Honduras – The Hidden Gem of Central America

Paradise islands, beautiful beaches, lush forests, diverse and unique flora and fauna, and important Mayan sites – Honduras has it all! It’s the most underestimated country in Central America, I find. It has so much more to offer than just the famous Bay Islands ‘Utila’ and ‘Roatan’. This blog post is an ode to a country that amazed us grandly, yet unexpectedly, with stunning natural and cultural sites! Keep reading if you want to know more about Honduras’ highlights and which places impressed us the most! And check out our Video for more images of this gem!

Natural Highlights wherever you look
There are so many beautiful things to see in Honduras!!

Before I started my trip in 2011, travelling to places like India or South America made me nervous. I didn’t know better back then. Most of the info I heard about these places was crime-related and people would always tell me to be careful when they heard I was about to go there alone. Thanks to my curiosity, I visited them anyway. Today, I know that most news is extremely blown up and can have a crucial impact on a country’s reputation. A good example is Honduras: we heard so many bad things about this country that we actually hesitated for a moment…we briefly talked going straight from Guatemala to Nicaragua or even all the way down to Costa Rica, the seemingly safer nearby options.

The tourists' fear of being in danger seems to be the biggest enemy of the tourism in Honduras.
Watch out, there are crocodiles in Honduras! 😉

Why you should visit Honduras

The first remarkable stop when coming from Guatemala is right after the border of Honduras. Make sure to read all our posts about our stay in Copan and our day exploring the impressive Mayan Ruins. From Copan, we went by bus to San Pedro Sula (3hrs, for 140 Lempiras/around 6 USD ). This city appears to be the country’s capital, which is actually the unpronounceable city ‘Tegucigalpa’. In general, I am not a big fan of cities, and since this post focuses on points of interest that are, in my opinion, better than average, I will keep it short: if you stop in San Pedro Sula, make sure you stay in ‘La Hamaca’. This is a centrally located hostel that has an amazing staff, a great vibe, loads of arts and paintings on the wall, and very decent rooms!

'La Hamaca': great hostel in San Pedro Sula
Cool and funky: ‘La Hamaca’ Hostel in San Pedro Sula

Be sure to move on quickly to the more interesting areas of Honduras. Let’s have a look at La Ceiba, the first large stop after San Pedro Sula and a stop-over to get to the Bay Islands. La Ceiba is the third important city of Honduras and is also a great starting point for exploring the destination ‘Atlantida’ which means ‘Atlantis’ in English. This Honduran state has chosen its name wisely. Exploring this area is like hunting down countless hidden treasures. I have been to many impressive places around the world, but in ‘Atlantida’, I’ve seen some of the most virgin nature spots of all.

Beautiful Honduras

La Ceiba and its surrounding area

Most travellers use the city ‘La Ceiba’ to break up their trip to or from the Bay Islands Utila and Roatan. Few tourists stay longer in La Ceiba than one or two nights. The city’s reputation causes most people to skip the nearby national parks and outdoor activities, which is their great loss! We gave it a closer look and were amazed by fantastic hiking trails through the jungle with waterfalls. We spent a gorgeous day Wild Water Rafting on the Cangrejal River.

To read more about La Ceiba and it’s surrounding area, check out our blog post about ‘What to do in Honduras’ Pico Bonito National Park’.

Pico Bonito National Park
Beautiful waterfall in Pico Bonito National Park in Atlantida

When in La Ceiba make sure to walk around the city centre and take a stroll along the old train rails. There you will find countless food stalls that are open 24/7 and offer, amongst other yummy things, one of the most typical dish in Honduras: “La Baleada”. It is a tortilla folded in half to hold a bean paste, shredded cheese and your choice of scrambled eggs, avocado, chicken or simply with the bean paste only. You can add onions, red cabbage or spicy sauces.

Baleadas and fruits of Honduras
Traditional plate: two ‘Baleadas’, two lychees and a Mangosteen, the Honduran super fruit due to its richness in vitamin C, zinc and antioxidants.

The food stalls were one of our favourite lunch places. We enjoyed the fact that they were close to the hostel where we stayed in La Ceiba, which we highly recommend: When you stay in the city, a vibrant place to stay is the ‘Hostel 1877‘! Such a great, modern and eco-friendly place with new facilities and big love for details made us feel absolutely welcomed in La Ceiba. Built in 2015, the hostel is run by two very helpful and super friendly Honduran owners who will make your stay in La Ceiba pleasant and memorable.

