Utila, the smallest of the Bay Islands

We're going to talk a little bit about Utila, which is the third largest island of Honduras' Bay Islands. The largest island is Roatan, followed by Guanaja. We have talked about Roatan and Guanaja in previous posts on this site, and we can´t help to include a post about Utila, so here we go.

Utila is very near to La Ceiba, of all the Bay Islands Utila is the one which is closer to Honduras mainland. You can clearly see in the following map the location of Utila, very near to La Ceiba as we said before. In a normal sunny day you can see the island of Utila from La Ceiba.

Utila is a small island, it is about 7 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. The cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are much larger than Utila. Another characteristic of the island is that it's almost completely flat, there are no mountains in Utila, which is a major difference compared to the other Bay Islands as Roatan and Guanaja. The highest peak in Utila is about 80 feet high, it is called "Pumpkin Hill". Several buildings in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are much higher than this peak. If you´re looking for ecotourism in the mountains of the Bay Islands you should go Roatan and Guanaja. Utila is mostly a destination for beaches and diving.

Divers from all over the world who visit the Bay Islands enjoy a lot the diving spots in Utila. In the diving world Utila is known for being the cheapest place in the world where you can get an official scuba diving certificate. So, now you know that if you are short in your travel budget and still want to get a scuba diving certificate, Utila is the place to get it.

In order to get to Utila the most common way to get there is taking a ferry boat from La Ceiba, it´s about 1 hour trip. There are ferry trips in the morning and in the afternoons as well. You can also get to Utila taking a boat from Roatan. You can also fly to Utila, there is a small local airport for small aircrafts, however they don´t have daily flights in their schedule. As far as I know, the flight schedule is only available once a week on Saturdays. So if you want to get to Utila by air, you will arrive on Saturday, stay the whole week in Utila and depart next saturday.

One of the main advantages of Utila for being such a small island is that most places are within walking distance. You can easily walk all over the island, there is a main street that runs all along the island. You won´t go uphill or downhill, remember that Utila is completely flat. Many tourists in Utila enjoy a lot taking walking tours all over the island.

If you ever go to Utila you will find visitors from all over the world, most of them are tourists and visitors who just love diving. Utila is a paradise for diving. The coral reef in Utila is just incredible, and it is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world only after Australia. That barrier reef is just right there in Utila, as it is in Roatan and Guanaja as well. But most divers agree that the barrier reef has something special in Utila.

Pristine Bay Resort in Roatan

I'm not sure if you´re aware that Roatan is not only a destination for visitors looking to enjoy diving activities, beaches, coral reef and ecotourism. There is a new resort and infrastructure development in the north shore of the island called Pristine Bay Resort, and the main attraction on this resort is a Golf Course, so Roatan is now a golf destination as well.

The resort has been in construction for the last couple of years, and the golf course is already open to visitors from all over the world. The name of this golf course is "The Black Pearl", it sounds familiar, doesn´t it?. It´s a name pretty easy to remember, you just have to relate this name with the famous movie "Pirates of the Caribbean", do you remember what was the name of Jack Sparrow's ship?. Well, the name of that ship was "The Black Pearl". The movie has nothing to do with Roatan and this resort, it is only a coincidence.

This type of golf destinations is something pretty new in Honduras, there are not many golf courses in Honduras, not until now with the golf course at Pristine Bay Resort in Roatan.

There will be another golf course opening soon at Los Micos Beach Resort in Tela, and hopefully golf fans and players from all over the world will have a new alternative in Honduras as a golf destination.

Pristine Bay is located in the north shore of the island of Roatan, it´s not very far away from Coxen Hole and Roatan International Airport as you can see in the following map. The town of French Harbor is very near to this area.

The Pristine Bay area is really beautiful, and it had to be beautiful as most places are in Roatan. The natural landscape at this area will definitely take your breath away.

Expectations for this resort in the next few years is to become one of the main golf destinations in the Caribbean.

With this type of developments and resorts, Roatan is becoming one of the most desired destinations in the Caribbean for tourists from all over the world. A few years ago not many people knew about Roatan, but now it´s a complete different story. The challenge now for us the Honduran people is to spread the word that Roatan is part of Honduras, Roatan belongs to Honduras.

Did you know that hundreds and even thousands of tourists go to Roatan without realizing that Roatan is part of Honduras? Many tourists just know that Roatan is an island in the Caribbean, but many of them are not aware that the island belongs to Honduras, incredible isn´t it?

Well, good for the Pristine Bay Resort, one more travel destination in Roatan. Now you know that you can play golf in one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Caribbean if you ever visit Roatan.

The symbol of Tegucigalpa is to be chosen

Over the last few days a contest was recently launched in Tegucigalpa, the contest is for choosing the symbol that is most representative for Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. This initiative was launched in the month of August 2011, and the objective of the contest is to choose from popular voting what is the most important symbol of the city as part of the celebrations of a new anniversary of the city in September 2011.

The city of Tegucigalpa was founded in September 29, 1578, so the city will be celebrating this month of September 2011 its 433rd anniversary. We have to say that this contest doesn´t have the official nationwide category some other contests have had in Honduras, as the recent contest for choosing the 30 Honduran Wonders, which was an official contest from the Government of Honduras, the 30 Wonders are to be named so by a law decree from the Government.

This contest about the symbol of Tegucigalpa was launched by the local Municipality of Tegucigalpa, and sponsored by the local newsapaper El Heraldo, and a few other companies and organizations who want to emphazise the importance of declaring the symbol that people in Tegucigalpa feel more proud of. We could say the contest is somehow official in Tegucigalpa

The contest is mainly addressed for the people who actually live in Tegucigalpa, or people who live somewhere else but were born in Tegucigalpa. However everybody in Honduras is invited to participate. Most people in Honduras know about the symbols that right now are part of the final list, and most people also have a good feeling abut what each and every symbol represents to the city.

