Discover the Four La Ceiba National Parks!
There are a total of four La Ceiba National Parks that you can visit while in La Ceiba. These are Pico Bonito National and Nombre de Dios National Parks. Also on the list is the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument. Perhaps the most impressive fact is not that there are 4 La Ceiba National Parks, but their diversity! You can find tropical rain forests, cloud forests, marine estuaries, and pristine Caribbean isles within easy reach of La Ceiba. Visiting these National Parks and discovering their abundant nature is one of the top things to to in Honduras!
Pico Bonito National Park
Without doubt, the most famous of all of the above La Ceiba National Parks is Pico Bonito. This is the second largest area in the Honduras National Park Service. It is probably the most bio diverse national park in all of Central America! With elevations that go from sea level to 8,000 feet above sea level, and with an extremely tropical humid climate facing the Caribbean Sea and an truly dry climate facing the Aguan Valley towards the south, Pico Bonito is truly a nature playground that is still unexplored.
Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument
The most visited of all La Ceiba National Parks is the Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument. Lying a few miles off the coast of Sambo Creek, in La Ceiba, Cayos Cochinos is a dream come true. Pristine coral reefs, white sand beaches, uninhabited islands, Garifuna communities that retain their centuries old traditions and building techniques, you will simply fall in love with Cayos Cochinos.
Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge
The Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge is famous for the elusive manatee that thrives within this marine estuary. Access to the Refuge is via a funky century old railroad track. Your train trip will take you from the community of La Union all the way to the fishing village of Salado Barra. En route you will pass through cattle farms and coconut plantations. Once at the visitors center in Salado Barra, you can either get a boat tour through the canals into the mangrove forests or silently paddle yourself in a canoe through the canals that lead between the mangrove forests, in search of the abundant wildlife that calls the refuge home.
Nombre de Dios National Park
Last, but not least, you have Nombre de Dios National Park. This is an extension of Pico Bonito National Park. Nombre de Dios has a variety of hot springs, as well as a lovely lagoon called the Cacao Lagoon. At the Cacao Lagoon you can paddle in a sea kayak through the mangrove canals. Access to the canals is via an elevated walkway that leads through the swampy mangrove forest to the water itself. There you will find spacious wooden decks to facilitate boarding your kayak. If you prefer to stay dry, there are also large dugout canoes. These are much like those used to navigate through the Moskito Coast. In them you sit comfortably while guides paddle. This way, you can concentrate on spotting the monkeys and other wildlife that live in the lagoon.