There are so many fascinating facts about Honduras that make this one of the most interesting and intriguing countries in the world. But what are these facts? Read on to find out…
- Interesting Facts About Honduras
- 1. Smoking Is Illegal in Honduras
- 2. Honduras Means “Great Depths”
- 3. Honduras Adores Football
- 4. Honduras Has a Lot of Bats
- 5. There Are 2 Capitals in Honduras
- 6. Christopher Columbus Discovered Honduras
- 7. Semana Santa is an Important Week in Honduras
- 8. Punta Is a Beloved Music Genre in Honduras
- 9. Honduras’s Currency Is the Honduran Lempira
- 10. Honduras Has a Huge Rainforest
- 11. Orchid Is the National Flower of Honduras
- 12. “God, Union, Freedom” Is the Official Motto of Honduras
- 13. Honduras Shares the Second-Largest Coral Reef in the World
- 14. Don’t Miss Exploring the Mayan Ruins
- 15. Honduras Was Once Called a Banana Republic
- 16. Lake Yojoa is the Largest Lake in Honduras
- 17. Honduras Has Shores on Two Oceans
- 18. Honduras Has One of the Oldest Clocks in the World
- 19. Scarlet Macaw is the National Bird of Honduras
- 20. Spanish Is the Official Language of Honduras
- 21. It Rains Fish in Honduras!
- 22. Honduras Exports a Lot of Coffee
- 23. ¾ of Honduras Is Mountains
- 24. Cerro Las Minas Is the Highest Point in Honduras
- 25. Honduras Was Colonized by Spain
- 26. British Honduras Is Now Belize, and Not the Current Honduras
- 27. Honduras’ Toncontín International Airport Is Very Dangerous
- 28. Plato Típico Is the National Dish of Honduras
- 29. Christianity Is the Main Religion in Honduras
- 30. Honduras Has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Interesting Facts About Honduras
There are many countries in the world, most of us aren’t familiar with. For me, Honduras was simply a small country on the map of Central America. However, I was in for a huge awakening when I learned that despite being small, the country is bubbling with a rich past and spectacular nature.
Be it the ruins of the Mayan civilisation or the stunning beaches across the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Honduras has a lot to offer.
Let’s take a look at the 30 interesting facts about Honduras to explore this country a little more.
1. Smoking Is Illegal in Honduras
This is one of the most impressive and interesting facts about Honduras!
In 2011, the country banned smoking in both public and private places. It’s also risky to smoke in your own house. If a family member or relative complains about your smoking to the police, they might come to your home and even fine you around $311!
The reason behind taking this measure was to reduce the number of smokers in Honduras. According to statistics, more than 30% of the population smokes. Hence, nine out of ten Hondurans suffer from acute bronchitis.
2. Honduras Means “Great Depths”
Here’s one of the naming-related interesting facts about Honduras.
The name “Honduras” is a Spanish word that translates to “Great Depths”. The name was given by the explorer Christopher Columbus after he saw the deep and full waters along the coast of the country.
3. Honduras Adores Football
If you’re a sports addict, these interesting facts about Honduras are for you!
Did you know that Hondurans live and breathe football? It is extreme to the point that a war broke out in the country due to a football match!
In July 1969, Honduras and El Salvador had a short 100-hour war on their border after the match between the two countries. Yet, it is believed that the actual reason behind the tensions was illegal immigration.
Even today, the whole war is referred to as “The Football War”.
Despite their love for football, the Honduras National Football Team has only qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1982, 2010, and 2014. Unfortunately, they have never moved past the group stage.
4. Honduras Has a Lot of Bats
Okay, this is one of the spookiest facts about Honduras!
Out of all the mammal species in Honduras, 50% of them are bats. You’ll find them in protected areas, like in many caves situated in Western Honduras.
Certain Honduran bat species are also quite adorable. For instance, the Honduran White Bat is one of the six bat species to have white fur!
There are also other 115 bat species in Honduras, each having its unique features.
5. There Are 2 Capitals in Honduras
This is one of the unique and interesting facts about Honduras.
Honduras is one of the few countries with two capitals. It’s because the main capital city is divided into two parts – Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela. They are only separated by a valley and connected through bridges! Both cities are known as the “twin cities”.
Tegucigalpa is the larger city and is considered the administrative capital, whereas Comayagüela is the constitutional capital.
6. Christopher Columbus Discovered Honduras
Let’s dive into some history-related interesting facts about Honduras.
You may know Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of the “New World”. In 1502, Columbus and his crew discovered the coast of Honduras. They decided to stop there and found the indigenous people (or the Mayans) of the nation.
As they continued to explore the new land, they found many more intriguing things and other communities.
