We recently had a famous guest stay with us at La Villa de Soledad. I am referring to Nigel Marven, the British adventurer who travels around the World seeking unique animals. It was Nigel´s first time in Honduras, and I can say that he had a great time. In total, he was in Honduras for three weeks and had a blast. One of his first stops was at the Cangrejal River Valley. There, he spent two nights with us at La Villa de Soledad, one of the top eco jungle lodges in Honduras.
Yes Nigel Marven in Honduras!
Nigel had a chance to try white water rafting in the Cangrejal River. He even had a chance to spot and interact with a large snake that locals call “mica”. In English we call it the “Lighting Snake” because of its elegant bright yellow markings that resemble a lightning bolt! The snake is harmless and spends most of its time up in the trees. They can grow up to 6 or 7 feet long!
Perhaps Nigel’s most unique encounter in Honduras was with the typical Honduran “Baleada”. This is a large, thin wheat flour tortilla stuffed with beans. You see, it turns out that Nigel, being the animal lover that he is, is a vegetarian! Baleadas, are wheat tortillas with beans and can also have some cheese, cream and avocado. These last ones are some of my favorites! Nothing like enjoying a baleada after a long day at work!
We had a nice chance to chat with Nigel at La Villa de Soledad during one of the evenings that he spent there. He was a friendly fellow that was impressed with the tropical jungles of Honduras. Nigel Marven also had an opportunity to visit the Lost City of the Monkey God in the Moskitia. He was personally invited by the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez. Nigel Marvin spent also visited the Hog Cays, as well as the Bay Island of Utila. In Western Honduras he visited Gracias, as well as Copan Ruinas.
Nigel Spent a Couple of Nights at La Villa de Soledad B&B!
Nigel had some time to do some bird watching at La Villa de Soledad. Although he did see several different species of birds, he was particularly keen with some keel billed toucans whose nest was next door. They were bringing up a couple of chicks and there was quite a bit of activity at their nest.
It was an honor that Beaks and Peaks, the tour operator in charge of the tour chose us for their stay at the Cangrejal River Valley. Nigel even had some time to spend with us one evening. We invited our neighbors from the nearby hotels to stop by and meet him. We all had a pleasant time and are looking forward to Nigel’s program featuring his adventures in Honduras.
I recently had a young couple visiting us at La Villa de Soledad B&B. Together they are a great team and have a vlog promoting Honduras. Daniel is from Honduras, but has lived in the United States for several years. Danielle is from the US and has an Italian Heritage. I invited them over to discover all the things that you can do in the Cangrejal River Valley. Daniel grew up in La Ceiba, and thought he knew that Cangrejal River Valley well. Wow, was he in for a surprise!
We coordinated picking him up in Indura, the luxury golf resort in Tela. what a surprise when they walked into La Villa de Soledad. The spacious areas blend into the outdoors almost seamlessly. Comfy rooms have a great cross ventilation and direct access to a porch. You even have your own personal hammock! But they were more impressed with the high speed internet in the middle of the jungle! Yes, La Villa de Soledad has outstanding high speed internet provided via a fiber optic cable!
A Two Day Itinerary for the Perfect Cangrejal River Adventures: Day One
After giving them a glass of passion fruit juice, we sat down and discussed their itinerary for the next two days. Day one had a white water rafting trip arranged with Omega Tours. The tour is a half day adventure that would start in the morning and end with a lunch at their facilities, just up the road from La Villa de Soledad. The white waters of the Cangrejal River provided some outstanding class III and IV rapids. Best of all, they made friends with a couple from South Africa that was staying at the Omega Tours Lodge.
After Lunch, I would pick them up and give them a transfer three kilometers down the road to Las Cascadas Lodge. There, they would hike up into the forests of Nombre de Dios National Park. The goal was to reach the top of some beautiful waterfalls and then descend by rappelling down the face of the falls. This is Canyoning at its best. Certainly the best place in Honduras, probably in all Central America, for this exciting adventure!
A Much Needed Rest For Another Adventure!
Needless to say, they were exhausted by the end of the day. What an adventure filled day. World Class white water rafting in the morning. Then exploring the tropical rainforest and finding some lovely waterfalls and descend down to the crystal clear pools at the bottom! By the end of the day, some celebrating was in order. So they headed out to the lovely La Jungla Bar to regroup with their new friends from South Africa. After some good times and a couple of cocktails they were ready for a good night sleep at La Villa de Soledad.
It’s hard to describe the peaceful nights at the Villa. The murmur of the water racing down the Cangrejal River towards the Caribbean lulls you to sleep. The usual cool breeze blowing down the valley keeps you nice and cool. You will want to cover up under the cotton sheets, and might even ask for a blanket on some cooler nights. Just before dawn, the sounds of the jungle will let you know it will soon be time to get up and ready for a new adventure. If you are into birding, this will signal the time to get up and out to see all the birds!
A Two Day Itinerary for the Perfect Cangrejal River Adventures: Day Two
For the second day, we had scheduled a hike into Pico Bonito National Park. The lovely El Bejuco Waterfall is at the end of a jungle trail. Watching the fall from the bottom is unbelievable. Daniel was astounded that as a local, he had never visited these stunning falls he had often seen from the road. Access is through an “Indiana Jones” style suspension bridge that spans over 400 feet high across the Cangrejal River. The views from the bridge are outstanding and worth the effort. From the bridge, a 1 ½ hour hike will bring you to the foot of the waterfall. I invite you so take a look at the video that Daniel and Danielle put together to admire the sheer beauty of El Bejuco Waterfall.