La Ceiba has one great hostel to stay at: 1877 Hostel
1877 Hostel is your best choice when in La Ceiba

Things to do in Atlantida

  • Have lunch in the Garifuna Community in Corozal

When you leave La Ceiba and start to explore the surrounding area, you cannot miss the little Garifuna community in Corozal, which is about a 20-minute drive east of La Ceiba. There you will find traditional food of the Garifuna, the mixed-race descendants of West African, Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak people. Living off the ocean, most of their dishes include fish and seafood. We had lunch in one of the restaurants called ‘Chamorros‘.

Lunch in Corozal in one of the traditional Garifuna restaurants
Great food and great company!

We tried several dishes that are typically cooked with loads of garlic and include variations of bananas. The main dish was a heavenly mixture of shrimp, sea snails, lobster and fish. Fried bananas and little balls made out of banana to dip in garlic sauce come as a side dishes. To round it out, we tried the traditional ‘Guifiti’, which is a high-percentage digestive made from roots, spices and schnapps. It is also known for its medicinal benefits…

restaurant garifuna - 5

restaurant garifuna - 7

Garifuna Restaurant
Small banana balls as a side…
Mixed fish platter in Garifuna style
‘Mariscada’ is a mixed seafood platter with loads of garlic…yummy!!!
  • Visit the second largest Botanical Garden in the World

‘Lancetilla’ is the name of the botanical garden that is really worth visiting. It lies on the road to ‘Tela’, just a view minutes before you get to the city. It has its origins in the 1920’s when it was a research centre for a banana company. Today, you are able to see trees and plants native to Oceania, Africa and Asia. It is also one of the principal bird watching spots of Honduras, where over 300 species have been identified. The entrance is 2 USD for foreigners. If you go, make sure to walk through the impressive bamboo tunnel and go with a guide in order to learn all about the different species.

Bamboo Tunnel in the Botanical Garden Centanilla
One must-see: The Bamboo Tunnel in the Botanical Garden ‘Lancetilla’
  •  Welcome to Miami!

No, you don’t have to leave Honduras in order to visit Miami! It is the name of a village that is home to another Garifuna community close to the city of Tela. It’s inside the Jeannette Kawas National Park, whose name is dedicated to the ecologist that fought for the eco-balance of this area. The whole village lives in a secluded way, isolated from the rest of the world and society. The locals preserve their culture and keep up with the traditional fishing and way of living.

Small Garifuna community close to Tela
There is a ‘Miami’ in Honduras! 🙂

Miami is also where you can catch a boat to cross the Mikitos Lagoon that separates Miami and little peninsula that houses another hidden gem of Honduras: Los Olingos. If you need a place to recharge your batteries, make sure to stay at this amazing lodge and simply relax in a peaceful surrounding next to the water.

Relaxing at the shores of the Lagoon
Los Olingos have their own private dock where you can sit and relax with a coconut…

The lodge offers six cabin-style houses that are spread out on the property. It feels like walking around in a little village where palm trees are the natural fence to your neighbours. It’s a great place if you go in a big group, or you can soak up the tranquillity on your own. Those who seek action can choose between fun on the volleyball field, kayak on the lagoon, or explore the hills, viewpoints and coffee plantation on the property.

Los Olingos has six houses on the property with several rooms to lodge up to 12 people
Hidden behind palm trees: the small houses of the lodge are spread out on the property in a very idyllic style!
  • Take a train ride to the ‘Cuero y Salado’ Wildlife Refuge

This is a fun half-day tour that you can easily do from La Ceiba on your own or with a tour company. If you want to go bird watching, spot monkeys, and crocodiles then you’ll be right on the Cuero y Salado Lagoon. It is about 30 km east of La Ceiba and borders to the north with the Caribbean Sea. In this protected area, there are a few small communities residing. To get there, you have to jump on a real ancient looking train that takes you to the entrance of the National Park in about 30 minutes. From there, you board the boat and let the guide take you along the shoreline of the lagoon.

