What You Need To Know
Tegucigalpa, commonly referred to as Tegus, is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela.
Claimed on September 29, 1578 by the Spaniards, Tegucigalpa became the country’s capital on October 30, 1880 under President Marco Aurelio Soto. The current Constitution of Honduras, enacted in 1982, names the sister cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela as a Central District to serve as the permanent national capital, under articles 8 and 295.
Tegucigalpa is located in the southern-central highland region known as the department of Francisco Morazán of which it is also the departmental capital. It is situated in a valley, surrounded by mountains.
Tegucigalpa is Honduras’ largest and most populous city as well as the nation’s political and administrative center.
Area: 77.8 mi²
Population: 765,675 (2001)
- Honduras currency is called lempiras (HNL).
- Honduras money and exchange rates fluctuate daily between the lempira and the dollar.
- When you arrive in Honduras, San Pedro Sula and Tegus airports have exchange cages.
- Tegucigalpa features a more moderate form of a tropical wet and dry climate.
- Tegucigalpa’s climate is among the most pleasant due to its high altitude. Like much of central Honduras, the city has a tropical climate, though tempered by the altitude—meaning less humid than the lower valleys and the coastal regions—with even temperatures averaging between 19 °C (66 °F) and 23 °C (73 °F) degrees.
- The months of December and January are coolest, with an average min/ low temperature of 14 °C (57 °F); whereas March and April—popularly associated with Holy Week’s holidays—are hottest and temperatures can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) degrees on the hottest day. The dry season lasts from November through April and the rainy season from May through October. There is an average of 107 rainy days in the year, June and September usually the wettest months.
- Spanish is the spoken language in Tegucigalpa.
- The Spanish spoken in Tegucigalpa is the norm for Honduran Spanish; however this Spanish has many influences from more rural forms of Spanish due to strong migrations to the city.
By Taxi: Negotiating for the price (before getting in) is expected. Taxi drivers are a bit wild, so buckle up. Prices increase with number of passengers and late at night. Don’t be afraid to walk away from an expensive offer – taxis are everywhere and you’ll likely win the negotiation by walking away.
By bus: There are common bus stops throughout the town, but are unlabeled. Find a large group of people standing on the sidewalks for the largest selection of bus routes. To know the main destinations of the buses, look on the front of the bus above the windshield. Most buses operate to distinct neighborhoods and link to El Centro or the market in Comayaguela. In the market in Comayaguela you can also find many inter-city buses with various prices and various levels of comfort, ranging from the most common chicken-bus to double decker luxury buses.
- Keep to the main parts of the city and don’t be tempted to go to places that you are not sure of.
- Keep to the main roads and avoid short cuts down back alleys etc.
- Never walk at night in the center of the city even for a short distance – always take a taxi.
- Be particularly wary of people hanging around outside hotels; it is a favorite place to catch tourists and mug them.
- Ignore the street children and people coming up to you in the streets with hard luck tales. Street children can become violent and the latter may be part of an elaborate scam or they might just simply be pick pockets. The best thing to do is just to walk on and ignore them.
- Do not carry large sums of money when shopping and do not wear expensive jewelry.
- Do not accept food and drink from strangers; visitors have known to be drugged and then robbed.
- If you must carry large sums of money or valuable possessions, carry two wallets: Keep one hidden with most of your money in it. The other should be in the most common place, your back pocket. Keep 5-10 US$ in the wallet, and a few stray lempiras. The lempiras can go to beggars (they tend to be persistent), and the dollars to appease any possible robbers. Typically 5-10 US$ is viewed as a days salary in Honduras, and just may be enough to appease a robber without sacrificing your larger stash. Use caution, as there is no such thing as a predictable thief in Honduras.
- If you shop at the Mercado San Isidro in Comayagüela, don’t go after dark and don’t carry a lot of valuables with you. Even in the daytime there are pickpockets and “grab-and-run” thieves in the market. And definitely don’t walk around in Comayagüela itself (apart from the market area) at ANY time, day or night.
- It IS possible to go to Parque de la Paz and take panoramic pictures from the top as well as a picture of the monument itself. However, you must be very careful. Do not ever walk up the hill by yourself or even in a small group. Have a reliable taxi or tourist guide drive you up and make sure not to wander around too much when you’re at the summit. It ought to go without saying that this is only possible in the daytime.