Welcome To Tegucigalpa: Exploring The Honduran Capital

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Heavily Armed Police in Tegucigalpa

Heavily Armed Police

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Although Tegucigalpa isn’t the first place many travelers think to visit in Honduras, the capital city has its own charm with an array of old colonial buildings, cobbled streets and hidden parks. I decided to go urban exploring to check it out for myself.

When I began this little travel adventure of mine, I told myself I wanted to see everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Curiosity is part of my DNA. Happy places are only one part of the whole story.

I was enticed by the mountainous terrain and bustling city streets, but after hearing rumors that Tegucigalpa was a dangerous city, I wanted to learn more about it first-hand.

Welcome to Tegucigalpa

Welcome to Tegucigalpa

Safety in Tegucigalpa

With a dark history of corruption and poverty, Tegucigalpa is known for being one of Central America’s most dangerous cities.

In my experience most “dangerous” rumors are exaggerated quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean one should completely forgo basic common sense.

Many poor Hondurans living in the countryside migrate to Tegucigalpa searching for work. Often there is none available for them. This is a big reason why crime is so bad.

Although you will find a lot of information about gun violence in the city online, most of the gun crime in Tegucigalpa generally happens in specific areas outside of the city centre.

Gang related shootings are common in the sprawling suburbs, but tourists are not targets to this type of crime.

Here are some travel safety tips and common travel scams to help minimize your chances of something bad happening to you or your belongings during your travels in Tegucigalpa.

Despite my preparations, I still stood out like a sore thumb in this city. Everyone was staring at the bald-headed gringo wandering around alone through the streets on foot!

Taxi cabs began pulling over even though I hadn’t flagged them down. The drivers couldn’t possibly understand why I’d want to walk when they had a perfectly good car ready to take me anywhere.

Razor Wire in Tegucigalpa

High Security Everywhere

Things to do in Tegucigalpa

One of the main advantages of traveling in Tegucigalpa is that it is the cheapest city in the region, with tours and activities half the price of some of the surrounding areas.

1. La Tigra National Park

In the concrete jungle of Tegucigalpa, this expansive national park is a tropical paradise, filled with native wildlife. Established back in 1980, this was the first national park to open in Honduras, covering an area of 238.21 square kilometers.

2. Museum for National Identity

Located within a 19th century building, this museum is a must-visit for anyone who wants to find out more about the history of Honduras & its people. Its exhibits include the “Virtual Copán” room, which illustrates the history of the region’s gods and kings, as well as rooms exhibiting busts of Honduran national heroes.

READ MORE: Motivational Quotes To Inspire You

Fruit Vendor in Tegucigalpa

Cheap & Delicious Fruit Stalls

3. Christ at El Picacho

Standing tall above the city at 4,353 feet above sea level, the Christ statue on the hill of El Picacho can be seen from all over the city, especially at night time. The hike to the top of the hill is worth it for the incredible views over the city.

4. Parque Central – City Plaza

This is definitely the place to go if you like to do some people watching. With benches scattered throughout the plaza, take a seat and listen to the locals, watch as the crowds gather for the street performances and feel the real hustle and bustle of one of the cities busiest streets.

5. Sabor Cubano

This popular Cuban restaurant turns into one of the cities top bars and dance venues when the sun goes down. Expect live music, salsa lessons and locals dancing the night away out on the back patio.

River of Trash in Tegucigalpa

River of Trash

Where to stay in Tegucigalpa

Accommodation in Tegucigalpa is Tricky.

There isn’t a lot of infrastructure set up for budget travelers, but It is possible to find a few cheap motels. In recent years a number of hotel chains have opened in the city centre, with average prices ranging from $60 – $70 per night.

Here are some suggestions for good places to stay in Tegucigalpa:

BUDGET
Tegucigalpa Hotel
Cabañas Los Encinos
Excellent location, featuring a fitness centre, garden and bar. Free WiFi and private parking are available.

Check prices & availability:
Booking.com / TripAdvisor.com

MID-RANGE
Tegucigalpa Mid-Range Hotel
LQ Hotel Tegucigalpa
Located 4km from the airport, this hotel boasts high speed internet, free breakfast and a pool.

Check prices & availability:
Booking.com / TripAdvisor.com

LUXURY
Tegucigalpa Luxury Hotel
Hyatt Place Tegucigalpa
Super cozy and clean hotel with rooftop bar views overlooking the city.

Check prices & availability:
Booking.com / TripAdvisor.com

LUXURY
Tegucigalpa Luxury Hotel
Tegucigalpa Marriott Hotel
Large rooms, comfortable beds and friendly staff in a Great location.

