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Strong repellent with DEET and bed netting are two essential companions in La Mosquitía, where mosquitoes carrying malaria and dengue fever still strike with occasional frequency. The easiest way to lower your risk is by covering up with lightweight clothing and steering clear of stagnant water. Travelers spending more than a week in the region might also want to consider taking antimalarial medications before, during, and after an excursion. Coastal towns like Puerto Lempira and Palacios are also ripe with less harmless, and yet incredibly annoying, sand flies. Oil-based lotions and cactus juice help trap the bugs before they can bite, but the easiest way to save your skin is to keep it unexposed.
Puerto Lempira is prone to petty crimes. Drug traffickers from South America increasingly use Palacios to smuggle contraband into the northern hemisphere, and they bring that activity's associated problems with them. Travelers need not discount Palacios altogether, but traveling with an organized tour group is strongly suggested.
Hospital Puerto Lempira is open 24 hours. 1.5 km (0.9 mi) southwest of town, Puerto Lempira. 433–6012 or 433–6078.
Clínica Evangélica Morava the medical wing of the Moravian Church in Honduras, provides quality medical care at a public clinic in Ahuas, and there's a sister center in Kaukira. Between Brus Laguna and Puerto Lempira, Ahuas. www.ahuasclinic.com.