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By No owner — last modified Aug 02, 2017 05:54 PM

 Honduras - Profile

Facts

  • Located in central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Nicaragua.
  • Honduras' Pacific coastline on the Gulf of Fonseca is only about 70 miles long compared to a 400-mile shoreline in the Caribbean.
  • The Bay Islands are the country's prime sailing attraction, a perfect cruising ground whose popularity with yachts has increased steadily in recent years as an alternative to the Eastern Caribbean, and the Virgin Islands - less crowded, and scenically on a par with the Virgins. Provisioning and repair facilities are best on Roatan.
  • Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, on the Bay Islands, and La Ceiba on the mainland, are the Ports of Entry where officials are most used to dealing with yachts.
  • Facilities generally have improved as more cruising boats visit Honduras; there are two new marinas at La Ceiba. Lagoon Marina has 24 hour security and is a good place to leave the boat while visiting some of the attractions of Honduras' interior such as the Copan Maya ruins.
  • The rest of Honduras is less tempting to explore by sea and although the mountainous north coast is scenically attractive, the lack of harbours make cruising along it very difficult, while the western Pacific coast is featureless and uninteresting.

Security

Cruisers should practice a high level of caution and careful planning if transiting any of these areas, near shore and offshore Honduras or Nicaragua.

Incidents in 2017

So far there have been 4 reports of piracy off Honduras this year. One in April 2017, 10 miles off Utila. Three in January 2017, two in the Gorda Bank area, and one off the north coast near Puerto Cortes.

A yacht anchored off Graham's Cay, Guanaja, was boarded by armed men and robbed in April 2017.

See reports adjacent.

Incidents in 2016

A 5th incidence of piracy occurred in the disputed waters near Media Luna Cays in late December, 2016.

Earlier Reports

The Gracias Adios area is the most remote area of Honduras and the entire area is renowned for being under the control of drug traffickers. In 2012 long term cruiser Cliff Vaughs lost his boat and all his possessions to pirates here (see report Honduras, Catarasca Lagoon: Single Handed Cruiser Loses Boat to Pirates).

Past attacks on yachts that have been reported to noonsite tend to be of a violent nature - armed attacks and robberies. Reports include:
- Belize to Roatan - Charter yacht boarded and pillaged en-route (March 2015)
- Bay Islands to Rio Dulce - Armed Robbery while underway (February 2015)

During low-season, local crime does increase particularly in the Bay Islands where the great majority of locals rely on tourist trade for their income. Police presence also tends to be reduced when less tourists are around. It is important to bear this in mind when making your cruising plans and is recommended that more remote bays and anchorages are avoided during this period.

Cruisers should adopt basic long-distance cruising rules when cruising here: lock your boat at all times, use alarms, raise your dingy and lock it at night, lock your dinghy at the dock during the day, travel in groups whenever possible, keep the VHF tuned to Ch.16 and the shared channel with fellow cruisers in the area. See reports adjacent for lastest info.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated May 2017.

Weather

Climate - Subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains.

Rain is frequent on the Caribbean coast all year round, but heaviest from September to December. The drier months are April to May but these months are very hot. The east and north coasts have strong NE trade winds throughout the winter months. The best time to cruise the Bay Islands is at the end of winter or early spring when the northers of winter are no longer a problem.

Honduras Weather Forecast.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

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tbunker
tbunker says:
Aug 01, 2017 01:12 PM

I cleared in at Utila in June of 2017. I've been there before and there have been a few changes. The Port Captain and immigration are in the same building at the public dock.

The Port Captain went to the boat with me and took photos. HThese were exterior shots and he didn't enter the boat.

He filled out forms and photographed them with his phone. Then he sent everything to the main office. I had to come back the next morning for the cruising permit.

Immigration requested a $3.00 entry fee.

The exit procedure was the same, except that the turn around time to get approval from the main office was 2 hours. Immigration requested another $3.00.

There was no charge for the cruising permit or the zarpe.

SYL
SYL says:
Nov 21, 2016 10:35 PM

November 21st: We want to report a dinghy theft 2 weeks ago - ours was stolen during the night in the anchorage of West End Roatan. Gone! Lock your dinghy.

tinsoldier50
tinsoldier50 says:
Jan 30, 2016 10:58 PM

On a much lighter note than the previous comment, I would like to commend Aussie Pete, the dockmaster at Fantasy Island, Roatan, Honduras, for the great job he is doing in providing a fun venue for cruisers in French Harbour. He has a number of weekly activities offered (produce truck, bus trip to the supermarket, BBQ night, Pizza Night, etc) and has created a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the palapa bar. It's a great place for cruisers to hang out and visit. Thanks Pete!

dougpad
dougpad says:
Jan 27, 2016 07:27 PM

Extortion from immigration officer Coxen Hole. We arrived from Rio Dulce and attempted to clear in at Coxen Hole. The immigration officer would only give us 12 days unless we paid a $200 bribe. We arrived in Guatemala on November 20 and had never extended immigration there. According to Raul the agent in Livingston, we should have not had any issues here in Roatan. I recommend using an agent or a contact like Pete, the dockmaster at Fantasy Island. Based on our experience, I would not go it alone. Regretfully, we paid. The first bribe in any of 27 countries we've cleared into in 4 years. According to local cruisers, this extortion is common but not exercised by all immigration officials. We complained to the Port Captain but he said that he could/would not do anything about this.

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