The old iron train brings us to our lagoon boat trip
Enjoying the ride on our jungle trip…

If the monkeys, crocodiles, and exotic birds are not enough to convince you, the ‘Cuero y Salado’ Lagoon is also home to the Caribbean Manatee. We weren’t lucky enough to see it that day but have learned that is an endangered species that lives within this protected area of creeks, lagoons, and the coastline.

Spot the monkey!
Next to Manatees and crocodiles, we spotted many monkeys up in the trees!

In total, there are 15 rivers that stream into the labyrinth of lagoons and canals, bordered by mangroves and a tropical jungle vegetation.

What a great natural effect!
When the sun sets, the lagoon turns into a mirror spectacle!

Honduras’ Largest Lake: ‘Lago Yojoa’

Leaving the Caribbean Coast you will still find amazing places that are worth stopping during your travels in Honduras. From La Ceiba, we took a bus back to San Pedro Sula where most of the country’s buses connect. From there, we took a bus to Santa Cruz de Yojoa, a small town just 30 minutes away from the lake. We spent the night before continuing our trip to the village ‘Los Naranjos’, which is right at the beautiful Lake Yojoa. There are few options to stay, but one great place is the D&D Brewery that  (obviously)has their own beer on the menu, great advice for tours in and around the village and several accommodation options.

The main street of 'Los Naranjos'
‘Los Naranjos’ is a small village surrounded by beautiful nature!

From the brewery, you can walk 10 minutes to the village’s river that will lead you to the National Park ‘El Jaral’. The walk to the park is already so beautiful, along the river and crossing the bridge you will get a glimpse of the lake in the distance. The park does not have an official entry point on one side, so you just walk in and if you want to search for the other end to exit and pay you can do so. Friendly armed soldiers will remind you on their patrol that you will need to go and buy a ticket on the other side…

River next to Lago Yojoa
On your way to the park entrance, you’ll cross this gorgeous river…

Inside the park, you can stop and listen to an ongoing concert of birds. It is incredible what sounds come out and how different they sound from the birds where I come from. One, for example, reminded me of dropping water whereas others sound as if someone drums a stick on a bamboo trunk.

View inside the National Park.
Walking through the park brings many different views of this area…

The park makes a small loop, which leads you past some bridges and archaeological sites. You can easily make the full loop in less than an hour, unless, of course, you sit down and enjoy the sounds of the tropical birds…

  • Cerro Las Nalgas

For best views of the whole area, hike up to a viewpoint on top of ‘Cerro Las Nalgas’. It is a bit tricky to find the path, but the locals are very friendly and helpful. Make sure you get at least two or three different opinions on where the trail starts, some people sound very convincing but actually sent us in the opposite direction…

On top of 'Cerro Las Nalgas'
After a hot and humid trail hike, you’ll get a refreshing breeze on top of the mountain ‘Cerro Las Nalgas’ and a fantastic view onto the lake!

After 3 days of hiking and beer sampling, we moved on to our next adventure: Nicaragua. The easiest way to get to Nicaragua is by bus from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. We took the bus at 6:30 am from Lake Yojoa and got to Tegucigalpa within 3 1/2 hours (150 Lempiras). From there, we hopped on a local bus to the border at Guasaule (another 3 hours from the capital, 100 Lempiras). The bus doesn’t cross the border, but you can simply do your paperwork at the immigration office and walk across a bridge that leads you to Nicaragua… from there, you have several options to get to Leon, one of the first spots of interest according to our research.

Welcome to Nicaragua!
DANGER!!! …and welcome to Nicaragua! 😀

After 3 1/2 weeks in Honduras, we can say that it was one grand trip! For all those in doubt and fear about their safety, hesitate no more, it is as safe as any place in Central America and will strike you with beauty, delicious food and friendly people!



Check out our guide for the islands of Roatan and Utila which you can easily reach from La Ceiba.

If you’re headed to Guatemala and stop by Copan here is what to do while visiting the Copan Ruins!

Or perhaps you’re moving on to Nicaragua? Then make sure to plan a sailing trip at Playa Gigante!

While you’re still in Honduras, don’t skip one of their most beautiful corners, the Pico Bonito National Park!


Thank you Visite Atlántida for this great trip to Atlantida.
Like always, all opinion are MY OWN. So, to everyone else, no worries on biases or BS, you won’t find that here. I keep this real. Thanks for the support!



