Honduras offers an array of different vacation experiences—perhaps more than any other country in Central America. It can be a resort-oriented getaway for divers and snorkelers (in the Bay Islands), a showplace of Mayan archaeological treasures (at Copan) or an eco- and adventure-travel playground (on the north coast and in the rain forest).

Honduras also offers a great bang for the travel buck, with prices of most goods and services surprisingly inexpensive.

On the down side, Honduras shares some of the region's less admirable travel qualities. Roads can be rough, travel slow and amenities basic. Even though Honduras has not had destabilizing insurgencies of the sort that El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua have suffered, conditions are far from ideal. Crime and a lack of attractions make the big cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula places you'll want to avoid or to pass through quickly.

That said, Honduras is doing much to make its best features more accessible and enjoyable—quite a feat given the widespread destruction the country faced after Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998 and the ousting of President Manuela Zelaya in 2009 after a constitutional crisis. Travelers who don't mind a bit of adventure—or who are seeking it out—will likely relish the country's unpolished charm.

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