TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- A panel of experts selected Honduras as one of the top 16 emerging travel destinations in the world for the New Year, according to CNN. The panel emphasized Honduras' diverse touristic offering including natural attractions, as well as important ancient ruins and cities with emerging arts and music scenes.
The country's best known destination is the ancient Maya city of Copan, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the tropical jungle of Honduras that welcomes visitors interested in history, archaeology and adventure and features more than 4,500 ancient structures. The Bay Islands, including Roatan, Utila and Guanaja, famed for their fine white-sand beaches and access to the world's second largest barrier reef, are also a major draw. Additionally, lesser-known eco-travel attractions, such as the Celaque and Pico Bonito National Parks, were highlighted by the selection panel.
In 2015 Honduras, the leading coffee exporter in Central America, announced the launch of the "Coffee Route", its newest travel offering that invites tourists to closely observe the coffee-making process from seed to cup in the country's coffee-producing regions.
"Honduras' privileged location in the heart of the Americas, along with the richness of our natural beauty and the region's most diverse tourist offering including beaches, jungle and archaeological sites, makes us one of the most attractive destinations in the Americas today," said Emilio Silvestri, director of the Honduran Institute of Tourism. "The government and the Honduran Institute of Tourism will continue working to advance our infrastructure and our offerings so that more national and international tourists can enjoy the wealth of attractions our country has to offer."
Honduras was not only designated as "one of the hottest destinations in Central America", but was also one of only two destinations from Latin America that was selected. Other destinations included the Arctic region of Iceland, Greenland and Norway, Madagascar, Taiwan and the Patagonia Corridor, among others.