Island Tripping to Utila and Roatan

Utila and Roatan are probably the two main reasons that most people travel to Honduras. We wanted to check them out to see if they match what their reputations promise…Both islands are part of the so-called Bay Islands (Guanaja, Utila and Roatan) and enjoy proximity to the second largest reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Needless to say, both Utila and Roatan attract many divers and snorkelers from around the world. We couldn’t resist, either and went diving on Utila. The weather on Roatan interfered our plans so we were unable to dive there. But, we had a great time driving around in our rental car and we enjoyed the island’s beauty in the rain…

Here are some useful tips for your next time visiting Utila and Roatan.

Arriving at Utila harbour...

Things to do on Utila:

  • Rent a motorbike or a scooter to explore the island:

Utila is the smallest of the three Bay Islands of Honduras and it was our first stop when visiting Utila and Roatan. With a length of 45 km and a maximum elevation of 74 meters, it is very easy to get around in one day on a scooter or motorbike. At least, that’s what we were told. In our case, though, it turned out to be quite a challenge: partially because we planned our trip on the motorbike at the very last minute, just before we were supposed to take the ferry to leave the island again. And partially because halfway through our exploration drive, we ran out of gas. It was only then that we noticed the rental company had not filled up the tank. Silly us, we only realized it when it was too late. Since there was no petrol station anywhere nearby, we had choice other than pushing our bike back to the rental place. Gah…!!! Once we arrived back, we had no time left to fill up the tank and explore more of the island because our ferry was about to leave. At least they refunded us the money and we got some free exercise on top of that 😉

Running out of gas while exploring Utila
If you love your bike, you push it, right?! 🙂
  • Go Diving or Snorkelling

A little bit more successful, yet not entirely smooth was our dive trip with Parrots Dive Centre. The company took us out to the North Coast of Utila, which is one of the more popular dive spots of the island. In the morning, we prepared our gear, which they told us was recently renewed. At 6:30 am we were ready to board the small boat with a group of fellow divers and head up the coast of Utila. The trip to the actual dive spot took about 30 minutes and was one of the worst I’ve ever had: the ocean was rough that day and we constantly got waves of water splashed into our boat. By the time we arrived, we were all soaking wet and freezing cold from the strong wind that blew that morning. Shivering and ready to get off the rocky boat, we jumped into the water and were instantly got rewarded for the rough trip: the corals that we were about to see made us forget the uncomfortable start of the day.

Out on the ocean, it got a bit rocky on our trip to the North Coast of Utila...
Calm and smooth: the ocean looked very peaceful in the harbour…

We happily surfaced after a 45 minute dive filled with many fish encounters along a beautiful reef. Luckily, the sea had calmed a bit, and we could enjoy the sunshine on the boat and warm our bodies up before diving a second time. This time, we went to Spotted Bay and saw fewer fish, but the dive site was pretty and had a few swim throughs to entertain us. After 40 minutes, we hopped back onto the boat and traveled to a tiny island for lunch. The ride back was smooth and very pleasant, the sun finally won over and we returned dry and happy. All in all, a fun half-day trip we are glad to have taken.

Trying on the equipment of the Parrot Dive Center.
Getting ready for our trip!
  • Just sit back and relax!

As with most islands, the best thing to do is simply enjoy the relaxed vibe. On Utila and Roatan you can have a laid-back time sitting on the many benches, enjoying the ocean view. If you want a day at the beach, you’ll be better of on Roatan. Utila has only one beach which is tiny but still good enough to go for a swim.

Places like this make up for the lack of beaches on Utila...
Some places are just inviting you to sit back and relax!

Utila’s beautiful sister Roatan

Utila and Roatan are competing in the area of tourism against each other: Utila is known to be cheaper, smaller and a bit less touristy. Roatan, on the other hand, has better beaches (well, in fact, it HAS beaches) and offers a broader net of tourist activities. Therefore, it is a bit more expensive, too. So, I’d say, both islands have something for each type of tourist. Perhaps the backpackers and budget-conscious travellers would be happier on Utila whereas the resort-type tourist can enjoy Roatan’s standards a bit more. Here is what we did:

Utila and Roatan have both great sides
On the way from West End to West Bay you get to cross this super cool bridge connecting two beaches…
  • Explore the bay area between West End and West Bay

One popular tourist area is West End. This is where you find bars, restaurants and shops lined up next to each other in front of the ocean. It is also where most of Roatan’s hotels and resorts are located. West End connects to Roatan’s most beautiful beach, West Bay, which you can reach by water taxi (costs around 3 USD), a taxi (approx. the same price but not as scenic!) or by foot. We chose to walk along the beach (about 45 minutes) and took a water taxi back to West End.