In Tegucigalpa there are many monuments, statues and buildings that represent the spirit of the city, however the final list for this contest has only 12 symbols, one of those 12 symbols will be the winner.

The final list is the following:

- El Picacho Christ: it is a statue of a Risen Christ in the top of El Picacho mountain. You can see the statue from most parts of the city. It was inaugurated in 1998 and it is somehow similar to the Risen Christ of El Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro.

- Statue of General Morazan: it is a statue of General Morazan riding a horse, it is located in the Central Park, and has been there since the year 1883.

- The Cathedral: is the House of the Patron Saint of Tegucigalpa, Saint Michael. The Cathedral is a beautiful building in the Central Park of Tegucigalpa, and it was built from the year 1765 to the year 1786.

- Monument to Peace: it is located in the popular hill of Juana Lainez, it was built in the year 1948. This monument and the hill of Juana Lainez can be seen almost from any part of the city.

- Suyapa Basilica: this is the biggest catholic church in Honduras, it´s the house of the Virgin Mary of Suyapa, who is also known as the Mother of all Honduran people. The first foundation stone was laid in the year 1954, and the church has been under construction for several decades. It´s an amazing building, and has hosted many religious celebrations, including the only visit to Honduras of Pope John Paul II in the year 1983.

- National Stadium: the football or soccer stadium was inaugurated in the year 1948, the official name of the stadium is Tiburcio Carias Andino Stadium, who was the president of Honduras back in those years.

- Mallol Bridge: this bridge has been a connection for crossing the "Rio Grande" or "Big River" between Tegucigalpa and its twin sister city, Comayaguela, since the year 1821. The bridge was inaugurated just before Honduras became an independent country from Spain in that same year of 1821. This bridge is an incredible piece of engineering art, it has been there for 190 years and not even Hurricane Mitch back in 1998 was able to destroy it. Many other bridges in Tegucigalpa just collapsed with Hurricane Mitch when the furious waters of Rio Grande completely swept them, but not Mallol Bridge, it is still there, and according to the people in Tegucigalpa this bridge will be there forever.

- The Obelisk: located in the historical downtown area of Comayaguela, which is Tegucigalpa's twin sister city. The obelisk was built for celebrating the first 100 years of independence from Spain.

- Manuel Bonilla National Theatre: this is the highest seat and place for art and culture in Honduras, it was inaugurated on the independence day of September 15, 1915.

- Old Presidential House: it used to be the President's office from the year 1925 to the year 1992, it is located right in the heart of Tegucigalpa's downtown, only 3 blocks away from the Central Park. At the present time it is the Museum of Republican History.

- Toncontin Airport: since the 1930's has been the airport of Tegucigalpa. Even with all the problems it has up to the point it was named the 2nd most extreme airport in the world by the History Channel, people in Tegucigalpa feel very proud about it. Landing at this airport is a unique experience.

- La Concordia Park: it's a small scale replica of the archaeological site of Copan Ruins, located in the downtown area of Tegucigalpa. It was originally baptized with the name of Bogran Park in 1883. However, since 1939 the name was changed to La Concordia Park.

Ok, the voting process is under way, it´s time to vote. I've not decided yet which is my favorite symbol, all of them are part of Tegucigalpa's history. It´s not going to be easy for me to choose one of them, as for most people in Tegucigalpa.

May the best symbol win, it will be very interesting, don´t you think?

Brief information on Santa Rosa de Copan

I was taking a quick look at some previous posts on this website, and I've just realized that so far I have not included information about one of the most important cities in Honduras, I'm talking about Santa Rosa de Copan. Any site offering information about our country Honduras, has to include Santa Rosa de Copan, and this website is no exception. So here we go, let´s talk a little bit about Santa Rosa de Copan.

Well, let me tell you that Santa Rosa de Copan is the most important and largest city in the western region of Honduras. It is the departmental capital of the department of Copan. We have to say that the whole region of Copan in general is mainly known because of the archaeological mayan site in Copan Ruins, and many visitors and tourists all over the world visit Honduras just to make a trip to the mayan ruins, but many of them just get to the ruins, visit the archaeological site and go back without making a visit to Santa Rosa de Copan.

If you ever come to Honduras and want to visit the mayan ruins, you should also make a quick trip to Santa Rosa de Copan, it's a very beautiful city. Most people going to the mayan ruins make a road trip from San Pedro Sula, it´s a 2 and a half hours drive. When you go from San Pedro Sula to Copan, at some point in the road you will get to the town of "La Entrada", which means "The Entrance". There is a deviation at La Entrada, if you take the road to the right you will go to Copan Ruins. However, if you don´t take the road to the right and just drive through in the main road, you will get to Santa Rosa de Copan.

From La Entrada to Santa Rosa de Copan is a 30 minutes drive, just about the same distance there is from La Entrada to Copan Ruins. However, they are in opposite directions, I mean Copan Ruins and Santa Rosa de Copan are completely apart. When you are in La Entrada and continue your trip, either you go to Copan Ruins or Santa Rosa de Copan, it´s not the same road.

The road going to Santa Rosa de Copan is also the same road you need to take in order to go to Gracias, in the department of Lempira, which is another colonial and historical city in the western region of Honduras.

Anyway, about Santa Rosa de Copan there are a few things you need to know. It is the largest city in western Honduras as we said before. It´s like a combination of a little city and a colonial town. Every year the city is getting bigger and bigger, however it still remains as a colonial town.