When Columbus returned to Spain, he claimed the territory for the King of Spain.
7. Semana Santa is an Important Week in Honduras
Honduras is a tradition-rich country, so here is one of the culture-related interesting facts about Honduras.
The Holy Week (Semana Santa) is a week-long event that takes place before Easter Sunday. The reason behind celebrating it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ and respecting his sacrifices for mankind.
During Semana Santa, Honduras has a spiritual atmosphere as you’ll find people praying in the churches or even carrying statues of Jesus on the streets.
Apart from Honduras, Semana Santa is celebrated in many countries across South America.
8. Punta Is a Beloved Music Genre in Honduras
If you love discovering the music of other countries, here are some interesting facts about Honduras for you.
Punta is one of the most famous music genres in Honduras. The music is known for its energetic and passionate beats that resemble the spirit of the Caribbean people. The music also originated in the Caribbean coast of Central America.
Punta is often played with musical instruments like drums, brass, and percussion. If you ever visit the country, you’ll hear it playing at festivals, events, and parties.
9. Honduras’s Currency Is the Honduran Lempira
Let’s talk about some currency-related interesting facts about Honduras.
The Honduran Lempira, also known as HNL, is the main and the only legal currency in Honduras. It’s named after Lempira, the 16th-century indigenous leader.
The Central Bank of Honduras issues Honduran Lempira in the form of banknotes and coins.
Presently, one USD is equivalent to 24.60 HNL and one Euro is equivalent to 27.38 HNL.
10. Honduras Has a Huge Rainforest
It’s hard to not discuss nature-based interesting facts about Honduras as the country has stunning landscapes.
The largest rainforest in Central America, the Mosquitia (or Moskitia) Rainforest, is located in Honduras. The forest is spread across a huge area of almost 18,000 square kilometres or 4.4 million acres.
You’ll find several indigenous and ethnic groups in these rainforests like Pechs, Tawacas, Garifunas, and Miskitos.
11. Orchid Is the National Flower of Honduras
Rhyncholaelia digbyana, a species of Orchid, was declared the national flower of Honduras on November 26, 1969. This orchid species is also native to Honduras.
It’s a type of green and white orchid that you’ll find growing on tree branches in the tropical forests of Honduras.
12. “God, Union, Freedom” Is the Official Motto of Honduras
Many countries have their mottos based on their culture and values.
Similarly, the motto of Honduras is “Dios, Unión, Libertad” which translates to “God, Union, Freedom”. You’ll get to see the motto on the national coat of arms.
Honduras has always been a country which gives importance to religious traditions. The country also seeks to achieve unity amongst its countrymen and has fought for its freedom.
13. Honduras Shares the Second-Largest Coral Reef in the World
You might already know that the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. However, the second largest reef is the Belize Barrier Reef in the world, while also being the first largest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Belize Barrier Reef stretches across 300 kilometres and is a part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is 900 kilometres long. The reef starts from Cancún and extends to Honduras.
14. Don’t Miss Exploring the Mayan Ruins
It’d be a sin to not discuss the Mayan Civilization while discussing the interesting facts about Honduras.
The Maya Civilization thrived across Mexico and Central America between 2000 BC and 1500 AD. Therefore, as Honduras is located in the same region, the country is home to many Mayan ruins.
The Mayan cities were full of impressive pyramids, temples with intricate designs, and a unique style. The ruins of one such city, Copan, are found in Honduras as well. The city is also considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
15. Honduras Was Once Called a Banana Republic
Sadly, during the 19th and 20th centuries, Central American countries, like Honduras, were referred to “Banana Republic”.
The American writer O. Henry coined the term in 1904 as the economy of many Central American countries depended hugely on exporting bananas to the United States or other international markets.
16. Lake Yojoa is the Largest Lake in Honduras
Honduras has many beautiful sights to offer, including Lake Yojoa.
Lake Yojoa is situated in Western Honduras and is spread across an area of 285 square kilometres or 110 square miles.
The lake is a paradise for bird watchers as you can spot more than 450 bird species here!
17. Honduras Has Shores on Two Oceans
If you want to touch two oceans, Honduras is the country to visit!
Honduras has two coasts – one on the Pacific Ocean towards the south and west and the other on the Caribbean Sea, which is a part of the Atlantic Ocean, towards the north and east.
18. Honduras Has One of the Oldest Clocks in the World
In the city of Comayagua in Honduras, a clock from medieval times is located.
The Comayagua Cathedral clock was built in 1100 AD. It was first placed in the Alhambra Palace in Spain. Later on, it was moved and placed on the Comayagua Cathedral in Honduras.