Waling towards West Bay is such a great way to experience this area of Roatan.
West Bay is a big strip of bars, restaurants and swimming pools right at the beach…
  • Go snorkelling at West Bay

West Bay attracts not only beach bums and cocktail sippers, but it is also known for it’s easy accessible reef. We took our snorkel gear, walked in from the beach and enjoyed colourful corals and fish, just a short swim from West Bay. It’s also the place to catch a pretty shot when the sun goes down…

Sunset at West Bay on Roatan
West Bay is the place to enjoy a beautiful sunset!
  • Stay at a budget place and save your money

If you think Roatan explodes your budget, don’t worry, there are still a few cheaper options besides five-star hotels or resorts. We stayed at Roatan Backpackers’ Hostel which is a fun place in Sandy Bay. The Canadian run hostel is a bit hidden away, but if you get off the ferry and tell the driver to bring you to Sandy Bay at ‘Solgas’ you’ll find it! We enjoyed it a lot, because there is a great little pool, the Lizard Lounge (which is the place to be if you want to enjoy a fast internet connection on a rooftop veranda overlooking the neighbourhood) and because of Mel, the owner who is a walking ‘Lonely Planet’. Even without asking, you will get everything you need to find your way around the island, and she’ll give you a self-scribbled map that has great advice for your exploration trip.

Roatan Backpacker's Hostel: a great option for your stay on Roatan
If you are too lazy to go to the beach, just take a dip in the pool!
  • Rent a car and explore the island

On the third and last day of our stay on Roatan, we woke up to a rainfall that would not stop until the next morning. We decided to not let it ruin our plans to drive around and see the rest of the island. We went to the airport where all the rental car companies are located and rented a small Kia that would be our home for the day, since we hardly left the car due to the heavy rain. We stocked up on snacks and drove around, all the way up to Camp Bay, which is on the Northeastern tip of Roatan. For the sake of adventure, we decided to sleep in the car and awoke the next day at 6 am in order to catch the ferry at 7 am to take us back to La Ceiba.

Sunset at West End of Roatan
Just one night before, we had a beautiful sunny day and a gorgeous sunset again.

Which ferry to take when visiting Utila and Roatan

Getting back to La Ceiba from Utila.
It looks like a house, but it’s actually our ferry! 😀

When you want to go to Utila and Roatan, both times you will have to start your journey from La Ceiba. This is a bit of a pain because it means you cannot get directly from Utila to Roatan, and have to spend double your time and money on the ferry. Unless you go with a private company that takes tourists to Roatan, if the weather is fine and there are enough people to fill the boat. Apparently they are discussing a direct ferry connection between Utila and Roatan, at least, we heard that when we were there (Feb. 2016). The ride from or to Utila takes about 45 minutes and the cheaper of the two ferry companies, ‘Utila Princess’, costs around 25 USD. See the official website for the actual ferry schedule and updated prices.

La Ceiba to Utila: 

  • Depart La Ceiba for Utila: 9:30 am
  • Depart Utila for La Ceiba: 6:20 am
  • Depart La Ceiba for Utila: 4:00 pm
  • Depart Utila for La Ceiba: 2:00 pm
Utila Princess and Utila Dream are the two ferry companies for your trip to and from Utila.
This COULD have been our boat if we would have cared to pay the double price of the ticket…

The trip from La Ceiba to Roatan is a little longer, about 1 hour 20 minutes and is recommended to take in the morning as the ocean gets rough in the afternoons. We had no other choice than taking the 4:30 ferry in the afternoon. It was a bit funny how you were immediately handed a plastic bag after boarding the boat. Yet, when we saw that quite a few people were actually making use of their bags, I stopped laughing and was grateful how prepared they were… 🙂

La Ceiba to Roatan:

  • From La Ceiba To Roatan: 9:30 AM & 4:30 PM
  • From Roatan To La Ceiba: 7:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Utila and Roatan are not connected by ferry.
Waiting for the ferry and enjoying a quick browse on the internet…

All in all, we think both islands have their charm and are worth checking out. Yet, keep in mind that both Utila and Roatan are slightly more expensive than the rest of Honduras, so cash-up before you go and dive into a great island experience.

