Cayos Cochinos are a pristine set of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Fortunately, they are not out in the middle of nowhere and impossible to get to. Getting to Cayos Cochinos is actually easier than you think! They are about 14 miles off the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. Cayos Cochinos are a true Caribbean Paradise! In total, there are 2 small islands and 13 tiny sandy cays. The area is under a protection status by the Honduran Government, as a National Marine Monument. This means there are rules to comply with when you visit the islands.
Sambo Creek is Offers the Best Way of Getting to the Hog Cays
There are two major launching points that provide the proper best options for getting to Cayos Cochinos. One is from the Garifuna Village of Sambo Creek, very near the city of La Ceiba. The other is from the Island of Roatan. Most people take the first option, which is much more affordable, however the boats and service are also quite a bit more basic. From Sambo Creek, getting to Cayos Cochinos will take you about 45 minutes. Because the boats are relatively small, the tour always leaves early in the morning and returns early in the afternoon, to insure they are back on the mainland before the surf gets rough.
From Roatan, you will find several different options. By far the best option is with Ruthless Roatan Charters. They offer a once a week from Roatan to Cayos Cochinos tour. Enjoy the trip in a vintage 41 foot Hatteras that has been fully refitted, and offers the classiest option as far as getting to Cayos Cochinos is concerned. The trip departs from West End at 7:00 a.m. and returns around 4:00 p.m. This is one heck of a tour!
Regardless of whether you are vacationing in Roatan or La Ceiba, a trip to Cayos Cochinos will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. Many travelers like to experience both, La Ceiba and Roatan. If you would like to visit both, we, at La Villa de Soledad would be more than happy to help you arrange your trip to Cayos Cochinos departing from either location. Come and enjoy the magic of the tropical rain forests of Central America. , Then take a short trip to Roatan to relax in some of the best beaches in the World, in a true Vintage Caribbean Style!
Getting to Cayos Cochinos AKA the Hog Cays is easy!
Cayos Cochinos is one of the last pristine set of islands in the Caribbean Sea! Fortunately, they are not out in the middle of nowhere and impossible to get to. Getting to Cayos Cochinos is actually easier than you think!
Located about 14 miles off the Caribbean Coast of Honduras, Cayos Cochinos are an idyllic set of islands, consisting of 2 small islands and 13 tiny sandy cays. The area is under a protection status by the Honduran Government, as a National Marine Monument. This means that access to the islands is restricted and there are rules to comply with.
There are two major launching points that provide the proper best options for getting to Cayos Cochinos. One is from the Garifuna Village of Sambo Creek, very near the city of La Ceiba, the other is from the Island of Roatan. Most people take the first option, which is much more affordable, however the boats and service are also quite a bit more basic. From Sambo Creek, getting to Cayos Cochinos will take you about 45 minutes. Because the boats are relatively small, the tour always leaves early in the morning and returns early in the afternoon, to insure they are back on the mainland before the surf gets rough.
From Roatan, you will find several different options. By far the best is offered by Ruthless Roatan Charters, which operates once a week from Roatan to Cayos Cochinos. Enjoy the trip in a vintage 41 foot Hatteras that has been fully refitted, and offers the classiest option as far as getting to Cayos Cochinos is concerned. The trip departs from West End at 7:00 a.m. and returns around 4:00 p.m. This is one heck of a tour!
One of the highlights of Cayos Cochinos is the Garifuna community at Chachahuate, another are the extremely healthy reefs and beautiful white sand beaches.
Regardless of whether you are vacationing in Roatan or La Ceiba, a trip to Cayos Cochinos will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. Many travelers like to experience both, La Ceiba and Roatan. If you are interested in visiting both, we, at La Villa de Soledad would be more than happy to help you arrange your trip to Cayos Cochinos departing from either location. Come and enjoy the magic of the tropical rain forests of Central America, and then take a short trip to Roatan to relax in some of the best beaches in the World, in a true Vintage Caribbean Style!
