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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Honduras

The Hidden Gem of Central America

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

ENTERING HONDURAS: Honduran authorities require a valid passport good for six months after the date of entry and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp. Visas are not required for U.S. and Canadian citizens but you must show proof of return or onward travel. Citizens of other countries may need a visa and should check their nearest Honduran embassy. If required by the embassy or visa-granting entity, WINGS can provide a letter for you to use regarding your participation in the tour. 

It is always a good idea to take photocopies of your passport and air ticket with you when traveling abroad. They can prove invaluable in helping you get replacements if your original documents are lost or stolen. You should pack the photocopies separately from the originals. 

LEAVING HONDURAS: A departure tax is due at the airport in San Pedro Sula upon departure, although it is often included in the price of your ticket. In 2022 this fee was about USD$40.00. U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to re-enter the United States. 

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Honduras.html.

INTRODUCTORY MEETING: Flights from the US typically arrive in Tegucigalpa/Comayagua in the afternoon or evening. We will have an introductory meeting over dinner at our hotel near the entrance to La Tigra National Park. This informal meeting gives the leader the opportunity to introduce everyone to each other and to let you know generally what to expect on the trip – pace of the tour, daily routine, etc. If you choose to arrive a day early, please ask us to arrange an extra night’s lodging for you at our hotel.

PACE OF THE TOUR: This tour is not overly strenuous but days can seem long. Most days will begin with breakfast at about 5-5:30 am. All of our walks will be at a slow pace with opportunities to pause for a rest, but you should still be in good physical condition to participate in all activities; there is, however, usually the option of sitting out one or more of the hikes, and afternoons can often be spent relaxing at the lodges. Throughout we will have sit-down midday meals in a hotel or restaurant, followed by more relaxed birding in the afternoon and dinner.

On the  hikes at La Tigra, sturdy footwear is essential and a walking stick will be very helpful.  These walks require a good degree of fitness.

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/honduras . 

Malaria:  Malaria exists in rural areas below 5000’ elevation. This may include areas we visit on day trips. You should discuss with your doctor the best preventive measures to take. Anti-malarial drugs effective in Central America include Primaquine, Atovaquone/proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline and mefloquine. Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites is also effective as a preventive measure. 

Yellow Fever:  Yellow fever is not a disease risk in Honduras, but travelers arriving from a country where yellow fever is present must present proof of a current vaccination. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous:  Biting insects and arachnids are typically scarce in the mountains, although mosquitoes and biting gnats can be locally numerous inside the forest at any elevation. Mosquitoes can be numerous in the lowlands, especially at Lancitilla Botanical Gardens. Long sleeves, long pants and perhaps a head net will ward off most of them. Careful application of repellent provides good protection, and the leader will advise you when it will be necessary. In general, a repellent should contain 30% of the active ingredient diethyltoluamide (DEET). Care must be taken as DEET can be corrosive to optics coatings and older rubber-armoring on binoculars and scopes. Camping supply stores and outfitters carry some reasonably effective alternatives which contain natural products and aren’t corrosive.

Products containing tick- and chigger-repelling chemicals are particularly effective. Camping supply stores sell such a product containing permethrin 0.5%. This non-staining, odorless chemical is non-toxic to humans and protective on clothing through several launderings (it must be applied to your clothing a day or two before the tour starts). 

The sun can be surprisingly strong, making a hat a necessity at most sites and sunglasses useful. 

You should bring adequate supplies of all prescription and special medications, as they are not likely to be conveniently available in the areas this tour visits. Some travelers to Honduras experience digestive upsets; consult with your physician about the need to bring with you anything beyond over-the-counter diarrhea medication and drink only bottled water and other beverages during your visit. 

CLIMATE: Rain showers are always possible, especially near the coast and at Panacam. At La Tigra National Park the lows should be in the 50s and hights in the 70s. Elsewhere it will be warmer. A sweater, light jacket, and posssibly light gloves will probabaly add to your comfort at La Tigra.

Weather in the Honduran lowlands during the tour is likely to be somewhat warm with temperatures ranging from the 60s or low 70s in early morning to the 80s or even low-90s in the afternoon. Rain shwoers are possible at any time and the air is constantly heavy with humidity, so light, quick-drying clothing is recommended. Even in April northern fronts (nortes) can arrive with cooler tempratures, strong winds and steady rain.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Our hotel near Tela is at a resort hotel with swimming pool and other amenities. Wi-Fi is available at all hotels, but be aware that Latin American Wi-Fi can be really good sometimes, at other times rather spotty. The lodge at Panacam has inviting dining and living rooms and comfortable porches for watching the forest below. There are fans in the rooms; in the past, Wi-Fi was only in the restaurant area. The rooms at the hotel near the entrance to La Tigra National Park are standard mid-range hotel rooms. The hotel at Comayagua is standard and centrally located within the historic town.

FOOD: The food in Honduras is of excellent quality. Our hotel breakfasts generally conists of eggs, bread, fruit, yogurt, fried plantains, black beans, fresh juice and coffee or tea (decaffinated coffee is not widely available). Midday meals and dinners usually feature chicken or beef or fish plus tortillas, black beans or pasta. WINGS tours are all-inclusive and no refunds can be issued for any missed tour meals.

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary needs should bring appropriate foods with them. Tour meal times are approximate. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation during the tour is by air-conditioned minibus with a professional driver. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

Updated: 18 March 2022