Check prices & availability:
Booking.com / TripAdvisor.com

Tegucigalpa Travel Tips & Advice

  • If you are visiting from another city in Central America, A bus trip from Managua, San Salvador, or Guatemala City will cost you between $20-40. One of the most popular and reliable bus companies is Ticabus, they offer very comfortable seats and you have the added bonus of being able to book online.
  • If you are arriving at night, make sure you have accomodation pre-booked and don’t wander the streets after dark.
  • If you are looking for the hot weather, the best time to visit Tegucigalpa is during the spring and summer months (April to August), however the average temperature stays pretty consistent throughout the year.
  • There is plenty of public transportation available, but the safest way to travel is with a trusted taxi company. Ask your hotel receptionist about reliable taxi companies in the area and how much a typical journey should cost.
  • This is not a common tourist destination so most locals don’t speak a lot of English. Take some time to learn the basics of Spanish before your trip. It will also help to ensure you don’t stand out like a sore thumb!
  • Exploring the city on your own is possible, just be careful and be smart. Going as a group is probably safer. These safety tips will help you to avoid any trouble on your next trip to Tegucigalpa.

Location/Map: Tegucigalpa, Honduras

USEFUL TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR DUBLIN
Location: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Book A Flight: Learn how I find the cheapest airline flights
Rent A Car: RentalCars.com is a great site for comparing car prices
Find A Hotel: My tips for booking affordable accommodation
Protect Your Stuff: WorldNomads.com can insure your trip & gear

Any questions about things to do in Tegucigalpa? Do you have other suggestions? Drop me a message in the comments below!

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38 Comments

  1. Another very dangerous place in Honduras is San Pedro Sula. If you are brave enough to try to go there, you won’t want to stay long…

  2. I have visited Tegus like 25 times, and I’ve never experience danger or harm. There is risks and danger everywhere. I have travel to many other cities in Europe and Middle East, and believe me, I have also found dirty cities, beggers, people with weapons and rude people. And that is one thing I did not find in Tegus…the people there have been always nice to me…as for some gringos, they just go with their first sight and what they read on articles and awful media.

    1. Perhaps im just oblivious, but I dont think so. Ive been to Tegus multiple times, for weeks at a time, and stayed in Torocagua (dangerous neighborhood) with my fiance/wife’s family. I have never felt in “danger.” I have walked around downtown, and walked the streets at night (only time I felt uneasy). I was even there during the aftermath of the Manuel Zelaya coup. People who say you should never go there, are missing out.

  3. As someone who has visited Comayagua (not Tegus) I can attest to the fact that it is much nicer than Tegucigalpa, with a much lower crime rate, due to the much lower population and low amount of population around the city.

  4. Interesting comments. Should be a very interesting trip to Honduras. Hope they like friendly Canadians. Will be there for 7 days as a solo traveler.

  5. Hey Matt!

    I had fun reading Tegucigalpa´s review, but concerned you only got to see the Ugly. As a really troubled country, there is a lot of danger and violence going on, but if you have the luck to find the right people, you might get a different impression… You van travel round the little towns around the city (Valle de Angeles, Santa Lucía and Ojojona) they are rich in culture and hace a lot of history… You might also want to take a beautiful walk through la Tigra’s national park or have a nive day at “El Picacho”, even in the city, if you walk through the central park and go eat at the market “los Dolores” or go to the oldest bar in Tegucigalpa “Tito Aguacate” and many other places that come quiet interesting for travellers :D I bet the experience would be a lot different.

    Yeah yeha, it’s dangerous and people might get violent, but good Hondurans exist (like me) and we know how to love our big little contry caos :D

    1. Natalia,

      I’m so glad that you posted this! My friend and I are here now (it’s our only stop in Honduras) and we love it! Everyone has been very friendly and we haven’t felt less safe here than anywhere else we’ve been. There’s plenty to do with day trips to La Tigra and Valle de Los Angeles, and the city itself is stunning. Of course one can find ugly sides to a city, but I agree that this post is exaggerated. It’s a real shame because Honduras is a beautiful country, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Tegus. Tip for travelers: the Palmira Hostel is cheap, clean, and in a very good area. Highly recommend.

  6. Javier morales, private guards they sure use bigger weapons, for example the guards in residential areas, and those who travel with the ones,who leaves products to the stores and pulperias use machine guns. Just saying

  7. Some of the comments about Tegucigalpa are exaggerated. I have lived in this city since I was born and let me tell you that it is a beautiful place. As many other cities around the world it has it´s dangerous parts, and obviously you stay away from them. For next time I recommend to the author that before talking trash about a country do a little more research before you publish your articles.

    1. i have visited this city many times, and i like it alot. i try to avoid bad areas. I do see poverty but i also see lots of beautiful places in Honduras to visit. I like the city of Siguatepeque a little more relaxed there.

    2. I wasn’t talking trash about the country, only the city. Honduras the country is great. The city of Tegus, however, was a “literal” dump. I’ve never seen so much garbage all over the place. Sure there are a few nice areas, but overall the city was not very impressive. Maybe they’ve cleaned it up since my visit? I don’t know.

