San Pedro Sula
San Pedro Sula is in northern Honduras. It is the second largest city in Honduras after the capital Tegucigalpa. The focus of industry in Honduras, it is mostly a modern city (unlike more picturesque Comayagua, Tegucigalpa, etc). It is a good base for entering the country and visiting other parts, and offers modern amenites.
San Pedro Sula has one of the main International Airports in Honduras. International flights come in from New York City, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Panama City, Mexico City, San Salvador and San José. air viva connects San Pedro Sula with domestic destinations such as La Ceiba, Roatan, Tegucigalpa, Utila and Guanaja.
Note that all passengers leaving the country through San Pedro Sula airport are subject to a ~$40 exit tax. ATMs are available at the airport, and payment is accepted in USD and HNL.
The huge Gran Central Metropolitana de Autobuses is located a few kilometres south of the downtown area. It is not only the largest bus station in Central America, it also contains as a shopping center, food court, and many other services. There are many bus services of various quality and price available here to all major cities in Honduras and to Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
If you are coming from the Corinto border crossing with Guatemala, it will require two buses to get to SPS. The first bus, from the border, will take you to Puerto Cortez for 70Lps. Explain to them you want to go to SPS and they will hook you up with a bus heading towards the city on the outskirts of Puerto Cortez for 50Lps. This bus will pass through the city before terminating at Gran Central Metropolitana de Autobuses. (Info correct as of July 2015)
The center is fairly compact and can be gotten around by foot; cars, taxis, and buses run around the city and the surrounding area. The airport is about 5-10 miles from the city center, yet taxis are plentiful at the airport.
Throughout San Pedro Sula and neighboring cities, you can find amazing markets. You can buy artisan things like leather work, textiles, silver, jewelry and much more. Bartering and shopping are a cultural experience all their own.
There are many day trips available at San Pedro Sula. You can hike through Cusuco National Park. Visit Taulabe caves and Pulapanzak Waterfalls. Have a boat ride and bird watching at Lake Yohoa. Swim at Punta Sal National Park exotic beaches. Walk through Copan's arqueological site and horse back ride in a coffee tour.
The Mall Multi Plaza, Mega Plaza and Metro Plaza all have cinema complexes. Closer to downtown you will find 2 or 3 cinemas, Multicines Plaza being the best. Movie releases are a few months behind the USA or Western Countries. Most movies are shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Ticket prices range from $1.20 to $2.50 depending on the cinema and to extent the quality of their facilities. So if you enjoy the movies and like nice chairs and good sound try one of the more up market places. Movies are usually shown at 3, 5, 7 and 9 PM. Tuesday is a popular day, with 2 tickets for the price of one, but be prepared to go early to get a seat, as sometimes tickets do sell out. All local papers have a daily cinema schedule.
The city celebrates its foundation on the month of June. During this time the city enters a month long carnival known as Feria Juniana (June Fair). There are activities throughout the month including a parade with floats around the city, an airplane show by the Honduran Airforce and some times the USAF in the Air Base Armando Escalon Espinal next to the airport, the rodeo at Campo Agas and other agricultural related events within Campo Agas, including not so agricultural related events like the after hours at Rancho Imperial.
There is an artisan market very close to the park that contains a vast array of touristy Honduran products. For more quality pieces, try Casa del Sol across the street.
A few restaurants have sprung up recently: for meat try La Estancia and El Portal de La Carne. You can eat Mexican food in Cebollines and Fogoncito and for authentic Italian food try Tre Fratelli, Bel Paese and Dai Santi. All popular American fast food chains are available in the city, however, try Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan fried chicken chain and Pollos el Hondureño, authentic Honduran fast food chain. The Skandia cafe at the Grand Hotel Sula is open 24 hours with a good selection. Most selections are good but the rottiserie chicken is great. Skip the scrambled eggs or omlets. For a wide selection, go to City Mall food court with lots of choices, both US fast food and Honduran versions. Another great option only found in San Pedro Sula is Power Chicken, the most popular location right in front of the City Mall. Here you can try familiar food with a Honduran twist. Very good and very cheap.
For an out door stroll and lots of eating options, visit Plaza Morpho, on Avenida Circunvalación. Here you can find a variety of restaurants such as Quiero Frutas, Kebabalicious, Toto's Pizza, and Dunkin Donuts. And just across the street, Coffee Cup, Loroco's (authentic food from El Salvador, good and cheap)as well as Subway, Pollos el Hondureño and Panaderia Extra.