Have you heard that there is an idyllic Caribbean Paradise off the coast of Honduras called Cayos Cochinos Islands?
Cayos Cochinos Islands, also known as the Hog Cays are a group of two small islands and 13 tiny white sand cays. The Cayos Cochinos Islands were declared a National Marine Monument, by the Congress of Honduras several years ago, and are part of the National Park system in Honduras. These lovely, paradisiacal islands are managed by and NGO called Fundacion Cayos Cochinos, who are responsible of the proper management and protection of this National Park of Honduras.
Cochino Menor, which is the smaller of the two larger islands that form part of Cayos Cohinos Islands, is the operation base and scientific center of the National Park. It is here were scientists who are studying the reef system and the unique eco system of the park are stationed, and this also where the park rangers are headquartered. There is no other community on Cochino Menor. This is where all the tours must first arrive to register and pay the entrance fee, which is $10 US dollars per person.
Cochino Mayor the larger of the Cayos Cochinos Islands, is nearby, and this island houses an small hotel called the Turtle Bay Eco Resort, an exclusive dive resort on the Cayos Cochinos Islands that offers quality service and great diving. Nearby is one of the two Garifuna communities that exist on the Cayos Cochinos Islands: East End. This small community has a couple of community owned and managed cabins, where you can stay at a fraction of the price you pay at dive resort. The cabins, called Cabanas Larubeya can be booked through Reservaciones Turisticas La Ceiba.
A third, less expensive, but extremely basic option is to stay in the huts at Chachahuate Cay, with the Garifuna community there. Bare in mind that there is no running water nor electricity in the community, so conditions are primitive, to say the least!
The easiest way to get to Cayos Cochinos Islands is to book a tour through the Turicentro Sambo Creek, located at the Garifuna Community of Sambo Creek. If you are staying at La Villa de Soledad, we can assist you in arranging for the transfers from our bed and breakfast to Sambo Creek and making the proper reservations for the regular tour that operates from the Turicentro Sambo Creek.
The lovely La Villa de Soledad Bed and Breakfast is only a 45 minute ride from Sambo Creek, and offers the perfect setting for a relaxing stay in the jungle and easy access to many different activities. Friendly staff and great food will make of your stay in the La Ceiba and Cangrejal River area an unforgettable experience you will cherish for a lifetime! Book now for some truly unique vacations!
The Nombre de Dios National Park is one of the youngest national parks in Honduras. It was declared a Park by the National Congress of Honduras during the presidential period of Ricardo Maduro, who administered Honduras between 2002 and 2006.
Nombre de Dios National Park is located in the department of Atlantida, on the North Coast of Honduras between the municipalities of La Ceiba and Jutiapa, and includes the Garifuna Communities of Nueva Armenia, Corozal and Sambo Creek within its limits, as well as the Cacao Lagoon that is located within the municipality of Jutiapa.
From the tourist’s point of view, the Nombre de Dios National Park offers many different options. Perhaps first and above all we should put emphasis on the Garifuna Culture. This unique culture has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO giving it a unique and outstanding position. There are three different Garifuna communities located within the Nombre de Dios National Park: Corozal and Sambo Creek, which are both within the municipality of La Ceiba and the Garifuna community at Nueva Armenia, which is within the municipality of Jutiapa. All of these communities have fishing outposts in the nearby Cayos Cochinos, where Chachahuate is the most colorful of all Garifuna communities in the World.
Another of the crown jewels of Nombre de Dios National Park is the Cacao Lagoon. This small lagoon offers a combination of mangrove and tropical rain forests, which are teeming with wildlife. You can easily see both howler and white faced monkeys from the comfort of your boat or kayak as you tour this lovely tropical lagoon.
Another unique activity within Nombre de Dios National Park is a visit to the hot springs just above Sambo Creek. Although there are many different hot springs within the park, those located just above Sambo Creek offer the best facilities, which include a zip line canopy tour that sends you flying over the hot springs from tree top to tree top!