The city was founded in the year of 1705, so it is little bit over 300 years old. The downtown area in Santa Rosa de Copan has been declared a national monument because of the architecture found in many buildings and churches, it falls into the category of Neoclassical architecture. For people who love this type of architecture, Santa Rosa de Copan is definitely a place to visit.

The city is located in a very beautiful spot into the mountains, most of the streets in downtown area are cobblestone streets, with uphills and downhills. The weather in Santa Rosa is cool most time of the year, not very hot and not very cold. How would you like to live in a city where the temperature is about 70 degrees Farenheit most time of the year?. That´s the average temperature in Santa Rosa, it's just great, isn´t it?

Santa Rosa de Copan is located in a very strategic place for people who want to visit not only the mayan ruins, but also the colonial and historical city of Gracias Lempira, and Celaque National Park. There are many places to see in this beautiful region of Honduras, many people visit this region during several days in order to make visits to all those places, and Santa Rosa de Copan is the perfect place to stay for people willing to get to know all those interesting places for quite a few days.

Another thing you should know about Santa Rosa de Copan is that Cigar and Tobacco industries are established there since the 19th century, the cigars at Santa Rosa de Copan are supposed to be the best cigars in Honduras. In fact, they are considered to be some of the finest cigars in the world according to the local people, they are really proud of their cigars. Tobacco is an important part of the local history in Santa Rosa de Copan.

There is much more to say about Santa Rosa de Copan, we'll get back to this city in future posts, we have much more information to share.

Los Micos Beach Resort in Tela

During several years we the people in Honduras have been hearing about a touristic project in the Bay of Tela. This story comes from 40 or so years ago, so it´s been a long time. We all know in Honduras that some sort of a touristic development project is coming to the Bay of Tela, but so far it´s been only the idea but no real facts.

However, right now it seems that this project is finally becoming a reality, and it´s soon to be finished in the first stage. Not many people in Honduras really believed this project was ever going to become true.

What is this project about?. Well, the project is an infrastructure and touristic development in the west part of Tela Bay, right beside the Lagoon of Los Micos, which is a very beautiful spot and natural reserve. "Los Micos" means "The Monkeys", they are a special kind of long tailed monkeys that live in that area, the lagoon is very beautiful.

In the following map you can clearly see the location of this project, it's near the villages of San Juan and Tornabe, and near Punta Sal and Jeanette Kawas Natural Park at the west end of Tela Bay. The name of the project is "Los Micos Beach & Golf Resort", and as we said before, it´s soon to become a reality. In fact, it has been under construction during the last couple of years.

There is a lot of money invested on this project. So far in the first stage the investment has been about 110 million dollars for basic infrastructure works, which also includes a Golf course and a five stars Hotel with 120 rooms. This first stage is supposed to be finished and ready to be opened to the public and visitors in December 2012. So time is running fast and we only are just 15 or 16 months before opening day.

There is a second stage coming soon, with additional 150 million dollars of investment, which includes another hotel with 300 rooms, and also the construction of a housing complex and apartment buildings, and commercial areas as well.

One of the main attractions of this resort will be the Golf Course, which has been designed by an international firm under the lead of a famous golf player named Gary Player from South Africa. The golf course will have a 2 miles long direct view of the Caribbean Sea. Once it is finished and opened to the pubic, this golf course is supposed to become one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, at least that is what the developers say, and they may be right in their expectations because this part of the Tela Bay is really beautiful. If they achieve a good combination of the golf course design with the beauty of the natural landscapes in this area, anything is possible.

In a recent presentation of the project somewhere in USA, Gary Player said: "This is a fantastic project, and we're all very excited about it. This will be our first golf course in Central America and the natural landscape is very beautiful. There will be long tailed monkeys actually living in the golf course, mangrove swamps and native trees, all this will give a wonderful appearance to the general design. And also the beach that will directly come into play in many of the 18 holes".

I´m not very much of a golf fan myself, but with this description from Gary Player I'm sure that golf fans from all over the world will be looking very close to this new destination at Los Micos Beach Resort. So far Honduras doesn´t have that background of a golf destination, but hopefully this will be a new type of tourism coming to Honduras in the next few years.

With this new resort right in the very heart of a natural park and reserve, you can imagine how hard has been the environmental impact and mitigation measures that had to be taken into account. It´s really hard to develop such a magnificent and big resort in a protected area, there is the need to have a balance between nature and infrastructure development.

This is a region that Honduras definitely has to take advantage of in order to increase the industry of tourism, resort developments like this one is something that Honduras needs for creating new jobs and bring development to this part of the country. However this type of developments definitely have to comply with all necessary requirements in order to avoid real damages to the natural environment. This impact to the natural environment has been one of the main reasons for a project like this had to wait 40 year to finally become a reality. Hopefully we will have a great resort with no major environmental impact to this region.

In the next few years some additional infrastructure developments will be needed in order to complement the investments in this region. There is a project in the near future for the construction of a highway with 2 lanes in each direction from El Progreso to Tela. With this new highway the time from San Pedro Sula driving to Los Micos Beach Resort will be less than 1 hour.

We'll be talking in future posts about this project in Los Micos Lagoon, we´ll see if it really opens to the public and visitors next year 2012. In the meantime, there is always the chance to go and visit this area. However, for getting there you need to take a boat from Tela and get to Punta Sal and enjoy mother nature. You also can drive with some precautions because the unpaved roads are not in very good condition, but all this is part of the attractiveness of this region.

