Travel tips and how to travel safely when visiting Honduras.
In planning your trip to Honduras we hope these tips prove useful and help make your trip more enjoyable to Villas Pico Bonito. You are about to enter a completely new world. It is so different and yet that is the very essence of how your visit can be both educational and a wonderful holiday experience.
Getting here. The least expensive way to get to Villas Pico Bonito is to fly into SAP San Pedro Sula. Using LCE, La Ceiba as your destination will result in a very expensive ticket price. It is much cheaper to book into San Pedro Sula and then on by which ever way suits you to the resort. (See directions to Villas Pico Bonito)
From the USA, Delta, Avianca, United and American all fly into San Pedro Sula (SAP). Most flights from Europe will fly into Miami and connect there. Most flights from Asia will connect through Los Angeles or Houston. Cayman Airways connects through Grand Cayman and flies directly from there to La Ceiba. If you want to fly into Roatan and then to La Ceiba, American, Delta and United have flights to Roatan.
Once in Honduras, there are many different ways to get to Villas Pico Bonito. If you are flying into San Pedro Sula, which we recommend over Tegucigalpa, it depends on time of arrival. From San Pedro Sula to the resort, the Hedman Alas bus is the least expensive way to get to La Ceiba. Depending on whether or not your flight arrives before 1 pm in order to make the connection. Check their web site for schedule. Other options, rent a taxi $165, up to 4 people. 5 and up to 9, $195 trip time 2.5 to 3 hours. Renting a van or taxi brings you directly to the lodge. Flying in or coming by bus requires an extra taxi trip to the resort from La Ceiba. You may want to fly for approximately $70 per person. SOSA leaves at 2.30 pm and Avianca at 4.00 pm. Driving a rental car ($55 per day), gives you flexibility. Drive defensively and realize there are few rules and a lot of give and take needed. Please make sure you have the rental documents, your drivers licence, and your yellow entry visa and passport ready for inspection at the many traffic safety stops throughout Honduras. Most of the time the Police just wave you through if you drop the window on approach and they see you are a tourist.
From Roatan the ferry leaves twice daily. Staying in Roatan and want to spend a few days on the Ri0 Cangrejal? The resort is close by. The ferry docks are about 20 minutes from us. We can organize a pick up for a small fee from the airport or ferry and take you the local supermarket to if you wish to buy food for your stay and then on up to Villas Pico Bonito. To fly, SOSA and LANHSA both fly to La Ceiba
Directions to Villas Pico Bonito. For those of you who wish to drive, directions from San Pedro Sula airport, turn left at the main road, follow signs to Tela and then to La Ceiba, it is the main road and the only way here. You are coming to VILLAS Pico Bonito, address Km 7.5 km Carretera de Yaruca, La Ceiba, on the Rio Cangrejal, between Los Lobos and Jungle River. Vas a venir a Villas (veeas) Pico Bonito, Km. 7,5 kilometros dirección Carretera de Yaruca, en el Río Cangrejal, entre Los Lobos y Jungle River.
From La Ceiba Golison airport, make sure the driver makes a right turn once you hit the highway leaving from the La Ceiba airport . (If they turn left they are taking you to some other place with the name Pico Bonito). You are now on the same road as if you were driving from San Pedro Sula. Head into town, you see a UNO station on the right, pass by the first one. Continue on and you will see the second UNO station that you are looking for coming up on your right hand side with the Mall on your left. Just before the UNO station the road makes a Y. It is here that you can come directly to the Lodge or stop off at the supermarket.
To get to the supermarket stay on the main road and just past the UNO Station look to the left and you will see one of the large malls here in La Ceiba. The Antorcha supermarket is in the mall as are banks, ATMs and department stores for your convenience. Continue on another 200 yards and the La Colonia supermarket is on the left.
To come directly to the resort, bear right at the UNO station continue about a mile and cross the Puente Saopin (Bridge). Turn right immediately after crossing the bridge and go 7.5 KMs (4.6 miles) up this picturesque gravel road as it winds alongside the river. At Km 7.5 (4.6 miles) you will see the first green steel bar gate on the right hand side, now continue 100 yards to the second green steel gate. You will see a sign saying Villas Pico Bonito.