The hot springs create small natural pools that cascade town the natural ravines, providing a unique natural setting that blends in beautifully with the walkways, decks and massage huts where the massage services are provided.
Last, but definitely not least, the Cangrejal River Valley, which is shared between Pico Bonito and Nombre de Dios National Park offers a variety of lodging options, which include the unique La Villa de Soledad B & B jungle eco-lodge. Here you will find a combination of adventure and nature activities, which include white water rafting, horseback riding tours and, rappelling down waterfalls and of course hiking.
Come and discover Nombre de Dios National Park and stay at La Villa de Soledad B&B, your best lodging option for both Pico Bonito National Park and Nombre de Dios National Park!
So you are on your way to the lovely city of La Ceiba, capital of Atlantida on the Caribbean coast of Honduras! Looking for the best options to spend the perfect week in La Ceiba? Here is our suggestion, which of course can be modified according to the number of days you will actually be in La Ceiba and the order of the activities, depending on your priorities.
The perfect week in La Ceiba starts with selecting the proper place to stay in. Perhaps you can even consider dividing your week long stay in two different hotels, to make the best of your vacation. Personally, I would start with 4 nights at the Cangrejal River Valley. Staying in a lovely guest house. The Cangrejal River Valley is ideal, and there is no better place than La Villa de Soledad B&B, rated number one by tripadvisor in 2014 to stay in! The first four nights of your vacation in search of the perfect week in La Ceiba should no doubt be spent at La Villa de Soledad B&B.
Day 1. During your stay at La Villa de Soledad, you should definitely take advantage and do white water rafting. The Cangrejal River is the only river in Honduras where rafting can be done any day of the year, and is the ideal way to start the perfect week in La Ceiba! Experts consider this one of the best rivers to do white water rafting in Central America and the Caribbean!
Day 2. After your rafting experience, you will want to relax and remember the fun moments of this adventure and get ready for the next adventure, which I would suggest should be a hike up to the El Bejuco Waterfall, a unique view of the Cangrejal River Valley can be enjoyed from this vantage point. You will enjoy a magnificent second day of your perfect week in La Ceiba. The trail to El Bejuco waterfall begins only 200 meters away from La Villa de Soledad B&B. Nothing like easy access to your activities!
Day 3. For the third day, you should plan on a unique adventure that will be hard to equal elsewhere, A water fall descent. The jungles of Pico Bonito and Nombre de Dios Mountains hide many secrets, and you will find hundreds of unique waterfalls, some are actually quite accessible if you know where they are… Come and enjoy canyoning at its finest with Honduras Waterfall Descents! https://www.facebook.com/HondurasCanyoning/info
You can continue spending all week at La Villa de Soledad, however you might want a change of scenes, and going from the lovely jungle mountains to the Caribbean Sea just might be just what you need at this point. If this is the case, pack your bags! And take a short 30 minute trip to Sambo Creek, where you can choose from several small beachfront hotels. Check out the options on tripadvisor! May I suggest Paradise Found or Hotel Villa Helen?
Day 4. Once on the beach, the perfect start for the last half of your perfect week in La Ceiba should be a trip to Cayos Cochinos. The Hog Cays are a unique unspoiled piece of paradise in the Western Caribbean. You will be hard pressed to find a site as beautiful and pristine as this anywhere else in the Caribbean. The trip includes time for snorkeling, a visit to the Garifuna Village at Chachahuate Cay and a walk into the forests of Cayos Cochinos to find one of the endemic pink boas that live on the island!
Day 5. After a week of much activity, enjoy a zip line canopy tour in the morning, and then a relaxing bath in the amazing hot springs in the mountains above Sambo Creek, just a few minutes from your hotel. While you are here, enjoying a much needed massage, you can reflect on the many adventures of this, the perfect week in La Ceiba. You have had so many experiences, met so many people, and been in the tropical rain forests of Central America and in a pristine island in the Caribbean. You have even interacted with the Garifuna Culture, which is an intangible World Heritage! Truly the perfect week in La Ceiba!
