Pico Bonito is a huge rainforest reserve covering a mountain range with elevations ranging from sea level up to 2,435metres. The park is full of rivers, waterfalls amid lush tropical vegetation and is an excellent location for hiking, bird watching, rafting and enjoying the abundant wildlife.
Situated close to the Caribbean coastal town of La Ceiba and covering a massive 107,000 hectares, Pico Bonito is the second largest protected area in the country and is a refuge for animal life seen rarely elsewhere. The largely unexplored jungle has a rich biodiversity with 7 different ecosystems from humid tropical broadleaf forest in the lower regions to rare cloudforest on the peaks.
You could combine your stay at Pico Bonito with day trips out to the nearby Cayos Cochinos islands for beach, snorkelling, diving and swimming in warm, clear tropical waters.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Hiking excursions into the forest are a must for the nature lover. The park is home to 325 species of birds as well as jaguars, tapirs, deer, puma, white-faced and spider monkeys. There are numerous rivers with crystal clear swimming holes to dip into.
Walking. There are numerous self-guided hikes that take you to the perimeter of Pico Bonito National Park, but you can ask one of the guides to join you. The loop trail passes three different canopy observation towers located for spectacular views and wildlife observation opportunities. It meanders along a ridge that divides the Corinto and Coloradito river watersheds and accesses several swimming holes and small waterfalls. The loop trail can take two to three hours to complete.
Cayos Cochinos Marine Reserve. Full day. For us the Cayos Cochinos are the most spectacular collection of islands, beach and reef in the western Caribbean. Located only 19 kilometres off the Honduran coastline near Pico Bonito and consisting of two main islands and 13 smaller cays, all of which are surrounded by pristine reefs. The larger islands are covered in thick tropical forest and ringed by excellent white-sand beaches.
Whitewater rafting. Half day and full day. Some of the best rafting to be found in Central America is on the Cangrejal River. Both novices and experienced rafters can enjoy this exciting river through pristine jungle with four distinct sections of the river boasting dozens of different rapids ranging from class II to V.
Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge. Full day. A guided tour by boat through a complex of estuaries and mangrove forests. 13,000 hectares of estuarine mangrove forest where one can expect to see howler and white-faced monkeys, iguanas, alligators, hundreds of species of birds and, with a little luck, manatees.