Honduras is the most mountainous country in Central America, and as such, there is a huge potential for white water rafting in Honduras. However, despite this potential, 98% of white water rafting and kayaking trips take place just outside the city of La Ceiba, on the Cangrejal River. This river offers fantastic conditions for rafting. For starters, the water is not freezing cold, like you might expect it would be, since the headwaters of the river drain from 5 to 6 thousand feet above sea level! The main reason for this is that the river has huge boulders, some actually as big as a large two story home, and even larger in some cases, and these rocks take the heat of the sun rays and pass the heat on to the water, creating a hot water heater effect on the water flowing down the river and elevating the water temperature by several degrees.
These same boulders create small drops with fun and exciting rapids that interconnect the natural deep pools in the river, allowing rafters and kayakers to get ready for the next rapid. The river actually has four different sections that can be run, however there are only two sections that are run commercially, the section between El Naranjo and the take out is the most often used, and provides great class II, III and maybe even a IV here and there. The Run between el Pital and Las Mangas provides a more technical run, and boasts basically class III and IV rapids, which require more expertise.
There are three outfitters that provide services for white water rafting in Honduras: Omega Tours (www.omegatours.info) La Moskitia EcoAventuras (www.lamoskitia.hn) and Jungle River Tours (www.jungleriver.com ) . All three of them have their headquarters in the Cangrejal River Valley, although La Moskitia EcoAventuras also has an office in town. You can hire a white water rafting trip at the Cangrejal River every day of the year, with perhaps the exception if we have had a big storm and the river is too high. Normally, the tours start early in the morning, around 8:00 am and last still noon time, or they start around 1:00 pm in the afternoon and last still 5:00 pm.
White water rafting in Honduras is also practiced in several rivers east of La Ceiba, specifically the Sico River, which is located about 2 hours away from La Ceiba. This option is usually a three day expedition, where rafting or kayaking is combined with a couple of over nights en route. Without doubt the grand daddy of all rafting expeditions is the one down the Rio Platano, through the heart of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. This is an 8 to 10 day expedition, and while not necessarily white water during all of the trip, there are several sets of rapids, here the excitement is more based on the wildlife you will see, with endangered species, such as a Jaguar or Pecari. Both of these trips are offered by at least two of the three outfitters.
White water rafting in Honduras is also done in Central Honduras, in the Humuya River, below the big hydro electric dam, known as “El Cajon” This river has the advantage of a consistent high volume flow of water, which generates good waves that make for a fun ride even though it is not at all technical.
As you can see, the Cangrejal River offers great White Water Rafting in Honduras, is close to the Bay Islands and easily accessible year round. Best of all, there are many nice eco lodges and bed and breakfasts within the Cangrejal River Valley that offer perfect conditions to stay in and enjoy some of the best white water rafting in Honduras!