Honduras - Profile
- 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.
There were 3 reports of piracy off Honduras in January 2017, two in the Gorda Bank area, and one off the north coast near Puerto Cortes. A 4th incidence of piracy occurred in the disputed waters near Media Luna Cays in late December, 2016. See reports adjacent.
Cruisers should advertise a high level of caution and careful planning if transiting any of these areas, near shore and offshore Honduras or Nicaragua.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated January 2017.
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.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page