Why Travel To Honduras?
We found Honduras very affordable and came upon an incredible Eco Lodge just above the city of La Ceiba, by the Pico Bonito National Park.
Rafting, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Monkeys!
Here is our Honduras travel story.
Below is a Google Map showing La Ceiba and Parque Nacional Pico Bonito.
How we got there.
We flew into the international airport of San Pedro Sula from Miami.
Omega Eco Jungle Lodge, is about 7 miles from La Ceiba, Honduras.
The lodge had arranged a driver to meet us at the airport and it was nice to see a someone waving our "Name Flag" as we approached the pick up area.
The lodge informed us that it would be about a 3 hour drive to their location, a little long, but we thought it would give us a chance to the see the area instead of skipping over to another airport. There is an airport in La Ceiba.
If you decide to take a taxi, all I can say, is hold on to your...well, whatever you can!
Once you get out of the city, the ride was a bit wild and fast.
This was our experience, and the beginning of the adventure!
This is the traffic leaving the airport. I know it appears that everyone has swerved or stopped for the pedestrian, in the middle- No, not really!
Surely the pedestrian looked for oncoming traffic- No, not really!
Everyone just goes, honks and moves forward the best they can.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but there was no stopping.
Along The Road
The landscape on the open highway was nice, but the traffic stops with armed guards was also memorable.
The unexpected and apparently precarious moments (four stops in 3 hours) didn't faze the driver.
He showed his credentials and they checked us out briefly in the backseat. We smiled, but it was all business, no wave; no smile, no "Buenos Dias" from these gentleman.
After a few minutes of rummaging through our Spanish books, we did manage to ask our driver, ¿Están buscando drogas? (Are they looking for drugs?)
Our driver's reply was "Drogas Y Pistolas" (Drugs and Guns).
He gave us a reassuring smile after each stop, and then away we went honking on down the road.
When we reached the town of La Ceiba, we took a gravel road up to the lodge. It was getting dark and the taxi driver slowed-slightly-finally.
We Had Arrived.
It was hard to see the grounds, but we were greeted by one of the staff, and he lead to the outside patio area where dinner was being served. We immediately felt welcome and my knees weakened a bit from the savory smells coming out of the kitchen, they were amazing.
One of the guys helped us with our luggage and showed us our cabin. We hit the bathrooms and then made a beeline back to dining area for food and BEER.
It's hard to read a menu in the Jungle, should've brought a flashlight. I just wanted whatever that smell was, plus a cold beer.
UPDATE: This is the headlight we use now, for all evening hikes and jungle excursions, if your interested, click-- HERE.
A couple moved toward our table and it turned out to be the owners Udo and Silvia. They were from Germany-- aahhhh that explains the smell, it was bratwurst!
Udo is an avid river rafter and chef, also an incredible craftsman. Silvia loves horses, so we immediately hit it off!
Back to the food.
I'm pescatarian, so sausage was out for me. Jonathan loved it!
They suggested I have a tuna and olive salad and it was fabulous! Fresh and tasty!
We were toasted, so off to bed, looking forward to checking out everything in the morning.
It was great waking up to the sweet sounds of jungle birds and a spectacular view of the misty Pico Bonito National Park.
We were now able to see more of the surroundings and our Cabin (Beauty View). The craftsmanship of the interiors and design layout were one with nature.
You will feel tucked in, protected and cozy.
As you can see in the picture below, there are large screened windows that are designed for privacy AND nature viewing. The breeze was perfect at night and we drifted to sleep each night with the hum of jungle frogs and insects.
My personal picture of the cabin did not turn out great for this room, so with permission, Silvia gave the picture of the Beauty View Cabin.
Below, are the dining areas in and around the pool, hammocks, bar and BBQ area.
We had a great time just hang-in by the pool "zoning out" and taking in the sounds of the jungle.
Before I go further, here is the link for Omega Eco Lodge, where your fun awaits at the Pico Bonito Forest and beyond!
Link: Eco Lodge Honduras
Our First Tour.
We love horses, so started out on a horse trek exploring the land in and around the lodge.
Silvia guided us through small villages where we were greeted by Honduran families busy with their daily tasks.
Washing in tubs, gardening, tending to farm animals.
Most homes are deteriorating, many occupied without doors or windows.
It was also sad to see the dogs, it hurts my heart to say, but to date, this is the worst area I have seen for starving and sickly dogs.
Silvia and Udo are animal lovers and have helped the locals in so many ways, but as I was told, the veterinarians are few in this area and charge unreasonable fees for spay/neuter and other vaccinations.
I hope it changes.
There is a rescue organization working very hard to help animals in other areas, and I will have a link at the end of the story.
Back to the horseback ride, sorry, mistreated animals will always cause me to pause.
The trail opened up and we cantered through the lush forest with array of blooming fruit trees on all sides. Sweet fragrances filled the air.
Banana, Cashew, Mango, to name a few.
Silvia lead us to this enchanting swimming pond where we also had lunch. Here's a short video of the spot:
The water was a bit cold for me, but Jonathan jumped right in.
The afternoon had heated up pretty good- temp wise, and after looking at all the fresh fruit, fruit smoothies were our next course of action. We headed to the bar!
Silvia surprised us with two glasses of fresh cashew juice! Whaaat? Yeah, it was delicious, I was hooked! We later found out that Cashew wine was also quite popular, but didn't get a chance to try it. Here is a picture of a cashew fruit.
Below is the the bar. Udo is the gentleman leaning up against the stone pillar and- me at the bar after horseback riding.
It is always so interesting to hear other traveler stories, and most evenings we did just that. Right there.
The Next Day.
We had time, so we put off doing a different tour.
I was beguiled by the horseback ride and had to go again!! This time it would be a bit longer, with a few other guests and through the river. Below is a picture of Jonathan and I in the back of the group heading out of the Rio Cangrejal.
Here is more information about horseback riding at the Omega Eco Lodge.
The M&M Chocolate Tour.
Wednesday would be the day for Monkeys, Mangroves and Chocolate.
The guys loaded up the kayaks, water and lunch on the truck, and we traveled through Cocoa Village (an old cocoa plantation) to get to our kayaks, about 45 minutes from the lodge.
Anything that involves chocolate, I'm there!
We launched our boats in a dense canopied area of Mangroves and slowly weaved through the waterway to Monkey Channel.
It was very quiet; serene, even the monkey's were quiet. We came upon at least a dozen Howler Monkeys lounging and hanging from the trees.
Here is more information about the tranquil kayak trip through the mangroves.
Link: Kayak The Mangroves.
On the way back through the Cocoa Village Del spotted a Cocoa fruit tree in front of someone's house. A man was out in front and Del kindly asked him if we could have one Cocoa fruit, he obliged.
Below is a picture of the Cocoa fruit after it was opened, try to ignore the armpit shot.
If you are interested, here is a link about the Cocoa fruit, the production, history and process. Link: CHOCOLATE
At the time of this writing, Cocoa is no longer a main export for Honduras, coffee still stands as the number one export, we can see why, it was full-bodied, yet mild, not bitter. We loved it!!
Read about Honduras Coffee here: COFFEE
Hiking to El Bejuco Waterfall- Pico Bonito National Forest
It was here, in the rainforest of Honduras, that we discovered that
SUPERMAN IS ALIVE.
We didn't discuss the hike much the night before, but the next day we were greeted by a small 70 year man who didn't speak a word of English, his name was Alejandro.
It was just the three of us, so off we went to Pico Bonito National Forest.
The first twenty minutes of the hike is easy going, then it becomes pretty steep, fast.
Alejandro led the way and here's the Superman part. This guy was in incredible physical condition for his age- probably still is.
He has a pack on his back with lunch, water and first aid supplies for all three of us.
Not only did he motor-on at an incredible pace with the weight on his back, he could "LEAP LARGE BOULDERS WITH A SINGLE BOUND".
I would look up at these massive boulders, look down for just a moment and he was up over the boulders in just a few seconds. DANG.
Although there are many signs (all in Spanish) about the unique trees and their "uses", there were no directional signs on the path, Except for the one shown below. This translates to "Path To Waterfall".
We knew we had to Go Up but Alejandro knew right where the angles were for reaching the next level safely.
The path was on the side of the waterfall, so yeah wet, muddy and slippery.
We Loved it!
Here is a picture of a smaller part of the waterfall and below that, is a over-sized picture of Jonathan and I.
You might want to move back a bit-it's a close-up.
We did make it to the top and the views of the Pico National Forest are fabulous.
As stated above, a lot of pictures didn't turn out well ( old camera ), but here is a wonderful Youtube video, produced by Omega Eco Tours. A great overview of the activities in and around Pico Bonito Forest and now they offer mountain biking!
We highly recommend Omega Eco Tours for fun in the jungle!
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Have you been to Honduras? We would love to hear about it! Please comment below or Your favorite trip!