Safety in Honduras


We would like to talk about a sensitive but important topic: do you feel safe in Honduras?

How would you define the level of safety in the country?

Can you walk safely during the day and at night without any fear?

Do you think there is a high rate of criminality, social problems or tensions?

Share with us your insight on safety in Honduras and in the city you live in.

Thank you in advance,


I have lived in Roatan for a lot of years and have always felt safe. I used to live in a very safe, upscale town in Canada and feel the same level of security here. I travel frequently to the mainland, of Honduras, often with my motorcycle, and while I am somewhat more conscious of my surroundings there I have never, ever had anything but nice experiences. As I tell everyone, especially gringos - if you aren't involved with drugs and hookers and you use a modicum of common sense as you would where you come from then the chances of an issue are very, very small.

Eleven years of living here in Honduras, I am 74. I live in a small Village just outside La Lima Cortes, not far from the SPS Airport. I do not live in fear and often after listening to the news, will look out of my window and remark, where is all of this going on.  Could I walk around in my village safely yes during the daytime and early evenings. Are there murderers and robberies yes, all-around within feet of where I live. Most of which seem to involve those who are involved with the purchase or selling of drugs. I am well protected within my household and any local place that I should wish to go into alone. I seldom ever go anywhere alone. Life is much different living in any of the larger cities, and one must always be aware of their surroundings.

I believe that this country is not any different than any other country. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and would not venture there now, then it was great.  There are areas and neighborhoods that it probably would not be wise to venture into but overall in 15 years I have not had a bad experience here.  "Here" for me is the Bay Islands in general. I have been in LaCeiba, San Pedro, Teguc and many other places. Granted they were all during the day for the most part, I nor my wife, did not flash money around or wear a lot of Jewelry.  We just use common sense and we have been fine.  Some people's brains go on vacation when they visit outside their own comfort zones and lack of knowledge
creates fear. Often people of a color that is not ours, creates fear, new places create fear.  here is an article I wrote about a year ago now regarding crime in the Bay Islands. Hopefully this will all be helpful. … fetycrime/

It can't be that safe there is more crime and murders in Honduras than anywhere else.  And there are wars going on in other countries.  When I go to Honduras I will be with armed guards.

I would say most people over-rate the dangers based on only bad news they hear. It's just like when you live in a big city.   1.  You don't hang out alone in the bad part of town at 2 a.m. wearing a lot of expensive jewelry.
2. You do your traveling during daylight hours if you aren't familiar with the area.
3. When in doubt, go with a friend.
4. Beware of "too good to be true" offers.
We lived in two different towns in Honduras for two years and the ONLY trouble we had was when we left a spare key on the back-side of our house during Holy Week. We were only gone shopping for about three hours and in that time our house was robbed. SO..... We feel like someone was watching our house and knew when we left and knew where the key was. (This was in a fenced compound too, but they jumped over the fence OR were let in by the guard.)   Don't flash a lot of cash, don't dress like the ultra-rich and keep a low profile.  MOST of the crime is against local wealthy people or drug-traffickers fighting.  Follow simple common-sense rules and you shouldn't have any problems. If you still worry a little, buy a machete with sheath for $15 and carry it when you are alone. You can walk all over carrying a 27" machete and no one will say anything. Some stores will ask you to leave it at the counter when you enter.   Good Luck and enjoy!   Get to Antigua, Guatemala, it's beautiful.

Like I've said before, there is little crime against tourists accept for pick-pockets.  90% of the crime involves Hondurans killing or robbing each other. Drugs mostly.   Stay away from the drug-dealers and don't flash your money around. Carry a machete if you feel the need.

So I understand you correctly. You would not live in the country of the United States because there is the highest rate of murders in the world per capita on the south side of Chicago?  Is that correct?

My biggest fear is being close to someone who is on someone`s hit list. You must be careful and use common sense. Do not get intoxicated and stay out late, Watch out for the women and do not make close friends with the locals. Make sure that your house is secure. Maids can bring a lot of trouble. Most feel safer on the islands. The police are overall a good bunch, yet they are overwhelmed.

Good advice!

Actually we are out of the top five list! Any good news and I will take it!

A machete?

Machetes are for wimps carry an ax.

