The view of the main plaza of a small colonial town of Copan Ruinas in Honduras, Central America
Svetlana Bykova / shutterstock.com

The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Honduras on a Budget

Honduras is often skipped by backpackers because of its negative reputation as being one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Despite the countries bad reputation, the travelers who do visit actually enjoy their time there. People underestimate Honduras and what it has to offer visitors. Honduras has a wild variety of wildlife, mystic Maya ruins and the beautiful Bay Islands off of the Caribbean coast. But best of all, everything is super cheap. So don’t let Honduras bad reputation stop you from visiting. Most crime here is gang related and rarely effects tourists. Just take a little extra care, especially in big cities and explore Honduras for yourself.

What You’ll Find in This Guide

Best Time to Go Backpacking in Honduras

The rainy season starts in mid-May and ends sometime in November, so anytime from December to April is a good time to visit Honduras. Most backpackers go to Honduras from December to January so prices might be a little bit more during that time, especially on the islands. Overall Honduras is pretty low profile though, so even in the high season it won’t be as touristy as its neighboring countries.

Honduras Visa & Entry Requirements

Most people get 90 days on arrival, no visa necessary. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months and that you have a blank visa page. There is an entrance fee of $3 but no exit fee. For a list of all the border crossing fees in Central America click here.

Is Backpacking Honduras Safe?

According to statistics Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, however most of it is gang related and rarely affects tourists. Just use common sense, stay out of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and do not flash expensive jewelry or electronics, and you should be fine.

How Much Do Things Cost?

Transportation

Public buses are cheap in Honduras and can get you from town to town for about $2 for every hour traveled. In small towns, such as Copán, you will often find mototaxis that will take you anywhere in town for about $1. Inner-city taxis are a little bit more expensive, around $3-4 depending on where you are going, and are usually not worth taking unless you find yourself in big cities like Tegucigalpa where navigating the public bus system is damn near impossible.

Honduran Farmer presenting his pineapple crops on a local market
JKom/ shutterstock.com

Food

As long as you are not eating at fancy restaurants and stick to local places, your meal shouldn’t cost more than $3-4. Honduras has the cheapest fruit smoothies anywhere, costing only around $1, and are great for breakfast or as snacks.

Accommodation

Dorm beds are extremely cheap here and can be found for around $8-10 per night. Private rooms are a bit more expensive, costing around $10-20 depending on your negotiation skills.

If you are traveling during high season or prefer to book your accommodation in advance, we have listed our favorite spots for you below. Keep reading or click here to go directly to our favorite places to stay in Honduras.

The view of the main plaza of a small colonial town of Copan Ruinas in Honduras, Central America
Svetlana Bykova / shutterstock.com

Money Saving Tips

1.) Hitchhike

It is common practice to hitchhike in rural areas where public buses are scare. However, be sure to know if you are paying or hitching for free before you accept the ride.

2.) Refill Water Bottles

Many hostels offer to refill your water bottle either for free or a few cents. Though it doesn’t seem like much, constantly buying new water bottles starts to add up.

Best Places to Stay in Honduras

Honduras is home to many hostels and budget hotels but below are some of our favorite places to stay.

Roatan

Utila

Copan

Tegucigalpa

Best Things To Do In Honduras

Copán Ruins

After having just visited Tikal, one of the most amazing Maya sites in the world, we weren’t sure if Copán was worth a visit. However, after looking at some pictures online we decided we just risk the $15 entrance fee per person and give Copán a chance. And we’re glad we did. Though not as big as Tikal, Copán has some pretty impressive sculptures and carvings, something that other sites are definitely lacking off. If you are into art and/or Mayan culture we definitely recommend visiting this site, even if you have already visited other ruins.

Insider Tip: If you are staying in Copán, don’t take the motortaxis to the ruins. It is a short 10min walk from the town. Save the money and walk!

Ancient Mayan ruins in Copan, Honduras
Kanokratnok / shutterstock.com

The Bay Islands (Roatán & Utila)

If you are looking for a cheap Caribbean vacation or want to get scuba diving certified, make sure to visit the bay islands. Honduras is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your PADI Scuba diving certification. Prices on both islands are very similar however Utila is sometimes preferred over Roatán, as the nightlife is better.

Landscape of a tropical blue ocean water and sandy beach in Roatan island
Mendenhall Olga / shutterstock.com

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a beautiful way to see the country side of Honduras and in Copán it only costs around $15 dollars per person for 3hrs. We have never ridden a horse before and since it was on our bucket list we decided to go ahead and do it. We booked a tour with a sweet old guy who didn’t speak one word of English but loved to talk, even if they people who he was talking to (i.e. us) only understood about one percent of what he was saying. He showed us a Maya ruin in the midst of the jungle, small local villages and many other things not mentioned in any guidebook. Although our backs hurt like hell for the next few days after that, we would definitely do it again.

morning mist, La Liberacion, Honduras
Horseback riding in the morning mist. Image Credit: Joe Townsend

Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

The Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve is located in the La Mosquitia region of Honduras. The reserve is full of diverse wildlife and plant life, a Maya ruin (Ciudad Blanca) and more than 2000 indigenous people who call the lush forest their home. Unlike many other national parks, this park is truly unspoiled and untamed wilderness.

