There are so many adventurous outdoor activities you can do on a visit to the Bay Islands, yet there are still a few that we simply don't have. But a quick hop over to the coastal city of La Ceiba should make up for what we're lacking. Visit La Ceiba for more outdoor adventure, for history, and for an ideal launching point for travel to the rest of Honduras.
Adventure Activities in La Ceiba
La Ceiba is built along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and scenic mountains. These mountains are often visible from Roatan on clear days, marking the mainland coastline approximately 40 miles away. Pico Bonito is the largest of these mountain peaks at 2,435 meters high. For the truly adventurous, hiking to the top of Pico Bonito is a feather in your cap as it takes around five days to complete.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the beautiful hiking around shorter trails along the mountains outside of La Ceiba. Pico Bonito National Park is the second-largest national park in Honduras and is one of four that surround the city, so visit La Ceiba if you're craving exploration in nature.
Whitewater rafting is another very popular outdoor activity in La Ceiba. The Cangrejal River offers Class II-IV rapids, making it accessible to beginners and fun for veteran rafters. There are several tourism operators in the area that offer guided tours. You can either book a day trip from your hotel in La Ceiba, or stay at one of the jungle lodges along the river for convenient access just outside your front door. The Cangrejal River is not controlled by dams, so rafting is entirely weather-dependent.
A popular visit to La Ceiba includes both whitewater rafting and hiking to El Bejuco waterfall, since hiking Pico Bonito typically exceeds a tourist's timeframe.
Birdwatching and Wildlife in La Ceiba
Birdwatching is another popular activity around La Ceiba. With four national parks just outside the city limits, it's easy to see why. If you're an avid birdwatcher, there are multiple lodges or hotels whose guides can lead you through the parks on specific tours. Or, just relax in a hammock at one of the jungle lodges and you're bound to enjoy an avian show!
Visit Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge for a glimpse into the past. Travel to the town of La Union and board an old train that harkens back to plantation days. The train will take you to the refuge, where you can enjoy a guided tour through the mangroves. You're likely to spot manatees and crocodiles, plus monkeys and a variety of tropical birds overhead.
Get to La Ceiba
If you’re going to visit La Ceiba from the Bay Islands, you can take either of the daily ferry trips from Roatan or Utila. Alternatively, you can fly from Guanaja, Roatan, or Utila to La Ceiba in about 15 minutes.
If you're traveling through mainland Honduras first, you can bus to La Ceiba from all major cities in Honduras. Instead, you could take advantage of domestic airlines' regular trips to La Ceiba to save hours of bus travel.
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