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Travel Guide to La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras

Map of the Area

La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery
  • La Ceiba city 640 km2 (250 sq mi)
  • Average 20.7°C (69.3°F)
  • UTC (GMT) -6 hrs
  • The Lempira (HNL) L23.4 = $1 USD.
  • Spanish
  • La Ceiba 204,140 (2015)
  • 15°46′N 86°50′W

La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras

Natural wonders and adventures abound

La Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras, and is probably the country's most vibrant. A relatively young city, it got its name from a huge Ceiba tree that was next to the beach and provided shade to the workers at the dock and locals during the afternoon. It is the capital of the department of Atlantida, one of the 18 departments of Honduras, and gateway to the Bay Islands. But La Ceiba is a lot more than a port city with lots of hospitality and charm. It has the potential to develop into the Ecotourism Capital in Central America. The Pico Bonito National Park, Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and the Cayos Cochinos Marine Reserve are but a few of the many nature attractions available at just a short distance from the city.

La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery

Main Attractions in La Ceiba Region

Nature and Adventure

Honduras is not just world famous for its diving, it also offers a wealth of other natural attractions, wildlife and culture treasures that draw tourists from all over the world. The country hosts 15 national parks, 2 biosphere reserves, and 10 biological reserves. The Pico Bonito National Park, Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and the Cayos Cochinos Marine Reserve are but a few of the many nature attractions available at just a short distance from the city of La Ceiba at Honduras' Caribbean Coast. Please click on the link below to see what this region in particular has to offer you.

 

HISTORY

In 1872 Manuel Hernandez built a small shack under the Ceiba tree that was at one point by the old docks. Over time, more and more people from all over present-day Honduras (especially the departments of Olancho and Santa Barbara), and from around the world settled in La Ceiba. These people were attracted by the cultivation of bananas that became popular in the region. In the late 19th century, the banana business caught the attention of big North American banana companies such as the Vaccaro Brothers' Standard Fruit Company from New Orleans. This new economic activity attracted national and international immigrants to La Ceiba. The current neighbourhood known as Barrio Ingles was the first recognised neighbourhood in the city and was named so because of the number of English speaking people living in the barrio. At that point the main thorougfare of La Ceiba was present-day Avenida La Republica, which is where the train tracks were set. These train tracks were built by the Standard Fruit Company (now Standard Fruit de Honduras, a Dole subsidiary). This company was largely responsible for the early growth of the city.

La Ceiba was declared a municipality on 23 August 1877. At that time Marco Aurelio Soto was the Honduras President. La Ceiba was the centre of banana and pineapple business and the regional economy depended largely on it. This led to the birth of newer and larger national companies such as: Cerveceria Hondureña, the national brewing company and holder of the Coca-Cola licence in Honduras. Founded in 1918 Fabrica de Manteca y Jabon Atlantida, known as La Blanquita, at one point, the largest producer of consumer goods in Honduras, now defunct. Banco Atlantida, oldest Bank in the country, founded in 1913 Mazapan School, the first bilingual school of the nation, the oldest high school and second oldest elementary school in the city.

The first municipal building or city hall was located in the corner of 2da Calle and Avenida Atlantida, where the present day Ferreteria Kawas warehouse is. The building was made of wood and in 1903 it was burnt down due to vandalism from people wanting to get rid of private property ownership records in La Ceiba. The municipal building was again set on fire on 7 March 1914. The Municipal Corporation moved the offices more south of the city where it was again set on fire in 1924. It was shortly built in its current location, a piece of land donated by Manuel Mejia.

 

La Ceiba City, Honduras

Useful information and places of interest

La Ceiba's central park is a pleasant shaded area with many of the hotels and restaurants nearby, and is only a few blocks from 1a Calle on the beach. Most banks are located either on the main square or on the Avenida San Isidro.

Credit card holders can get cash at the following places: Credomatic, located on Avenida San Isidro, opposite from the Hotel Iberia, honors Visa, Master card, JCB, and American Express. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 PM. Saturdays from 8:00 to 12:00 PM. Also Visa card holders can go to Honducard, on Avenida San Isidro next to the Farmacia Aurora. Open 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00.

Money exchange can be arranged at all banks, as well as at Master Cambia, across from the Hotel Iberia on Av. San Isidro, open from 8:30 am to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. Another alternative for money exchange is the Supermercado Los Almendros, located at the Hotel Principe in downtown La Ceiba. Normally they offer the same exchange as you will get at the banks.

Getting around La Ceiba is easy. You can walk around town, and there are plenty of taxis that charge a very low fare, making it a preferred mode of transportation. La Ceiba is perhaps the best communicated city in Honduras. The largest domestic air carrier , Isleña Airlines has its operations hub here, and from here you can fly to Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choluteca, Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, Trujillo, as well as the Miskito Coast. Aerolineas Sosa, Atlantic Airlines and Rollins Air also have their main bases in La Ceiba.

La Ceiba is famous for its Carnival week , which takes place during the Month of May to celebrate the patron saint, San Isidro. Although the word carnival should not be interpreted in the same sense as the Carnivals in New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, but more as a large party, this is without doubt the largest and most important celebration held regularly in Central America. During the week of Carnival, different sectors of town organize night long parties with live bands, plenty of food and drinks is available and there is a very festive atmosphere.

