Pico Bonito National Park is probably the most famous of the many National Parks in Honduras, and offers a variety of options to visit and enjoy. The park is in a rugged terrain, and therefore makes it seem quite difficult to access, however if you know where to go and who to contact, there are really many, many options. So which are the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park?
Most of the tours available in Pico Bonito are in two distinct areas: one is the Cangrejal River Valley, an area that offers multiple and very diverse options, that include white water rafting, bird watching, hiking, zip line canopy tours amongst others. The second area is the area around the community of El Pino, located a few of kilometers West of La Ceiba. This is the area where the Lodge at Pico Bonito is located and where the famous Rio Zacate Waterfall is located. You will find that the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park are to be found in one of these two areas!
I would start with white water rafting. Some of the best white water rafting in the Caribbean and all of Central America is to be found at the Cangrejal River Valley, which is a natural boundary for Pico Bonito. This makes it, in my opinion, one of the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park. Three different tour outfitters offer white water rafting in the Cangrejal River, for complete information about them, visit www.cangrejalriver.com.
Another one of the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park is the hiking in the El Mapache trail, which will lead you to El Bejuco Waterfall. Access to this trail is via the swing bridge, known as the “Puente Hamaca” located at the visitors center in the Cangrejal River Valley. This trail will take you on a three plus hour hike to the waterfall and back, where you will experience magnificent views, see some of the local wildlife, mostly birds and reptiles, and give you a feel for life in a tropical rain forest. Even if you are not into hiking, you should consider visiting this bridge and crossing it. The “Indiana Jones” atmosphere of this crossing is in itself one of the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park!
Still within the Cangrejal River Valley, you will find one more activity that you will probably get a taste of if you are doing rafting: “River Hiking” This activity will take alongside the river, climbing rocks and huge boulders, jumping back into the river and swimming to the next obstacle to climb, and there on… It is fun, challenging and good exercise! This tour is unique and certainly one of the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park!
In the other end of the Pico Bonito National Park you will find the Lodge at Pico Bonito, which is close to the community of El Pino. The Lodge offers what are probably the best bird watching tours in all of Honduras, and are certainly in the top bird watching tours in Central America. The tour begins early in the morning, and you must make reservations in advance. Amongst the prize sightings that you can look for in this tour is the lovely cotinga, an absolutely beautiful little blue bird that is hard to see worldwide, but is actually quite abundant here. The above activities are, in my opinion, the best tours in Pico Bonito National Park! For more information about this last bird watching tour, check out www.picobonito.com