Searching for the perfect itinerary in La Ceiba?
Although there are many different routes to get to La Ceiba, and you can choose, air, land or sea… you will probably be arriving in the evening at this lovely city, so you should plan on heading on to your hotel and settle in, relax and get ready for the next day. Without doubt, the nicest, most beautiful area around La Ceiba is the Cangrejal River (www.cangrejalriver.com) . Here you can find different options, which will fit your budget and your needs, and provide the perfect platform for your adventure!
If you are staying at La Villa de Soledad Bed and Breakfast, located right on the border between Pico Bonito and Nombre de Dios National Parks, which is in my opinion, your best option, then you must start your day with a cup a freshly brewed Honduran coffee from the highlands in Copan, Western Honduras. They serve only fresh, mountain grown coffee from San Rafael Coffee, that is tasty and will get your engine running nice and smoothly in the morning. Breakfast includes a variety of fresh fruits, many grown organically in their gardens, as well as some hearty eggs, ham or bacon, fried beans and toast. This has to be one of the most generous breakfasts you will find anywhere!
After your early morning breakfast, the perfect itinerary in La Ceiba will start with a hike to El Bejuco Waterfall, located at the end of the trail that begins just 200 meters downriver from this lovely bed and breakfast, where you will cross over a 400 foot (120 meter) swing bridge, much in the way that Indiana Jones himself does It in his adventure movies. Below you the Cangrejal River rages downhill towards the Caribbean Sea. Once you are on the opposite bank of the river, you are officially in Pico Bonito National Park! The round trip trail will take you about 4 hours if you are a serious hiker, a bit more if you are looking out for birds, reptiles, insects and plants (The mammals are more nocturnal and cautious of humans, and therefore not easily seen). At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded by the cool water of El Bejuco waterfall, that cascades down from high above, providing the opportunity to cool down after the nice hike uphill. As you return to the bridge, and cross over the Cangrejal River you will feel the temptation to jump into the river for a relaxing, and refreshing dip. (By all means, don’t plan on doing it from the bridge!). The good news is that the afternoon white water rafting tours start at noon time, and since you did get up early, you are back from your hike in time to take this tour. So grab a bite and head out to the river for this adventure of a lifetime!
Your rafting trip will take you down the Cangrejal River Canyon, with Pico Bonito National Park on the left bank and Nombre de Dios National Park on the right bank. Small falls, lovely swimming holes, and plenty of Class III and a couple of Class IV falls will get adrenaline pumping through your body while you enjoy the lovely, pristine environment and pleasantly refreshing river water. (Unlike most rafting rivers, the Cangrejal’s water is not from snowmelt and is not freezing cold, but more pleasantly refreshing in the hot tropical climate)
After your adventure filled day, you will surely be worn out, nothing like coming back to your comfortable hotel room to enjoy the generous supply of water coming out of the shower heads at La Villa de Soledad B&B. dinner of course is in order at this time, so sit back and relax while you enjoy an outstanding home cooked meal by Dona Soledad herself. A nice bottle of wine, an ice cold Honduran beer or tropical fruit juices are all options available at this time!
After dinner, relax in a hammock while you chat with your buddy, chat or email your folks back home, and share those unique experiences and photos from your exiting day! You will surely want to check in early, as tomorrow will be a long and exciting day also!
Early morning breakfast, with some generous cups of coffee will get you ready for the second day of a perfect itinerary in La Ceiba. Today we will hit the road towards the Garifuna village of Sambo Creek located only 25 km from La Villa de Soledad B&B. Sambo Creek is the departure spot for the World famous Cayos Cochinos, also known as the Hog Islands. Two small islands, and 13 keys are home to a marine protected area where you will enjoy the Caribbean in as a pristine setting as you will find anywhere. Cayos Cochinos are inhabited by approximately 300 persons, most of them Garifunas, that live in two communities, Chachahuate and East End. Snorkel, hike, interact with the Garifunas and enjoy a fresh lunch with fish or seafood. After the tour, you will be back in Sambo Creek by 3:00 pm, in time for short 5 minute ride to the Sambo Creek hot springs, located in the Nombre de Dios Mountains. If you are in the mood for an adventure, don’t miss out on the opportunity to do the Zip line Canopy Tour. They have a one mile long cable (one of a total of 16) that provides fantastic birds eye views, of the Caribbean Coast with Cayos Cochinos, as well as of the hot springs and the thick, tropical rain forest. After the zip line, relax in the natural hot springs, which cascade down the mountains towards the Caribbean Sea. If your body needs a massage after the soothing hot springs, this is the chance for a fantastic, relaxing massage in the rain forest! Although you did have a good lunch, you are probably tired, so its time to get back to La Villa de Soledad B&B, the nicest boutique hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras and get ready for a tasty homemade dinner. Many of their guests claim that the meals here are the best they have had during their trip in Honduras!
Although you have really enjoyed your days in the Rain Forest, it is time to get ready and move on the Bay Islands of Honduras. Whether you are headed for Utila or Roatan, the ferry schedules are quite similar, with two daily departures, One departs early in the morning, 9:30a.m. Afternoon departures are between 4:00 and 4:30 (In the afternoon, Utila departs first, then Roatan). As a general rule, the morning ride to the islands is smoother than the afternoon, this because wind usually picks up and creates larger swells. Another benefit of using the morning ferry is that you will arrive at the island early, and have time to settle into your hotel room and get out to get a feel of the island with plenty of daylight left, the afternoon ferry will get you to your hotel around dusk, thus, you will not have a chance to get a feel for the island that evening.