Honduras motorcycling

Discussion in 'Americas' started by qwerty12345, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 n00b

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    @ThirtyOne was kind enough to answer some questions about a trip to Honduras via PM, and he suggested posting here too so others might learn from them as well.


    A mate and I are going to spend a week and a half motorcycling around Honduras on a couple of XT250s. Our proposed route is:

    Day 1: Tela
    2: Yojoa
    3: Yojoa
    4: Comajagua
    5: Esparanza
    6: Gracias
    7: Copan Ruins
    8: Copan Ruins
    9: Tela

    ThirtyOne's very helpful response:
    Sounds like you have a nice route for the mainland, but I would amend it some.

    You'll find that Yojoa is not a lake that has life on it. The lake itself has no properties/restaurants directly on it, save for a small strip of them that are on the CA5, the main highway. You could have a fried fish and sit overlooking the lake. If you want you can pay for a boat tour, but it's a dead lake. There's nothing else to do on it. Some parks are nearby, Los Naranjos for example, that might be a nice stop to see some nature. You could investigate about renting kayaks and going out on the river if that's your sort of thing.

    You could go to D&D brewery and relax over there, it's not on the lake, but very close by. I would recommend stopping at El Cajon on your way down to Yojoa. If you Google it, you'll find that it's one of the largest dams in this hemisphere. I haven't been, but it's supposed to be pretty cool.

    I lived in Comayagua for a year. Nice little central park with a church and you can climb the clocktower for a few bucks. Worth seeing. Other than that, you won't find a whole lot there. I rode out to La Esperanza regularly when living in Comayagua. You could stop there for about an hour max, have some lunch and walk around. They're known for their strawberries, so you can get a tall glass of strawberry juice at restaurants. Yum. I won't waste an entire day kicking stones there. There's really nothing to do.

    Also, the CA5 is a gorgeous ribbon on highway from San Pedro to Tegucigalpa. Google Maps says that it stops after the lake, but it goes all the way. Don't worry. It cuts and curves through the mountains. 2 lanes wide on each side. A LOT of fun. Oddly, it goes through some towns for a couple of miles once in a while, but overall it's a great (fast) road for carving.

    This is what I would do:

    Day 1: Tela
    2: Ride to El Cajon, D&D Brewery (to sleep) and if you're up for it, ride up to Los Naranjos. It's a longer day in the saddle, especially on a 250. Otherwise relax at the brewery.

    3: Head over to Panacam. You can stay in the park overnight (a little spendy) or just go hiking for the day. Beautiful place. Another option would be to ride out to Pulhapanzak, which is the biggest waterfall in the country. There is safer parking, swimming, restaurants etc. inside of the park. You can pay some money and have a guide take you to go under/inside the waterfall too.

    4: Leave early. Head south. I would probably skip Siguatepeque. Central park is ok, but really not much to see there. Continue down to Comayagua for breakfast baleadas at Doña Iris. (https://goo.gl/maps/AwPox5dzqFyo6bUAA or
    14°27'28.5"N 87°38'38.7"W. There is a small sign outside. Easy to miss, but it's there)
    Get there by 9:30am latest, or she runs out of food. Walk around the park and see the older central part of the city. Climb the clocktower. Then ride south and cut west towards La Paz/Marcala. Stop in Marcala for coffee. It's considered some of the best in Honduras. Stop in La Esperanza for 30 min. Park by the park and walk a little. There is a "church" built into the mountain at the top of the main street. 10 blocks from the park. Worth a quick look. Then head straight to Gracias.

    5: Full day around Gracias. It has a castle and aguas termales (hot springs) nearby. You could easily spend a day or two there. It's a very pretty city. The national park Celaque is also nearby. That has the highest peak in Honduras. Nice hiking around there. Maybe later in the day ride up to La Campa for an overnight or leave the next day.

    6: Take a ride up to La Campa. (about an hour or less out of Gracias if I remember correctly. Dirt road, but easy on a 250) It's the Lenca Highlands, known for their pottery. Bring your own beer/alcohol if you you drink and plan to stay overnight. There weren't any bars or beer sold when I was there in 2014. There are a few hotels in La Campa (larger of the Lenca towns). They have the highest zipline (canopy) in Central America. It's crazy. I'd recommend it if you're into that. There are other Lenca villages up there in the mountains. They're all remote and undeveloped, but it's a little adventure out there to see them.

    7: Copan Ruins
    8: Copan Ruins
    9: Tela

    As for insurance, you won't find any short term insurance offered by a Honduran company. People settle small fender benders in cash. Nicer cars do have insurance and settle things like they do in the developed world. Cops come, reports created, claims submitted to insurance companies.


