I had the distinct privilege of flying from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on my last trip, my first ever visit to the country of Honduras. We flew into San Pedro Sula, the only other (in)appropriate airport for Honduras is at the capitol city of Tegucigalpa, high in the mountains. Why is Tegucigalpa inappropriate? Take a look at this video and tell me if YOU ever plan on flying in there.
We flew south over the Gulf of Mexico until we hit Cancun, then roughly followed the eastern coast of Mexico south past Belize before reaching Honduras. San Pedro Sula sits up a valley that leads to the coast, so if the wind is cooperating (it was) it is a nice easy approach. Fly down the valley, past the numerous vultures, and land on runway 22. The scenery was beautiful, resembling, as my co-pilot pointed out, Vietnam, with green fields inundated with water and what appeared to be a lot of sugar cane fields. Do they grow sugar cane in Honduras?
We got to stay at a nice Hilton in downtown San Pedro Sula, which was a little unfortunate, because I wanted to be closer to the forest/trees so I could see some Honduran birds. San Pedro is a typical Latin American big city, with areas of grinding poverty as well as more upscale areas. Most of the houses had fences with concertina wire and electrical fence on top of them. When I was out in the morning looking for birds, it seemed like every business had a private security guard, including the one lugging a double-barreled shotgun. As I came to find out, Honduras has a slight crime problem.
I did get to see a few new birds. I think a new (for me) species of pigeon as well as dove, several new vultures/raptors that I couldn’t identify (no Honduran field guide) and a fascinating black bird that looked and acted like a robin.
All in all it was a fun visit, although I was only there for 24 hours.