Day 6. Today is time to enjoy some of the intricate canals within the mangrove forests. These unique habitats are along the coast, and usually surround small lagoons, estuaries and canals, providing a perfect setting for wildlife, such as monkeys, crocodiles and even manatees. As you paddle through the canals at the Cacao Lagoon, you will hear the ferocious howler monkeys in the treetops, warning you to stay away from them! You of course will paddle towards them and get a closer look at them, while they menacingly howl at you from a safe distance up in the treetops. The friendlier white faced monkeys will curiously look at you, but they will do so only from the safety of the treetops. The crocodiles will simply look at you with those big eyes and will warn you not to jump in the lagoon to swim around them. What a perfect way to close the perfect week in La Ceiba! Tonight as a farewell, you should plan on having dinner within the Garifuna community of Sambo Creek. A seafood meal, a couple of shots of guifity, the local alcoholic beverage and the beating of drums will make a perfect farewell to fantastic week that you will never, ever forget.
The perfect week in La Ceiba… So much to do, so much so close and easily accessible. What a dream vacation!
There are many things to do in La Ceiba, and it is a good idea that you are aware of them, so that you can plan your trip in La Ceiba accordingly, and make sure you take full advantage of the top things to do in La Ceiba. Here is a short list of what I consider the bare minimum things to do in La Ceiba that you should plan on!
White Water Rafting. The Cangrejal River is the only river in Honduras where you can do this activity. The river offers magnificent quality of water plus a unique experience based on both the abundant nature and the white water rapids that range from class II to IV. White water rafting is certainly one of the things to do in La Ceiba that you should not miss! For more information on white water rafting in the Cangrejal River, you may visit www.cangrejalriver.com where you will find a list of white water rafting outfitters.
Zip line canopy tours. Although there are many different options to do this activity in other destinations, such as Copan, Roatan and Lake Yojoa to mention a few in Honduras, the truth is that the dense tropical rain forests of Pico Bonito and Nombre de Dios National Parks are second to none. In addition, the zip line canopy tour at Sambo Creek, one of the two options in La Ceiba, offers the unique opportunity to relax in natural hot springs and get a relaxing massage in the jungle. You will not find this combination anywhere else Central America. Because of this, a visit to the Sambo Creek zip line canopy tour and hot springs in La Ceiba is number two on our list of things to do in La Ceiba!
Hiking in the Pico Bonito Trails is our number three item in the list of things to do in La Ceiba. Just the knowledge that the same trail you are hiking in during the day is used by the majestic king of the Central American jungles, the jaguar during the nights makes the experience unreal! Pico Bonito is home to a huge list of bird species, many of which are truly hard to see elsewhere, and many of them are easily seen from the trails in Pico Bonito National Park. For more information regarding Pico Bonito National Park and its hiking options, visit www.lamoskitia.hn
The Garifuna culture was declared an intangible World Heritage by the UNESCO a few years ago. These unique people, who have survived against all odds due to their tenacity and beliefs, live along the Caribbean coast of Honduras. The most picturesque and unique of all of their villages in located in the Hog Cays, better known as Cayos Cochinos. Here on a small white sand cay called Chachahuate, you can find the most authentic Garifuna Village in the World. Best of all, it is located in a small archipelago that is part of the Mesoamerican reef system, the most bio diverse barrier reef system in the World. Cayos Cochinos is only 14 miles from the coast of La Ceiba, and there are regular tours departing daily from Sambo Creek, one of the two Garifuna Villages on the mainland that are withing the municipality of La Ceiba. A visit to Cayos Cochinos is a must in your list of things to do in La Ceiba. Make sure you leave enough time to visit them! This is truly a unique activity that you will not be able to experience anywhere else in Central America!
