Triunfo de la Cruz, Tela, Atlántida, Tela is the first city of colonial origin in Honduran mainland. Cristopher Columbus founded it on May 3rd (Catholic festivity of the Cross), 1524 as “Villa del Triunfo de la Cruz”. The name of the city evolved to “Tela”, but on the shores of the Caribbean, just over 9 km northeast of the city, the town remained with the name Triunfo de la Cruz. It is the place that welcomes one of the most numerous Garifuna communities of the coast. It has approximately 2 km of relatively calm sea beach, where lodging and food services can be found.
Puerto Cortés, Cortés, is the most modern port city in Central America and was one of the first Spanish foundations in Honduras. Established in 1524 as Villa de Puerto Caballos, Puerto Cortés is a city that, while preserving its serene rhythm of life, has developed around this “Safe Harbor" - certified for trade with the United States -, its industrial parks and maquilas. In "El Puerto" you have an interesting option for day trips from San Pedro Sula - just 55 km away - or to enjoy the beach, the Garifuna cuisine and culture, or the variety of species of birds that live in the mangroves of Laguna de Alvarado. The Municipal Beach and the Cieneguita are two of the best options to enjoy the Caribbean sun with a view of the port. Going a little further, you arrive in about 20 minutes to the Garifuna communities of Travesía and Bajamar, where you can try Garifuna dishes made in wood ovens. You can also book a guided tour of the National Port Company.
Península de Punta Sal, Tela, Atlántida, is part of the Jeannette Kawas National Park, which is one of the parks with the greatest riches and scenic beauty on the north coast. The peninsula of Punta Sal has six beaches with white sand, transparent waters and coral reefs. Not only is swimming in these waters a gift from nature, but fishing as well. Besides, the wildlife is spectacular: it includes several species such as jaguars, howler monkeys and boas, among others.
Comunidades Garífunas de Travesía y Bajamar, Puerto Cortés, Cortés, Found on the west coast of the municipality, they are two very popular towns, specially for local tourists during the holidays, such as Easter. Though relatively far from the port, these communities are easily accessible, safe and also have basic services (drinking water and electricity). They cover an area of approximately 10 kilometers of sandy beaches, sun and beautiful sea, where you can find restaurants, hotels and other various sale points. They’re main attraction is the closeness that can be enjoyed with the Garifuna community, as they’re enveloped in its culture and customs: the “punta” rhythms with unique instruments (such as snail or turtle shells), coconut and seafood flavors, and guifiti, a drink made from a mixture of herbs, roots, spices and brandy.
Cayos de Utila, Utila, Bay Islands, are a group of 13 small cays in the southwestern part of the island. The main two, Suc-Suc (Pigeon) and Jewel Cay, are home to local fishermen who are descendants of the first settlers who arrived in the first half of the 19th century from the Cayman Islands. Ragged Key is a shelter for countless species of birds, which add to the impressive Caribbean landscape, whose waters are visited by dolphins, turtles and several other marine species. In 1992, the keys are officially declared Wildlife Refuge. Most of the keys are private, but several can be visited. Water Key is a deserted point of white sand and tropical vegetation in the Caribbean where you can enjoy a dream beach, crystal clear waters that can be traveled by snorkeling, and isolation, which turns into a massive party the first weekend of August during the Sun Jam festival.
Coca Cola Beach, Puerto Cortés, Cortés, Located near the community of Cieneguita in Puerto Cortés, the Coca Cola beaches are the port’s most famous and visited. These municipal beaches have a number of restaurants and bars where you can have lunch during your stay in the area. They got their name because the Coca Cola deposit is located precisely in this sector of the port. During weekends and holidays, these beaches are frequented by "porteños" (as locals are known) as well as by vacationers from San Pedro Sula and other cities of the country.
San Lorenzo, Valle, is the most active city of Valle. It got its name from the Christian martyr. It is one of the main entry and exit doors for products in the Honduran Pacific, and source of economic income for the city. Along with the port, the shrimp and salt industries have made San Lorenzo a thriving, enterprising and artistic city. Proof of that are its multiple plazas with sculptures of marine themes, such as El Tiburón, El Camarón, El Pelicano and the Plaza de Puerto Viejo, as well as the fully refurbished central park.
