute of Tourism at 1-800-410-9608 (in the United States) or at 1-800-222-TOUR (8687) (within Honduras only) or visit the Honduras Institute of Tourism website.

Dual Nationality:

Honduran law permits dual nationality only for minors under the age of 21 and those Honduran-born citizens who have become naturalized citizens of other countries. U.S. citizens who become Honduran citizens by naturalization are not considered to have dual nationality under Honduran law. However, becoming a Honduran citizen will not cause U.S. citizens to lose their U.S. citizenship and all the accompanying rights and privileges. Dual nationals, in addition to being subject to all Honduran laws affecting U.S. citizens, may be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Honduran citizens. For more information, please contact Honduran Immigration in Tegucigalpa (telephone 504-238-5613), San Pedro Sula (telephone 504-550-3728), Roatan (telephone 504-445-1226), La Ceiba (telephone 504-442-0638), or Puerto Cortes (telephone 504-665-0582).

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

Honduras has a precarious security situation. Political demonstrations have occurred on an almost daily basis since the June 28, 2009 coup, often in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, but also in other major cities, along the country’s highways and at border crossings. These demonstrations often disrupt traffic, but they are frequently announced in advance and are usually peaceful. Travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place, and they should stay informed by following the local news and consulting hotel personnel and tour guides. Demonstrators frequently block public roads to press their political views or to seek concessions from the de facto regime ruling Honduras. These demonstrations may last several hours and security forces rarely seek to disperse the demonstrators. U.S. citizens should never try to pass such roadblocks. While the Honduran side of the Honduras-Nicaragua border has been largely cleared of land mines, travelers should exercise caution there.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found. American citizens in Honduras should frequently check the U.S. Embassy’s website for the latest information on demonstrations.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s A Safe Trip Abroad.

CRIME:

Crime is endemic in Honduras and requires a high degree of caution by U.S. visitors and residents alike. U.S. citizens have been the victims of a wide range of crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, assault, and property crimes. Sixty-nine U.S. citizens have been murdered in Honduras since 1995; only twenty-three cases have been resolved. Nine U.S citizens were murdered in Honduras in 2008, four in 2007 six in 2006, and ten in 2005. Kidnappings of U.S. citizens have also occurred in Honduras. Four U.S. citizens were kidnapped in January and February 2009, four in 2008, and two in 2007. Poverty, gangs, and low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to a critical crime rate, including acts of mass murder. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported 4,473 murders in Honduras in 2008 giving Honduras, with a population of approximately 7.3 million people, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates.

Criminals and pickpockets target visitors as they enter and depart airports and hotels, so visitors should consider carrying their passports and valuables in a concealed pouch. Two-man teams on medium-size motorcycles often target pedestrians for robbery. There have also been reports of armed robbers traveling in private cars targeting pedestrians on isolated streets.

Incidents of crime along roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Honduras. There have been frequent incidents of highway robbery on a number of roads including Limones to La Union, Olancho (route 41) via Salama and northward to Esquipulas Del Norte. For more information, please see the section below on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.

Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places, such as congested downtown streets. Avoid driving at night. All bus travel should be during daylight hours and on first-class conveyances, not on economy buses. Choose taxis carefully, and note the driver's name and license number. Instruct the driver not to pick up other passengers, agree on the fare before you depart, and have small bills available for payment, as taxi drivers often do not make change.

Kidnappings for ransom have occurred in affluent areas where individuals may be targeted for their connections to the business community. Although U.S. citizens have not been specifically targeted because of their citizenship, they may be at increased risk for targeting then the average local citizen because of their presumed wealth. The four kidnappings of U.S. citizens in early 2009 took place while the victims were sitting in their cars outside their homes or schools. In some cases, investigators believe that the kidnappings were arranged by people who knew the victims. Travelers are encouraged to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times, especially when entering or exiting their homes, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. It is also recommended that drivers vary their routes and schedules so as to not create a predictable routine. Individuals should also limit the sharing of personal information and closely screen personal employees. Should a U.S. citizen be kidnapped, local authorities and the Embassy should be contacted immediately.

Do not resist a robbery attempt. Most criminals have weapons, and most injuries and deaths have resulted when victims have resisted. In 2004, an American citizen was murdered while attempting to flee an armed robbery in progress and another American was shot while resisting a carjacking. Two American citizens were murdered while resisting armed robberies in 2005.

Do not hitchhike or go home with strangers, particularly from nightspots. Whenever possible, travel in groups of two or more persons. Use the same common sense while traveling in Honduras that you would in any high crime area in the United States: do not wear excessive jewelry; do not carry large sums of money, or display cash, ATM/credit cards, or other valuables you do not need. Avoid walking at night in most areas of Honduras. Do not hike alone in backcountry areas, or walk alone on beaches, historic ruins, or trails.

