How to Stay Healthy While In Honduras

Nestled deep within Central America, Honduras offers tourists a chance to experience nature at its most pristine. But, before you pack your bags, here are a few tips to help you prepare for the climate and weather.

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Staying Healthy

Insect-borne illnesses are quite common in Honduras, particularly malaria and dengue fever. The northern areas are most dangerous for contracting malaria, however dengue is relatively widespread throughout the whole country. A state of emergency was declared by the government back in 2010 due to a massive increase in dengue outbreaks. The Honduran Ministry of Health stated that during the outbreak, there were over 66,000 confirmed cases of classic dengue and 83 deaths. Most cases were reported in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Yellow Fever and Zika virus are also present in Honduras. It is recommended to get the necessary vaccination for Yellow Fever before you travel to Honduras as it is often a requirement for re-entry into several countries such as United States, Australia, UK and others.

If you’re planning a visit, pack plenty of good quality insect repellent (preferably containing the ingredient DEET) and use it copiously during your stay. There are also locally made insect repellants available at pharmacies in Honduras, some travelers swear by it and it may be worth giving it a go if the repellant you bought from home isn't keeping the swathes of mosquitos at bay. Grab some anti malarial medication as well before you travel to Honduras.

You should bring clothing that'll adequately cover your skin, such as long sleeved shirts, pants and closed-toe shoes. The less exposed skin, the lower the risk of receiving an insect bite.

Honduran authorities have reported a surge in cases of leptospirosis, sometimes referred to as mountain leprosy. The disease is most commonly contracted by walking or swimming in water that’s been contaminated by animal urine. If caught quickly, the disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics. However, it’s probably not something you’d like to experience – so avoid coming into contact with dirty water.

During the dry season, severe air pollution can become a problem, particularly for those suffering from existing respiratory issues. This is made worse by widespread forest fires that often spring up and agricultural burning. If you happen to be in Honduras when pollution levels are high, take appropriate precautions; such as wearing a face mask to protect your nose and mouth, and remaining indoors whenever possible. 

Avoid drinking tap water, consuming fruit that's been washed in tap water, and drinking soft drinks with ice in them, since the ice may be contaminated. Bottled water is widely available, but you should consider packing a reuseable water bottle to reduce your environmental impact, and boil water back at the hostel to refill.

Typhoid and Hepatitis A are also present in Honduras so it's best to get the shots for those too.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Given its tropical climate and location, Honduras is quite susceptible to hurricanes.

Hurricane season typically runs from June–November. But, tropical storms can pop up frequently, bringing high winds and torrential rains which can in-turn cause flooding and landslides. Rural areas see the most damage, with entire roads being washed away.

The area is also prone to earthquakes, and the dry season can bring severe drought and subsequent forest fires. Take this into consideration when planning your trip, so you can avoid potential weather concerns during your stay.

Adventure Time in Honduras

The rugged terrain in Honduras makes it a prime location for adventurers. Activities are widely available, from whitewater rafting and kayaking to scuba diving and canopy tours, but keep in mind the country enforces little–to–no safety standards on such activities. This makes already-risky acts far more dangerous.

Over the past several years a number of trouists have lost their lives while participating in adventure sports in Honduras. If you plan on partaking, do so with extreme caution.  

A Note for Nudists in Roatán

Travelers should be aware that Roatán happens to be a popular destination for nudists – particularly the Paya Bay Resort. 

The resort isn’t 100% nude, however they do have certain designated weeks when it becomes a nudist colony. So, if your itinerary includes a stay there and you don’t want to spend your time without clothing, plan accordingly. Check out the resort’s website for information on the nudist schedule.  

In addition to the scheduled weeks, the resort is also divided into three zones. Zone 1 is completely nude, Zone 2 is for topless sunbathers, and Zone 3 is for those who prefer clothing. Plan ahead, or you may get the surprise of your life!

Waterfalls, beaches, mountainsides and national parks give travelers to Honduras the opportunity to enjoy nature at its best. The locals who welcome you to their country and share their unique heritage, culture, and traditions make this one of the most memorable places to visit. Just be sure to prepare ahead of time so you can stay healthy and know what to expect once you get there. 

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