Trujillo, Colón, Far from the traditional tourist routes, in a deep bay and with perhaps the most beautiful beaches of mainland Honduras, Trujillo awaits wrapped in the wildlife of the Guaymoreto Lagoon and the Capiro and Calentura peaks. It has a busy colonial past, in the midst of onslaughts by privateers and pirates. That is why the Fortress of Santa Barbara is built there, from where it later resists buccaneers and filibusters. In the transition into the twentieth century and its first decades, it lives a prosperous banana production season, which eventually comes to pass as companies leave. The least known fact about Trujillo is that it also has a rich pre-Columbian past, yet to be investigated. In addition to its history and the lively culture of its Garifuna communities, in Trujillo there can be found the Campamento and Santa Fe beaches, mantles of calm transparent waters tinged with turquoise; the biodiversity of the Guaymoreto Lagoon mangroves merging with the Caribbean and the jungle of the Capiro and Calentura National Park; and a pier for cruises.
Omoa, Cortés, The Caribbean retreats a few miles and inland shores to the Honduran coast at Omoa Bay. The surf is calm, the waters deep and the sunsets are the kind that deserves expanding the photos taken. In this natural refuge stands the Fort of San Fernando de Omoa, built by the Spanish to defend themselves against pirates and corsairs. This stone and coral trench facing the sea is the main military construction of the Honduran colonial era. As you walk through it, it invites you to imagine how life could be among its thick stone walls. Omoa also offers you the forest, zoo, pools and cabins of the San Ignacio Children's Park; the mountain, waterfalls and canopy of Rawacala Eco Tour; the municipal beaches and those of nearby communities such as La Masca, which bring forth the opportunity to visit a Garifuna community and discover the seasoning of the coastal seafood and fish cuisine.
Zona sur, Honduras extends into the Pacific in a brief coast and numerous islands and islets distributed in the Gulf of Fonseca. The south is a zone with high temperatures that can be traveled with several interests in mind. If you are looking for colonial architecture, plan a route through the churches of Pespire, Langue, Nacaome and Choluteca, most of them very well preserved. If you want different flavors, a similar route takes you between donuts, tustacas and quesadillas (all made from corn and cheese); and the soups and seafood of San Lorenzo, which, along with curiles and helmets (which you only find in the area), offers you an original seasoning for crabs, shrimp, fish and seafood soup.
Sambo Creek, La Ceiba, Atlántida, If you look for the place with more Garifunas in Honduras, 20 minutes from La Ceiba (15 km), heading for Trujillo, you arrive at the village that also has the best dances and dance groups in the area. If the best beats are enjoyed by being heard or in movement, the flavors of authentic Garifuna cuisine add another sense to your experience at Sambo Creek. The Kabasa restaurant and the Tourist Center are two good options. Here you enjoy fish, seafood and soups, coconut milk, cassava, ‘machuca’ and cazabe, among the hospitality of a friendly and open community that shows you their own houses, the best points of a beach that seems made with flour and leads you to Cayos Cochinos or Cocoa Lagoon. Do not leave without trying the guifity, a mixture of herbs and rum to which many effects are attributed. You can arrive by car, bus or taxi, and also go by boat with experiences, shared and to be shared later.
Paseo Turístico de los Ceibeños, La Ceiba, Atlántida, (or Ceibeños’ Tourist Promenade)is a place located at the edge of the sea, where you can spend a good time with family and friends, and enjoy a beautiful landscape and sunsets. It has a tourist hostel where you can take photographs with the immense sea in the background, and taste different dishes as several restaurants and food sales can be found around. It is equipped with furniture to provide comfort to residents and tourists who visit the site. Wide sidewalks were made along the promenade for walking, benches were set for a quiet rest while watching the landscape, and it is lit with lanterns during the nights, besides having bathrooms, fresh water faucets to remove salt water, games for children and a parking lot.
