Only a short drive away from La Ceiba is Pico Bonito National Park. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers and draws in visitors from all over the world keen to spot some of the rare birds found in the area.
Pico Bonito Lodge and Spa is a member of the group Small Luxury Hotels, which is quite fitting due to the intimate environment at the lodge. It’s one of the top places to stay in the country and a fabulous location from which to explore the local area.
The accommodations are in private wooden bungalows complete with a terrace, hammocks and an en suite bathroom with showers giving the feeling of being outside without actually having to be.
The grounds themselves are lovely to walk around; close to the hotel I saw, with the help of local guide Older, two Central American screech owls just a short walk from the reception. Equally easy to spot are the dainty hummingbirds that flit around the outside dining area making breakfast a delight for nature lovers.
The spa area is set within wooden teepee style huts and the treatments range from the usual manicures to speciality treatments and unique experiences. I opted for the Vichy Shower, a treatment I hadn’t heard of before but will certainly be remembering. You lie on a wooden table and are showered with warm water while the therapist scrubs you with a variety of products; a bit like a more luxurious version of a Turkish hamman. Following the exfoliation you’re massaged and left feeling relaxed and extremely smooth & clean.
Going to sleep there is a pleasure. The mattresses are incredibly comfortable and at night time you’re actually pleasantly relaxed by the sounds of nature; a real life version of a sleep machine recording.
There are even nearby natural swimming holes, with incredibly clear water and a number of rushing waterfalls. The pools are only a short walk from the lodge yet still feel as if you’ve just discovered them yourself.
Honduras is known for it’s coffee but another major export is actually chocolate, and Xocolatl are producing high quality as well as showing tours of the estate.
Surrounded by hills and lovely waterfalls the tour takes you around the grounds showing the areas for drying the beans as well as seeing the cocoa plant and trying the fruit. Here the chocolate is naturally sweeter as they have planted other fruit trees and vanilla around the cocoa plants.
After a pleasant walk you’re able to try your hand at producing your own chocolate using a traditional Mayan tool similar to a mortar and pestle. Then using the moulds you can shape your creations and sample the tastes!
Nature hike with @ReservacionesLaCeiba
Reservaciones La Ceiba are a wonderful company that give locals the chance to build up their skills as a guide by developing their language skills, growing their confidence and entrepreneurial skills.
This means that the guides used have a huge amount of knowledge about the local area and it’s fauna and flora as they have usually grown up close to where they run the tours.
As we walked through the area our local guide would demonstrate the different uses of the plants and trees.
I get bitten badly by mosquitos and the guide even showed me how to use a termite nest as a natural repellent. The guides can tailor your tour to your particular interests, and I was keen to find the local natural swimming holes as well as learn about some of the local plants. Equally the hikes can be changed to suit your level of fitness and if you don’t want to stray too far then there are some lovely river crossing bridges as well as sights just along the river.
For more information & for tours please contact Choose Honduras