Mangrove forests and estuary lagoons are probably the least appreciated habitats in the tropics. Developers are always looking for ways to tear down the mangroves, fill in the swamps and turn them into beautiful ocean front vacation developments. These habitats are actually very important, though unappreciated. They act as a filter to keep the silt from making out to the reefs and beaches; they provide the perfect setting for an extremely diverse ecosystem, which includes manatees, caimans and crocodiles, several species of monkeys, white tail deer and even the majestic jaguar. La Ceiba has two different areas that offer the opportunity of see and interact with nature in this environment. The Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge is one of them. This protected area is located about 20 miles outside of La Ceiba, towards the west, and the access to the site is via an old, quite funky banana train that is reminiscent of the old banana republic days. Once in the refuge, a boat trip down the estuaries will allow you to see howler and white faced monkeys, crocodiles, a huge list of birds and if you are really, really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a Manatee. The other area that offers a similar experience, but without the banana train and the manatee is the Cacao Lagoon which is within the Nombre de Dios National Park. A visit to either one of these two mangrove swamp areas is a must if you want to see wildlife and certainly must be in your list of things to do in La Ceiba.
There are many other things to do in La Ceiba, such as horseback riding, trekking into the National Parks, climbing to Pico Bonito National Park, and visiting communities within the park. La Ceiba is also famous for its night life, and is becoming a popular destination to come and experience concerts by famous international singers. If you are interested in any of the above things to do in La Ceiba, don’t hesitate to write to me, and I will be happy to help you out with any special requirements or information you might need.
There are many hotels in La Ceiba, and finding the right one for you might be difficult. Here are a couple of tips as to how to find the best hotels in La Ceiba and the one is that is perfect for you:
There are two different web sites that offer a comprehensive list of hotels in La Ceiba. One of them is a local publication that is called Honduras tips www.hondurastips.com. Here you can find a comprehensive list of of hotels in La Ceiba and surrounding areas. One important fact to keep in mind is that the list of hotels in La Ceiba actually includes hotels from different areas, and these can be difficult to understand for the first time traveler to La Ceiba. For example, the above mentioned web page has a list of 58 hotels in La Ceiba, however some of these are in the city of La Ceiba itself, others are in the Cangrejal River Valley, others are in Sambo Creek and Corozal, which are two beachside Garifuna communities that are within the municipality of La Ceiba, etc.
The best tip I can give you is ask yourself what you want to do in La Ceiba, and then you can start to create your own list of hotels in La Ceiba to help you decide which is the best for you.
For example, it you are coming to La Ceiba because of the Beach, then you should screen your list of hotels in La Ceiba and preselect those that are in the Sambo Creek and Roma village areas. You will also find that there are several hotels in La Ceiba that are within La Ceiba but are located on the beach.
If you are looking to come to La Ceiba to take advantage of the large variety of National Parks, then you should look for a list of hotels in La Ceiba that are located in the Cangrejal River Valley. There is a complete list of hotels in la Ceiba that are located in this area on www.cangrejalriver.com. Other hotels in La Ceiba that would fit into this category would be those in the community of El Pino, just West of La Ceiba. Here you will find one of the more emblematic of hotels in La Ceiba, the Lodge at Pico Bonito.
Personally, I recommend that you seriously consider the Cangrejal River Valley. Here you will find the largest concentration of small eco jungle accommodations and hotels in La Ceiba, and you will find something for any need and whim.
Tripadvisor is also a great source of information. They have several categories for hotels in La Ceiba. Make sure you check out the bed and breakfast and inns category and the specialty accommodations lists. You will notice that in both categories, to top selections of hotels in La Ceiba feature properties that are located within the Cangrejal River Valley. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g292023-La_Ceiba_Atlantida_Department-Hotels.html
Good luck with your selection of hotels in La Ceiba! I certainly hope that these tips have been useful and provided some insight as to which the best hotels in La Ceiba are!
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.