La Ceiba, a small city that is surprisingly friendly has become the eco tourism capital for Honduras. It actually has the potential to become the ecotourism capital for all of Central America! This might seem quite pretentious, especially when you consider that other countries in Central America, such as Costa Rica, Panama and Belize have built themselves a huge reputation as eco tourism destination.
Honduras has been lagging behind, and its unfortunate tag, as the world's most dangerous country has kept tourists from traveling and discovering all that Honduras has to offer. Fortunately, things have changed after the political crisis that spun the country into trouble, and I can happily say that situation is well under way to regain total control of security. The current government has managed to fight crime, and although much remains to be done, there is no doubt that a lot is being done! Best of all tourists are never targeted and the main tourist destinations are very safe, as any traveler that has recently traveled to Honduras can confirm.
La Ceiba is located on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, also referred to as the "north coast". If you look at a map of Central America you will understand why: Honduras has a quirky geographic location that puts the Caribbean Sea to the North, and the Pacific Ocean to the South. Together with Panama, Honduras is the only country in America with this unique situation. As long as you have a map, you might as well notice that there is a small archipelago of islands just north of La Ceiba. These are the Bay Islands of Honduras. They are close enough to the mainland of Honduras to be seen on a clear day from the beaches around La Ceiba. Of these islands, three are inhabited: Roatan, the largest, Utila, the closest to the mainland, and Guanaja, where Columbus disembarked on his fourth and last voyage to the "Indies".
If you are looking at getting to the Bay Islands, you can state, without doubt, that La Ceiba is the gateway to the Bay Islands of Honduras. From La Ceiba you will find daily ferry service available between this city and the islands of Utila and Roatan. In addition to the ferry service, the Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba offers several daily flights to and from the islands of Utila, Roatan and Guanaja.
Utila has become world famous as the most affordable destination to get "scuba certified" in the world! Roatan has become the fastest growing cruise ship port of call in the Caribbean, and Guanaja is a laid back paradise with beautiful green mountains, crystal clear creeks and waterfalls and outstanding reefs. Truly a paradise for anyone wanting to get away from it all and experience the Caribbean for what it is!
These beautiful Caribbean islands take the lion's share of tourism visitation to Honduras, and most of the tourists actually pass through the city of La Ceiba on their way to the islands. Incredibly, the vast majority of tourists completely bypass the city and simply consider that La Ceiba is the gateway to the Bay Islands of Honduras!
With so much to offer, and being the true eco tourism capital of Honduras, with 4 protected areas within its easy reach: Pico Bonito National Park, Nombre de Dios National Park, Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument, La Ceiba is a true paradise worth visiting! Regardless of whether you are looking for an adventure vacation or a nature vacation, you will find the perfect ingredients for both, best of all, you can actually combine them!
One of the more unique areas within La Ceiba is the Cangrejal River Valley. This is a unique extremely scenic area, where white water rafting, incredible waterfalls, a network of trails, outstanding birding opportunities, and much more can be found all within walking distance of the different outstanding lodges within the valley.
If you are planning a visit to the Bay Islands of Honduras, you simply must put in some time to visit La Ceiba and the Cangrejal River Valley. To pass through here and not to so would be like visiting the Bay Islands and not going out on the beach and swimming in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean! You will find over 10 different lodges and bed and breakfasts in the Cangrejal River Valley. There is certainly one that will fit into your budget. This will surely turn into one of the highlights of your trip to the Bay Islands of Honduras!