Independence Day in Honduras

Independence Day in Honduras is a big celebration every year, the celebration is on September 15. This year 2011 Honduras has just celebrated its 190th anniversary as an independent country. The independence from Spain was on September 15, 1821. In 2021, that is in 10 more years, we will be celebrating in Honduras the 200th anniversary.

The same day all Central American countries celebrate their independence as well. All Central American countries achieved their independence from Spain at the same time. Back in 1821 Central America was like a big and unique country, however in the following years they became separate countries. Another interesting fact is that September 15 is also the date Mexico got its independence from Spain, but that happened in the year 1810, that was 11 years before Central America. It seems the date September 15 was a very popular date for becoming an independent country in this region of the world. But the history behind the independence from Spain has much more information and we will talk about it in separate posts.

Going back to the independence celebrations in Honduras, the most popular way to celebrate this date is with parades from most schools and highschools, they march on the streets, and people love to watch the parades. In Tegucigalpa there is a tradition that comes from several years ago, the parades are something to watch live if you happen to be in Tegucigalpa on a September 15th.

In the last few years there is a route to follow by schools on the parade in Tegucigalpa, the route goes from Boulevard Suyapa to the National Stadium. All schools march through this route about 3 or 4 miles long. Several thousands of people go to the streets and stay right at the side of the streets to take a close look of the parade.

The parade ends at the National Stadium, where 30 thousand or more people gather to cheer their favorite school. The president goes to the National Stadium with all his staff and receives some kind of special salute from the participants on the parade.

People in Tegucigalpa just love to watch these parades, they love the school bands playing the drums, trumpets and other musical instruments. The national anthem is played several times during the day, everybody feels very patriotic this day. And definitely one of the things people adore is to watch the cheerleaders, they are beautiful girls marching with their school and dancing all the parade long.

Another thing to watch is the military march, and also the parachute jump from helicopters, the parachute guys go all the way down and touch ground right at the center of the football field in the National Stadium. The 30 thousand fans just go crazy when this happens, it´s an amazing thing to watch.

If you ever come to Tegucigalpa on any September, I suggest you make plans to be in the city during that date of September 15th and go watch the schools parade, you will really enjoy it. Just wear a cap, hat or something to protect yourself from the sun, take a bottle of water along with you and walk on the streets, go to the National Stadium if you can, and enjoy the parade.

The town of Copan Ruinas in Honduras

If you ever come to Honduras and want to visit the worldwide famous mayan archaeological site in Copan Ruins, it's a good idea to also take advantage of this travel opportunity and make also a visit to the little colonial town which is located very near to the mayan ruins, the name of the town is Copan Ruinas. Many tourists all over the world travel to Honduras just to make a visit to the Mayan Ruins, which are one of the most interesting tourists attractions and travel destinations in Honduras.

However, not many people are aware that there is a colonial town very near to the mayan ruins. Well, let me tell you that this town of Copan Ruinas is one of the most beautiful colonial towns in Honduras, at least that's my personal opinion. The town is worth to visit not only because of the visit to the archaelogical site, but is worth to visit because of its own attractiveness.

Many tourists make travel plans which include a visit to the archaeological site coming from San Pedro Sula in a one day trip. They come from San Pedro Sula in the morning, it´s a drive of about 2.5 hours in a paved road, they make a visit during several hours to the archaeological site, and go back to San Pedro Sula in the afternoon. The visit to the archaeological site is the main reason for their visit to this region, there is no argument about this. However, if you go all the way to the mayan ruins but miss a visit to the town of Copan Ruinas you are missing a visit to a great little town.

If you take a look at the following aerial view in the photo you can notice how near the town of Copan Ruinas is to the Archaeological Site. It´s less than 3 miles and if you have enough time you can even walk from the Archaeological site to the town, it´s within a walking distance really.

The colonial spirit of the town will inspire you, the beautiful views you will find there will certainly make you feel very well. The town is really peaceful and beautiful. You can walk all over the town, have some food, have a cup of honduran coffee. You will notice that there are many visitors from all over the world walking in the streets of the town. The town is a tourist attraction by itself.

Many people make their travel plans to the archaeological site with at least a one night stay at the town of Copan Ruinas. It´s a good idea to come from San Pedro Sula, book a hotel in the town of Copan Ruinas, and enjoy your visit not only to the archaeological site during the day, but also enjoy your visit to the town in the afternoon and during the evening.

You can have a peaceful stay in the town, walk in the streets with no worries really. If you ever visit this town, I´m sure you will love it, there´s no doubt about that. You will like very much the cobblestone streets and the colonial buildings you will find there. There are many streets wich go uphill and downhill, and you can see in the background some beautiful mountains which are part of the natural landscape of this region.

Honduras has several colonial towns, in most of them you can find a very relaxing atmosphere, you just forget about time and space, you can easily forget that we are in the 21st Century. Just relax and have fun, breathe fresh air and forget about cell phones, computers, internet and all things related to the modern life of the big cities. All these things you can find in most colonial towns in Honduras, and the town of Copan Ruinas is definitely one of those type of towns. I´m sure you´ll love it as I said before.

Honduran 30 Wonders Contest

Here in Honduras over the last few months there has been an initiative from the Honduran Government and some other organizations to nominate and declare which are the 30 Honduran Wonders, and this contest is coming to an end. Honduran citizens were the ones to choose by popular voting all these Wonders. What kind of wonders?. If you say the word "Wonder" it may sound too general, the thing is that we all know that Honduras has hundreds or even thousands of places that are so beautiful, but the intention of this initiative is to define by popularity which of them should be declared as a Wonder in an official way, the Government will issue an official law ranking decree with the final results.

