pico-bonito-whitewater-rafting

Active families need active adventures, and Honduras’ untamed national park, Pico Bonito, rises to the challenge. Gaze across the jungle canopy as you soar along a zip-line past curious birds and monkeys or cross a 122-m/400-ft hanging bridge. Or get ready to get wet as you thrill to whitewater rafting on the exhilarating and technical class IV and V rapids of the Cangrejal River. Extensive park trails offer options from nature walks, to steep-but-satisfying waterfall hikes, to a challenging trek to the top of Pico Bonito and back that is measured in days, not hours.

Pico Bonito (which means “beautiful peak” in Spanish) sits just 20 km/12 mi from the Caribbean, and contains seven ecosystems, from nearly sea-level coastal plains all the way to the 2,435-m/7,989-ft tip of the park’s mountain namesake. This makes Pico Bonito extremely biodiverse—home to rivers, cloud forests, dense jungles, dry lowland regions, exotic wildlife, and at least 400 bird species.

Rugged and isolated, Pico Bonito isn’t just remote, it is largely unexplored. Much of the 100,000-hectare/247,000-acre park is inaccessible without serious boots and a machete, but a stay at the Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito offers access to all the trekking, bird watching, rafting, and excitement you and your family can handle. Set on 160 private hectares/400 acres, the lodge has its own extensive network of private jungle trails leading to a four-story observation deck. The lodge’s bilingual, expert guides make sure your family’s experiences are as incredible as the park itself. Rated one of the world’s top 50 eco-lodges by National Geographic AdventurePico Bonito Lodge combines nature’s beauty with comfort and luxury in beautifully appointed cabins, and features a new, full-service spa and an ample swimming pool.

From the lodge, your family can also discover some of Honduras’ other exceptional offerings, such as an early morning boating trip to the Cuero y Salado wildlife refuge, in nearby La Ceiba, to spot crocodiles, sea turtles, sloths, monkeys, iguanas, hawks, eagles, parrots, and perhaps even the shy manatee. Just about an hour’s boat ride from the ferry at La Ceiba, you’ll find the coral reefs and white-sand beaches of Cayos Cochinos, a marine reserve with spectacular watersports like snorkeling, diving, and swimming. Here, you’ll also have the chance to hike in the island jungle in search of the native pink boa constrictor, and experience Garifuna culture and cuisine with a traditional homemade lunch by the waterside.

Head west on an optional two-day excursion to the Mayan archaeological ruins of Copán, with their exceptionally detailed stone carvings and temples and an on-site scarlet macaw refuge. Then, for the perfect cap to your family’s Honduras holiday, you may want to take advantage of Pico Bonito’s proximity to La Ceiba’s nearby airport or ferry to head for Honduras’ Bay Islands, along the Mesoamerican Coral Reef, where the island of Roatán is famed for outstanding snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing.

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