Tea & Chocolate Place

We randomly found this place when walking around in Copán and it quickly became our favorite spot in Honduras. The Tea & Chocolate place is located in a peaceful, garden-like setting where you can enjoy a healthy tea or hot chocolate while swinging in a hammock and watching the sunset. Everything they offer is 100% organic and they are playing a large part in the reforestation of Copán. The shop is extremely peaceful and a true gem in Honduras.

Lago de Yojoa

Lago de Yojoa is the largest lake in Honduras and lies in a volcano crater. It’s a popular fishing destination and the surrounding area has a rich biodiversity, with around 400 species of birds and 800 plant species.

Lake Yojoa in Honduras
worldroadtrip / shutterstock.com

Cayos Cochinos

Cayos Cochinos are two small islands off the coast of Honduras. The islands do not have any roads or cars and the only inhabitants are Garifuna fishing villages. Backpackers who would like to escape urban development and don’t mind rustic sleeping accommodations will absolutely love it here. With an abundance of marine life, it is also a hotspot among divers and snorkelers.

Comayagua

Comayagua is quiet colonial town with well-preserved colonial architecture, a beautiful cathedral, and an historic town center. Most travelers skip over this charming little town and head straight to the capital, Tegucigalpa, before heading onwards to Nicaragua. However, for backpackers who want to avoid the capital, Comayagua is a better and saver alternative.

Macaw Mountain Bird Park

The Macaw Mountain Bird Park is the home of an array of birds, including, parrots, macaw, and toucans. All of these birds have either been donated to the park by owners who didn’t want them anymore or were confiscated from bird smugglers. It is a lovely park and even if you are not a bird watcher you will enjoy wandering around the lush forest while colorful birds fly passed you. The entrance fee is L200 (~$10 USD) and includes a guided tour in English.

Coffee plantations in the highlands of western Honduras
Svetlana Bykova / shutterstock.com

Pico Bonito National Park

Pico Bonito is one of Honduras’ best known national parks and is located in the mountain range Cordillera Nombre de Dio. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife, including howler monkeys, jaguars and armadillos, as well as twenty rivers. Entrance fee to Pico Bonito National Park is L133 (~ $6 USD).

Rio Cangrejal

Rio Cangrejal is located in the Pico Bonito National Park and offers some of the best white water rafting opportunities in Central America. There are also some gorgeous swimming spots along the river valley for the less brave among us.

Pulhapanzak waterfall in Honduras
worldroadtrip/ shutterstock.com

Spanish Phrases You Should Know

Hello! – Hola!
Good morning. – Buenos días.
Good afternoon. – Buenas tardes.
Good evening. – Buenas noches.
Goodbye. – Adiós.
How are you? – ¿Cómo está?
How much does it cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta?
Where is the restroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño?
How do I get to ….? – ¿Como llego a …?
I don’t understand. – No comprendo.
Please. – Por favor.
Thank you! – Gracías!
Yes. / No. – Sí. / No.

How Much Did We Spend

We spent about $450 USD in the two weeks we were backpacking Honduras. So, unlike Belize, backpacking Honduras on a budget shouldn’t be that difficult.

Overall, Honduras is an interesting country to visit and should not be skipped by the adventurous. Activities here are plentiful and only cost a fraction of what they would cost elsewhere in the world.

Get Insured Before Backpacking Honduras

No matter how long or short your trip, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and trust us, you don’t wanna get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. So don’t leave home without it. We recommend World Nomads.

Even if you don’t get travel insurance with World Nomads, please make sure to get travel insurance from somewhere.

More Information on Backpacking Honduras

If you are more of a book person and would rather carry a physical guide with you while backpacking Honduras, we recommend Lonely Planet Central America on a Shoestring (the Honduras edition is outdated and not worth the money). Remember though, don’t follow it step by step, use it as a guide instead.

If you enjoyed our backpacking Honduras on a budget guide, please share it on social media and consider coming back to plan your next trips with our other detailed backpacking guides.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The Author

Ben

Ben is a professional web designer and the man behind the scenes of Road Affair. He has been traveling around the world with his partner in crime, Jazzy, since 2012.

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Comments

  1. I’ll admit that Honduras’ reputation does put me off, it’s a place I want to go to ‘when I’m older’ – but these are all great tips and it seems pretty cheap!

    1. Don’t listen to everything you hear in the media. Honduras is just as dangerous/safe as many other places in the world. Much of the crime here is gang related and doesn’t really affect tourists.

    2. Aww Dannielle I’m sorry my country’s reputation puts you off but please visit! it will be worth it! is just an undeveloped piece of heaven where people are warm and friendly and hidden gems are everywhere.

  2. I can’t believe two weeks of travel only cost you about $450 each. Was this mainly because of travelling around the mainland? Or does this budget also include spending time on the Bay Islands while you were there?

    1. Hey Ray, we spent $450 all together in the two weeks we were in Honduras. And yes, this was mainly because we traveled around the mainland and not the Bay Islands.

    2. $450 for two people in total? Wow! That was much cheaper than I initially thought after reading this post. Thanks for the feedback! Will definitely look into this destination further now.

  3. Love my country. I left wen I was 12 to study in the USA but now that I’m 19 I’ll go back 2 months and visit all this places!

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