I am a honduran. I lived in Miami in the early 80s when it was the murder capital of the US.
There were tshirts that said "See Miami like a native" and there was a picture of a guy pointing a gun.
Still, the only crime I saw a couple of junkies attack another whacko on the strip in Ft. Lauderdale and that was it, thank God.
Here in HN crime is most common on the poor barrios, related to drugs and terrirory.
For the wealthy, middle class and even the poor pulperia owners, taxi drivers and bus drivers, extorsion is the new kidnapping. If you have a business, gangs charge the "war tax" in exchange for leaving you alone and "protecting" you. Thousands of business have had to close or move to another place to avoid this. Many of the high profile murders have been because the victims would not or could not pay the "tax". Still, the president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, has done a lot against extorsion and gangs (compared to past presidents) and most hondurans approve, even if there is a lot left to be done.
Regarding carrying a machete? Havent you heard about "peace through superior firepower"? Carry a pistola! (just kidding. Dont!)

I've been to Honduras several times the last two years.  First and foremost I'd like to say that if your visiting Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula you need to take precautions.  Try to blend in with the population.  Do not wear expensive clothes or designer anything.  Being fluent in spanish I still keep my conversations to a minimum while out in the city.  They can tell I'm a foreigner very quickly.  Don't flash cash and keep track of which credit cards you carry in your wallet in the event they are lost or stolen you can contact credit card companies immediately.  While traveling in your vehicle remember to keep windows up and doors locked.  A rental vehicle is an easy target.  Be very careful when taking taxis, they have been known to rob their passengers.  Taxis will also pick up multiple fares and sometimes those individuals will rob everyone in the taxi.  It's easy to say that if you stay out of the "bad areas" nothing bad will happen to you.  The reality is that in the city there are many people, most are good but there are also bad folks roaming around as well.  Honduras is a beautiful country and Its people are great.  I have made many friends and seen many wonderful things during my visits.  I recently purchased waterfront property on an island called Isla Del Tigre in the Gulfo Fonseca on the pacific coast of Honduras and plan on one day retiring there.

Good advice everyone, please pay attention to it!

Hei ,nelson84,why do you actually want to go Honduras,if you don't trust anything what's there??just curios..  :cool:
Just try to use common sense!!!!!!!!

Be careful getting into taxis. It is best to know the driver. NEVER GET INTO A TAXI IF THERE IS AN UNKNOWN MALE IN THE BACK SEAT!!

Nelson stays in Honduras because it is a place where even squares can have a ball!

honduras is a great place but the need to get there polcia under investication if the y wish to grow with tourisim take some lesson from cuba were  you get  treated like gold and they take everthing seriously this country is growing in great relationships with canadientime for honduras to step up to the place   have  more army looking afert thing then the polcia

Hey Christine(:
I have lived in Honduras all my life and is a really Amazing place to spend around. About the crime, they are certain places that you need to avoid, I have never received any threats nor being robbed, but it all depend on the places you get in.

If I feel secure on my country?
Sure I do, I live in La Ceiba, Honduras a really nice place for living and vacationers, although I try not trusting people (like that I avoid problems).

Who was the latest businessman to be murdered over the weekend. Do you know anything about him, his business?

The crime rate in Honduras has improved! 66 per 100,000 in 2014, down from its peak of 86.5 per 100,000 in 2011, and mid-year estimates in July 2015 predict a lower rate for 2015.30 Oct 2015   18.7 per 100,000 Chicago 2012  Remember that most of these homicides take place in particular areas. Roatan is extremely safe. You need to use precautions in La Ceiba and Trujillo, at least until you are familiar with these said cities. If you desire to live in an isolated area, think security! You are not coming to Disney Land!

"If you desire to live in an isolated area, think security! You are not coming to Disney Land!" Said like a true "expat"! If you ain't surrounded by expats - it must be isolated and dangerous. Thieves and muggers go where the money is - and the money is where the expats are. Disney Land in Florida, and its surrounding area, is more dangerous than 90% of Honduras. But, on the other hand, if you need a a "Wally World" nearby and a quaint little bar filled with expats talking about where they came from, welcome to Honduras.

I am a 54 year old honduran. I lived in Miami in 1981-82 when it was the murder capital of the good ol USA. The T-shirts said "See Miami like a native" and had a gun pointing!!!
Of course Honduras and other neighbors like Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico are in the midst of a crime wave but some things are being done to solve it in Honduras. President Juan Orlando Hernandez, with the DEA and in general the government of the USA, have been arresting super high profile "outstanding" citizens like bank owners, mega rich corrupt officials, complete drug cartel families and even an expresident. All have been extradited to the US and the waiting list is growing!!!  "War tax" collectors or extorsionists are being captured and some say, executed (you see "masacres" on ocassion on the news and supposedly its them).
Take note that nothing like this has ever happened in this country and the whole system is being shaken. The rotten fruit is falling and this effect should trickle down to common crime. Keep cautious but lets all expect the best.
Viva Honduras!

Well said, Jorge777. Francisco Morazán and Simón Bolívar are looking over the shoulder of  Presidente Orlando.  Go National!

