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Published: June 22nd 2019
Waterfall in Pico Bonito National Park
This swimming hole was the highlight of the 5-hour walk. The water was 20 feet deep and very clean and clear.
Most tourists pass through La Ceiba quickly to get to a ferry to one of the Bay Islands or transport to Rio Cangrejal for rafting, hiking, etc. The city itself is probably not worth a visit on its own, but it's fine for a night if necessary.
I spent a week here at Honduras Spanish School. The owners are very responsive and kind, and I enjoyed my stay in the middle-class community of Colonia Sauce.
The historic city center consists of dilapidated colonial buildings, a defunct train line, and a fledgling mercado, a result of mass corruption and an influx of (and tax cut for) fast food chains and big box stores, which causes the periphery to resemble an American highway town (see photo). The heat is absolutely stifling during the summer, and the daily power outages don't help.
But the nearby mountains hang like misty curtains over the city (see photo) and provide a nearby retreat from the heat, malls, and Little Caesars. I decided to get to the Omega Tours Eco Resort on my own, which involved a 30 minute walk through abject poverty and across a puente over the trickling Rio Cangrejal, where I waited
American Fast Food Invasion
In my experience, in the puppet regimes of Central and South America, everyone has easy access to fast food, malls, and cell phones, whereas in the more socialist countries people have easy access to healthcare and education.
next to a well guarded brewery (4 guys with shotguns at the entrance) for a moto-taxi that a boy on a bicycle told me was broken and then shook my hand politely when I wouldn't give him any lempiras, so two old men with a few teeth left told me to hop on a yellow school bus toward Yaruna. It eventually came by and everyone on it was filthy, but I probably smelled the worst as everyone laughed when I squeezed into a quarter of a seat next to a miserable señora who was asleep, using an old dress as a pillow. We whined up the dirt road, meandering around rocas and passing posh eco-resorts as the pobres looked on with tired eyes until the ayudante motioned to me that we'd arrived.
The operation at Omega Tours is impressive by any standard - a delicious restaurant with homemade bread, a bar stocked with German beers, natural pools, fruit trees, 5k of trails, and a friendly staff made up of locals. They specialize in rafting and kayaking, but the river was too low, so I added myself to a guided hike through Pico Bonito National Park with two Spanish guys
From 5-6 every night, the Club opens its gates, and the people treat it like a city park. An actual park would make more sense, but I was happy to have somewhere to run. I, too, don't want to be violent.
who were filming Survivor on a nearby cayo in the Bay Islands.
Tourism has been decimated by all the violence and political unrest in Honduras, so even a lot of backpackers skip it. But I didn't feel unsafe or threatened during the week and a half I spent in the La Ceiba area.
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