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Most Interesting Facts about Honduras

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facts about honduras

Honduras, officially Republic of Honduras is the second-largest country in Central America. It is situated between Guatemala and El Salvador to the west and Nicaragua to the south and east with Caribbean Sea washing its northern coast and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Not many people know a lot about Honduras. The country has a bad reputation among travelers because it is considered as one of the most dangerous and violent countries of the region. But the few people who had travelled here fell in love with its beaches and natural beauty. Here are some interesting facts about Honduras:

Interesting facts about Honduras

1. The country loves football. In fact they had a war named after it.

In 1969, Honduras and El Salvador were competing for a slot in the 1970 Football World Cup. El Salvador won two out of the three matches and qualified. The players hugged, shook hands, and left the pitch.

Within few weeks both the countries were at war. Now the football match had nothing to do with the war. The roots were issues over land reform in Honduras and immigration and demographic problems in El Salvador. The war began on 14 July 1969, when the Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. The Organization of American States (OAS) negotiated a cease-fire on the night of 18 July. Hence it was given the name of “100 Hour War”.

It is also known as the Football War as it coincided with the football matches. Many people still believe that the football matches acted like a catalyst and fuelled the war.

2. Copan is the site of an ancient Maya city, located in Western Honduras. It was one of the most densely populated urban areas of the Maya world between AD 426 to 820. These ruins are also the main source of how we know Maya history today due to their fully intact hieroglyphs.

Source: https://www.visitcentroamerica.com/

3. Honduras translates to “great depths” in Spanish. During his fourth and final voyage to the Americas in 1502, Christopher Columbus discovered Honduras. His first words after setting his foot to the ground were “Thank God we got out these great depths!” And hence the country was named.

4. Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest barrier reef in the world is in Honduras. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia tops the list.

5. Honduras was the first country to be called a “Banana Republic”. The term was coined by American writer O. Henry in the early twentieth century to describe the unstable economy of the country which was dependent on a limited resource product such as bananas.

6. Honduras was the first country to ban smoking in homes. According to the law, no one is allowed to smoke in enclosed spaces (which include people’s own homes as well) and smokers must always stand about six feet away from non-smokers.

7. An entire lost city was found in the dense forests of Honduras. A team of archeologists stumbled upon this mysterious city in 2015. The city belonged to an as-of-yet unknown civilization and was named ‘Monkey God City’.

Monkey God City
Source: https://www.theverge.com/

8. The country is home to the oldest clock on the continent. The clock which sits in the Cathedral of Comayagua was built around 1100 AD by the Moors. It was originally placed in the Alhambra Palace, in Granada, Spain and later was brought to Honduras.

Cathedral of Comayagua
Source: http://www.jematheson.com/

9. Let’s talk about the fauna of the country. Scarlet macaw which was sacred to the Mayans is the national bird of the country.

Scarlet macaw
Source: https://www.economist.com/

There are 110 mammal species in Honduras. Half of them are bats.

Honduras is home to several venomous snakes, including the Green Palm Pit Viper, the Coral Snake, and the Middle American Rattlesnake.

Utila Island, in the Caribbean sea of Honduras, is a seasonal feeding site of the whale shark – the world’s largest fish.

10. Honduras has an interesting flag. It has three horizontal stripes. The top and bottom stripes are blue to represent the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The center white stripe has five blue stars to represent Central America Union’s five states (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua).

11. There is an interesting story of an American boy who was marooned on Roatan Island in Honduras. Philip Ashton was a 19 year old boy who went sailing with one of his friends. They were captured by the pirates and while his friend got killed, Ashton managed to survive 16 months on the island before he was rescued. Must have been the hardest 16 months of his life! He later wrote a book about his experience.

12. The Toncontin International Airport in the country is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Landing an aircraft needs special skills here. Pilots are forced to make a dramatic 45-degree turn amidst mountains then descend rapidly while being careful not to scrape the terrain directly underneath. The landings are further complicated with heavy winds which require pilots to make several last-second adjustments. High altitude and narrow size of the runway doesn’t help either.

Click here to learn more about the dangerous airports in the world.

Toncontin International Airport
Source: https://www.airport-technology.com/

13. The Lempira (official currency of Honduras) gets its name after an indigenous ruler from 16th century who fought against Spanish rule and died while trying to protect Honduras.

14. Not cat and dogs, “It’s raining fish” in Honduras. Known as “La Lluvia de Peces” in Spanish, the rain of Fish is a strange phenomenon where fish fall from the sky. It is said to occur at least once and sometimes twice a year in the small town of Yoro where a massive storm results in hundreds of live fish flopping all over the ground.

La Lluvia de Peces
Source: https://allthatsinteresting.com/

15. The country is struggling with poverty and rising crime rates. More than 50% of the country lives below poverty levels. Honduras is one of the least developed countries in Latin America with one of the highest murder rates in the world. There are many gangs that operate in the country which are involved in drug smuggling, human trafficking, murder and extortion.

16. Honduras was formerly known as Spanish Honduras to be able to tell it apart from British Honduras, now known as Belize.

17. The country is credited to build the first cinema in Central America.

18. Puerto Escondido is the place where one of the oldest cacao was cultivated and used. The cultivation dates back to 1100 BC. In those times, cacao wasn’t used to make chocolates. Instead, it was used to create alcoholic beverages.

Trip leader Sakshi’s Recommendations if you are visiting Honduras:

Copan Ruins: The city of Copan was occupied by Maya civilization for around 2,000 years, and it was abandoned in the 10th century. You can wander through the UNSECO World Heritage Site and learn about the history of the ancient civilization. Visit The Hieroglyphic Stairway and The Acropolis which are must see sites here.

Copan Ruins
Source: https://handluggageonly.co.uk/

Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve: The forest is one of the most beautiful stretches of Central American rainforest in the entire region. The reserve has a rich diversity of wildlife including howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, giant leatherback turtles, toucans, and tapirs. It is also home to more than 2,000 indigenous people and many important archeological sites. Hiking and exploring the forest is one of the best things to do in Honduras.

Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve
Source: https://handluggageonly.co.uk/

Utila: One of the most beautiful islands in the country, Utila is famous for its diving sites. Backpackers flock to the island to swim with young whale sharks and majestic coral reefs. The white sandy beaches are pristine and are perfect for that laidback vacation.

Source: https://coralbeachvillage.com/

Visa Procedure:

Visa requirements for Indians going to Honduras

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