19. Scarlet Macaw is the National Bird of Honduras
The Scarlet Macaw is the national bird of Honduras, and also a sacred one. It’s also native to Central and South America.
The bird is known for its colourful body, consisting of bright red, yellow, and blue feathers. It’s also popular for mimicking human speech and hence, is considered a symbol of intelligence and freedom.
You’ll find the Scarlet Macaw on the coat of arms and national flag too!
20. Spanish Is the Official Language of Honduras
Here are a few language-related interesting facts about Honduras.
Spanish is the most widely-spoken language in Honduras as 90% of the population speaks Honduran Spanish! However, many government officials and business executives mainly communicate in English.
Various ethnic groups also have their own Amerindian languages.
21. It Rains Fish in Honduras!
I was surprised when I came to know this fact about Honduras.
“Lluvia de Peces” or “Rain of Fish” is a phenomenon that takes place in the city of Yoro, Honduras every year between the months of May and July.
Tiny fish, called “Molly”, fall from the sky along with the raindrops. Nobody knows the real reason behind it. Yet, scientists believe that these tiny fish are swept away from the coastal areas by the strong winds. This causes the fish to rain in Honduras!
22. Honduras Exports a Lot of Coffee
Do you consider yourself a coffee aficionado? You need to know these interesting facts about Honduras!
Honduras is the fifth-largest producer of coffee in the world and the third-largest in South America.
In 2022, the country exported five million bags of coffee! It also has more than 120,000 coffee farms that amount to ⅓ of its agricultural GDP.
23. ¾ of Honduras Is Mountains
I used to believe that the majority of Honduras consisted of coastal regions. Yet, these interesting facts about Honduras proved me wrong!
In the country, three-fourths of the land area consists of mountainous terrain. Hence, you’ll find plains or lowlands only near the coastal regions or river valleys.
Most mountain ranges have an elevation between 900 feet and 9,350.
24. Cerro Las Minas Is the Highest Point in Honduras
Located in Western Honduras, Cerro Las Minas is the highest point as it has an elevation of 2,870 metres or 9416 feet.
Montaña de Santa Barbara is the second highest point with a height of 2,777 metres or 9110 feet.
25. Honduras Was Colonised by Spain
After the discovery of Honduras by Columbus, the entire country was under Spanish rule.
The Spanish people continued to rule Honduras starting from the 15th century till 1821. Later on, as the Spanish influence was decreasing in Central America, Honduras was granted freedom.
Honduras also got independence from Mexico in 1823 and became a part of the United Provinces of Central America.
26. British Honduras Is Now Belize, and Not the Current Honduras
Several people used to believe Belize and Honduras were the same. Before 1973, Belize was also known as British Honduras. It is because before Belize got independence, it was a British colony.
However, even though the name was changed in 1973, the country only got freedom in 1981.
27. Honduras’ Toncontín International Airport Is Very Dangerous
One of the world’s most dangerous airports, Toncontín International Airport, is located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Surprisingly, it is also the second busiest airport in Honduras.
The airport is considered difficult to navigate as the runway is quite short and surrounded by mountainous terrain.
Many flights including the TAN-SAHSA Flight 414 and a private jet have crashed at this airport.
28. Plato Típico Is the National Dish of Honduras
Here are some finger-lickin’ good interesting facts about Honduras!
Plato Típico is a beef-based dish which combines flavorful ingredients like beans, seasoned cabbage, fresh cream, fried plantain, rice, and even tortillas.
Many other dishes like Pupusas, Baleadas, Sopa de Caracol, and Pastelitos are also well-known in Honduras. All of them are rich in flavours and show the influence of Spanish cuisine.
29. Christianity Is the Main Religion in Honduras
After reading these interesting facts about Honduras, you may have understood that Christianity is a big part of Honduras.
According to statistics, almost 87% of the country follows Christianity. Out of these, 34% of citizens are Catholics and 48% are Evangelists.
30. Honduras Has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Currently, the Maya Site of Copan and Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve are the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Honduras.
The Maya Site of Copan is located in the western region of Honduras. In 1980, it was given the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Diego García de Palacio, a Spanish explorer, discovered this ancient site in 1570.
Unlike Copan, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve is a natural World Heritage Site. Hence, it covers several tropical rainforests situated in the northeastern part of Honduras. It was considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
Further Reading – Interesting Facts About Honduras
The country of Honduras is a blend of ancient civilisations, nature, and lively culture. Due to the political and economic instability, the country is the least-visited one in the Central American region. Hence, its vibrant side is also often overlooked.
I hope these interesting facts about Honduras were enriching enough and did justice to this small yet fascinating country!
You can read more about Central and South America through these posts: