Still a little rough around the edges, but with superb diving/snorkeling (Roatán and Utila islands); the great Maya ruins of Copán; the afro-Caribbean culture of the Garifunas; and eco-tourism in La Ceiba and elsewhere.

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Garífuna coast cited in '12 Top Destinations for African-Diaspora Travel'

  Welcome to February! Since 1970, it's also been Black History Month in the USA, and since 1995 in Canada, as well (whereas it's observed in October in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands). And though the reason for the African diaspora was tragic and horrific - the brutal, centuries-long trafficking of human slaves - it has also enriched many parts of the world, and indeed, world culture as a whole. So what better way to kick BHM off than with a look at a dozen of the most…

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Diving into Roatán

Right astride the Caribbean's largest barrier reef – also the world’s second largest after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – this small island (just 32 square miles (83 sq. kilometres) off the coast of Honduras has become not only this country’s top visitor draw (outstripping the other main one, the impressive Mayan archaeological site Copán) but also, unsurprisingly, a star among the world’s diving community. Actually the largest of seven Islas de la Bahía (Bay Islands), this onetime pirate…

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  • Interesting piece on a dive trip to Roatán this past winter by the New York Times' deputy travel editor, including insight into the fragility of its coral reef:
  • As Honduras enters new political era, get details this week in Tripatini's blog about its tourism industry's efforts to recover.
  • Honduras gets a shout-out in this week's Tripatini blog post surveying hot destinations for 2010. Check it out!
  • Two new guidebooks to Honduras were released this month:

    - Updated version of "Moon Honduras & the Bay Islands" (US $19.95)
    - First "Frommer's Honduras" (US $22)
  • Great new video about Roatan!

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  • Thanks Amanda, that's really good to know. To other folks coming into and back to this group, I also want to point you to a piece I did this past summer for the Go-Lo blog, which you could think of as a kind of an "Honduras 101" for visitors. You can check it out by clicking here.
  • Hi David,

    I was in the country in both July and August this year (about 3 weeks total), and visited cities across the country - from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, to Roatan, La Ceiba and Copan, to the smaller towns of Tela, Gracias and the Lake Yojoa area. The only areas I saw any signs of difference from prior to June 28 was in the two large cities (Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula), and that was limited to graffiti and some small peaceful protests in Tegucigalpa.

    Currently, the majority of political unrest and protests are centralized in Tegucigalpa. Understandably, travelers who choose to travel to this region should do so with caution and abide by any curfews that are in place. But, the strong majority of those visiting Honduras on vacation will never be near Tegucigalpa.

    In the country's top tourism destination - the Bay Islands (Roatán, Utila Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos) - the environment remains calm, as it has since June 28. Cruise ship arrivals and international airline arrivals in Roatan have never been interrupted. In addition, curfews for the mainland are not applied to the Bay Islands.

    In the town of Copán Ruinas, another favorite among travelers, there have been minimal disturbances. All attractions have remained opened, and many hotels/tour operators are offering special discounts to entice visitors.

    Other tourism areas of the country, such as La Ceiba, Tela and the most common entry point of San Pedro Sula, also remain calm and in full operation. All four international airports are open and operating as scheduled.

    My suggestion to travelers would be to contact the hotel or tour operator and ask for an honest assessment of the situation on the ground. But as mentioned above, the tourist areas are not affected by the political situation that is centralized in Tegucigalpa.

    Honduras is a beautiful country, and travelers should still definitely keep it in mind.
  • Wow, Amanda, that's awesome! I've been to Pico Bonito, and it is absolutely one of my favorite eco-lodges ever (despite the fact that I was eaten alive by mosquitos out back one morning -- my fault for not bringing repellent!!).

    I also wanted to ask you if you're getting any word from in-country on how all the political machinations are affecting the tourist experience. I'm sure some Americans are going to hear about the problems and cross Honduras off their list -- but I've been in similar situations before and this is probably very unfair. Most of what Sturm und Drang has been going on is in the capital, Tegucigalpa, and possibly some in San Pedro Sula, neither of which are tourist destinations. In places like La Ceiba (where Pico Bonito is), Roatán, and Copán, I'm sure things are as mellow as always. But Amanda, I'm sure Americans would appreciate an honest and realistic assessment to reassure them of that. Thoughts?
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