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

 Honduras - Formalities

Clearance

Arriving yachts must fly the yellow flag. The captain and crew must report to Immigration and the Port Captain. They may visit the boat, otherwise, got to their offices. The Port Captain requires the zarpe from the last country visited.

It is not necessary to check in and out of each port in Honduras. Initial clearance in then out is sufficient.

A cruising permit is required to stay in Honduras - see documents below. It is usually issued by the Port Captain once all the forms have been filed.It is initiaaly issued for 90 days and can be extended.

On departure from Honduras, Customs will issue a zarpe, to be completed by the port captain. Immigration must also be visited for an exit stamp.

On the Atlantic side of Honduras, cruisers recommend Puerto Cortez as a good place to check-in, professional and easy and good for provisioning. Coming from the East, Guanaja is said to be the best place to check-in.

Charges for clearing in and out do seem to vary from port to port (see Fees below).

Last updated August 2017.

Immigration

No prior visas are required for nationals of the European Union, Australia, Canada, USA, Argentina, Chile, Curaçao, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Panama,Peru, San Marino, Switzerland and Uruguay.

A tourist visa card must be purchased on entry. This CA-4 visa applies to the following countries:- Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. It costs US$3 for 90 days, although it may only be issued for 30 days (dependant on the Immigration official seen). A request for an extension can be made for up to 30 days by paying a fee before the 90 days limit expires.

The length of stay applies to the whole group. To remain in the region longer than your visa allows, a minimum of a 3-day visit to a country outside the CA-4 area must be made and a new visa will be issued on re-entry.

A yellow slip of paper will be stapled or folded into your passport – don’t lose it, as you’ll have to turn it in when you leave, or get it stamped if you extend your stay.

Some identification should always be carried, as the police often do spot checks.

Last updated August 2017.

Customs

Firearms must be declared.

Items imported, including equipment for yachts in transit, are subject to significant amounts of duty. See Noonsite report New Import Fees

One option is to arrange to import any required items while at Turtlegrass Marina, Calabash Bight, Roatan. This marina has been declared  a Duty Free Trade Zone ("Zona Libre") under a special arrangement with the government of Honduras.

Last updated August 2017.

Health

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (September 2016) There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Honduras is an area of interest with multiple reported cases and active virus transmission. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

Dengue fever is present in Honduras.

Dysentery and stomach parasites are a problem for those travelling inland.

Unfiltered water is not safe to drink but bottled water is cheap and widely available.

Malaria prophylaxis recommended.

There is a hyperbaric decompression chamber on Roatán and there are decompression facilitates on the Bay Island of Utila.

Documents

Cruising yachts in Honduras need a cruising permit which is issued on arrival by the Port Captain at the port of entry. Cruising permits are issued for 90 days and can be extended.

Fees

Official fees are:

Immigration: Between $3.00 and $5.00 per passport, depending on where you clear (for both clearing in and out).
Port Captain: Up to $30 per boat to clear in; $20 per boat to clear out. (again, depending on where you clear).

Overtime charges may be made for clearance outside of working hours and, of course, there will be Agent's fees if an agent is used. Customs may charge a fee for each zarpe (approx. $2).

Inconsistency of Fees

As with many countries, charging of fees are not consistent.

Cruisers report that Utila only charges US$3 for Immigration (both in and out) and nothing for the Cruising Permit or exit Zarpe.

The only fee charged in San Lorenzo, on the Pacific side of Honduras, is $2 for an exit zarpe (Puerto Cortes is the same but also charges an immigration fee). At Amapala, entry is free. In Guanaja only the immigration fee is charged.. In La Ceiba the Port "Handling Fee" is US$100 (this is paid by fishing boats as well as yachts).

Last updated August 2017.

Restrictions

All of Utila Island is a sanctuary except for the settlements.

Also protected in the Bay Islands are the National Marine Park of Barbareta, West End on Roatán, and most of Guanaja and its surrounding reefs.

Other protected islands are: Hog Cays (Cayos Cochinos), off the Caribbean coast, Cayos Zapotillos, Swan Island (Isla del Cisne) and Miskito Cays (Cayos Misquitos) off the Mosquito coast.

Boats are not allowed to anchor anywhere in these protected areas, but have to use one of the moorings provided, for which there is no charge.

Cruisers visiting Roatan should understand that spear fishing is not permitted by anyone, including Honduran nationals, anywhere in Roatan. (The sole exception is for taking lionfish and for that you must take a class and get a license.)

Foreign nationals are not permitted to take lobster and conch at any time anywhere in Roatan and Hondurans can only take them outside the park boundaries during the open season.

Fishing is only permitted by hook and line.

Last updated February 2014.

Wider Caribbean's Marine Protected Areas (CaMPAM)
A useful database of MPAs in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region. All Marine Parks are MPAs, and therefore if wanting to find out about any marine parks in the islands you are visiting, details and location can be sourced via this website.

Pets

Animals must be declared to customs

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