    Me again:
    We're also going through our packing lists now and another question is: anything we should bring that people tend not to have? Things that wouldn't be intuitive? Things people forget? We'll be bringing our own protective gear and basic tool sets. I intend to ride in a one-piece suit with an airbag vest, my usual kit.


    ThirtyOne:
    You'll find just about everything you need here outside of motorcycle equipment. I would always bring a spare set of gloves, the ones here are cheap knockoffs and the brand name stuff is like 10x the price at a Yamaha dealership. Everything from oil to filters should be easy, as well as chain repair stuff.

    In terms of personal items, you can find pretty much whatever you might need. I would say a mosquito bed net would be a good idea if you're susceptible to insects. REI sells a nice one for around $50. Not cheap but better than getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Vitamin B complex is a good remedy for a natural repellent. Start taking it about 3 weeks before you come. You can find all things from toiletries to sunblock to bug spray to all manners of clothing.

    Electronic device accessories are a bit harder to find, so that might be something you might want to make sure you have if it's proprietary for the camera/laptop, etc. (computer charger for example) USB chargers for iPhones and Android devices are easy to find.

    Keep in mind that the sun is muuuuuch more intense down here. You'll want to ride with all body parts covered, because otherwise you can get roasted on a 2 hour ride whereas it might take you 6 hours to get the same level of sunburn in northern parts of the globe.

    I would consider either finding out about an international plan for your phone, or buy a SIM when you get here and putting a few gigs of data on it (you can buy a week or two's worth at a time if you want), so you have a mobile connection just in case. Maps.me is a great app that can run GPS without data as well. I used it in Cuba without any signal. Worked great.

    Finally, I just heard that that the CA5 is now littered with speed traps. Up until 6 months ago the cops didn't have any radar guns and it was complete freedom to run at whatever speed you wanted (both good and bad, haha). Now there are lots of speed traps, so it's not the race track it used to be.
    #1
  2. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    2012 we were in Honduras, my wife and I on klr 650s, we stopped in Gracias for a couple of nights. We like to walk when we park our bikes, so we walked alot. did the hot springs, they were cool, I think we took a bus there. Spent a night in La Campa, I think it was a Sunday night and not much going on, we did walk alot to see pottery. Our hotel faced the zip line, I wouldn't rate it crazy more like absolutely absurd, maybe it has changed but we watched riders come down to the platforms and have to be stopped by humans from hitting poles, then they kept going into darkness and were using truck headlights for lighting, way beyond crazy. Copan, we stayed there in 2007 and 2012 for 2 weeks each time to take Spanish immersion. We like the town alot, it reminds us more of our home town in western Colorado. The ruins are cool, a bird sanctuary, we did a couple of tours out of town to places
    #2
  3. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Something to consider if your bikes have regular batteries which require an occasional addition of distilled water. The warm weather may increase the need for that.
    Of course regular tap water,with its mineral content , might be considered in an emergency but distilled water will avoid later battery problems .
    Trouble was in Honduras in 2011 that there were no shops that sold bottled DISTILLED water .Have they started selling it since then ?
    Auto supply stores and bike parts stores sold only "liquido para baterias '' which was the ACID solution . Never add acid to a battery .
    The only distilled water sold at farmacias was the medical supply in very small ampules and expensive .
    Consider bringing a liter of actual distilled water , pure and de-mineralized ,for the batteries . If you dont use it you can always drink it
    #3
  4. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 n00b

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sjoerd and colomtnbiker. Anyone who's got any recent experience in Honduras have safety tips? Both road safety and people-safety. I won't ride at night, we'll get out of the big cities quickly. Anything else?
    #4
  5. knight

    knight Long timer

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    Bring cash
    In 2015 I could not find a ATM where my any of my cards would work

    Have small change to pay local teenagers for fixing pot holes , they will be ones standing near a half filled pot hole holding a shovel in a batter's stance

    I was robbed just moments after entering the country , by a cop , so I had no wealth to share with the locals and was left to dodging the swinging shovels
    #5
  6. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 n00b

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    Haha....jesus. Well, better to know about it beforehand! @knight you experienced the pothole-batters even outside of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula?
    #6
  7. knight

    knight Long timer

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    I had my head down so I didn't catch the names of any towns , I was only looking for a bank machine that would work

    Had a bit of a run in with a bank security guard about where I parked my bike ,too

    I entered from the north on CA1 and exited hours later on CA3

    I was riding on fumes trying to make Nicaragua, the only money I had left was a torn American $20 dollar bill