The Antojitos Mexicanos, Antojitos Mexicanos has 2 popular locations, one downtown in Central Park the other on the Circunvalación near Zona Viva. Antojitos is one of the cheapest places to eat in the city, with Mexican style tacos, enchiladas, tortas and so on. The Circunvalacion branch has its own groups of Mariachis who strum and blow their stuff in the evenings for the patrons, nice place to eat cheap, drink a beer or two and to soak up some local atmosphere. Meal Prices: US$2 to US$5
San Pedro Sula is home to a lot of additional eating options, which have a wide range of prices from budget to upper class. There is far to many to list here the above places are just some recommended places to start. Other notable Restaurants are Ruby Tuesdays, TGI Fridays and Applebee's. Also if you missing Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Church's Chicken, Popeye's, and so forth, San Pedro Sula has no shortages of fast food places. Or better still try some of the local fast food places such as Pollo Campero, Bicos, Power Chicken (great name) or 2 x 1 Pizza. Power CHicken and Pollo Campero are both very popular locally and tasty, for fast food.
San Pedro Sula is home to a lot of bars. A fun night can be had in Zona Viva going from bar to bar. A local favorite and fun place to hang out is La Cava in Barrio Los Andes 2 and 3 Calle, 16 Ave NO. Great Karaoke nights and occasional live music on the weekends packs the people in. Jerry the owner mixes a range or cocktails. Watch out for the Barcardi 151° or ask if he has some Guaro for a fire packed drink. There is a good selection of music and the patrons are always happy to have a chat.
Karaoke Club in Zona Viva is a popular place with the locals and even if you are not a Karaoke fan it can be a good place to catch some quality music. The quality of the singers is at times surprising and at other times not so surprising. Big Daddies, Caribbean and Gators Sports Bar are also all popular spots in Zona Viva. Bars do come and go regularly in San Pedro Sula, so just look for a place with some people and some music.
TGI Fridays, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesdays and Fogancito's are all popular places to eat and drink on the weekends. All places are well located near the Circunvalcion.
For a bit more local color and atmosphere, consider visiting a local disco. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular. But most discos are open every night except Monday. Check the local papers for promotion nights such as ladies night, live music, beer promotions or open bar (cover charge, then all you care to drink).
The pick of the discos is Kawamas Bay, which is located on the Circunvalcion. The disco plays a lot of Latin music and has a friendly staff. It can get very busy on the weekends usually around 11.00 PM. The disco stays open to 5 AM or 6 PM and it is a place to dance. You will find more people on the dance floor than at the bar or tables and chairs for most of the night. So put on your dancing shoes and be ready for some Salsa, Merengue and Punta. No need to worry, since you will still get a bit of house, rock and techno music. Cover charges vary from $2.50 to $6, depending on the night.
Millenium Disco is located in the Social Club Arabe at the end of Barrio Rio Pierdas the disco is the classiest place in town. Friday and Saturday nights are busy and cover charges vary from $3.50 to $6.
The Sampedrano Cultural Center holds regularly events such as concerts, performances and art shows. Call (504) 553-3911 or 553-3768 for event schedules.
For safety reasons, be sure to take a taxi when traveling even just a few blocks after dark. Walking around Zona Viva is OK but only within a block or two radius of the area. Otherwise just get a taxi, most fares cost $2 to $3, but prices do go up the later the night gets.
There is a hotel which costs 6 USD per night (although there are flyers saying $8). It's in the 9a Calle A between 10a and 11a Avenida.
Just like everywhere in Honduras, common sense should be used.
The Parque Central should be avoided at night.
There are certain areas of the city, including neighborhoods in the outer parts of the city, which should be avoided even during the day, but these areas are off the tourists' trail.
San Pedro Sula is a good base for getting out to the beaches at Tela, Puerto Cortes and Omoa, the Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea, the amazing Maya ruins of Copán, or south towards Lake Yojoa, Comayagua (the colonial capital), and Tegucigalpa. For Copan Ruinas, the bus company Casasola located in the main bus terminal is the best option; it costs 140Lps and takes about 4 hours (correct as of July 2015) dropping you off right on the edge of the town centre.
Tela is only about an hour drive from San Pedro and has nice beaches and interesting Afro-Caribbean culture. TelaMar is the place to stay.
Leaving from San Pedro Sula you can visit Cusuco National Park. The diversity of activities at this park is huge. Hiking, Mountain biking, Rappelling, Camping, Bird watching, Waterfall swimming, Caving, Night tours.