While most tours and adventure activities are relatively safe, serious risks are involved for careless participants. But a little common sense is all you need. Risks most often occur when someone tries to extend their efforts beyond their physical capabilities. Know your limits. The sometimes extreme heat and wild temperature shifts found in Honduras can take their toll on a body rather quickly. Heavy downpours can occur at any time, thus dropping the temperatures and making rainforest paths beyond slippery. Rain gear is essential in Honduras, as is sunscreen. Have dry clothes ready, too, for the end of your excursion.
When hiking through the jungle -- there's real, genuine, wild jungle here -- and the backcountry, there are general precautions to take. Chances are you won't see many snakes, if any, but if you do, don't encourage one to bite you. Stay calm, don't make any sudden movements, and don't touch it. You are not a crocodile hunter, so don't act like one. If you swim in lagoons and near mangrove forests, just remember that healthy populations of critters -- from otters to caimans -- inhabit most of them. Ask locals where it is safe to swim. Also, avoid swimming in major rivers unless a guide or local operator can vouch for their safety. Be careful with ocean currents, as well.
Bugs and bug bites will probably be your greatest health concern in the Honduran wilderness, and even they aren't as big a problem as you might expect. Even in La Mosquitia, there aren't that many mosquitoes. Mostly, bugs are an inconvenience, although mosquitoes can carry malaria or dengue. Strong repellent and proper clothing minimize both the danger and the inconvenience; you might also want to bring along some cortisone or Benadryl cream to soothe itching. At the beaches, especially on the Bay Islands and the North Coast, you'll probably be bitten by pirujas (sand fleas or no-see-ums). These nearly invisible insects leave an irritating welt. Try not to scratch because this can lead to open sores and infections. Pirujas are most active at sunrise and sunset, so you might want to cover up or avoid the beaches at these times.
The slogan "Leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but memories" certainly applies here, though if you can avoid leaving footprints, even better. Much of the Honduran wilderness holds an array of rare and little-known flora and fauna. Some of it is highly endangered and even endemic to the specific mountain or tract of forest. Do not cut or uproot plants or flowers. Pack out everything you pack in, and please do not litter. Take photos and nothing else.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.