Have you been to Utila and Roatan? What were your highlights?


What to do in Hondura’s Pico Bonito National Park

Most people imagine white sandy beaches and paradise islands when thinking about Honduras. To be blamed for this incomplete image are the Bay Islands, the country’s most popular tourist spots. Make sure to check out my post about Utila and Roatan to understand why they are so popular. Yet, if you visit the mainland and explore the other side of Honduras, you will find yourself in an equally pretty nature setting with diverse flora and fauna that is marvelous. The Pico Bonito National Park with the Cangrejal River is one of the attractions for outdoor-lovers who visit the city ‘La Ceiba’. Here is why whitewater rafting and a hike to a breathtaking waterfall should be on your bucket list when in Honduras.

A cloudy day in Pico Bonito National Park
Pico Bonito National Park offers great hiking and action sports like whitewater rafting.

A dramatic rainforest scenery appears when you drive up the rugged street that leads you away from La Ceiba. On your right, you overlook the Cangrejal River that divides the two national parks to your left and right: ‘Pico Bonito National Park’ (which translates to “pretty peak”) and ‘Nombre de Dios National Park’, (“the name of God”). The river is broad and offers some challenging rapids, which makes it one of Central America’s best whitewater rafting options and is the reason why some adventurous travelers choose to spend some time in this area.

Consequently, there are a few tour companies that offer outdoor activities and tours that include kayaking, river walking, bird watching and horseback riding, to name a few. We went rafting with the German-owned tour agency ‘Omega‘’ (which was a coincidence and has nothing to do with the fact that I am German!) that took us on an exciting trip down the river…

A day of adventure: Whitewater Rafting on the Cangrejal River

The Cangrejal River is a fun place to do whitewater rafting!
One of the easier parts of the river decorated by huge rocks on each side….

At 8:30 in the morning we met our guides and three other people who went rafting with us; two English guys and a woman from Australia. We received a quick briefing from our guide and tried on our gear: a fancy helmet and life jacket… and off we went. If you have some sort of water shoes, it’s a good time to use them, as you can’t go bare feet or you will lose your grip inside the raft. Runners can get uncomfortably wet and heavy, but the climate is warm enough and you move a lot so you actually don’t need to worry about getting cold on the river.

Waterfalls and rainforest make Pico Bonito National Park really a special place!
Yeah! Nice little breaks in between the action gave us time to appreciate the waterfalls in the area (in the back!!!)

From the agency, we walked down a short ,muddy pathway to the starting point of our rafting trip. It had rained a lot in the days before, so the river was a bit higher than usual, which also made it slower, and a bit easier for us. Nevertheless, we had some adrenaline pumping through our bodies…it was a lot of fun!

Whitewater rafting on the Cangrejal River
And down we go…

The tour takes about 3 ½ hours and includes stops to gaze at the waterfalls in the distance, to watch exotic birds or to jump off some funky shaped rocks to cool off a bit. Our guide also stopped at one point to show us a native plant called ‘Angel Hair’. He handed over some seeds of the plant and made us rub our hands against each other with a little bit of water in it. The result was a pleasant smell and loads of foam, which is why the locals use it as natural soap.

Huge rocks line up at the side of Cangrejal River and gives a lot of options to jump
Brave Claudio who dared to jump!

After more rapids and pleasantly calm sections in between, we arrived wet, exhausted and absolutely pumped at the end of our trip. In total, we paddled about 7 km distance from the starting point to where we were picked up by the company’s funky looking yellow truck. All in all, the tour was well organised, very worthwhile, with two knowledgeable and fun guides who told us a lot about the river and the area. Five stars for Omega!

Happy and exhausted we made it to the end of our trip!
We survived!!! 😀

Hiking the ‘El Mapache’ trail

Another fun activity in the Pico Bonito National Park is to hike up to the impressively high waterfall, ‘El Bejuco Falls’. You can easily spend half a day exploring the park and enjoying the outdoors. The hike takes about 3-4 hours round-trip, depending on your pace, of course. We stopped many times in order to take pictures or marvel at the different species of this rain forest, mainly birds and reptiles.

