Crime and personal safety
The security situation in Honduras has deteriorated dramatically in recent years, largely thanks to the activities of violent drug gangs (“maras”). San Pedro Sula has been dubbed the most violent city in the world, thanks to a horrifically high murder rate, and Tegucigalpa is not far behind. Street crime is a real concern throughout the country; as well as numerous cases of pickpocketing and robberies, some tourists have been killed (sometimes as a result of resisting a mugging). That said, the vast majority of travellers who visit Honduras do so safely, and you can reduce the likelihood of being a victim of crime by using common sense and caution. Leave your valuables at home (or in the safe of your hotel). Don’t walk around cities or bigger towns unless you’re very sure of your surroundings; see also our warning about bus travel. After dark take a taxi, even for short distances. Steer well clear of rough neighbourhoods (local advice on where not to go is invaluable): for example, the Comayagüela district in Tegucigalpa, particularly around the market, and the streets south of the old railway line in San Pedro Sula are both considered very dangerous. Going around in groups is safer than exploring on your own.
The Bay Islands are considered safer than the mainland, and rural areas are generally safer than urban areas, though far from crime-free; taking the usual precautions and seeking advice from locals are vital. Hiking alone or walking on isolated stretches of beach (or indeed any stretch of beach at night) is inadvisable.
If you are the victim of a crime the police are unlikely to be of much help, but any incidents of theft should be reported for insurance purposes (ask for a denuncia).
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners