Home South America Logo
North America
South & Central America
Asia & Middle East

Annie & Blue

Honduras is the Next Jewel in Tourism Crown

By Sandra Scott

Honduras, the original "Banana Republic," has many beautiful areas, including 200 miles of undeveloped beach. Hopefuls in the tourist industry say, "Costa Rica is where it was; Belize is where it is; and Honduras is where it will be." Honduras may be the next "in" travel destination, where tourists visit the Mayan ruins in Copan or head out to one of the Bay Islands to dive on the world's second-largest barrier reef.

Heading East
From the airport we headed east along the North Coast, past fields of bananas, palm oil trees, fruit trees and pineapple plants with the mountains, ringed with clouds, always to our right.

Refraining from passing judgment on the trash and poverty, I marveled at the pristine wash hanging on the barbed wire fence in front of a home with no running water. The abundance of flowers makes the humblest mud home look pleasant. Even though most of the road is excellent, driving in Central America is a real-life video game as we avoid the occasional axle breaking potholes, cattle, people and bikes, some carrying a family of four. Occasionally, two drivers decide to pass at the same tome, tuning the two-lane road momentarily into four lanes.

The Natural World
Near Tela we visited Lancetilla Botanical Garden, which has hundreds of tropical trees and birds. It was started in 1926 as an experimental station by the United Fruit Co.

The interpretive trail starts with a walk through a tunnel of bamboo and continues past exotic trees such as the strychnine tree, where occasionally a toucan will die as a result of eating the red berries.

The first night, we stayed in La Ceiba, "where Hondurans go to have fun" and where you can go white-water rafting, visit cloud forests and a manatee reserve or dine3 in a Garifuna village.

There is much "green fun" in Honduras, exploring mangrove, langroves, and jungle rivers. Several years ago, we spent two days boating up the Rio Platano River in La Moskitiato, a remote village.

The following day, the Pesch Indians poled upriver through the rapids in long narrow mahogany boats to a spot where a forgotten people created petroglyphs (drawings or carvings on rock, especially from prehistoric times).

To End of the World
Recently I read a historical novel, "Acalan," by Anthony Conforti, set in Mayan times that ended on the island of Guanaja.

Only a 25-minute flight from La Ceiba, Guanaja is the most undeveloped Bay Island, where all transportation is by water taxi. We spent several idyllic hays swimming, snorkeling and walking the beach at End of the World, a small hotel just a beach away from where Columbus landed on his fourth voyage.

My husband, John, and I walked for an hour up a creek to waterfalls that were mentioned in the book, while the other guests went saltwater kayaking and scuba diving.

As the sun set, we lured reef sharks to the dock by dangling fish heads in the water. One evening feeling like castaways on a deserted beach, we relaxed around a campfire

Athens and More
Most people visit the more developed Bay Islands of Rostan and Utile or head for the ruins at Copan.

Copan is compared to Athens because it is where the Mayan culture reached its artistic zenith nearly 1,300 years ago. Several years ago, we entered the tunnel of the Acropolis to see the Rosalila Temple, which was still being uncovered. Now visitors can see the rose-colored temple through protective glass or view a full-size replica at the Copan Museum.

There is a feeling of optimism locally concerning the new president, hoping he will make tourism a priority. The first upscale eco-tourist hotel, Pico Bonito Lodge, opened a few years ago near La Ceiba, and the all-inclusive Barcelo Palma Real is to open for Easter.

For more information, check www.guanaja.com, www.picobonito.com, www.destinationhonduras.com, or call (800) 410-9608. Online at www.hondurastips.honduras.com is the best source for finding accommodations, which range from a few dollars to a hundred dollars.

Prices at End of the World start at $85 per person with meals, to $799 for a one-week dice package or $1,100 for a kayak package.
These past six weeks of our journey have passed quickly; Tuesday we head home.

Return to Top


Search the Web for related information on Honduras


Home | North America | South & Central America | Europe
Asia & Middle East | Africa | Oceania | Favorite Accommodations
Travel Images Blog | Preferred Accommodations Blog
Travel Blog | Columns | About Sandra | Contact Sandra | Site Map

Copyright © 2002-2007 Sandra Scott. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Site designed and created by C.F. Howley


Make your travel plans here.