The 'Hammock Bridge' was a fun start for our hike...
I can hear the music of the ‘Indiana Jones’ movie…

After you have passed the entrance gate of the visitor center of the Cangrejal River, you have to cross an Indiana Jones-like bridge called ‘Puente Hamaca’ (Hammock Bridge). It is a great way to start the hike and gives you an idea of what you can expect inside the park. Further down the trail, you’ll get to jump over some small rocks and cross the river on fallen tree trunks. It’s not ‘a walk in the park’, but absolutely doable for a normal fit person. Make sure to bring plenty of water, as it is humid and hot in there…welcome to the jungle!

Beautiful water scenes in Pico Bonito National Park
Some parts of the trail get interrupted by some small rivers where you have to climb or jump…

At the entrance to the national park, you will be informed that the length of your hike will determine the price you pay. It is based on an honest report to the park officer, but I suggest to actually go all the way and then also pay the full price of 8 US dollars – because what’s the point of seeing only half of the park and missing the best part of this fun hike!?

Highlight of the trail: a gorgeous waterfall...
All the efforts pay off when you get to the end of the trail and stand right in front of the waterfall!

Where to stay while exploring Pico Bonito National Park

No need for walls, all common spaces are outdoor!
Cozy and yet high-class style: the open ‘living room’ of La Villa de la Soledad.

With so much action and excitement going on during the day, you probably want a nice and relaxing time once you’re at ‘home’. And this is exactly how we felt in our hotel ‘La Villa de la Soledad‘: at home. It is an oasis in the middle of the rainforest with grand walls and spacious outdoor sitting areas which makes it feel palace-like but cozy at the same time. The friendly Mexican-born owner John and his Honduran wife Soledad built the place in order to live there with their family and open a high-class option for tourists in this area.

A home away from home...
Comfy beds and private entrance to the outside space…

The bed and breakfast style hotel is only 9 km outside of La Ceiba inside the Pico Bonito National Park. From the hotel, you can actually walk in less than 5 minutes to the entrance of the visitor center to start you hike to the waterfall. From the property, you have amazing views into the rainforest and the Cangrejal River, which you can enjoy from one of John’s and Soledad’s hammocks. The hotel has five rooms that all have a private bathroom, and are decorated with original paintings by Honduran artists. From each room, you can access an outside area of the property, a very tranquil garden space with stunning views.

Great views and a nice spot to hang in...
Just outside our room, we had a hammock to relax after our daily activities…

The room comes with a delicious breakfast of freshly cut fruits, coffee, juice, and eggs with toast, prepared as you wish, and served at whatever time you require it in order get to your daytime activities. ‘La Villa de la Soledad’ is a very comfortable and relaxing option to stay while you explore Pico Bonito National Park. The owners are bilingual and are there to help you if have any questions or need help to organize your local activities. Our stay there made our trip to Pico Bonito National Park a completely amazing experience and gave us the perfect amount of relaxation aside our adventure activities.

No need for walls due to the great climate!
Open and spacious: the outside area of La Villa de la Soledad.

Have you been to Pico Bonito National Park? How was your experience?


Where to Stay in Copán while Visiting the Mayan Ruins

If you wonder where to stay in Copan, this place is really something you should consider: Don Udo’s Hotel is a very great choice. The nice and welcoming staff plus the hotel’s great location plays a big role in remembering Copan as a pleasant place. The hotel has all the commodities of a really decent mid to high-end hotel and adds to a good quality stay while visiting the ruins of Copán! Actually, it is one of the nicest accommodations that we have had in quite some time, so let’s give it a closer look and see why Don Udo’s Hotel makes it into our Reviews category.

View from the roof terrace
A little Oasis surrounded by ancient Mayan Ruins and beautiful mountain scenery…

Nice, clean and spacious Rooms

We stayed in one of the standard rooms with a Queen-size bed and had our own private bathroom enclosed. The rooms are normal sized, and leave enough room for two people in order to feel comfortable. All rooms come with a flat TV, a closet to store things and a really comfy bed. I loved the mattress and the pillows, it was really hard getting up in the morning and almost too tempting to stay in bed all day! When we came in late at night after a long trip from Guatemala, the shops in Copán were all closed, so it was great to find two welcoming water bottles next to our beds.

