Health and Safety
Three essentials go a long way when traveling the northern coast: sunscreen, bug repellent, and plenty of purified water. The strong heat and brutal midday sun make it likely that travelers of all skin tones will burn, so always keep a bottle of sunblock on hand. Rest in the shade periodically and hydrate constantly, as travelers might feel light-headed and dizzy after an extended time outdoors. Malaria is no longer a major concern in the coastal cities, but the mosquitoes, or zancudos, can still be a nuisance, especially after it rains.
The coast is fairly laid-back, so violent crime is rare. Petty theft, on the other hand, is somewhat common. Keep your wits about you and stow cash, cameras, and valuables in your front pocket. Backpacks are a common target, so don't forget about yours as you walk through crowds.
La Ceiba has some of the best hospitals in the country. There is no shortage of good clinics throughout the northern coast. Pharmacies are everywhere, so ask at your hotel which is the nearest.
Puerto Cortés. 9859–2822.
Tela. 448–0253; 448–2079.
La Ceiba. 441–6288; 441–0871; 9884–3141.