Choluteca's population of around 100,000 makes either the fourth or fifth largest city in the country, depending on the source. It is also the only major Honduran city on the Pan-American Highway. It is considered to be the second hottest city in Honduras after Nacaome.
The city was originally founded in colonial Honduras in 1522 as Villa de Jerez de Choluteca. It received city status in 1845.
Choluteca was heavily damaged by flooding from Hurricane Mitch in 1998. It received more rainfall than any other place affected by the storm - 36 inches in only a few days. This is the amount of rain the city normally receives in 212 days. In addition, the Choluteca River swelled to six times its normal width, putting entire neighborhoods under water temporarily. Many villages and suburbs, like San Ramón, were badly hit and suffered immense damage and many deaths.
Choluteca is one of the most productive areas of Honduras. In the department they produce and export sugar, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, shrimp, sweet potato, salt, fish, and a few precious metals.
José Cecilio del Valle, the first President of Central America, was born in Choluteca in 1780. His house (Casa Valle - located on the main square) is now a cultural center housing the local library and a tourist center. The house is featured on the back of the 100 Lempira note.
Dania Prince, the Miss Earth 2003 and the only Honduran to win a grandslam beauty pageant, came from Choluteca.