The Honduran government conducts occasional joint police/military patrols in major cities in an effort to reduce crime. Problems with the judicial process include corruption and an acute shortage of trained personnel, equipment, staff, and financial resources. The Honduran law enforcement authorities' ability to prevent, respond to, and investigate criminal incidents and prosecute criminals remains limited, further strained by the necessity of policing the increased number of demonstrations since the June 28, 2009 coup. Honduran police generally do not speak English. The government has established a special tourist police in the resort town of Tela and other popular tourist destinations including Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatan, but the number deployed is small and coverage is limited.

The San Pedro Sula area has seen armed robberies against tourist vans, minibuses, and cars traveling from the airport to area hotels, even sometimes targeting the road to Copan. Armed men have forced vehicles transporting tourists off the road and robbed the victims, occasionally assaulting the driver or passengers. In past years, several U.S. citizens have been murdered in San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba shortly after arriving in the country. Assaults in these areas may be based on tips from sources at airport arrival areas, so visitors are strongly urged to exercise caution in discussing travel plans in public.

Copan, Roatan/Bay Islands, and other tourist destinations have a lower crime rate than other parts of the country, but thefts, break-ins, assaults, and murders do occur. Exercise particular caution walking on isolated beaches, especially at night. Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan should be avoided after dark.

The Government of Honduras has a very limited presence in the departments of Northern Olancho, Colon and Gracias a Dios which are well known for lumber and narcotics smuggling and violence. Travelers in those areas should use extra caution. See the description of highways/areas to be avoided in the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section below for details.

Individuals and groups should register their travel plans with the State Department via the Internet at the Department’s secure travel registration website. Travelers may also register by sending passport, date of birth, and emergency contact information to the American Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa via fax at 011-504-238-4357, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it prior to travel. Individuals as well as groups should always keep in their possession a photocopy of their U.S. passport data page, carry an additional copy in their suitcase, and leave a copy at home with a friend or family member.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Honduras is: *199

Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Honduran laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Honduras are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

June 28, 2009 Coup d'etat:

On June 28, 2009, the democratically-elected President of Honduras, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, was forcibly removed from office and expelled from the country. Some members of the Zelaya cabinet fled Honduras as well. The de facto regime currently in power, headed by former President of Congress Roberto Micheletti, is not accepted by the United States or any other country. Since the coup, there have been frequent demonstrations both in support of President Zelaya and the de facto regime, with occasional incidents of violence. Airports and border crossings have been closed on occasion.

Real Estate Investment:

U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution before entering into any form of commitment to invest in real estate, particularly in coastal areas and the Bay Islands. Honduran laws and practices regarding real estate differ substantially from those in the United States, and fraudulent deeds and titles are common; U.S. citizens considering investing or buying real estate in Honduras should be aware that rights to such property do not enjoy the same level of protection as in the United States. Historically, title insurance has not been available in Honduras. Recently, some American insurance companies have begun offering title insurance in cooperation with Honduran attorneys. However, approximately 80 percent of privately held land is untitled. In addition, there are complaints that the Honduran judicial system often prolongs disputed cases for many years before resolution. American citizens have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of frustration trying to resolve property disputes, even in cases where local attorneys and Honduran and U.S. real estate agents had given assurances to the investor. Violence has been used against American citizens involved in disputed property cases. Potential investors should engage competent local legal representation before making any commitments. Investors should also thoroughly check references of attorneys and real estate agents.

Honduran law places certain restrictions on land ownership by foreigners in coastal and border areas. Squatters claim a number of properties owned by U.S. citizens. U.S. Government officials may not act as agents, attorneys, or in a fiduciary capacity. U.S. citizens who own property abroad and who thereby have assumed responsibilities concurrent with ownership of property in a foreign country should take steps on their own initiative to safeguard their interests and to employ private legal counsel when the need arises. For further information on investing in property in Honduras, please review the State Department’s Investment Climate Statement, part of the Country Commercial Guide. For information on contracting Honduran legal representation, please check with other investors. You may also refer to the list of attorneys available on the Embassy's home page.

Financial Market Investment:

Due to poor regulation and lack of guarantees, investment in the Honduran "Bolsa de Valores," or securities market, as well as banking institution bonds, “fideicomisos” (trusts), and certificates of deposit from uninsured financial institutions pose high risk to investors. Extreme caution should be exercised before and while undertaking such activities, as American citizens have lost large sums of money through investments in such precarious markets. For further information on investing in Honduras, please review the State Department’s Investment Climate Statement, part of the Country Commercial Guide.