Our town of Santa Fe Honduras next to Trujillo has had zero crime in 5 years.  It was recently in the news in Honduras as the safest city in all
Of Honduras.  Have fun Honduras is beautiful

I am an white-skinned, blue-eyed, American who has lived in Honduras for 13+ years. While not an authority, I do have first-hand knowledge concerning life in this country. Why did I move to Honduras? Because in 2002 I had a Honduran girlfriend with whom I wanted matrimony, and because living here is cheaper than in the States. Let me add that I am 78 years old, my wife is 30 years old, our son is 3 1/2 years old. Yes, we are legally married--as of 30 August 2002.

We reside in a small mountain village of around 2,500 population. The elevation is 5,200 feet at our house. It is never too hot nor too cold. It is safe for myself or my wife & child to walk the streets at night. The name of this village/aldea is San Manuel Colohete, in the state (department) of Lempira. My nearest English speaking neighbor lives 10 miles away in an aldea named La Campa. Concerning language, I had one semester of Spanish several years prior to coming here. My wife speaks no English. Our marriage is successful because we work at it.

Mr. Woodrowdunn speaks of seeing folks shot, horses being shot, and other atrocities. He says to beware of living in a distant rural village because it won't be safe. I don't know where he obtained his 'small village' experiences, but it surely was not anywhere near where I live. And after 13+ years of living and traveling in Honduras I have yet to see anyone shot or any roadside horses shot. But I do not live in a big city where crime can be rampart.

If anyone is interested, I can explain what to expect if you choose life in a rural setting.

Adios. I hope you';re having a good day.

I walk relatively at ease in the center of San Pedro Sula. Although when I leave the gym in the evening the thought is always there of a lone gunmen. I have witnessed a young man being shot in front of my eyes with a 9 mm, so that never leaves my mind. The true fear (and there is nothing that you can do about it) is if the (sicarios), paid killers are after someone and you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

There are safe places in Honduras, La Esperanza, Copán, Santa Lucía, Valle de Angeles and the Bay Islands. My recommendations for newcomers is that they reside in these safe areas, at least until they have an idea of the reality of Honduras. This is not Disney Land and a criminal element will sniff out a recent arrival right away. Most people who are from Canada or the US do not speak Spanish, so they are at a complete disadvantage. La Ceiba is a beautiful town, but if you decide to reside there, talk to an American/Canadian who has lived there for some time, thus you choose an apartment in a safe area. Do not flash around money! I saw one American go to the bank and withdraw $10,000 and then stuff the Honduran equivalent, the Lempira in his short´s pockets. CRAZY!!! DO NOT STAY OUT AT ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT INTOXICATED!!!!

I would like to say that the police have almost always been professional and considerate. Hondurans hate their police officials, but I am glad to see them. Yes, I have paid sorbornos, (bribes) for traffic violations, but even then they were polite to me. They have families to feed and so big deal! I was in the wrong not they. Police protection has increased and the presence of the military police is in abundance. Newcomers will have to get used to seeing a lot of semi-automatic weapons used by the police and private guards.

I hope that this is helpful! I also hope that the level of violence decreases. Honduras has many beautiful areas to see and explore.

Try Marale, Francisco Morazán, or Sulaco, Yoro.

Don't forget the pacific coast of Honduras.  Its also safe and off the beaten path.


Thank you for bringing that to my attention!

I agree. I have lived in Roatan for 13 years and traveled extensively in the country. Roatan of course is very safe but I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the people each and every time I traveled to the mainland, including San Pedro Sula. It, like any major city requires some common sense but unless you are into drugs and hookers in a big way and have a shred of common sense you will have the same wonderful experiences I have had.

I agree. I am a Canadian who has lived in Honduras (Roatan) for 13 years.

Honduras    84.3     per 100,000     Americas    Central America United Nations statistics on homocide. What is the murder rate in Detroit or Chicago?

Yes, it's beautiful and very safe.  I plan on moving there in about 4 years.  Already purchased my waterfront property.

Enjoy your holiday!

Ok, from what I am reading, crime is no worse than any major American city.  Are expats allowed to own weapons? (to clarify, I was raised in the country and everyone had guns).

Really Trujillo?  Im curious to see your stats?  Trujillo Honduras has had a cruise ship terminal the last 2 seasons.  Its an up an coming touristic destination and the town joining Trujillo Santa Fe has had zero crime in the last 5 years.  I've been in Trujillo for the last 5 years and go out anytime of day or night without fear.  Please visit sometime and I'm sure you will feel different by being here and actually experiencing Trujillo for yourself.  Great warm people await you!!

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