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