Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 27 May 2019, 13:51 NZST
  • Still current at: 26 February 2020

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Do not travel

Do not travel to the Department of Gracias a Dios, Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía in the department of Cortés due to high levels of violent crime.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Honduras due to violent crime and the potential for civil unrest.

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Violent Crime
Honduras has a very high violent crime rate, with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Other crime, such as robbery, carjacking and kidnapping is common and can take place anywhere and at any time of the day and often involves firearms. Much of this crime is drug and gang-related and does not affect tourists but armed robbery and sexual assault of foreigners does occur. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is prevalent.

Crime is an issue throughout the country but particularly in remote areas and near the border with El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, where there is a lower standard of law enforcement. An increase in crime has also been reported in San Pedro Sula. When travelling to remote areas, it may be safer to travel with others or in a group.

New Zealanders in Honduras should remain vigilant and exercise a high degree of security awareness at all times. The risk of crime increases after dark. We recommend you avoid travelling or walking alone at night, particularly in isolated areas, such as uninhabited beaches. 

There have been reports of armed robbery and bus/carjackings on a number of routes, including on main highways, and of vehicles leaving airports. Exercise vigilance when leaving airports and always travel with doors locked and windows up. Use a reputable transport company for intercity travel and avoid travel on public buses. Only use official border crossings and attempt to cross borders in the morning as they can close unexpectedly in the early evening.

We recommend you avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as jewellery and mobile devices. Take particular care using ATMs as foreigners have been attacked after withdrawing money.  We recommend you only use ATMs during the day and located within shopping centres or banks.

No resistance should be given if you are the victim of crime as this could lead to an escalation in violence.

Civil Unrest
Political gatherings, protests and demonstrations occur regularly in Honduras. Protestors sometimes attempt to block roads. Violent demonstrations occurred following elections in Honduras on 26 November 2017, resulting in fatalities and authorities imposing a curfew. New Zealanders in Honduras are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. Participation by foreigners in political activity is illegal.

Unexploded munitions
There are unmarked minefields near the Honduras-Nicaragua border, especially in the Rio Coco region, the Choluteca and El Paraiso provinces and in the area near the Atlantic Coast. We advise you not to stray off well-used roads and paths.  

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Honduras should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Honduras are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Central/South America

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