The Lodge at Pico Bonito is a Honduras haven for any animal lover. It’s ideally located in the middle of the Honduras jungle and border mountains the locals call “Name of God Mountains”.
The Lodge at Pico Bonito also has miles of private trails winding through 100-foot canyons to waterfalls and natural swimming holes. A trio of four-story observation decks allows visitors to overlook the jungle canopy, and the lodge provides lots of adventures from white water rafting to safaris through the mangroves.
As for those US State Department warnings? All I can say is the only danger I encountered is how dangerously beautiful Honduras truly is! I have never felt more safe, met kinder, gentler people or had a more peaceful trip. In fact, I’d pit the Lodge at Pico Bonito against any five-star property in northern climes. Bordering the national park of the same name, it’s nearly two miles from a main road and the only real “threats” are getting so wrapped up in watching keel-billed toucan nests, or so enthralled by the pendulum swing of a motmot tail, that you accidentally run into a tree!
The Lodge at Pico Bonito was chosen by National Geographic as one of the world’s top ecolodges, and belongs to Small Luxury Hotels of the World. And, well, let’s just say that Sports Illustrated didn’t film the most gorgeous woman in the world here because the backdrop isn’t beautiful – actually Pico Bonito is both stunning in its purity and breathtaking.
The Lodge’s most popular excursion is its 5-hour trek to “Unbelievable Falls”!
The hike takes you into the Pico Bonito National Park, one of Central America’s most pristine jungles with over 270,000 acres of unexplored rainforest. Seven different ecosystems surround Pico Bonito and it is home to over 420 species of birds as well as jaguars, tapirs, deer, puma, white-faced and spider monkeys.
The hike’s ultimate destination is Unbelievable Falls, a spectacular double drop waterfall that descends almost 100 feet into a huge and irresistible swimming hole.
At the waterfalls, guests looking for a refreshing dip can scurry up the rocks and swim in a pool between the two drops. This guided Rainforest Hike to Unbelievable Falls is just $30 per person!
Although the organic local grown food alone is worth the trip with the best tasting pineapple and watermelon I have ever tasted! This secluded lodge is within swimming and snorkeling distance of Honduras’ Caribbean coast. The location is the establishments biggest draw, and the reason is the incredible natural wildlife everywhere you look! Visitors are privy to the blue cotingas, basilisk lizards (they run on water and locals call them Jesus lizards), howler monkeys, toucans, crocodiles, green herons and fields of purple water lilies. In other words, Mother Nature herself.
Rarely experienced by tourists, The Lodge at Pico Bonito has developed a unique and educational excursion into rural Honduras, the Rural Village Tour! Guests are accompanied by a member from the La Ceiba-based Adelante Foundation. Honduras is the second poorest country in the West Hemisphere, and The Adelante Foundation provides “micro-credit” loans to poor villagers, mostly women. The program allows for never before access to credit, as well as providing education to women to help pull them and their families out of poverty. The villagers use the money to start their own businesses. Over time many work their way out of poverty.
Guests attend an “Assembly” which is where 30 – 50 Adelante borrowers meet to learn new business skills, and important health or nutrition information. Often travelers have an opportunity to stop by one of businesses to discuss the borrower’s stories; their life of struggles and opportunities.
Their courage and warmth are inspirational, and you will walk away with the optimistic feeling that poverty can be overcome.
The 22 cabins at Lodge at Pico Bonito have all around 400-square feet with private decks, hammocks, ceiling fans, free Wi-Fi and native wood and vaulted ceilings. For more info, contact The Lodge at Pico Bonito, AP710, La Ceiba, CP31101, Honduras, Central America, www.picobonito.com.
Many organizations, such as Panthera, are helping to support Honduras’ beautiful wildlife. On March 1st, Panthera’s CEO and jaguar expert; Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, and the Minister of Honduras’ National Institute for the Conservation and Development of Forests, Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF); José Trinidad Suazo Bulnes, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) launching the National Jaguar Conservation Plan and initiating a stronger commitment to conserving jaguars in Honduras and securing the Jaguar Corridor, located in the heart of Central America. Panthera’s scientists recently confirmed that Honduras serves as a crucial link in the Jaguar Corridor, which seeks to connect and protect jaguar populations from Mexico to Argentina to ensure their genetic diversity and future survival.
At the ceremony, after a two-week tour of Panthera’s jaguar conservation projects in Honduras, Dr. Rabinowitz said, “Today’s signing signifies Honduras’ commitment to the jaguar, recognition of the country’s role within the Jaguar Corridor, and a significant step forward in conserving their incredible natural heritage.” Attendees of this historic event included a representative of the office of Honduras’s Vice President; Victor Hugo Barnica, and representatives from the United Nations, World Bank, USAID, PROCORREDOR, CATIE, and Proyecto ECOSISTEMAS.
Through this new partnership, Panthera and the Honduran government will strategically shape the development of land in and around the Jaguar Corridor that benefits both the country’s economic growth and the connectivity of the Corridor, including the use of wildlife underpasses and forest protection in areas of agricultural development, like oil palm plantations.
There are so many adorable stray dogs in the country but sadly there is no official animal rescue organization for the country. Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras (HHHH) is working to help rescue dogs on the streets of of Tegucigalpa – the capital Honduras!
Don’t be afraid to visit one of the most dangerously beautiful places on earth to see animals in the wild!