‘You have to travel to Tegucigalpa, there is some work’ …it was a requirement from work perspective and I said yes, it is work and I love travel. Now where is this place, well then came the details. ‘It is a bit unsafe’. Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras, a Latin American country in Central America along the Caribbean Cost sandwiched between Nicaragua & Guatemala. Not much have been known about this small nation other than their Football team which participated in the 2014 World cup.
This travel was not like any travel I did until now, I usually travel to USA & Tokyo where I have to take a single flight or a couple, but this is way off and moreover there are some things to be taken care of especially when you are travelling to Honduras. So I started the initial investigation about the place, called a couple of colleagues & they told me why this place is deemed unsafe. Laks and my parents were a bit worried and they were not all that happy about this travel.
Being the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa is a city with people who come to get some job and earn, when compared to the laid back attitude of people in tourist detonations in Honduras like Roatan, Copan etc. This city is known for how unsafe it is because of increase in petty crimes theft. Stories of kidnapping, extortion and thefts on gunpoint are quite common here. Now that makes the city unsafe, yes this is not safe for outsiders who doesn’t know about the place.
We booked a very good hotel, right in the middle of the city next to the Presidential palace (coincidence). Now, this place is crawling with military always and moreover there was a military conference happening in the same hotel which means more military from other CA4 nations.
I took a flight from NewDelhi to Miami via Helsinki. Stayed at Miami for the night and took the next day morning flight to Tegucigalpa. Some facts to be known, For an Indian with a Valid B1/B2 Visa or Valid US visa doesn’t need to apply for a separate visa. They can go straight on the same visa which is awesome. its close to 3hrs flight from Miami and when we were about to land at Tegucigalpa all we could see was the beautiful mountainous terrain with a small patch in the middle, the landing strip for Toncontin Airport. This airport is one among the top 10 dangerous landing strips. This landing strip had exactly the minimum space required for landing a passenger aircraft which means there is no margin for errors here. I flew in an American Airlines and the pilot was exceptionally good since the landing was awesome. People were clapping and while landing I heard people sitting next to me praying
The place is beautiful with the mountainous terrain like one of the hill stations in India. Even though this is the capital city, the city is green. There are buildings but there are more trees and plants which makes Tegucigalpa awesome. The people here speak Spanish and are pretty cool. We had a person who could speak Spanish and that way we didn’t have much problem. It’s a beautiful place and with a bit of caution you can roam around and go sightseeing to the beautiful places here. I didn’t get time since I was there only for a week and purely for work.
Let me be clear about the unsafe part:
- Every security guard (even the one in charge of parking lots) carry an automatic gun.
- Make sure you hire a proper taxi from the airport or the hotel you stay.
- Never hire the white colored taxi’s (It seems some of them are behind the extortion and thefts).
- Try not to roam around in the night.
- Stay in a good known hotel rather than going for a cheaper unknown option.
- Book a authorized tour operator through hotel for sight seeing, do not go alone for sight seeing.
A few handy tips:
- If you speak Spanish well and good, else keep something for translation.
- Matrix phone didn’t work in Tegucigalpa for me. I carried a India prepaid number which worked in case of emergencies (only for emergencies since calls are expensive).
- Free Wifi is not common everywhere, even though you get it in the Airport.
- If you are booking flights to Tegucigalpa, you get it from Miami Airport and it is close to 3hrs flight.