Honduras: A Not So Secret Gem

Confession: When other travelers are worried about losing their last meal on boat trips, I am more worried about losing my life. Confession: I am fully aware that it is an irrational fear.

When we set out via a glorified fishing boat to brave the open waters of the Gulf of Honduras, to travel from Belize to Honduras, I tried to put on a brave face. However, I began to seriously doubt our choice of transportation when one of two motors suddenly stopped working approximately half way through the two hour journey. Did I mention the waves were something my nightmares are made of?

To bring my fear to new heights, said second motor began sputtering to it’s near death in that final hour and turned completely off three times leaving us bobbing helplessly in the waves. Note, at no point during the trip was anyone even close to as concerned as I was. I envy their cool.

Regardless, I was counting my blessings as we pulled into the bay at Puerto Cortes and in that first day I was instantly charmed by the natural beauty of the country, fervor of the people and chaos of the traffic and street vendors… it was totally worth it.

On the first night we had to stay in transportation hub San Pedro Sula, which according to WikiTravel is the most dangerous city in the world. Lucky for us, we met five other awesome backpackers and all stayed in a friendly guesthouse in a safe part of town. It was a really fun night.

First night in Honduras. Family style dinner at Dos Molinos Guesthouse.

First night in Honduras. Family style dinner at Dos Molinos Guesthouse.

From San Pedro Sula we made our way over and around the east coast to La Ceiba and caught a ferry to the Bay Islands. We stayed on Utila which is best know for being the cheapest place in the world to get PADI certified for scuba diving. While we really wanted to do it, we decided against it to save money now and in the future when we will be tempted to dive elsewhere.

We spent our nine days on the island exploring all of the other amazing things it had to offer….

Exploring the caves where pirate Henry Morgan used to hide out.

Exploring the caves where pirate Henry Morgan used to hide out. The other cave was to sketchy to take the camera in, but Jordan and friends explored the underwater caverns in search of pirate’s booty.

Snorkeling on the west end of Sandy Bay.

Snorkeling through the coral on the west end of Sandy Bay. This is still part of the second largest great barrier reef.

A little night snorkeling, also known as trolling for sharks.

A little night snorkeling, also known as trolling for sharks.

Our hike across the island in search of the "Cocaine Plane" crash. Mission aborted due to high levels of mosquitoes in the jungle.

Hiking across the island in search of the plane crash. Mission aborted due to high levels of mosquitoes in the jungle.

Swimming at Sandy Bay beach... watch out for the sand flies!

Swimming at Sandy Bay beach… watch out for the sand flies!

We finally got to do a bit more fishing and cooked for ourselves to save money. Plus we love to cook, so win-win! 🙂

Rehab, our most successful fishing spot.

Rehab, our most successful fishing spot.

Eating the eyes of the fish we caught and fried.

Eating the eyes of the fish we caught and fried.

Making do with some interesting cutlery, a pizza cutter and a leatherman, for our last dinner with Brian and Karis.

Making do with some interesting cutlery, a pizza cutter and a leatherman, for our last dinner with Brian and Karis (yes we reunited)!

But we also had to sample the local fare.

Feasting on the local grub, baleadas.

Feasting on the local grub, baleadas.

We visited the Jade Seahorse on a few occasions to check out the amazing craftsmanship and décor. It was like walking through the set of a Tim Burton film set. http://www.jadeseahorse.com

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And we did a little bit of partying to round things out.

The Skid Row Bar Challenge. It's a rite of passage on Utila and involves lots of rum and spinning. :)

The Skid Row Bar Challenge. It’s a rite of passage on Utila and involves lots of rum and spinning. 🙂

Showing off our new tank tops with our friends from the U.S. who are on a round the world trip. You can check out their adventures at www.thatshowiroam.com

Showing off our new tank tops with our friends from the U.S. who are on a round the world trip. You can check out their adventures at http://www.thatshowiroam.com

From Utila we came to Copan to check out some Maya ruins and make our way to Guatemala. The full day of bus rides was absolutely stunning. I’ve never seen so many different shades of green. Honduras is such a lush and beautiful country and the Pacific Northwest in us loves these mountains.

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Motorbikes and tuk-tuks. Love!

Motorbikes and tuk-tuks. Love!

The town square.

Copan town square.

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Maya ruins in Copan.

Maya ruins.

Honduras has been an incredible and diverse country, we’re so happy we decided to come. Our word of advice is don’t let the reputation scare you away. Every place in the world can be dangerous if you are careless and every place in the world can be awesome if you let it.

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