Whilst backpacking through Central America, you will hear most people talk about skipping Honduras, or only heading to the Bay Islands. I wanted to find out more about the country everyone deems too dangerous to explore.
The people we met during our time in Honduras were some of the kindest and most helpful we have met so far on our journey. They really can’t do enough to help you, especially if you look a little lost. It’s almost as if the local people feel they have something to prove and show everyone that the country is not to be avoided.
I wish we had more time to see even more of this beautiful country but we had spent far too much time in Utila and needed to continue on down south.
Lago de Yojoa
Lago de Yojoa is the largest lake in Honduras, and located 700 metres above sea level. Lake Yojoa is slowly becoming a mecca for backpackers who want to break up the journey between the Bay Islands and Nicaragua. This lush, green, scenic part of Honduras is also home to over half the species of birds that can be found in the whole of Honduras.
With waterfalls, caves and hiking treks, there are a number of activities that can easily increase your stay here to 4 or 5 days.
The most popular place to stay around Lake Yojoa is D&D Brewery. I was recommended this place by a Honduran friend we made in Utila and after researching the place online, I was super excited to check it out.
D&D is a hostel, adventure company, restaurant and micro-brewery, so has everything you need to make the most of your time in this beautiful part of the country.
The rooms are comfortable and clean with hot showers, and a double or triple private room with bathroom with only set you back $19 per night. They also have dorm rooms available at a cost of $6.50 a night.
D&D has a great menu, the plates are huge and at a reasonable price. As the name D&D Brewery suggests, there is a micro-brewery on site and they have a number of beers to choose from including pale ale, an American Amber and even a raspberry flavoured beer to name a few.
A lot of thought has been put into making your stay at D&D Brewery as easy as possible. There is an activity wall which lists of all the activities you can do by yourself including how to get there, the entry price and tips on how to save money. They also have a list of activities you can do with their on site guide Walter who is a professional bird watching guide.
One of the great things about D&D adventures is there is no pressure selling. Walter is on site each evening except on Wednesday’s when he has a day off and if you have any questions or queries about any of the activities, Walter is there to offer a helping hand.
Definitely a day I won’t forget is the trip to the waterfalls. It’s really easy to get there from D&D Brewery, simply take the bus heading to San Pedro Sula for 20L and ask for Pulhapanzak, they will let you know when to get off. There is a 2k walk to the main entrance of the falls.
Once there you can explore the waterfall and the pools on your own but I would highly advice to take the guided tour “behind” the waterfall for 200L – if you mention you are staying at D&D they give you 50L off the price. (Normal price is 250L.)
This tour is not for the faint hearted as you are literally climbing through the waterfall. At one point the spray is so strong you can’t see or breathe properly but once you are standing there looking up at this huge waterfall, it is really amazing. You really need to see it to believe it, words just don’t do the tour justice!
I would advise to go in trainers or suitable shoes as you will be climbing over rocks and jumping into pools and you will get soaked so take a change of clothes.
There is also a super fun canopy zip lining tour which has you swinging through the trees and flying over the waterfall. The cost for this is normally 450L but if you are a guest at D&D you get 50L off.
The caves of Taulabe were only discovered in 1969 while working on construction of the highway. Legend has it that $250,000 is still hidden in the caves when an aero-pirate took refuge in the caves after robbing a US bank and hijacking a passenger plane in 1972.
The first 300m of the caves are well lit with paths and railings and only costs $4 for foreigners. Those looking for more of an adventure should try the extreme caving for 150L. You are given a helmet and a flashlight as the caves are dark and muddy, you do this tour with a guide who work for tips.
To get to the caves from D&D you take a bus from the main street to La Guama or Pito Solo and from there you can take another bus to Taulabe. From here you can either walk the 1km up the main highway or take a tuk tuk for 10L per person.
Cerro Azul Meambar National Park
We had an amazing time at Cerro Azul Meambar National Park, also known as Panacam with tour guide Walter who took us on a birding trip around the park.
To get there from D&D you can either take the bus to Pena Blanca (5L), or take a collective taxi (10L), from there take a bus to La Guama (15L) and then a tuk tuk to the national park (150L).
Entry to the park is $7 and it costs $50 for an all-day guided birding tour with Walter which includes late breakfast or lunch and entry to the park. Honduras is fast becoming a top bird watching destination as the country has over 754 species of birds, over 500 of which can be spotted around Lake Yojoa and surrounding areas.
During the birding tour, there are a number of watch towers where Walter will call the birds and point out the various species of birds. We were lucky enough to spot over 20 species of birds on our tour even though we set off relatively late for a birding trip as we wanted to grab breakfast before-hand.
The tour takes you through the tropical forest, over creek crossings and to waterfalls. You will see many beautiful butterflies, birds and views of Lake Yojoa on the 3-4 hour hike.
The restaurant at the national park serve delicious food in an idyllic setting overlooking Lake Yojoa. I chose grilled chicken breast which was served with rice, vegetables and fries and Chris went for the mixed Kebab which was served with rice, grilled plantains and beans.
Los Naranjos Viewpoint hike
This hike is advertised as needing a guide but we did the hike on our own and followed Maps.Me. If you haven’t downloaded this app yet, are you even a traveller?! It’s a free app that can be used without Wi-Fi. You just need to download the map of the country and you can find any hostel, bar, local attraction whilst offline. It really is a lifesaver.
You do have to walk through a small village to get to the view-point so just be mindful when passing through and be considerate of the local villagers. You walk through coffee plantations and banana fields which takes around an hour depending on how fast you walk.
Once at the top you actually have two paths leading to different view-points, one leads you to a view of the town of Los Naranjos and the other is a magnificent view of the lake.
If you are looking for a nice place to chill for the day then Paradise Bio-Parque is a clear winner in my eyes. For only 50 Lempiras per person you can explore the park for a full day.
Take some snacks, drinks and a towel or something to chill on. There are so many cool spots to sit and chill with a book, or various trails to hike.
We enjoyed chilling by the river taking in the view and reflecting on our time in the real Honduras.
I really hope this post inspires people to explore a little more of this incredible country. I really can’t rate the place highly enough and I am sure I will return one day to uncover more secrets of Honduras.
Have you ever been to Honduras? What was your perspective on the country? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep on wandering!