La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park - Travel Guide - Tropical Discovery

Tours Sugeridos en la Región de La Ceiba</h3

Rivers, National Parks, Birds, Butterflies

En la Ceiba es bastante fácil movilizarse. Existen dos avenidas paralelas principales que corren perpendicular a la línea costera. La Avenida de San Isidro y el 14 de Julio. La mayoría de las calles están numeradas con la primera calle corriendo adyacente a la costa. La zona viva, es donde se encuentran la mayoría de restaurantes y vida nocturna. Por favor haga clic abajo para más puntos de interés y más información sobre La Ceiba.

Honduras is not just world famous for its diving, it also offers a wealth of other natural attractions, wildlife and culture treasures that draw tourists from all over the world. The country hosts 15 national parks, 2 biosphere reserves, and 10 biological reserves.

Tropical Discovery is offering you a variety of tours for all interests to discover the entire splendor of the La Ceiba region:.

  • Unquestionably on of the most diverse parks in Honduras, Pico Bonito covers an extension of land that goes from sea level to as high as 2,378 meters and in effect boasts the largest change of altitude in Honduras. Named after the mountain that lies just south of La Ceiba, Pico Bonito has become a landmark for La Ceiba, and without doubt plays an important role of making La Ceiba an important eco-tourism destination in the years to come. Although access to the park is quite limited, it is possible to visit some of the lower parts of the park. We will drive between pineapple plantations before arriving at the Finca, from where you will have a 20 to 30 minutes hike to a small but very pretty waterfall. From this fall and about one hour hike up into the mountain you will reach another much larger fall. As you climb up into the mountain, you will find incredible views of the Caribbean coast, and if you climb high enough, you will even see the Bay Islands in the distance.

    Please inquire for details and pricing * Includes: Private transport, expert bilingual guide, entrance fees, snack and soft drink.

  • We start with a 30 minutes drive on the road to Cangrejal River, up to a specific point where the zipline begins. At this stage, a professional guide provides us with the harnesses, helmet, and all neccessary gear. After some basic explanation and practice with the security cable, the tour guide helps us up the main cable on the first platform, then we slide down right on top of the river. Afterwards we hike for about 15 minutes to reach the second platform on top of a tree, from this point you will enjoy a magnificent view of the tropical jungle. We fly through the forest sliding down from tree to tree hanging from the cables, until reaching the last one which crosses the river from side to side to get to the starting point. Here we will rest for a while relaxing and enjoying some snacks and soft drinks by the river. Later on, we will optionally enjoy a refreshing swim in a natural pond surrounded by enormous rocks, prior to a late departure back to La Ceiba.

    Please inquire for details and pricing * Includes: Private transport, expert bilingual guide, entrance fees, snack and soft drink.

  • Some of the best white water rafting in Central America can be done right here in La Ceiba. The Cangrejal River offers class II, III and IV rapids, all within a short 45 minutes distance from downtown La Ceiba. In addition to the rapids the Pico Bonito national park can be found right there. This National Park features more than 7 different ecosystems because of its changing altitude, offering you an insight into the lush green forests of Honduras. A snack is included in the tour, which is guided by expert river rafter with years of experience.

    Please inquire for details and pricing *Includes: Private transport, expert bilingual guide, entrance fees and snack. *Minimum age: 10 years.

  • Located only 30 km west of la Ceiba, this wildlife refuge is especially dedicated to the preservation of the habitat for the endangered manatee. It is located in the area between the Cuero and the Salado Rivers, hence the name of the reserve. Access to the reserve is via "burra" or hand powered railroad flatcar along the tracks of an old banana train of the Standard Fruit Co. Once within the reserve, we will take a boat tour, where with luck we will see different species: monkeys as well as a variety of seabirds. The park protects about 35 species of animals, including manatees, jaguars, jabirus, whiteface monkeys and other species of monkeys, as well as alligators and a great diversity of fish species. The area is also rich in bird life, with 198 different species (about 28% of the total birds species found in Honduras).

    Please Inquire for details and pricing *Includes: Private transport, expert bilingual guide, entrance fees and snack.

  • The Hog Keys, or Cayos Cochinos are a unique set of keys located only a few km from the coast. They have been declared a national park by the Honduras Government and patrimony of humanity by the UNESCO. The reserve, managed by the Smithsonian Institute of Washington DC has limited access, and includes both the unique reefs, part of the second largest barrier reef in the world, and the vegetation and wildlife of the keys. Our tour is by boat from La Ceiba, and includes lunch at a local restaurant and snorkeling equipment. In addition we will hike one of the trails on the keys, giving you an example of the natural richness of the marine reserve.

    Please inquire for details and pricing * Includes: Private transport, expert bilingual guide, entrance fees and lunch. * Recommended depature: 7:30 a.m. (depending on tides)

* Please note: Information on this page is believed to be correct but not guaranteed

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Pico Bonito Lodge La Ceiba & Pico Bonito National Park Honduras

The Lodge at Pico Bonito is a luxury nature resort located on Honduras' Caribbean coast only 30 minutes from the La Ceiba International Airport and nestled within the magnificent rainforest of the Pico Bonito National Park.

avg/night$225.00 SELECT

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