As a hotel owner in Honduras for many years, we probably serve an average of 25 guests per day, 365 days a year. I can tell you with all honesty, that the number of guests we have seen at our properties over the years who have encountered security related problems in Honduras is in the handful. The vast majority of crimes take place in the big cities where the majority of travellers spend very little time. Transport from San Pedro Sula - Copan Ruinas, Copan - San Pedro Sula - Tela - La Ceiba for example is via a wonderful 1st class bus line, Hedman Alas www.hedmanalas.com Their buses are comfortable and completely secure and their check on procedure is similar to the security one would find at an airport - so no problem there. Many Peace Corps volunteers encounter problems on public transport as they rely on 2nd class buses, walk in large cities alot to save money and thus are more exposed to potential problems - however the average traveller can avoid much of these problems by taking 1st class buses, private shuttles, taxis in the cities and not strolling in bad or potentially bad neighborhoods. Copan Ruinas for ex is perfectly safe, one can stroll the streets here day or night with no problem - it is very laid back. This is actually true of much (in fact the majority) of the country, save inner cities where one must take precautions. But as I mentioned the chance of wandering into a dangerous neighborhood as a tourist is basically nil. As permanent residents in Honduras Peace Corps volunteers are unfortunately much more exposed to crime; their houses and apts are broken into, they live in poor neighborhoods or poor parts of the country for the most part and as mentioned they travel via 2nd class buses, stay in cheap hotels often located in less than desireable neighborhoods, they are young, they drink and party and often walk to save money, thus they are more of a target to opportunistic local criminals. Tourists can basically avoid all of this by sticking to 1st class bus lines, tourist shuttles, staying in decent hotels and not venturing off at night alone in big cities. Basically these are the general precautions a tourist would take anyplace in the world.
Recently I had the chance to vacation in Mexico; Chiapas, Yucatan, Oaxaca. According to press reports Mexico is a very dangerous place. But southern Mexico and in fact the majority of Mexico is extremely safe and wonderful for travelling. Media reports tend to label an entire country in a certain way, as the media has done with Mexico and now Honduras, but the reality on the ground is something quite different. Does Honduras have a serious crime problem? Sure. Does Mexico? Yes. But hundreds of thousands ( and in the case of Mexico - millions) visit each year and the vast, vast majority have absolutely no problem whatsoever.