The Pumpkin Hill, Utila, is famous for being the highest point in Utila and the first visible part of the island when approaching by sea from any direction. Around the area, basaltic lavas and tuff were erupted on a coral-crowned erosive surface, creating interesting rock formations that vary in colors from salmon pink, where volcanic ash has combined with fossilized corals, to the black dark blue of the basalt formations. During the millennium, decayed tropical vegetation has combined with eroded rocks to form a rich alluvial-type soil layer around the base of the hill, that eventually turns to sandy terrain on the small plateau before reaching the coast.
Deena Beach, Guanaja, Bay Islands, is a paradisiacal bank on the northern side of the island, with white sand, a calm and transparent sea, an almost virgin pine forest and a breathtaking view of a deserted bay. To reach this beautiful beach you will have to cross unexplored landscapes whose beauty rivals that of any of its sister islands.
El Soldado Beach, Guanaja, Bay Islands, is ideal to spend a good time enjoying nature’s harmony. You can relax on the white edges of the beach and soak up the sun, take a dip in the calm, clear waters and watch adventurous little fish that approach the shore of the beach.
Laguna de Alvarado, Puerto Cortés, Cortés, is a more generous landscape than one might suppose. It does not settle for being a freshwater anteroom to the Caribbean of Puerto Cortés: it keeps a mangrove forest and varied trees around alive and is home or temporary refuge for several species of aquatic birds. The mirror of fresh water on which one passes to enter Puerto Cortes doubles the sky, the sun and the vegetation that breathes at its shores, to offer again reflected on the water the life of who is looking at it. If a boat tour is hired to travel through it, you can visit the Chamber channel, populated with thick vegetation on both sides, and calculate the sunset’s time so it arrives while still on the water. The sunset’s shades in Puerto Cortés are worth the moment.
La Ceiba, Atlántida, is the capital of the Honduran Caribbean, carnival bride, terrace to the sea, dance floor, adventure shuttle, ground floor and anteroom of rich natural treasures. The port city of La Ceiba is born around an immense ceiba, the sacred tree of the Mayas, at the end of the 19th century. Here, hospitable and cheerful people await you, besides the opportunity to enjoy the sun at the sea, or explore the richness of the natural parks, reef, mountain and mangrove that envelop it. Its viewpoint, perhaps the highest mountain on the Caribbean, is a tropical forest from where adventure-drenched currents come down.
Eco Parque Infantil San Ignacio, Omoa, Cortés, is a private forest reserve that also has a zoo, with various native and other exotic animal species. One can also enjoy the pools and have a fun time while going down the slides. It has cabins of different sizes for those who want to spend the night.
Chepes Beach, Utila, Bay Islands, is the best beach in Utila. Its crystalline waters of perfect temperature, along with the white sand and palm trees, will make you feel paradise does exist. Located 20 minutes after the end of the houses on the only main street of Utila.
Playa Negra, Valle, Located in front of the Gulf of Fonseca, Playa Negra is very popular due to its gentle waves and easy access. Its sunsets are one of the most romantic panoramas and ideal for photography. Likewise the starry sky at night is impressive. From the beach, Volcán Cosigüina can be seen, as well as the territory of the brother country of El Salvador.
Turtle Harbor Park, Utila, Bay Islands, is a Protected Wild Area, of 934.09 ha, consisting especially of wetlands that are mixed with flood savannahs, mangroves, mixed forests and tic woods. It includes a sandy beach front among other areas. The peculiarity of this protected area lies in its dependence on the water regime, since its ecological structure is cemented in the presence of this element. It is also a site of great importance for several groups of vertebrates among which migratory birds and the Utila iguana stand out. This protected area has excellent potential for sustainable tourism use due to the nature of the habitats that it includes and its scenic beauty.
Tela, Atlántida, is one of the main cities of Atlantida. It keeps under the same Caribbean sun: a kingdom of adventure - on land or water - in its two national parks and botanical garden; a collection of blues, that only starts on its beaches, and another of natural forms in its reef. All of this with the Caribbean flavors of the ‘machuca’ and rice and beans, amidst Garifuna rhythms - a culture that is an Intangible Heritage of Humanity and lives on the fine sand of villages like Tornabé, San Juan, The Ensenada and Triunfo de la Cruz.