Traveling to Honduras is not for the faint of heart. As of August 2009, the U.S. State Department had issued an alert recommending against all non-essential travel to the area. In July 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by political opponents and exiled, leading to political unrest. The United States did not recognize the new government. As of August 2009, however, the U.S. consulate was open in Honduras. Honduras is a beautiful country, with pristine beaches, wonderful diving opportunities and numerous hiking trails. With some caution, it is possible to enjoy your trip to Honduras.
Have Your Paperwork in Order
A current passport is required to enter Honduras. Ideally, the expiration date should be at least three months from the date you plan to leave the country. The Lonely Planet reports that some visitors have reported problems with trying to leave with a passport that was near expiration. A visa is not required to enter the country, but you are required to produce tickets or other proof that you plan to return to your country of origin or travel somewhere else at the completion of your trip. Visitors may stay in Honduras for 90 days, and once in the country can apply for one extension of that term. Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times, and arrange for any children in your group to have passports as well.
File Your Itinerary
The U.S. State Department recommends that you file a copy of your trip plans with them on their website. The consulate is available to provide Americans with aid, and letting them know that you are in the country is one way to increase your level of safety.
Before leaving the United States, check the State Department's website for updated travel advisories. Once you are in the country, watch local news or listen to the radio regularly. As of summer 2009, there was a curfew in place. Keeping up with the local news is the only way to ensure that you are not out later than is permitted.
Your doctor will probably recommend vaccinations for hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid. Depending on your vaccination history, he may also recommend a series of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and a booster of tetanus and diphtheria. If you plan to hike, cave or spend a good amount of time outdoors while in Honduras, ask your doctor if he recommends the rabies vaccine. Start the vaccination process about two months before your trip to give your body time to build antibodies to these diseases, and ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccination, which states all vaccines you have received as well as when you received them.
Look Out for Yourself
When hiking, hire a guide. There have been several instances of hikers wandering off the trails and dying. The trails are often overgrown and confusing, and a guide can keep you on track. If diving, ask what types of medical facilities are available. While some diving areas have access to emergency medical equipment, others have no access. In most parts of the country, the medical facilities are not sufficient for much more than moderate care.