Corruption:

Many U.S. firms and citizens operating in Honduras have found corruption to be a serious problem and a constraint to successful investment. While some U.S. firms have satisfactorily resolved cases through the courts, the majority have difficulty navigating the legal system. There are complaints that the Honduran judicial system caters to favoritism, external pressure and bribes. Corruption appears to be most pervasive in government procurement, government permits, and in the buying and selling of real estate (land titling).

Customs Regulations:

U.S. citizens who intend to stay in Honduras for an extended period of time and who bring vehicles or household goods into the country should consult Honduran customs officials prior to shipment. With the exception of “antique” cars, all cars imported into Honduras by foreigners must be less than ten (10) years old. Buses, pickup trucks, and dump trucks must be less than 13 years old. For specific information regarding customs requirements, please contact the Embassy of Honduras in Washington, DC for more information.

Honduran customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import and export of items such as antiquities, medications, and business equipment. For example, Honduran law prohibits the export of antiques and artifacts from pre-colonial civilizations. To protect the country's biodiversity, it is illegal to export certain birds, feathers, and other flora and fauna. For specific information regarding exportation requirements, please contact the Embassy of Honduras in Washington, DC and see our Customs Information page.

The Government of Honduras is strictly enforcing the law that requires a Honduran permit for the importation of firearms into Honduras. Travelers must obtain a firearm importation permit from a Honduran Embassy, Consulate General, or Consulate located in the United States prior to bringing firearms into the country. Please note that a U.S. government-issued or airline-issued permit is not valid for importation of firearms into Honduras. Firearms that arrive without the requisite Honduran permit will be confiscated and the bearer will be prosecuted to the full extent of Honduran law.

Adventure Sports:

Honduras's growing tourism industry attracts a number of people interested in adventure sports such as whitewater kayaking and rafting, scuba diving and canopy tours. Travelers should be warned that in addition to the inherent risk of injury and death in these activities, there exists little or no oversight of safety standards for adventure sports operators in Honduras. Five American citizens died in these sports in Honduras during the past three years. While many operators use good practices and attempt to meet internationally accepted safety standards, travelers should be diligent in researching potential adventure sports providers to make sure they are using internationally-acceptable or certified equipment, guides, safety measures and instruction.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical care in Honduras varies greatly in quality and availability. Outside Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, medical care is inadequate to address complex situations. Support staff facilities and necessary equipment and supplies are not up to U.S. standards anywhere in Honduras. Facilities for advanced surgical procedures are not available. Wide areas of the country, including the popular tourist areas of the Bay Islands, do not have a general surgery hospital. Ambulance services are limited in major cities and almost non-existent elsewhere. Emergency services may be contacted directly through their local numbers, including the national emergency line, *199.

Scuba diving is popular in the Bay Islands, but the limited medical facilities there pose a special risk in the event of an emergency. There is a decompression chamber on Roatan and Utila for divers, but no advanced medical care on either island for diving related accidents.

Mosquito-borne illnesses are an ongoing problem in Honduras. All persons traveling in the northern areas of Honduras, even for a brief visit, are at risk of contracting malaria. Take a prophylactic regimen best suited to your health profile. The country regularly suffers from outbreaks of dengue fever. Unlike traditional mosquito-borne illnesses, there is no medicinal prophylactic or curative regimen for dengue fever. Travelers should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes to reduce the chance of contracting such illnesses, such as avoiding standing water even in the home, wearing long sleeves and pants in both day and night, and applying insect repellent regularly.

Severe air pollution, which can aggravate or lead to respiratory problems, is common throughout the country during the dry season due in large part to widespread forest fires and agricultural burning. Travelers with respiratory or cardiac conditions and those who are elderly or extremely young are at greatest risk for complications from air pollution, including coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or chest pain. Acute respiratory infections are also widespread; more than 100,000 cases are reported annually.

Honduras lacks a substantial infrastructure for maintaining water purity. Travelers are strongly encouraged to avoid drinking tap water or a beverage that contains ice from an unknown source (even alcoholic drinks). Bottles and bags of purified water are widely available. It is also recommended that individuals traveling to Honduras avoid eating untreated raw vegetables, fruits that can’t be peeled on the spot, raw fish like ceviche and undercooked shellfish and products containing mayonnaise, pastry icing, and unpasteurized dairy products. Hot cooked food, fresh bread, dry foods such as crackers, bottled carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, and beer are usually safe, provided such food items are not purchased from street vendors. All fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly with detergent and running water. Those that will be cooked or peeled can then be stored in a sealed container until used. Those that will be eaten raw and will not be peeled should be soaked for 15 minutes in a solution of chlorine bleach (or 5% household bleach) in water (one tablespoon of Clorox per gallon of water), rinsed with potable water, and allowed to air dry. (Moved up from below)

Individuals traveling to Honduras should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccination against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid is strongly recommended for those traveling to Honduras from the United States. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination should also be considered for travelers who may be exposed to stray animals on city streets or in rural areas. Honduras requires vaccination against Yellow Fever for those traveling to Honduras from countries where there is the risk of transmission. Travelers taking prescription medications should bring an adequate supply with them when coming to Honduras and ensure that they are properly labeled.