If you are looking for a site for adventures in nature, you will be hard pressed to find a better site than the Cangrejal River Valley. You will find that La Villa de Soledad is the ideal lodge for such an adventure. It is within walking distance to all these adventure activities. You will also enjoy our inviting hammocks with the company of a refreshing cocktail to help you relax in nature after a unique day of adventures. This is one experience you will cherish for a lifetime. It will be one of the highlights of your trip to Central America. Best of all, it is an affordable experience in one of the safest areas in Honduras.
Pico Bonito Jungles and the Hog Cays Coral Reefs Offer the Perfect Central America Vacation.
Many people ask why they should travel to Honduras. Here are just a few of the many attractions that will help you answer that question! Pico Bonito and Cayos Cochinos are the best nature and adventure vacation in Central America. Both a easily accessible from the coastal city of La Ceiba. You would be hard pressed to find another area with these assets anywhere in the World! Together, they guarantee the perfect Central America vacation!
Imagine a dream destination. One where you can experience the lush tropical rain forests of Central America. Where within a short one hour, you could replace the rugged jungle clad mountains for an island paradise. Not just any island, a pristine cay in the Caribbean Sea. An island with white sand beaches all around it. Where you can walk into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and snorkel in pristine coral reefs. There is only one country in Central America where you can do this. It is Honduras, and it is a true Paradise.
The Truth About Safety in Honduras for Travelers
But you will say, Honduras is dangerous! Most “civilized” countries have travel warnings advising their citizens to stay away from it. Sure there are some dangerous places in Honduras. Every country on planet Earth has some of those. Most travelers visiting Honduras are surprised at how safe they feel and the great time they have. I must say that Honduras does not live up to its reputation when it comes to being dangerous for travelers. Sorry guys.
Many travelers visit Honduras every year. They rarely have any incident, and if they do, it is certainly not life threatening. One of the things they enjoy the most is the fact that the country is not overrun by tourists and travelers. Perhaps the one exception is the Island of Roatan. Roatan has become a mayor port of call for cruise ships. Almost 1.2 million cruise ship passengers arrived there last year alone! Depending on the day of the week, you might find that Roatan is kind of a tourist trap, especially if you visit the West End. The East End of the Island is always beautiful and uncrowded.
Honduras’ Caribbean Coast offers some of the highest and most rugged mountains on the Atlantic. Pico Bonito reaches over 8000 feet above sea level and is next to the coast. The area around this peak is Pico Bonito National Park. These mountains offer some of the densest, most impenetrable jungles in Central America.
The Cangrejal River Valley
The best area to explore Pico Bonito National Park is the Cangrejal River Valley. The river forms up high, in the Nombre de Dios National Park Mountains and drops quickly into the Caribbean. There are several different lodges in the area. Some, like La Villa de Soledad are award winning properties where you can enjoy a relaxing time with nature after an activity filled day.
Most of these lodges are less than 6 miles from La Ceiba. You can get there via a dirt, all weather road. The trip is scenic and enjoyable, with magnificent views of the river, the forest and even waterfalls! La Villa de Soledad is truly a jewel you will enjoy!
The Unique Garifuna Culture
A short 30 minute drive from the Cangrejal River will bring you to the Garifuna Village of Sambo Creek. This town is on the Caribbean Coast of Honduras, about 16 km. (10 miles) east of La Ceiba. The villagers are proud Garifuna members. The Garifuna are a seafaring culture, and fish for a living. One of their fishing outposts is at Cayos Cochinos, AKA the Hog Cays. The Cays, within sight from the Sambo Creeks coastline, are only 30 minutes away in a speed boat. At Cayos Cochinos you will find several other fishing outposts. The most unique is Chachahuate Cay: a primitive looking community on a lovely white sand cay. This is the most authentic Garifuna village in the World!
The Hog Cays, AKA Cayos Cochinos
Cayos, as the locals call this small archipelago, is approximately 10 miles off the coast of Sambo Creek. This archipelago consists of two small islands and 13 tiny Cays, or small coral beach islands. Some of the Cays are privately owned. Lodging facilities in Cayos Cochinos are basic. There is one dive resort on Cochino Grande, the largest of the islands. This is the Turtle Bay Harbour Eco Resort. Another option is also located on Cochino Grande, within the community of East End. This are the community owned Laru Beya cabins.
Finally, there are some private homes in the cays that you can rent. Can you imagine renting a home in a private island in the Caribbean? Not only is it possible, it is also affordable! One of the best alternatives is at Cayo Largo Arriba Cay. There is a nice setting there known as Daryl’s Place. He offers several alternatives, including a full home with kitchen and a small on the dock casita for reasonable prices.
The can have the perfect Central America Vacation by combining a stay at the Cangrejal River Valley and at Cayos Cochinos. Mary and Robert, from Toronto, Canada recently visited Honduras for two weeks. They stayed their first four nights at La Villa de Soledad in the Cangrejal River Valley. Then went to Cayos Cochinos and stayed at Daryl’s Place for a week. They came back to La Villa de Soledad for the last three days of their two week vacation. They had the time of their life, reconnected with nature and had a pleasant time.
Did they feel threatened or unsafe at any moment? Not at all! For them, this was the perfect Central America Vacation. Where else can you combine a tropical rain forest setting with a pristine Caribbean Island? Only in Honduras! Come and enjoy the perfect Central America Vacation in Honduras with us!