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How Safe is Honduras

Midland, Michigan
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How Safe is Honduras

Planning a diving vacation in Roatan; but the want to go mainland to Copan; maybe rent a car etc. It is just me and my 15 year old son. I read the following?

"On 6 December, the Honduran authorities declared a State of Emergency in public security, for an initial period of 90 days, due to ongoing national security and internal policing problems. This measure will allow Military forces temporary policing powers, for example to conduct patrols, searches and arrests"

I certainly don't want to put my son in harms way. I've traveled all around Belize, Yucatan and felt perfectly fine.

So I wanted to solicit some comments.

P.S. Planning to go 1st week of April

Thanks

Utila, Honduras
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for Utila
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1. Re: How Safe is Honduras

i wouldn't recommend renting a car on the mainland, honduran drivers are crazy. best to take the hedman alas bus to copan, much less stressful, drivers in honduras think passing on blind curves at full speed in the dark is normal.

the state of emergency is just an action announced by the government as part of their continuing farce "cracking down on police corruption", everyone in honduras knows its a pr joke.

a trip to roatan followed by a bus journey from either la ceiba or san pedro sula to copan should be perfectly safe as long as you take common sense precautions, as you would anywhere else. the majority of serious crime takes place in the big cities of mainland honduras and is drug related but there is a lot of it.

if you do a search on safety in this forum you'll see 100's of posts about it, most will reiterate what i've said. some however will tell horror stories and advise never going to honduras, most of these stories however are second hand or read from the internet.

i've spent 40 of the last 60 months in honduras and would not think twice about visiting the bay islands and copan with a 15 yr old.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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2. Re: How Safe is Honduras

I've pasted my personal safety guidelines below from a previous thread. You should look at reserving your Roatán reservations soon - the week before Easter is the busiest beach time of the year in Latin America. Happy trails!

____________________________________________

Sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with one or more of my kids and/or my husband, sometimes with a group in tow. I don't feel overly paranoid but have never had a problem and would like to keep it that way.

Here are my concessions to safety when I travel in Central America:

:: I avoid the big cities as much as possible

:: I don't "party"

:: Where recommended I take specific transportation (ex: Hedman Alas in Honduras, avoid chicken buses on the mountain runs in Guatemala, take taxis after dark)

:: I know where I am and where I'm headed and make major transitions with plenty of daylight left

:: I don't wear jewelry (not even my wedding band) and try not to flash camera equipment or money around

:: Some trips I carry a “throw down wallet” with an expired card or 2 and the day’s cash in it

:: I keep important documents and cash under my clothes (except what I need for shopping, buses, etc. for that time period) and keep close watch on my things, especially in crowded places and when I’m tired

:: I ask locals about safety in an area - evenings, hiking, etc.

:: I travel really light so I don't feel vulnerable getting my bag off and on buses, shuttles, etc.

:: I continue to build skills in Spanish

Springfield...
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3. Re: How Safe is Honduras

We just returned from a trip to Honduras to visit our daughter, who is in the Peace Corps. We had a wonderful time an were privileged to be invited by several of our daughter's Honduran friends into their homes. We traveled on a variety of buses from one end of the country to the other, spending several days in Copan and circling back through the Lenca highlands. Honduras is extremely scenic and culturally interesting, and Copan is well worth a trip.

However, you do need to know that there have been enough security "incidents" that the Peace Corps has decided to suspend its operations in Honduras and sadly, sending its volunteers home. Many of these incidents involved bus assaults. Americans have not been targeted, but some have been caught in the crossfire. We did not feel ourselves to be in danger (except from the condition of the roads!) but my daughter was constantly texting other volunteers and Peace Corps staff for updates on which bus lines were involved, as we were traveling on some of the same roads. Many posters have recommended the Hedman Alas bus line because of its security measures, and I can confirm that they are unusually strict. You must show ID to buy a ticket, pass through a metal detector, have your luggage searched, and wait in a guarded waiting area. The bus is truly direct and does not stop to pick up additional passengers even if it is half full, unlike every other bus we took, including those described as "Directo" or "Rapidito." You can take Hedman Alas from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula and on to Copan.

I also recommend using taxis to go between the ruins sites. We started walking from the main ruins site to Los Sepulturas, about 1.5 kilometers away. The road was deserted and we felt very uneasy when we noticed a vehicle parked ahead on the side of the road with a man leaning on it, so we turned back. While waiting for a taxi, we asked a Honduran woman if there had been any incidents along this road. She got a worried look on her face and said, "Well, not every day!" That said, I highly recommend Las Sepulturas. It is more intimate than the main ruins, very evocative. You can pay for one guide to tour both sites when you arrive at the main ruins-- we didn't, since we thought it would be fun to walk. In hindsight, we wish we had done so. There was a guide at Las Sepulturas and we paid him separately.

I hesitate to be an alarmist about safety issues, but I think you should be aware of them.

Utila, Honduras
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4. Re: How Safe is Honduras

I hope someone living in copan can comment on the previous post. It sounds nothing like the situation in copan/Honduras that I'm aware of.

Springfield...
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5. Re: How Safe is Honduras

To clarify my previous post, the particular bus assaults I referred to did not take place near Copan Ruinas or on the road between San Pedro Sula and Copan. I am sorry if I gave that impression. Our concern was with the roads between Gracias and La Esperanza, and on to Siguatepece and Comayagua, in the Ruta Lenca portion of our trip.

6. Re: How Safe is Honduras

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