    I only spent less than a day riding across Honduras ,I think if I would have had more cash I would have had a better time ,lol
    #7
  8. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    I didn't have any issues in Honduras but, then again, I was only there for about four hours on my trip south between the El Salvador-Honduras border at El Amatillo and the Honduras-Nicaragua border at Guasale. After reading the above, I'm glad it wasn't more. :)
    #8
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  9. HeadShrinker

    HeadShrinker Long timer Supporter

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    I liked Honduras but the cops attempted to fine me $20 for a “tax” immediately after the gate opening. Apparently it was because my helmet was not worn in no mans land on the bridge to the official border entry. I told them I wasn’t paying them shit. After a few nights in jail, they let me go—kidding.

    Other than that initial BS, Honduras was cool, safe, and pretty. Copan Ruins were amazing.

    That was March 2019.
    #9
  10. knight

    knight Long timer

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    The cop got me on a bridge too ,middle of the day ,no shade
    Asked for my passport , then shoved it in his pocket
    He then noticed the colour of my bike on my TVIP (negro) did not match the colour on my registration (silver)

    The cop said it was a $750 fine , that I would have to return to the previous border and my bike might get impounded along the way

    I told him I wasnt going to pay him one fucking cent ,that he had just fucked with the wrong asshole , that he is the one who is about to get fucked, as I was calling my embassy to report his corrupt ass
    Or that is what I told the guy who was interpreting for me
    I think my ploy would have worked way better , if I had a cell phone with me

    I had been spending my emergency stash of cash ,a national election had caused the shut down of bank machines in Guatemala for four days and
    my cards had not worked in El Salvador , I was low on cash and desperate to keep what little I had left

    Dying under the hot sun I finally relented and offered the cop $20

    The interpreter told me that $20 was an insult
    I said good ,and asked him if he knew a better way to insult the fat fuck looking for a bribe , to offer him that too

    Many thoughts were racing through my mind, from looking for a chance to overpower and disarm the cop when he would look at his phone or maybe hiring a local to do the same or to just painting the bike black

    Anyways, I ended up giving the little fat fuck $50 , I got my passport back along with a mild sunburn and bit of heatstroke
    #10
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  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    A widely traveled fellow rider told me he'd never go back there for multiple reasons mentioned already above.
    SB- I like sealed batteries no matter where I travel.
    #11
  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I told that fat fuck on the bridge to go fuck himself...he's not even a cop. I suggest to everyone just to look away and keep on riding if you are waved to a stop. The ONLY time we got hassled was when of course we stopped...we NEVER got hassled for not stopping. Never, ever give anyone your original license/paperwork, they hold it to ransom. One cop kept waving my wife's license under her nose saying "you will not get this back"....I said "next time he waves it grab it"....he did....she did....then we rode off.....
    #12
  13. knight

    knight Long timer

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    The guy on the bridge was wearing a police uniform , had a long gun strapped across his chest
    and was standing directly in front of me when he stopped me

    I had a fake licences ready to hand him ,but not a fake passport
    #13
  14. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Different guy then. My guy had a uniform and a name tag but no gun. He conveniently had an interrupter that followed us to him. He didn't stand in the way.
    #14
  15. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

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    I could echo this. I've been living here for 5 years, ridden all over the country. Always just keep on riding when they waved me down to stop. I was on my way to El Salvador a week ago just for the day, its a few hours from Tegucigalpa and the cops stopped me 5 miles from the border. I don't know why, but I stopped when he waved at me. Well.. 1 out of 4 gave me hell. I fought back for an hour, the other 3 wanted to let me go and this one was just being an asshole. I gave him $20 in the end and it ended up significantly delaying my trip. In the future I'm just going to blow through those checks and pretend like I don't speak Spanish if they come after me.

    But, again, 5 years in country, tens of thousands of miles riding around it, and that's the first bribe I've ever paid. I would suspect that this kind of thing is more prevalent around the borders, as the cops know people are traveling, need to keep moving, and are more vulnerable to be squeezed a little. In the more central parts of the country, it's not nearly as bad.
    #15
  16. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

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    You can find it more readily here now. La Colonia, the main supermarket stocks it pretty regularly. Honduras has changed a lot in the last 4 years. There are now a ton of foreign products that you would never have seen here just a few years ago. When I first got here, you could find the 4 national beers, Corona, Heineken and a Toña. Now I can find Magic Hat #9 from my favorite brewery in Vermont, Guinness and all sorts of other wonderful goodies that only existed for me when I went to the USA for vacation.
    #16