San Pedro Sula, Honduras – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Updated in 2022.

San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Drops in and out of the number one spot for world’s most dangerous city. It’s the second largest city in Honduras and a transport hub. Chances are you’ll take a bus to get here. Needless to say, it is not a part of the gringo trail. It is however a surprisingly modern city, and the centre of industry in Honduras.  The city is rather spread out, and surprisingly affordable. Everybody is super friendly.

POPULATION: 1,000,000

 

IS SAN PEDRO SULA SAFE FOR TOURISTS AND TRAVELERS?

San Pedro Sula is dangerous. Tourists are not the target, but with an average of 3 murders a day, it’s possible to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and catch a stray or two. Also, the threat of express kidnapping is very real in San Pedro Sula. Most travelers are Canadian or American – if you’re European you’ll particularly stand out. Honduran cities are for the braves. Anywhere you walk you will be watched. Even locals are careful to not walk the street. The atmosphere can feel pretty heavy. All that being said, it is not as unsafe as people think. You can go walking during the day and you don’t get followed. In fact, during the day it’s about as safe as any other large city in Central America.


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RENT AN APARTMENT IN SAN PEDRO SULA

You’ll pay $400.00 a month for an apartment in San Pedro Sula.

 

THINGS TO DO IN SAN PEDRO SULA

Get out of the city and into nature! There’s very little tourism or tourist infrastructure in San Pedro Sula, but lots of buses to other cities and points of interest. Head to the bus terminal in person because what’s posted online (departures etc) is not likely to be accurate. The nature is great, but in the city itself there isn’t much to do. The highlights from a tourist perspective are the tiny museum, the cathedral in the centre of town, and the Galleria (more on that below).

Elsewhere in Honduras, we recommend you check out La Ceiba and Roatan. The Bay Islands are popular among tourists as well. Visiting some Mayan ruins is a must. Copán is arguably the most famous, not far from the border with Guatemala.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN SAN PEDRO SULA

The best area to stay is the western part of the city. This is loosely defined as west of Galleria to Colonia Villas Del Sol, Colonia Des Laurelles and Colonia Jardines Del Valle. If you stay on this side of the city, you’re good to go.

 

BEST CAFES AND COWORKING IN SAN PEDRO SULA

This is Central America, so the coffee is among the best in the world. The hard partis finding a coffee shop that is condusive to working. If you are a digital nomad, I recommend working in a coffee shop in the Mall. I wouldn’t open my laptop in a coffee shop in centro. There are a few coworking spaces in town that aren’t too expensive. The best coworking spaces in San Pedro Sula include Workspace and BrainForce Cowork. In this city, a coworking space is probably your best best for a safe and productive work environment.

 

BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN SAN PEDRO SULA

6.75/10 

Pretty damn good lads, pretty damn good! Based on the reports coming out of San Pedro Sula, you’d probably think it was a dusty, backwater town filled with shady criminals. Not true!…well the criminal part is true, but in reality, San Pedro Sula is a very progressive city with many American-style restaurants and bars. That being said, nightlife is still better in La Ceiba.

Most locals hang out at the Galleria or the bars and clubs close to the Galleria. Mall Galerías del Valle is an indoor mall with diverse stores & cafes, a small Ferris wheel for kids & a movie theater. This is where you’ll find the more upscale and ‘safe’ venues.

The second best area for nightlife is the Zona Viva area near the centro. If you’re willing to leave the safe confines of the mall, Zona Viva is where you can really get in the mix. Zona Viva is loosely defined as Av. 15a and 16a, between Calles 7a and 11a. It’s also known as Barrio Suyapa. This is where you’ll find a lot city’s more local bars and clubs.

My Latin Life recommends:

Cielo Rooftop Bar: Cool lounge-style bar with amazing views of the city.

Beyond Club: Some say it’s the best nightclub in the city.

La Musa Gastropub: Upscale bar with great atmosphere. Can bring dates here.

Zeppelin Bar: Chill bar/resataurant with foosball tables and arcade games.

 

HOW TO GET TO SAN PEDRO SULA

Guatemala City is a 9 hour drive. San Salvador is an 8 hour drive. La Ceiba is a 3.5 hour drive away. There should be buses connecting all of these cities. 

 

COST OF LIVING IN SAN PEDRO SULA

The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.

*Figures are listed in USD

You’ll need a minimum of $894 USD/month to live in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

cost-of-living-san-pedro-sula

FINAL THOUGHTS

There isn’t much to do here. But, if you’re in Honduras anyway, it’s worth checking out San Pedro Sula. It’s the second biggest city in Honduras, after all, and you’ll be surprised at how modern it is. As an expat, you probably won’t be living here unless you have some sort of foreign job that forces you to be here. Or you own a giant coffee plantation. If you are a digital nomad, you could definitely post up here and work and drink coffee without problems. Sometimes the best cities are the ones with zero touristic value, but not sure that logic applies to San Pedro Sula. This is definitely a city for the adventure traveler. 


OVERALL RATING: 6.25/10


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