  8. My dad is from Honduras, his family lived in Tegus for as long as I can remember when I was younger (5 years old) I remember seeing a man get stabbed several times in his back and the people there weren’t afraid they walked away like nothing happened… I will never forget that, also it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS…. unless your family is the cause of the dangers in Tegus NO ONE is safe…

  9. I lived in Tegucigalpa for 20 years and ended up leaving the Country and relocating to USA. Tegucigalpa is extremely dangerous. My Father has been kidnapped twice (Express kidnapping) a sort of kidnapping where they force at gun point to go to an ATM and withdraw as much money as you can, and they let you go. This happened to him inside Mall Multiplaza once and the other in downtown. My Stepmom was robbed in Bulevard Morazan at 3pm at gunpoint. Whoever is from Honduras and reads this post will have a friend or family member that has been mugged / kidnapped or car jacked at one point of their lives. Stay clear of this place, don’t even consider walking around the city, you will get mugged or worse.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear all the comments, which some are true and some are a little exaggerated. Me, a a Tegucigalpa resident I can say if you want to look for the nice places you will need to inform yourself where to go and definitely you need to pay. Tegucigalpa have some very keep secrets but they are not free and you should ask to go there. In Tegucigalpa you can go to downtown , you have Blvd Morazan and Blvd Juan Pablo II, many Malls you can choose form you will notice our malls are bid due to streets are no so safe for business, and if you want to enjoy a more walking experience you can head to the Tigra Park (make a reservation for excursion) and Valle de Angeles Town.

  11. It is too bad you didn’t love Tegus. It really does have it’s magic. Try doing a little more research next time ;) There’s more than a couple of things to do, see, eat, drink and enjoy!

  12. Hola, It is not easy being a gringo it another country! I am half y half but if you have family there and know where you can be safe and where it is not so friendly and spend more than a day or two… You will see it is a beautiful city with many amazing people! God bless

  13. was there in June, it’s rough… http://bit.ly/p6kSIH

    but we were only there for a couple of days before going to Roatan… they definitely think of themselves as a different country.

    you came in through the north near Omoa– did you pass through San Pedro Sula? it’s worse (dangerous$), if you can believe it.

  14. We were there for a night. The city had a really intense air. I was so tempted to walk around the neighbourhood. You know, when you don’t see anybody (or see a few) on the road, sometimes you think no danger around. Ryan really had to tie my down. Awesome photo of the hill, I only saw it through the cab’s window. Talking about cab, I don’t remember how much we paid. maybe 100 lemps. I only remember the man only had 4 fingers in his left hand.

  15. Hi Matt,
    I’ve been in Tegucigalpa back in ’99 for 2 days and, by the sound of it, it hasn’t changed a bit (not that I expected it would…)!
    Many trips went by since Honduras and I still recall Tegucigalpa like the city where I’ve seen the biggest concentration of guns on the streets in my life.
    I’ll try to go trough my photos as son as I can (not easy, I was still shooting slides back than…), but I’m curious to see if I managed to take some photos of people.
    Happy travels,
    Stefano

  16. I lived in Tegucigalpa for eight years. Yes, it is dangerous. You have to know where to go and where not to go, and how to relate to people there. But this has to be true of many, many cities all across the world, especially in the third world.

    One minor correction – the photo of the guard with the machine gun is not a private guard. He is a policeman. Private guards are not allowed to carry machine guns and you only ever see them with revolvers or shotguns.

    1. I walked up and asked him. You’d be surprised how often that works. :)

      The key is to call it a “portrait” (retrato in Spanish) rather than a “photo”. Makes it sound more professional.

  17. I start my RTW trip on March 1st and plan to spend about 4 months in Central America. One of the pieces of advice it seems every one has given me is to try to avoid the capital cities. It’s sad that that seems to be what everyone agrees with but in the end I guess safety is everyones main goal. Even with that though it will not deter me from visiting Central America. Hopefully at some point we will bump into each other down there.

  18. Wow. Clearly those of us who don’t have the opportunity to visit every Central American country will steer clear of this one. Yikes!

  19. Tegucigalpa is not one of my favourite places. I spent one day there and remember almost nothing except a dunkin donuts that stood out like a sore thumb from the mess all around.

    One thing I do recall about Honduras was the belt of forest that bordered Guatemala – as though Honduras wanted to create the impression in the mind of its neighbour that it was rich in natural beauty. But that forest ran out pretty quickly not far from the border.

    Is the forest still there?

    Honduran mahogany was once one of the most prized of woods – I wonder if there is any left.

    I also recall that there was a great swathe of forest in Panama either side of the canal. I wondered why. Who makes these decisions to keep or destroy forests – the lungs, the rain inducers, and beauty of the planet?

  20. I was in Teguc for less than 24 hours in transit to Nicaragua, and I was thrilled to get out of there. I felt the danger of the city immediately as well. I also had to talk down the taxi driver from 100 lemps to 50 lemps. But you can get some great cheap food from the comedores. The highlight of my stay in Teguc as a huge and delicious “tipico” breakfast for 40 lemps.

  21. I like that gun, I need that. Just the ticket for taking care of bambi’s, small fuzzy squirrels, cute Blue Jays and well maybe in the future when I send more newsletters out too.

    That river of trash looks like your sissy’s room when she was a teenager.

    The flowers and razor wire are a nice touch. I’ll plan that for the garden this summer. You never know when relatives will pick your flowers for table bouquets. No respect.