All nominated Wonders were from a different nature, however they may be grouped in a few categories as the following:

- Archaeological
- Architecture
- Biodiversity
- Cultural
- Gastronomic
- Natural landscapes

The objective of this contest is to define according to Honduran citizens criteria, which are the 30 Honduran Wonders and make them official. Interesting, isn´t it?

The contest was launched on May 25, 2011, and it was not intented to be the voting process only. On the first stage people actually had the chance to nominate the potential winners, so it was a participative process. In order to nominate something to be included in the final list, the so called "Wonder" had to comply some basic requirements, the nominated Wonder had to generate admiration, identity, patriotism, tourism, development and a few other characteristics.

So the first stage as we said before included the nomination process from May 25 to July 8. Out of all proposed wonders, a panel of judges identified a list of 70 nominated wonders, at this point the final list was made official.

The following stage was from July 9 to July 24, all 70 nominated were promoted all over the media so people could be aware of the final list, and promotion material and information related to all 70 of them was released to the public during this period, and asking Honduran people to choose their favorite wonder from the list.

The voting period took all the month of August 2011. The final day for voting was on August 31. In order to vote, people had the chance to do it through the official website that was released for this contest, which by the way is www.30maravillashn.com, and also had the chance to vote via text messages through a local mobil phone company.

The voting process finished and final results were just released by the Government, and the big winner was the "Historic Colonial Downtown at Comayagua", the former capital city of Honduras, which officialy will be declared the number 1 Wonder in Honduras.

And just in case Comayagua is not satisfied with number 1, it turns out that number 2 on the list is the Cathedral of Comayagua, which is also part of the Historic Colonial Downtown. It´s kind of complicated to separate the Cathedral from the Historic Colonial Downtown, they are pretty much the same, but we could say that the Cathedral is part of the downtown, and it's a wonder all by itself.

Now, let´s remember that the contest was for choosing the 30 Honduran Wonders, not only the one in the first place on the list. All 30 Honduran Wonders will be pronounced officialy so, and when this happens they will become an Official Honduran Wonder.

The final result was the following:

1. Historic Colonial Downtown at Comayagua
2. Comayagua Cathedral
3. Cedros (a colonial town near Tegucigalpa)
4. Celaque National Park
5. Lake Yojoa
6. Cuyamel National Park
7. Thermal Waters in Gracias, Lempira
8. The basin of Cangrejal River (La Ceiba)
9. Pulhapanzak waterfall
10. King Crab (gastronomical wonder, it´s the biggest crab in Honduras and all the Caribbean, you can find it in Roatan)
11. Los Choros (some kind of mushroom in La Esperanza, Intibuca)
12. San Cristobal Fortress in Gracias, Lempira
13. Alfombras de Comayagua (Carpets made out of sawdust in the streets of downtown Comayagua for religious processions in Holy Week)
14. Taulabe Caves
15. San Manuel de Colohete Church in Santa Barbara
16. La Campa Church (near Gracias Lempira)
17. Honduran Coffee
18. Hand crafted wood trunks
19. San Fernando Fortress in Omoa
20. Horchata (typical drink)
21. Copan Ruins
22. Santa Barbara Mountain National Park
23. Lancetilla Botanical Garden in Tela
24. Guanaja Island (one of the Bay Islands)
25. Coral reef barrier (at the Caribbean Sea)
26. Emerald hummingbird
27. El Picacho Christ (Tegucigalpa)
28. The city of Santa Rosa de Copan
29. Macaw mountain natural reserve (Copan)
30. Guaimoreto Lagoon (Trujillo)

There is so much to say about this list, some of these wonders we have already covered some information on this website, and some others we are yet to include something about them. Some people may agree and some people may not agree with the results. However, all of them are really a wonder, and there are many more wonders in Honduras not included in this list. We're lucky in Honduras to have so many places and so many wonders. Whatever type of destination a visitor is looking for in Honduras you can bet we have it.

In separate posts we will be talking about all these wonders, we have so much material to discuss and information to share, and we'll be glad to do it.

Santa Lucia Honduras, another beautiful colonial town

We have said several times on different posts on this site that Honduras has a lot of colonial towns, most of them are really beautiful, peaceful and quiet, that´s a common characteristic among several colonial towns in Honduras. Some of these colonial towns are located in remote areas of Honduras, if you want to get there you must travel for several hours in most of them, so you need to make good traveling plans and you need to have at least a couple of days available in you agenda.

However, this is not the situation with Santa Lucia, which is another colonial town in Honduras. But you know what? You don´t really need very much planning for a trip to Santa Lucia, because Santa Lucia is located in the mountains near Tegucigalpa, very near indeed, you have to drive less than 10 miles to get there. In Tegucigalpa you need to drive much larger distances into the city to go from one area to another inside the same city.

Even with that really short distance from Tegucigalpa to Santa Lucia, the town maintains it´s colonial spirit. It´s a very quiet and peaceful little town. In order to get there, you have to take the same paved road that goes from Tegucigalpa to Valle de Angeles, and about half the distance to Valle de Angeles there is a road to the right with a sign saying "Bienvenidos a Santa Lucia", which in English is "Welcome to Santa Lucia".

All the way from Tegucigalpa to Santa Lucia is a drive through the mountains, the landscape is beautiful, you can see thousands and thousands of pine trees in the mountains all around the road. The weather in Santa Lucia is just great, very cool no matter what season of the year you go there, it´s always cool in the range of 70 degrees Farenheit, what about that?. Great, right!

