Honduras is a country in Central America that is bordered by El Salvador and Guatemala to the west, Nicaragua to the south and east, and The Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. What is the capital of Honduras?
Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras. It was named the capital on October 30, 1880, after it was moved from Comayagua. The capital city was split with the sister city of Comayaguela in 1932 which is located on the northwest border of the city. The city is considered overcrowded with a population of 1.5 million.
Below we will look at the history, population, and climate of the capital city.
The city of Tegucigalpa was claimed on September 29, 1578, from the Spaniards. It became the capital of Honduras on October 30, 1880, by President Marco Aurelio Soto when he moved the capital from Comayagua. It is located in the southern-central region of Francisco Morazan, which serves as the departmental capital. The capital was split from its sister city of Comayaguela in 1932. They are separated by the Choletca River.
Tegucigalpa is the largest and most populated city in Honduras. It has a population of over 1.5 million people. The infrastructure of the city, however, has not been able to keep pace with the population growth. The city is plagued by heavily congested roadways. There are over 400,000 vehicles on its roadways daily. It also battles insufficient urban planning, densely condensed population, and poverty.
Located on a mountain chain, Tegucigalpa has an elevation of 3,199 ft (975 meters) at the lowest point and 4,800 ft (1,1463 meters) at the highest point. The entire city consists of hills and mountainous elevations. El Picacho Hill is just outside the downtown area and has many neighborhoods located on its slopes. The areas surrounding the city are mostly made of woodland forests containing pine trees.
Found several thousand feet above sea level, Tegucigalpa still has issues with flooding. It lacks an efficient control system that would direct the rainwater back to the river and further to the ocean. The Choletca river isn’t located far enough below the banks of the city. It has a tendency to overflow leaving more than 100 neighborhoods of the city high at risk for flooding, leaving some uninhabitable.
Due to its elevation, the climate of Tegucigalpa is that of a tropical savanna. It has two different seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The wettest months are May to June and September to October. The average temperature is between 66 °F (19 °C) and 73 °F (23 °C) degrees. December and January are the coolest months of the year while March and April have the hottest temperatures.
Airport and Travel
The Toncontin International Airport is the main airport for the Tegucigalpa area. It is considered a dangerous airport due to its location next to the mountain range. The runway has a short and difficult approach. Commercial aircraft must complete a sharp hairpin turn at a low altitude to land on the short runway. This approach requires airline pilots to undergo additional training at the airport before attempting to land here.
The Toncontin International Airport will be replaced with an airport located at the Soto Cano Air Base located in Comayagua. The Comayagua International Airport opened there in October of 2021 and is expected to handle commercial traffic in the future. The first commercial flight to land there was a Spirit airlines flight from Huston on December 11, 2021. The second was another Spirit Airlines flight from Miami one hour later.
The majority of the population of Tegucigalpa is Roman Catholic. It once accounted for over 90 percent of the population at one point but now it may be down to nearly 47 percent. Protestants make up as much as 36 percent. Other religious groups that are found in Tegucigalpa include Quakers who arrived in 1914 to work in the capital.
Tegucigalpa also has a number of evangelical churches some of which have no denominational affiliation. There are also a small number of Jews and Muslims. A synagogue was opened in the city as well as a Jewish temple in 2013.
Crime and Violence
Tegucigalpa has the highest rate of murder in the world. It has continued to experience record-high violence in the past few years. Honduras has over 7,000 street gang members with the majority of them living in Tegucigalpa. There are an estimated 300 to 400 different street gangs in the city. They commit numerous crimes in the city against tourists as well as the local population.
The gangs control much of the city, especially public taxis, and other public goods. The government of Tegucigalpa as well as Honduras is not very stable and does not have the resources to deal with the gang problems. Most of the crimes are not prosecuted and may just be dismissed. Police enforcement is better in more expensive neighborhoods and tourist parts of the city.
Tourists to Tegucigalpa often visit the city’s historic center which features churches from the colonial area and buildings that date back to the beginning of the 20th century. It also has many natural viewpoints of the city such as the United Nations Park, La Leona Park, Cerro Juana Lainez, Manuel Bonilla Park, La Manzanita, and Cerro El Berrinche.
Tegucigalpa tourists also enjoy visiting the Minor Basilica Virgin of Suyapa, the patron saint of Honduras. The La Tigra National Park located to the north is an excellent place for bird watching that features 171 different species of birds, 42 of which are only found in the cloud forests.
Tegucigalpa has been the capital city of Honduras since 1880. It was split from its sister city of
Comayaguela in 1932. They are physically separated by the Choletca River. The city is considered overpopulated and has frequent traffic jams.
Tourists come to the city to partake in its beautiful scenic views from one of the many parks.