Honduras or Costa Rica--which would you choose?

Dec 31st, 2006, 03:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 8
Honduras or Costa Rica--which would you choose?

We are contemplating travelling either to Honduras or Costa Rica this January (2007), and would be very interested in hearing comments from travellers, especially travellers who have visited both countries.

In your opinion, what are the pluses and minuses of both countries? For example, I have read that the snorkeling in Honduras (eg. Roatan) is much better than snorkeling in Costa Rica. Do the nature tours and the wildlife (the animal variety) vary between the two countries? Transportation? Safety? Friendliness, Variety, infrastructure, Cost?

Is there anything particularly unique to either country?

Which country would you choose to visit if you had several weeks to wind down and explore?

Many thanks for any opinions and input, no matter how subjective.

fleate is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 05:57 PM
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Having not been to both, I can't compare, but I can tell you why I've picked Honduras for my last 2 trips and will probably never venture to Costa Rica.

The 1st reason is culture: I'm really interested in current and historic Maya culture and Honduras has fascinating examples of both. There are also really diverse populations in the Moskitia and on the Bay Islands so it's like visiting 3 or 4 countries at once if you have time to move around a bit.

Honduras is a cheaper destination and, I believe, the country needs the revenue of visitors more.

It's off-putting to me that 70 or 80% of the visitors to CA go to Costa Rica.

I love to dive and snorkel and Honduras has incredible opportunities for both, much more accessible and affordable than what is found in CR.

I enjoy studying Spanish 1-on-1 and living with host families. Spanish study is typically much more expensive in CR and 1-on-1 instruction is unavailable or an additional expense at every school I've researched there. In Honduras the schools, teachers, and host families have been excellent and very affordable, and 1-on-1 instruction is the usual format.

In 2 or 3 weeks in Honduras you can experience so much! Part of a week in the Copán area for visits to the ruins and neighboring Maya villages, part of a week in the La Ceiba area for whitewater rafting, kayaking lagoons, hiking to waterfalls, etc., and the rest of the time on one of the Bay Islands.....sigh...

Here are links to 2 trip write-ups. Let me know if you have questions I can help with.



Happy trails! I hope you find just what you're looking for, whichever country you choose.

hopefulist is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 35
I much prefer Honduras as it is not overtouristed as is Costa Rica. I have found the people in Honduras generally much friendlier and it does have a local culture which seems to have been lost in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica does have a better developed tourist infrastructure but is a much more expensive destination to stay and play. It does edge Honduras on the safety scale. If you have never been to Central American before Costa Rica is the beginners destination of choice as English is so widely spoken.

If you have several weeks have you considered seeing both?

Charlie Meador, Coco Pando, La Ceiba, Honduras
crmeador is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 09:05 AM
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Honduras has better beaches more culture sites and is cheaper!
Costa Rica is éasier

guanacaste is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 10:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
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hopefulist, crmeader and guanacaste,

Thanks for the responses. I have looked over the website links, and will re-read them again and follow up on other threads.

cmreader asked about the possiblity of visiting both countries, considering the time we have available. Can it be a fairly straight-forward overland trip by bus, for example, like travelling from Cancun through Belize to Tikal/Flores? Or do most people fly between Honduras and Costa Rica?
fleate is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,216
Busing from Honduras to Costa Rica wouldn't be anything like Cancun to Belize - you'd be passing through much of Honduras and clear through Nicaragua, CA's largest country.

We've made 5 trips to CA so far and try to plan for at least 3-4 weeks each time, focusing on just one country. We always leave feeling like we've barely scratched the surface. I'd pick Honduras, if I was you, and save Costa Rica for another trip (or skip it altogether and head to Guatemala or Belize or.....). Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 35
Bussing from San Jose, Costa Rica to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, even on a luxury line like TicaBus (www.ticabus.com) is two and and half long days of travel. Flights are in the $250-$350 price range I believe.

Charlie Meador, Coco Pando, La Ceiba, Honduras
crmeador is offline  
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