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Focus On Honduras

If you ask people where Honduras is, chances are they’ll have heard of it, but aren’t quite sure where it is. (It’s mid Central America between Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala). However it is becoming more popular and rightly so – it houses stunning beaches, great diving sites, ancient Mayan ruins, a great climate, friendly people and fascinating culture.

Here’s our top recommendations for where to explore.

Copan – Copan is a bustling attractive market town near the Guatemalan border, fuelled by tourism because it is home to the ancient Mayan ruins, a World Heritage Site. Ward off colourful parrots, climb ancient tombs and trek through old jungle where tribes once lived. Follow with a dip in hot springs a short drive away.

Bay Islands – Want luxury? Go by private plane to Guanaja – the "Venice of Honduras". A bit much? Try Roatan, the largest island and less backpacker-filled than Utila. The Bay Islands have beautiful beaches, laid back Caribbean attitudes and botanical gardens to satisfy all types of traveller.

Gracias – Head into the central Highlands to sample some "real life" Honduras. Mingle with local people in this colonial town, hike into the surrounding mountainous cloud forests and photograph the fascinating churches and buildings in the centre. If you like getting really off the beaten track, Gracias is a good place to start!

Tegucigalpa – Honduras’ capital often gets a bad name as the big, bad crime filled city but it’s well worth spending at least one day here exploring the art gallery, colonial churches and sampling some excellent dishes at local restaurants and burning up those calories by trekking up to the vantage point to get a fantastic view of the sprawling capital.

And more adventurous...

La Mosquitia – This underdeveloped tropical rainforest in Northeast Honduras is a great cultural experience (if you can cope with the mosquitos). Lagoons, mangroves, coral reefs, coconut palms, swamps and waterfalls ensure a diverse range of flora and fauna. La Mosquitia is also home to a number of indigenous tribes with a rich, cultural heritage. La Mosquitia is remote so getting there is an adventure in itself but well worth the effort.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but Honduras is certainly an alternative holiday destination - and a great country to visit as part of a gap year or career break or if you want a diverse holiday. One day you could be sunbathing on a tropical beach, the next visiting a Mayan ruin then trekking through the rainforest and highlands - all that on one holiday and in one country!

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