The Mosquito Coast of eastern Honduras is one of the most popular spots in the world for ecotourism. The large tropical rainforest that covers the area offers many opportunities for Honduras adventure travel.
Despite appearances, the Mosquito Coast (or La Moskitia) is named not after biting insects (although they are present in the area: bring bug-repellent and take anti-malaria pills) but after the local Miskita Indians. The Miskita were named after the muskets, provided by the British, that they used to resist Spanish colonists. Today, the Honduras-Nicaragua international border divides the Mosquito Coast. The border follows the Coco River. A ride up the Coco River or the other rivers in La Moskitia is a good way to see the tropical rainforest and rainforest animals.
The best way to enter the Mosquito Coast is by flying into Palacios Honduras. Although there are no direct flights from Europe or the United States, several airlines offer flights to Palacios Honduras from La Ceiba and Tegucigalpa. Unfortunately, Palacios Honduras has become a stop on drug-smuggling routes from South America, so it is best not to spend too much time in the town. Instead, head to Laguna de Ibans, from here you can take boats into the heart of the tropical rainforest.
Illegal logging and over-development threaten La Moskitia tropical rainforest, like those elsewhere in the world. To help protect the rainforest animals and trees, Honduras created the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve offers some great
opportunities for Honduras adventure travel. Local tour
guides will lead you into the rainforest, by boat or on-foot.
Start off early for the best chance to see rainforest
animals and birds. Some of the hikes can be quite strenuous;
others are fairly easy. Let the guide know what you are
interested in and he will arrange the best tour.
Hiking into the tropical rainforest without a guide is
unadvisable. The jungle is dense and it very easy to lose
Unless your Spanish is good enough to communicate with all the various boatmen and guides you will encounter on a trip into the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, it is worth considering an organized tour. Several companies offer good packages for Honduras adventure travel. Jungle River Tours, La Moskitia Ecoaventuras, and Turtle Tours, all based in La Ceiba, are all professional and reliable organizations. The cost of an organized tour is only slightly higher than making your own arrangements and takes much of the hassle out of a trip to the Mosquito Coast.
A visit to the Mosquito Coast as part of a Honduras vacation offers a glimpse at one of the best-preserved tropical rainforest in the world. A trip to Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve is Honduras adventure travel at its best.