It´s really easy and quick going from Tegucigalpa to Santa Lucia, once you are in the road going out from Tegucigalpa is only 10 to 15 minutes until you get there, that´s nothing really. It´s a walking distance for some people who like jogging.

Many people from Tegucigalpa live in Santa Lucia, they enjoy a country life among the mountains and fresh air, and it´s very convenient since they are only 15 minutes away from anything you may need from the big city. Most of these people work in Tegucigalpa, they live in Santa Lucia but go every day to Tegucigalpa in the morning and return in the afternoon. Some people I know even have the time to go back to Santa Lucia at noon for lunch, in the afternoon they go again to their offices, and go back to their homes in Santa Lucia in the evening.

Santa Lucia is kind of a Tegucigalpa's neighborhood, with the advantage that it´s not in the middle of the city but in the middle of the mountains 10-15 minutes away.

Santa Lucia is a town to relax, enjoy a walking time in the cobbled stone roads, if you go Santa Lucia you have to walk all around the town. You need to go near the church and right there you will be in a place where you can spot a view of the mountains in the horizon and some areas of Tegucigalpa in the background.

Santa Lucia is about 5000 feet above sea level, it´s a town which is pretty much hidden inside the mountains. So near to Tegucigalpa, but so different and relaxed at the same time. It´s some kind of an oasis for people looking to relax from the busy and stressful life of the big city.

Trujillo in Honduras is a paradise

Trujillo is a city located in the Caribbean north coast of Honduras, in a location that is considered to be like a frontier between the civilization and the rain forest region of La Mosquitia in East Honduras. The Bay of Trujillo is the turning point where the modern civilization in Honduras comes to an end, and the jungles of La Mosquitia begin.

La Mosquitia is further to the east of Trujillo, and there is not much of cities or towns east of Trujillo, just a wild and undiscovered green world. Before reaching La Mosquitia region at the east of Trujillo we have the Platano River Biosphere Reserve, we will talk about this region in other posts.

Now, going back to Trujillo, the city is located in the Bay of Trujillo as we said before, it is a very beautiful place, the Bay with the Caribbean Sea at North, and mountains to the South of the city make a landscape combination that is just great. Behind the city, or let's say to the south of the city, we have the mountains of Capiro and Calentura, the city is right at the base of these two mountains.

Should you climb some day to the top of Capiro and Calentura mountains you will have some of the most breathtaking views of the whole Trujillo Bay like the one you can admire in the following photo:

Not many people actually go the top of these mountains, so chances are you will only have this view in a photo like the one above. However, if you are in the beach of Trujillo, you can easily spot the mountains in the background. In the following photo there is a view of Capiro and Calentura mountains from the beach:

How did you like these photos? I´m sure you agree with me they are beautiful, and that´s just the way Trujillo is, simply beautiful.

Now a little bit of history. Trujillo is one of the oldest cities in America. Christopher Columbus landed on Trujillo on his fourth and last voyage to the Americas in the year 1502. This was the first place in the mainland of the new world of the Americas where the Spanish put their feet for the first time, before this event the Spanish had only been in some islands in the Caribbean, but in the mainland of America Trujillo was the first place ever, that´s interesting, isn´t it?

When Christopher Columbus landed on Trujillo, the first ever catholic mass on the American continent mainland was celebrated. A few years ago in 2002 we celebrated 500 years after the first mass in America back in 1502. A lot of time has gone since Columbus landed on Trujillo.

In order to get to Trujillo you can travel from La Ceiba and drive about 2 hours in a paved road going east of La Ceiba. Many people in Honduras don´t go very often to Trujillo because they feel it´s a little bit far away. For people from Tegucigalpa is not easy to go, you have to drive about 7 hours from Tegucigalpa to La Ceiba, and other 2 hours to Trujillo, so if you want to go driving from Tegucigalpa to Trujillo is about 10 hours non stop.

If you go to Trujillo from San Pedro Sula it would be a 5 hours trip, driving from San Pedro Sula to El Progreso, Tela, La Ceiba and finally to Trujillo.

The thing is that if you want to go to Trujillo you have to plan very well your schedule and your time. It´s a place worth to go if you ever come to Honduras, but you have to take your time, it´s not like you suddenly decide to go to Trujillo. Some people just go with no previous plan, but it´s better to have enough time so you can enjoy Trujillo the most. If your plan trips to Honduras include La Ceiba, you are very near to Trujillo, so you should go to Trujillo if you ever visit La Ceiba. It´s only 2 hours away to the East.

There are several things to see and to do in Trujillo. Most visitors go to Trujillo to enjoy the beach and the Caribbean Sea, so it is mostly a beach destination and that is the main attraction of course. However, there is also a very old spanish fortress, the name is Fortaleza de Santa Barbara. The fortress is located right at the very town of Trujillo, in a place where you can admire the beauty of the Trujillo Bay.

There are also several things to do in the mountains of Capiro and Calentura, they are a rain forest adventure worth to enjoy for people who love that type of activities.

There are much more things to say about Trujillo. For the moment we'll stop here and will get back to Trujillo in future posts.

Pulhapanzak Waterfall in Honduras

Another place you should visit if you ever come to Honduras is the beautiful Pulhapanzak waterfall, which is located near Lake Yojoa, it´s only about 20 minutes drive from Lake Yojoa taking the road that goes to Peña Blanca. If you are coming on the road from Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula it's a road to the left after Yojoa Lake. There is a sign with the name Peña Blanca and Cañaveral. On the other hand, if you are traveling from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa the road is to the right, before Yojoa Lake. That´s the way to Pulhapanzak, you can´t miss it.

