With mountains over 80 percent of the country and flat coastal areas, Honduras, between Nicaragua and Guatemala in Central America, is a country of contrasts. Once a major exporter of gold to Guatemala, today's economy is rooted in agriculture (primarily the banana crop).
The language is Spanish, though English is spoken almost everywhere. Good roads simplify sightseeing.
Tegucigalpa ("silver hill") was once a mining town. Today, it's an important historic center with elaborate cathedrals, huge Government buildings, an elaborate national theater, spacious parks and a small zoo.
San Pedro Sula, friendly and informal, is the modern commercial center with good restaurants and nightclubs. Little remains from the colonial period. But tourists find it a comfortable base for sightseeing.
Mayan ruins at Copan, including an impressive observation tower and monoliths, are a popular attraction.
Lovely inland lakes are cooled by gentle mountain breezes. Puerto Cortes, the most modern port in Central America, is near beaches; nice for getaways.
The Bay Islands, rich in pirate lore with English overtones, draw interest from ecotourists attracted to the reefs, which are alive with fish, coral and other sea life. Sunken ships and the possibility of buried treasure add to the area's excitement.
Roatan, largest of the Bay Islands, has an airport, about 20 communities, a busy port, a thriving shrimp industry, nice hotels and excellent restaurants. On Guanaja, a forest reserve and marine park, resorts are accessible only by boat and the focus is on diving, though fishing, hiking and horseback riding are also popular.