Honduras has the highest adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the region. Over 63,000 people in Honduras have HIV/AIDS. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Honduras. For these individuals, medical certificates are required. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Honduras before you travel.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the U.S. unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Furthermore, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations. It is important to ensure that you have adequate medical evacuation coverage prior to your trip to Honduras.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, American citizens should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost tens of thousands of dollars. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Honduras is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Because of crime and poor road conditions, driving can be very dangerous, and travelers should carry a cellular phone in case of an emergency. Travelers should exercise extreme caution while driving on isolated stretches of road and passing on mountainous curves. Rockslides are common, especially in the rainy season (May through December). Traffic signs, even on major highways, are often inadequate, and streets in the major cities are often unmarked. Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places such as congested downtown streets. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

Honduran roads are poorly lit and poorly marked. Vehicles are often driven at night without adequate illumination, and animals and people wander onto the roads at all hours. For these reasons, and because of the high incidence of crime, the U.S. Embassy strongly discourages car and bus travel after dark.

Major cities are connected by an inconsistently maintained, two-lane system of paved roads. Many secondary roads in Honduras are unpaved. During the rainy season, even major highways are often closed due to rockslides and flooding from heavy rains. In the event of an accident, contact the Honduran Transit Authority (“Transito”) immediately. They may be contacted either directly through their local numbers, or through their national emergency number, *199. Honduran law requires that no vehicles involved in an accident be moved until Transit Agents arrive, not even to clear a traffic obstruction, unless you are in serious physical danger. Besides informing the Transit Authority, the car insurance companies should be notified immediately or as soon as possible. Personal identification documents, including driver’s licenses, passports, and the vehicle registration cards should be carried while driving.

Some of the most dangerous stretches for road travel include: Tegucigalpa to Choluteca, because of dangerous mountain curves; El Progreso to La Ceiba, because of animal crossings and the poor condition of bridges from flooding; Route 39 through northern Olancho Department between Gualaco and San Esteban; and Limones to La Union, Olancho (route 41) via Salama and northward to Saba. Locals also refer to this latter stretch of road as the “Corridor of Death” because of frequent incidents of highway robbery. In March of 2008, 27 persons died when a bus overturned and rolled down a ravine in La Esperanza, Intibuca, on another infamous stretch of road called “Flight of the Angel.”

The Embassy has received reports of robberies on the road from Tegucigalpa to Danlí. The only recommended route to the north coast from the south is CA-5 to route 21 to CA-13 via Tela to La Ceiba and Trujillo. Hijackings of private and commercial vehicles from the United States to Honduras have occurred. While Honduras and the United States have signed and ratified a Stolen Vehicle Treaty, existing Honduran laws protect good faith buyers (even of stolen vehicles) so the recovery and return of these vehicles to their original owners is not guaranteed. Vehicle insurance may mitigate loss; please check with the National Insurance Crime Bureau or with private insurance carriers about coverage details. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information on driving abroad.

MARINE SAFETY AND OVERSIGHT:

The areas off both coasts of Honduras are the subject of maritime border disputes between Honduras and its neighbors. The Honduran Navy patrols these areas and all private vessels transiting Honduran territorial waters should be prepared to be hailed and possibly boarded by Honduran military personnel to verify documentation. While the Honduran Navy previously used private vessels as patrol vessels, this is no longer the case. In the event that any vessel is hailed in Honduran waters in the Caribbean by a non-military vessel or any suspicious vessel and directed to prepare for boarding, the vessel should immediately contact the U.S. Coast Guard Operations Center by radio or INMARSAT at 305-415-6800. Anyone needing more information can also contact the U.S. Embassy during working hours and request to speak with the U.S. Military Group (USMILGP) office.

There have been incidents of armed assaults against private sailing vessels by criminals posing as fishermen off the northeast coast of Honduras, particularly in the numerous small islands northeast of the Department of Gracias a Dios. Sailors should contact the Coast Guard and yacht facility managers in their areas of travel for current information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Honduras Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Honduras’ air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s safety assessment page.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES

For information see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

 


 

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information pertaining to Honduras HERE.....

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens).........

Be advised of the Malaria risk to Honduras HERE....

Regards

The SW Team......

 

Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts