Pico Bonito National Park
Pico Bonito National Park view from La Ceiba
Pico Bonito National Park is located on the North Coast of Honduras
near the Caribbean coastal town of La Ceiba. Pico Bonito is the second
largest national park in the country, covering an area of 1073 square
kilometers. Its vast size subsequently means that it's one of the
most diverse national parks in Honduras. It is famous for the largest
peak of the Nombre de Dios mountain range; Pico Bonito itself is 2436
meters high. However the peak is a challenge to climb and few people
attempt it as climbing equipment is required and the climb can take
up to 10 days. The densely covered land means that much of the park
is hard to access. Visitors to the park will find it easier to explore
the lower lying regions around the Zacate and Cangrejal Rivers.
The National Park has a selection of different habitats, and the
rough terrain subsequently means that Pico Bonito is one of the least
explored national parks in Honduras, leaving the park in its natural
condition with only a handful of trails. The vegetation commences
with tropical rainforest and broad leaf forests. Then after approximately
1200 meters it diversifies to cloud forest. Rainforests have large
biomass. Extremes of heat and moisture means that a wide variety of
animals and plants thrive in this habitat.
The forest can be divided into different strata, as to the type of
life living in that specific zone of the forest. Tropical rainforests
have a more diversified environment than any other forest strata in
the world. Pico Bonito is home to jaguars, armadillos, wild pigs,
tepescuintes, squirrels, monkeys, toucans, white tailed deer, mountain
lions, river otters, motmots and many more species. Another highlight
of Pico Bonito is that it has areas of lowland dry forest which are
scarce in Honduras, making it a great location to observe the more
endangered and endemic birds and plants.
The slopes of Pico Bonito are extremely inclined thus forming numerous
waterfalls throughout the park. At daybreak you can view the vast
mountain range from La Ceiba and try and comprehend what it is that
you are about to explore. The numerous trails can be walked independently.
One of the routes, the Zacate River Trail, is approximately 1.5 km
long and follows the path of the river Zacate. On route there are
several swimming holes along the path.
Rio Cangrejal in Pico Bonito National Park
Visitors can relax in the clear waters of the river whilst adventuring
through the humid forest. On this particular trail many people are
fortunate enough to see keel-billed toucan and perhaps even white-faced
monkeys. Many tour operators offer excursions into the park ranging
from day trips to overnight journeys. Tours are recommended, as you
will have a guide with extensive knowledge of the diverse forest.
The long awaited lodge at Pico Bonito is now open to guests, and
is located near the El Pino Village. The Pico Bonito Lodge is positioned
amongst a functioning cacao and coffee farm and has great amenities
making it well worth a visit. The Lodge has pleasant rooms, a restaurant
and outstanding views of the mountains. You will also find additional
Eco Lodges in the area, which offer accommodations along the Rio Cangrejal,
which borders the edges of Pico Bonito National Park. These lodges
also offer rafting, hiking and horse riding tours and are good value
for money considering their location, services and professional staff.
For more information on service providers to explore La Ceiba and
Pico Bonito National Park please visit the following pages: http://travel-to-honduras.com/listing/honduras-ecotourism.php
By Lowri Gilbert
© Travel-to-Honduras.com and Roatanet.com, all rights reserved.