Pico Bonito: The Park Less Explored
Pico Bonito National Park isn’t just remote—it’s largely unexplored. Located in northern Honduras, near the Caribbean city of La Ceiba, it’s one of country’s largest national parks. Spanning approximately 100,000 hectares (247,105 acres) and named for its 2,435-meter-high (7,988-foot) mountain centerpiece, it comprises rough, densely covered jungle terrain, much of which is impossible to access. So, why visit?
Because few other places are quite so wild. Monkeys, armadillos, pumas, deer, jaguars, and river otters live here, as do myriad endemic birds and plants. The park is also home to a variety of different habitats, including tropical rainforests, cloud forests, and dry lowland regions (the latter is known for being home to the emerald hummingbird).
Although much of park is off-limits, a handful of trails and rivers do allow visitors to get a peek at some of what this remote area hides. Follow the trail along the Coloradito River at night to see tree frogs, myriad bat species, and possums; set out on an early morning excursion to spot toucans and the lovely cotinga (a beautiful electric-blue bird); or trek through rainforests and past crystal-clear pools to the 76-meter-high (250-foot) El Bejuco waterfall for vistas of the park and all the way to the Caribbean coast. Visitors can also raft or kayak the rapids of the Cangrejal, the park’s largest river, which is lined with breathtaking scenery.
You might not be able to explore all of Pico Bonito, but in a way, that only adds to its appeal.