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Udo_1 - 18 bed

In general there are four different room categories: Two basic rooms which are referred to as ‘Backpacker rooms’ (even though these are no dorms and come with a double bed); a few Standard rooms with either Queen or Twin beds, four Junior Suits and one Suite. The rooms are all circled around the open patio in the middle of the hotel, so they are equally good located and all share the same view.

Suite in Don Udo's Hotel
We did not stay in the Suite, but got to take a look at it anyway 🙂

Dutch Owner with a Passion for Chocolate

We got the chance to talk to ‘Don Udo’ in person and it was a real pleasure hearing all about the hotel and his current project: Don Udo decided to transform one of the hotel rooms into a little chocolate fabric where he started making all sorts of different and very delicious chocolate. Being of Dutch heritage, it was almost no surprise to find them really tasty. We also got a sample of his dark and medium chocolates… we were very impressed how delicious chocolate can taste made in a hotel room!

Chocolate fabric in Don Udo's Hotel
Preparing heart-shaped chocolate for Valentine’s Day: Don Udo mixes talent with his passion for chocolate! The results are delicious…

He told us that there is no big chocolate production in Honduras even though the country has like its neighbour Guatemala one of finest cacao in the world. Yet, Honduras mostly exports the base for chocolatiers in Europe. After tasting Don Udo’s chocolate we can tell that his vision to become a chocolatier in Central America is a great idea! I loved the rich and very chocolaty taste and see high potential, yum!

Chocolate Tasting in Don Udo's chocolate fabric
One of my highlights, I must admit… REAL chocolate is so hard to find and this was absolutely delicious one!!!

Personal, friendly and very helpful staff

Like the Hotel Owner himself, so is his staff very polite and helpful. They definitely contribute to the nice and pleasant atmosphere of this place. It always makes you feel a little bit better when there is someone smiling at you after a long and exhausting trip. This was the case when we arrived late at night to Copan. We had a bit of a rocky start while crossing the border from Guatemala to Honduras and the girls at the reception were really friendly and helpful showing us a warm welcome. We heard from guests that sometimes during dinner time the kitchen crew comes out and gives a short round of applause. Small gestures like this, I guess, are part of the concept of the hotel, it has a very personal approach and lets you feel welcomed and at home.

Reception at Don Udo's Hotel
Welcoming and very friendly staff gives this place a special touch!


A place to chill and relax after visiting the Copán ruins

In general, there is a very relaxing and calming vibe in the hotel. It feels like a little oasis in the middle of busy Copán. The entrance area has a little pond and the sound of flowing water gives you instantly a feeling of tranquillity. The hotel was built by Don Udo 10 years ago which is why you can find some details that have a European touch. It’s neat and spacious and in the centre of the hotel, there is an open space. All rooms and other facilities are located around this area in the middle.

Don Udo's Hotel has a beautiful outside patio in the centre
The open-air patio in the middle of the hotel gives it a very nice and spacious feel.
Outdoor terrace with chill-out area
My favourite place…just me and the comfy hammock 🙂

Our room was on the second floor, so we had a view down from the little walkway to the outdoor inner space. Up, on this level, you also find a chill-out area where you can sit in and read or work. This common space was my favourite place (just after the bed) because of the hammocks to chill in. 😀 From up there we also had a wonderful view and felt the peaceful vibe even more than this hotel radiates. All in all, Copan was a great start to discovering a new country. We really enjoyed our first stop in Honduras and would come back any time, not only for the chocolate!!!

At Don Udo's Hotel you'll find excellent accommodation and delicious chocolate!
He got me on my sweet tooth…dark chocolate, semi-dark, milk chocolate, Don Udo has them all! Real Honduran chocolate made by a Dutch! The perfect combination for a delicious product!

Have you ever been to Honduras? Do you still wonder where to stay in Copan? Don’t look further and let me know how you liked it! Safe travels you all!



Check out what to do while you are in Copan – spoiler alert: it includes the Copan Ruins!

Or perhaps you’re headed to the coast and need a guide for the islands of Roatan and Utila?

While you are in Honduras, don’t skip one of their most beautiful corners, the Pico Bonito National Park!



Where to stay in Copan, Honduras


Thank you Don Udo for hosting us and letting us stay at your great hotel!
Like always, all opinion are MY OWN. So, to everyone else, no worries on biases or BS, you won’t find that here. I keep this real. Thanks for the support!