Pulhapanzak is a beautiful waterfall which is kind of lost in the middle of nowhere. It is the most famous waterfall in Honduras, and the biggest as well, dropping about 140 feet. As for reference, the worldwide famous Niagara Falls drop about 170 feet, so Pulhapanzak is only 30 feet shorter in height, so you can bet it is an impressive waterfall alright. As for the width Pulhapanzak is not even close to Niagara Falls, the impressive feeling is only about the height.

Pulhapanzak is a name that comes from ancient native languages, some people say it´s a voice from Mayan language, some others say it´s from Nahuatl language. Anyway, the most accepted version is that Pulhapanzak comes from a Nahuatl expression which means "Rebalse del Río Blanco", in english it would be like "Overflow of White River". Rio Blanco or White River is a very known river in the region.

When you go to Pulhapanzak you can actually go very close to the waterfall. You can admire the beauty of the waterfall from a certain distance and that is what most people and visitors do, but you can also get into the waterfall if you dare, not many people have the guts to do it because it´s kind of scary. And how is that?. There are some walking trails that go very near to the waterfall, in one of those trails you can actually get into the waterfall and behind the falling water, you can feel the water almost all over your body and you can get into some small caves behind the falling water.

Be aware it´s not that easy to walk into that area, you need to have a guide with you and a lot of guts, there are some safety precautions to account for, it´s not like you want to go and just do it, not at all. But if you are an extreme sports fan, you should do it, I'm sure it is an incredible feeling. I've never done it myself, but I´m thinking maybe next time I go there I'll do it so I can talk about it with my own experience and not for other people´s experience.

Some other people take a swim very near to the base of the waterfall, you should be careful though, you don´t want a 140 feet waterfall hitting right into your head. Some other visitors also take a canopy trip very near the waterfall, which is glidding with a rope and going all the way hanging in the air in front of the waterfall almost at the top. I'll pass on this last one, I don´t have any intentions to do something like that, at least not on this life, but I guess many people like to take some risks. Well, that´s their choice. ¿Cómo Viagra como remedio es adecuado para la potencia?

Amapala in Honduras, a destination in the Pacific Ocean

Most people and visitors coming to Honduras who are looking for places to visit and spend some days in vacations go to the Caribbean shore of Honduras. That makes a lot of sense, most beaches and tourists destinations are located there, in the north of Honduras. Beautiful beaches and several options. That´s something we have discussed in several other posts on this site.

However, Honduras also has a Pacific Coast in the south, where tourists and visitors can also find beautiful places to go and spend a good time on vacations. The number of places in the pacific coast of Honduras is much more limited than the number of places in the Caribbean. That's a fact and we can not argue about it. That´s the way it is and we can not change it.

Anyway, one of the places to visit in the Pacific Coast of Honduras is Amapala, which is a port located in Isla del Tigre, in englisht it would be Tiger Island. Please don´t think the Island belongs to Tiger Woods the famous golf player, not at all. That´s the name of the Island and has been from several centuries ago.

Isla del Tigre is located in the Gulf of Fonseca, in the south part of Honduras. In order to get there it´s pretty easy if you start your trip in Tegucigalpa. You have to take the road from Tegucigalpa to the South region, and drive perhaps two and a half hours until you get to the Pacific coast in mainland Honduras at Coyolito. Getting to Coyolito is the first stage of your trip.

The second stage of your trip to Amapala begins at Coyolito. Remember that Amapala is located in Isla del Tigre, there is no road for getting there, the Pacific Ocean is in the way. So how do you go from Coyolito to Amapala?. Well, the only way is by boat. You have to take a boat in Coyolito and travel about 20 miles. Most boats are small boats with space for 10 or 15 passengers. They are much more like canoes, not exactly boats.

There is also a ferry boat if you want to take your car to Amapala. However this ferry boat is not always available, and it doesn´t make a lot of sense taking your car to the island. It´s much better to leave your car at Coyolito, take the boat, enjoy the ride. Once you get to the island and to Amapala, just walk around the town. If you need transportation to a place where you can´t walk, there are taxis and moto-taxis available in Amapala just in case. You can also take a boat and go somewhere else around the island or nearby smaller islands.

Amapala port was founded in 1833 and it used to be the main port in the pacific coast of Honduras since the 19th century, and most part of the 20th century. It used to be a busy port, and economy in all this region was dependant from the port operations. However the main port in the pacific was relocated near San Lorenzo in the mainland, and Amapala port was left behind.

One of the most known natural landscapes at Amapala is the high mountain you can see all over Tiger Island, which is an inactive volcano, it´s about 2600 feet high. It´s really beautiful, almost any picture of this volcano and the Pacific Ocean around the island would make a great photo for a postcard or a calendar.

Amapala is not really a port any more, it´s pretty much a tourist destination but depending mostly on the natural beauty it has. Honduras Government needs to give much more support to this place, it´s a very beautiful place. Not many people in Honduras and not many people from other countries visit Amapala or know at least a little bit of Amapala. It´s a jewel in the Pacific yet to be discovered. Even for people in Tegucigalpa is not very common going to Amapala, I wonder why is that?. It´s a perfect place to visit, you can even go in a same day trip from Tegucigalpa.

Guanaja in the Bay Islands

Guanaja is one of the main islands that are part of the Bay Islands, the famous archipelago in the Caribbean side of Honduras, famous because tourists from all over the world go to the Bay Islands looking for diving adventures and looking to enjoy some of the most beautiful sea paradises in the world, no kidding, it´s absolutely true. We the Honduran people feel very proud about the Bay Islands, and there are many reasons for that.

