It’s hard to think of two destinations that go together better that Utila and La Ceiba. To get to Utila, you must come through La Ceiba, and both destinations offer completely different, yet complementing experiences. However, most travelers going to Utila completely disregard La Ceiba and the diverse variety of travel options within it. Most of this is probably due to the bad rap that mainland Honduras has in the international press and at the travel warnings that US and some European countries like to issue about Honduras.
The truth is that there is a lovely, truly unique, magnificently scenic area just outside La Ceiba. The Cangrejal River Valley has a series of tour options, which includes hiking, rafting, kayaking, zip lining and simply relaxing and enjoying the usually crystal clear waters of the Cangrejal River, where you can swim or soak in its water holes. Best of all, there is a nice selection of hostels, inns and bed and breakfasts in the area. From the back packer’s hostel at Jungle River, the guest house at Omega Tours, the villas at Villas Pico Bonito to the Boutique Bed and Breakfast at La Villa de Soledad, there is something for every taste and budget.
Best of all, this area, just outside of La Ceiba, and only 10 km from downtown, is extremely safe. Tourists walk from one establishment to the other at ease and without any risks. During the day, they do so with their binoculars and cameras, while they look at the diverse birdlife in the area, that provides easy sights of keelbilled toucans, collared aracari’s, turquoise browed motmots, that will excite the neophyte birdwatchers as well as the most serious one! During the evening, they walk up and down the road, (There is a nice cluster of businesses that are located within a one mile stretch of road) usually on their way to the nice bar at the Omega Jungle Lodge or back to their lodging.
Whatever time you spend in Utila, you should be fully aware of the fact that La Ceiba is right on your path towards or from Utila, and that finding a couple of days to visit the Cangrejal River Valley will provide not only a wonderful experience, but will actually be one of the highlights of your trip through Honduras. Make the best of your trip in Honduras and do not miss out on the perfect match of Utila and La Ceiba!