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Honduras Fast Facts

Pontoon in Honduras. palm trees and white sand in the foreground and light blue waters

Population: 9,587,522
Capital City: Tegucigalpa

Panoramic view of Roatan Island, Honduras.

International Dialing Code: +504
President: Juan Orlando Hernández

Often Overlooked, Honduras Offers Tropical Caribbean Living At A Bargain

Honduras is an excellent retirement destination with hundreds of miles of stunning Caribbean coastline, tropical islands, ancient Mayan ruins, untouched natural parks, and an incredibly low cost of living.

Sadly, media headlines often overshadow Honduras’ natural beauty with its dark underbelly of crime. Today, Honduras struggles with poverty, high crime rates, gang violence, and a depressed economy. That should not deter you but only arm you with caution, as these factors are unlikely to directly affect expats.

Honduras enjoys both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, sharing borders with Guatemala to the west, Nicaragua to the southeast, and El Salvador to the southwest. Honduras’ triangular shape gives it an impressively long coastline of 112,492km2, along which you will find barrier reefs, stretches of white-sand beaches contrasting with pristine turquoise waters, and dramatic cliffs.

Honduras has a wealth of natural resources and is world-renowned for its produce, supplying premium coffee, bananas, and seafood across the globe.

Honduras underwent Spanish colonial rule for nearly 300 years, and in 1822 was taken over by Mexico. Mexico’s hold over Honduras was brief, and finally, in 1839, Honduras became a fully independent nation.

Today, small expat groups exist in Honduras, but it is a land mainly avoided by visitors. Look past Honduras’ bad press and you will find a luscious retirement destination waiting for you.

Coconut palm trees and beach chairs line the beautiful sandy beach at Lighthouse Point near the Meridian Resort in Roatan, Honduras
Alamy/Colin D. Young

Living In Honduras

Honduras has a hot, humid climate all year round. Temperatures range from highs of 90°F to lows of 68°F, dropping in the mountainous regions. Rainfall varies throughout the country, with the northern rainforest region experiencing more rain.

In the country’s lowlands, there is a distinct rainy season from May to October, while the rest of the year sunshine prevails. Honduras is a perfect winter escape for North Americans or Canadians tired of cold, wet winters in their homelands.

Honduras is one of the most energy self-sufficient countries on the planet. Since 2012, the Honduran government has made considerable steps in an attempt to make Honduras fossil-fuel free. If self-sufficiency is calling your name, Honduras is the place to be. Plentiful renewable energy and an optimum climate for growing your own fruits and vegetables await in this tropical paradise.

Spanish is the main language of Honduras, yet indigenous languages prevail in areas where indigenous populations are high. Although you will not find English to be widely spoken in Honduras, the Bay Islands are an exception. Since these islands were once under British colonial rule, English is the chosen tongue here. You will find a blossoming expat population scattered across these islands.

Cost Of Living In Honduras

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America, so the cost of living is extremely low. Real estate is cheap, as are rental rates, generally the main chunk of a modern-day budget. If you are careful about your other expenditure and aim for cheaper, locally sourced produce, you can easily live off your social security check in Honduras.

Thanks to Honduras’ cheap cost of living, you may begin to explore expenses you wouldn’t have dreamt of stateside. Household help is generally a luxury in North America, but here and in the rest of the Americas, it’s almost the norm to have at least a maid, either part time or full time.

Detail of a colonial style house with a wrought iron balcony in the small city of Copan, Honduras
Alamy/Wolfgang Kaehler

Health Care In Honduras

Considering that your existing health insurance package and Medicare probably won’t follow you down here, you need to consider your health needs when moving to Honduras.

The Honduran public health care system is not up to North American standards, so you will need to go down the private route. Private hospitals have modern equipment and facilities, and English-speaking doctors in most specialties, many of them being U.S.-trained.

Most expats don’t have Honduran insurance but prefer to “pay-as-you-go”, because the cost of health insurance is generally more than the cost of care and medications. However, if you have a major crisis and require transportation back to the United States it can get quite expensive. International insurance is the best answer for most people.

Getting To Honduras

You will find daily direct flights from the United States to different cities in Honduras, including Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital, and Roatan island, the popular expat destination. Your belongings can be transported over by a moving company. You will find hundreds of these companies online ready to help you out in your new adventure down south.

Bringing your furry family member to Honduras is not difficult, but you should plan ahead as far as possible as some airlines only allow two dogs per flight in crates and two cats or small dogs under the seat. You will need your pet to have all current vaccinations and a signed affidavit of health on a Department of Agriculture form, which your vet will have.

Silver tabby cat lying in packed suitcase on floor
Alamy/Ben Schonewille

Best Places To Live In Honduras

Roatan Island

Panoramic view of Roatan Island, Honduras.
Alamy/Sorin Colac

Roatan is a beautiful tropical island located in the western Caribbean. It has attracted a plethora of different cultures to its shores, leading to a diverse, welcoming community of natives and expats.

Life moves slow on Roatan, cows and pigs graze the lush grass and occasionally wander along the road. The lifestyle is laidback and the people are hospitable and friendly. Bananas and coconuts grow all over the island. The water is warm, crystal clear, and has abundant life.

Roatan has a tropical climate with little change in temperature from winter to summer but with variation in rainfall between the wet and dry seasons. The main wet seasons are mid-October to December or mid-January.

Roatan is not just for the laid-back. The island has lots of activities on offer for the adventurous—ziplines, mangrove canoe tours, hiking in the forest, parasailing, golf, shell etching… and countless other interests to while the island days away.

La Ceiba

A port in La Ceiba, Honduras on a sunny day
Alamy/Quiony Navarro

La Ceiba is a Caribbean port city on Honduras’ northwestern coastline. The gateway to the Bay Islands, La Ceiba is the perfect location for expats to settle for easy access to both the mainland and the islands.

La Ceiba is nature-lovers paradise, with quick access to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere; the Mesoamerican Reef, Pico Bonito Natural Park, and Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge.

La Ceiba itself is a bustling metropolitan city, with shopping malls, markets, cinemas, hospitals, and an international airport. La Ceiba gives expats the best of both worlds with modern city life and tranquil nature both at arm’s reach.

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