Going back to Guanaja, we we´re saying that Guanaja is one of the main islands on this archipelago. The biggest island is Roatan, followed by Guanaja. Most tourists going to the Bay Islands know more about Roatan, but not many people know about Guanaja and other nearby islands.

Guanaja is located at the East of Roatan, and it has the characteristic of being a mountaineous island, it is like an entire mountain covering almost all available area on the island.

The main town in Guanaja is located in the nearby cay of Bonnaca. Most of the 10,000 people living in Guanaja are settled in Bonnaca. That little cay is completely crowded, there is not space left for anyone else. There is a lot of space on the main island though. For some reason most everybody in Guanaja decided to live in the cay, it seemed that the only flat land available on the island was that cay.

There are no streets and no cars in Bonnaca cay, there are only waterways that run through all the cay inside out, it´s somehow very similar to Venice in Italy.

Guanaja is also known as the Island of Pine Trees. The mountains in Guanaja have thousands and thousands of pine trees, just like the mountains all over Honduras' mainland. It´s like a typical Honduras mountain had been transported to this island.

Back in 1988 when Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras so hard, unfortunately all pine trees in Guanaja just disappeared, the Hurricane impacted so hard the Bay Islands and especially Guanaja that the mountains on Guanaja were left looking very much like a desert. Hurricane Mitch was a huge Category 5 hurricane that hit directly the Bay Islands, and to make things worse this hurricane didn´t move for 2 days, it stayed with no movement for 2 days hitting Guanaja with all the power it had. However mother nature has been very nice with this paradisiac place, 13 years after Hurricane Mitch things have slowly recovered and Guanaja is once again the Pine Trees Island.

Things in Guanaja are very quiet, and definitely things are much more relaxed in Guanaja compared to Roatan, the neighbor island. In order to get to Guanaja, most people get there by boat from Roatan and La Ceiba. However, there is also a small airport for local airlines that fly to Guanaja from La Ceiba. There´s also a ferry boat going to Guanaja from Trujillo in the mainland, I believe that ferry has a weekly itinerary.

As we said before, there are no cars and no roads in Bonnaca cay. However there is a road in the main island of Guanaja, but it´s only about 2 miles long. There are a couple of cars and motorcicles in the island using the road every once in a while. A few years ago people in Honduras knew that there were only 3 cars in the whole island. I guess on these days perhaps there are a few more of them, or maybe not. Cars are not very much in demand in Guanaja, people just don´t need them.

Guanaja is very much appreciated by diving tourists, they just love places like Guanaja where things are pretty much in its natural state, it´s a paradise for divers, and not only for divers but everybody.

About Comayagua in Honduras

Let´s talk about Comayagua, which is a city in Honduras located 50 miles north of Tegucigalpa. It is the capital city of Comayagua Department. Comayagua used to be the former capital of Honduras before Tegucigalpa. Back in the year 1880 Tegucigalpa was officialy named the Capital of Honduras, and the Government moved away from Comayagua and went to Tegucigalpa.

Comayagua is a very beautiful colonial city, it was founded by the Spanish in 1537 and it became the capital of the Honduras Province depending from the Captaincy General of Guatemala when Central America was a region depending from Spain. When Honduras became an independent country from Spain in 1821 as all Central America countries, Comayagua was the capital of Honduras until 1880 when the capital was moved to Tegucigalpa as we mentioned before.

In a few years the city of Comayagua will be 500 years old. Not many cities in Latin America can brag about that. It's a very old city, and it has become one of the main tourist attractions in Honduras due to the historical sites that can be admired. Beautiful colonial architecture is part of several buildings in Comayagua's downtown area.

The main attraction of the city is the Comayagua Cathedral and City Hall, located right in the Center Plaza of the city, in the very downtown area. The Cathedral is one of the most beautiful colonial churches not only in Honduras but in Central America as well, it was inaugurated in 1711. The Cathedral has the oldest working clock in the whole America continent. The clock was manufactured in Spain in the year 1100, and was originally installed in Sevilla, Spain, where it worked for several centuries until King Felipe the Third donated the clock to Comayagua in 1636, where it was originally installed in La Merced church. When the cathedral was built the clock was moved there, and it´s still there, working as new. The clock has been working for about 900 years!. It´s incredible, isn´t it?

If you are a person that likes and enjoys colonial towns, Comayagua is a place you definitely have to include in your trip agenda if you ever come to Honduras. As we said before, it's only 50 miles north of Tegucigalpa. In order to get there you take the same road that goes from Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula, which is the main highway in the country. The last few years there have been important infrastructure works in that highway which is a wider road than it used to be.

With the old road which was quite narrow and a single two way road, you had to drive for almost 2 hours from Tegucigalpa in order to get there because there are several mountains in the way from Tegucigalpa to Comayagua, and many slopes with uphills and downhills. After construction works in the highway are finished, we will have a full highway road with 2 and 3 lanes in each way, so the travel time from Tegucigalpa will be much quicker, let´s say about 1 hour.

Comayagua is located in the valley of Comayagua, and there is a project to install a new international airport for Tegucigalpa in this valley. There is already an existing airport in Comayagua, but it is a military airport depending from USA, it's really a US military base. The runway and facilites are the best you can expect from any of the best airports in the world, it´s only a matter of building the passengers and commercial terminal. This project has been in the drawing board of the Government from many years ago, almost everybody in Honduras agrees that Tegucigalpa needs a new international airport, and the best choice is Comayagua.

Anyway, there is no valid excuse to miss a trip to Comayagua if you ever come to Honduras, you can easily go driving to the north from Tegucigalpa as we said, or you can even go from San Pedro Sula driving less than 3 hours to the south as well.