Visiting Northern Honduras

March - April 2010

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Butterfly on flower

Dona and I decided to see more things inland in Central America this winter. In particular, we wanted to see some of the national parks in Honduras which are supposed to be pretty and full of birds. My initial thought was that we would sail to La Ceiba to visit Pico Bonito, and then stop to visit others on the way back.

My sailboat, Malakii, needed to be hauled and have the bottom painted, so I went down early to get boat chores done and ready her for sailing. Woo-hoo! Did she ever get painted!

The idea of sailing to La Ceiba didn't work out because of our time frame. We had reservations at a lodge on the edge of Pico Bonito National Park just south of La Ceiba, and a very narrow window to get there. It's generally not a good idea to try sailing to someplace on a tight schedule, and I hadn't heard back from the shipyard and marina there. I wasn't familiar with the coast, although I know there aren't many safe anchorages. In addition, I didn't have a good idea of where we could leave the boat safely for a few days while we traveled inland. In the end, we decided to do the trip overland.

Our first stop was a wide spot in the road between Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and Puerto Cortes, Honduras, named "El Paraiso," which means "Paradise" in English. The scant literature we had said there was a great walk in the trees there; but first we had to find it.

One of my friends in Guatemala said the town of Omoa was one of his favorite places; a sleepy little sea-side place, not yet overrun with condo and resort development. We figured it was a good place to chill out for a day before heading on to La Ceiba and the national park at Pico Bonito, where we hoped to see lots of cool birds.

While at Pico Bonito we took a day trip down to another national park, Cuero y Salado, a coastal reserve.

Then we returned to San Pedro Sula, and had an epic time getting up to another national park, Cusuco, where we hoped to see the elusive Quetzal.

From Cusuco we returned to Omoa, then back to Rio Dulce.

As we were driving the last few miles to the house after my flight home, we saw a great grey owl on a fencepost. A great welcome home!

Great Grey Owl on fencepost
Great Grey Owl