Pico Bonito National Park is on the north coast of Honduras. It is one of the largest national parks in Central America. Pico Bonito probably offers the most bio-diverse geographical area in North America, due to the rugged area within this park. Habitats ranging from sea level mangroves to tropical cloud forests, with tropical rain forests and tropical dry forests are all within its boundaries.
You can find the Pico Bonito Visitors center just a couple hundred meters from La Villa de Soledad. This is the area of Pico Bonito with trails along the Cangrejal River. Here, the visitor’s center gives access to a splendid 120 meter (almost 400ft.) Indiana Jones style hanging bridge. The bridge crosses high above the magnificent Cangrejal River into the park itself. A well kept trail leads into the forest to the lovely El Bejuco waterfall. The round trip trail will take a good 3 ½ hours to the waterfall and back.
The Cangrejal River visitor’s center is located only 200m (600ft) from La Villa de Soledad. Thus, it is perfect to get up early in the morning for a hike into the park to take advantage of this time of the day to see the local wildlife. Although mammals are hard to see, there are a variety of different mammals that have been seen within this area of the park. These include the majestic jaguar, its smaller cousin the jaguarundi, river otters and even anteaters. Monkeys are a rare sight, but do show up from time to time.
An ample variety of birds, including motmots, toucans, parrots and many others are easily seen in the park. Local guides can be arranged for your hike into Pico Bonito National Park.
A network of trails into Pico Bonito National Park is available for you to enjoy and discover the tropical rainforest. Access is via an “Indiana Jones” style hanging bridge over the Cangrejal River, located only 600 feet from La Villa de Soledad. The trails include the shorter La Roca loop trail. This trail will take you about one hour to hike, or the longer El Mapache Trail. This last one will take you to the foot of the El Bejuco Waterfall. Here the water falls over 400 feet down the mountain cliffs on its way to the Cangrejal River!
The El Mapache trail will take you about 3 hours to hike round trip and does require some physical work. Although you can enjoy the hike on your own, we recommend that you do it with the company of a local guide. The guide will point out some highlights and help you identify the wildlife you may see along the way.