A Taste of Honduras
Though a small country, Honduras is too big to be seen in two weeks.
Out the window from the cheapest buses around, the northwest shore of Honduras is hot, slow, and full of surprises. Fruit trees line the bumpy highway. Just behind are mountains covered in dense jungle. Glimpses of beaches and ocean peek though the concrete of dusty small towns.
Leaving by boat from Belize, I traveled though a little Caribbean corner of Guatemala, passed Puerto Cortez on the north coast, arrived in Honduras’ second city San Pedro Sula at nightfall, and then went up to Tela on the north coast.
Tela is on a long beach, not your white sand perfection like other parts of the Caribbean but great for swimming and long walks. To the east are Garifuna villages. The Garifuna are the descendents of shipwrecked slaves and Carib Indians. Their long history culminated in 1796 when the British expelled them to Roatán, one of Honduras’ Bay Islands in the Caribbean, where I went after Tela.
Walk west on the beach from Tela and you reach La Esperanza, a Garifuna village. This is the place to get seafood soup. It’s lobster, shrimp, fish, and conch cooked in coconut milk and lots of spices.
Honduran towns have their own feel compared to other Central American countries. Tela was a smaller, safer version of San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba.
Tela at night from my cheap hotel. Tela is a cool mix because it’s a real town with a tourist element, but not controlled or overrun by foreign tourists. And it’s safe to walk around at night. Not the beach though.
Across the highway from the town is Lancetilla, a big botanical garden first used by United Fruit Company to test the viability of growing exotic fruit trees in Honduras.
Here are some palms.
The thing to eat on the street in Honduras are baleadas.
You can get them with meat, eggs, avocado, or things you don’t know what they are.
They are big and cost between 50 cents and 1 dollar.
This is the port at La Ceiba, Honduras’ third largest city. The city is bordered by big jungle mountains on one side and a long beach on the other. I didn’t spend much time there, just took the boat straight to Roatán.
Roatán: good people, perfect beaches, scuba diving, Garifuna food, and Garifuna parties. Paradise. More on that next week…