Honduras is divided into 18 departments. The capital city, Tegucigalpa is in the Central District within the Francisco Morazan department. Together with the Cortes department, these two are considered to be the most populated.
There are over 8 million people living in Honduras and the country covers over 112 square kilometers of mountains, plains and lowland jungle. Once home to Mayans, the country was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1502 and later settled by the Spanish in 1524, who stayed for three centuries. There is a heavy Spanish influence, with language and other customs integrated into the indigenous way of life. Honduras gained independence from Spanish rule in 1821 and was initially part of the First Mexican Empire, then joining the United Provinces of Central American Federation before becoming fully independent in 1838.
Honduras is alive with fascinating flora and fauna, which is a draw for many tourists. The landscape varies from rain forest and savanna, to mountain and mangrove, as well as coastline and barrier reef. There are 6,000 species of plant, 250 reptiles and amphibians, 700 bird species and 110 mammals; over half of them being bats. The oceans host whales, sharks, dolphins, fish and rays making Honduras a great place to dive for comparatively low cost.
There is very little change in the climate from month to month in Honduras, but instead, the temperature changes based on altitude. Tegucigalpa has a temperate climate ranging from 24–29°C most of the time. The coastal lowlands to both the east and the west are more humid with temperatures usually between 28–31°C.
The rainy season runs from May to November in the center of the country, and September to January along the North coast and Bay Islands. There is a storm risk all year round, as one might expect in a tropical climate. Heavy rain can cause flooding and mudslides, making travel more difficult. The hurricane season is August to November.
There are four international airports in Honduras: Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa; Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula; Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba; and Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport on the island of Roatan. There is regular domestic service between these hubs, but it's worth noting that there are no flights on Good Friday or Christmas Day.
There is no national flag carrier airline, but several airlines service Honduras, including Central American Airways and Avianca Honduras, which is part of the wider Avianca brand.
While most people fly, it is possible to get to Honduras by land, also. A number of international bus services exist transferring passengers from the main cities in Honduras to other Central American hubs. The main crossings are: El Poy and El Amatillo for El Salvador; El Florido, Agua Caliente and Corinto for Guatemala; and Las Manos, La Fraternidad and Guasaule for Nicaragua.