If you are coming from the ferry, get on the road leaving the ferry dock and come to where the road dead ends and T’s. Left is to Trujillo and right goes to La Ceiba and the Saopin Bridge. Turn right and just before the bridge is a left hand turn. Turn on to this road and follow it as outlined above. If you want to go to the Supermarket keep going across the bridge and about a mile up you will come to the UNO station on the right. Bear right and you will see the mall on your left, the supermarket is there. Driving from Tegucigalpa is a 5 / 6 hour trip. Head north out of the city towards San Pedro Sula. Pass through Lago Yojoa and look for the turn off to Santa Rita and head to Progresso. (If you miss this turn off continue to San Pedro Sula) Look for the signs to La Ceiba. Follow directions as above.
Now you are here, relax, have a swim in the pool, stream or the river, have a cool drink at the Hidden Paradise Bar and Grill or relax and enjoy the stunning views and the beautiful gardens.
Welcome to your Jungle home. Thank you for staying with us. We are glad to see you here at Villas Pico Bonito Lodge and Eco Resort. We feel that this is now your home and we respect your privacy. We will maintain your home when you request it. The office is the white house with the red roof. Drop off a note describing what you need. Our cleaning staff is available from 7.30 am until 4.00 pm. The Grill is open from 11.30 am, last order 7.30 pm. We offer a good selection of grilled and vegetarian food. We can also provide breakfast if requested. We provide coffee, ice and as much bottled water as you need for your lodge.
The pool and grill area are serviced by our staff. Please do not bring your own food, drinks or coolers to this area. The pool is for your enjoyment. If you wish to bring guests please advise us as we reserve the right to charge an admission fee that can be added to your bill.
WiFi high speed internet is available around the pool and grill area and in the Ceiba Tree, Cangrejal, Catarata, Bejuco, Jungle and Del Rio We have a TV and DVD player available to rent for movies. There are strategically placed benches around the property to enjoy the views. You will find pathways that lead to these great spots for bird watching or just getting a little exercise. The pool is open every day. Absolutely no smoking is permitted in or around any of the Lodges. That includes the decks and balconies. There is a smoking area in the bar. Please be aware that Honduras now has tough anti smoking rules. Check in time is 3 pm and check out time is 11.00 am.
What should I bring with me?
- Flashlight: The electricity in La Ceiba is the same as the U.S. and Canada (same outlets) but is not completely reliable. We have security lights in the Lodges that can be used as flashlights too.
- A small TSA padlock to lock up your luggage.
- A Surge Protector: The electricity in Honduras is the same as the U.S. and Canada, but it frequently goes out. A surge protector will help keep your cell phone charger and other electric items from burning out.
- Clock: Bring a clock or watch.
- Water bottles: Fill ‘em and freeze ‘em. They can be purchased locally.
- Sunscreen & insect repellant
- BOOKS: For those lazy days by the pool, in a hammock or just relaxing.
It is likely that your regular cell phone will NOT work in Honduras. You can purchase an inexpensive phone at the mall in La Ceiba ($25) and buy minute cards for L.100, L. 200, ($5 & $10) etc. to add minutes. There are two companies, Tigo and Claro. Tigo seems to get much better reception in this area. Cell phone reception is limited while at Villas Pico Bonito but we have good internet service so if you use your cell phone, load a good app for calls over wifi such as Viber, Whatsapp or Skype for calling home
Drinking the water, eating the food
Food at the resort is good, healthy and grilled. The Honduran food in the city is tasty, but pretty high in carbs. Lots of rice, beans, pasta and green bananas. Bring a water bottle or two that you can fill with filtered water supplied free in your Lodge then freeze so you have cold water each day. Drink A LOT of water - you are in the tropics!
Do NOT drink tap water in the cities. The water at the lodge comes from a very clean stream but as you are not used to it, best not to drink it It is probably fine for brushing your teeth, however best using the supplied free purified water.
If you are preparing your own meals, be sure to wash your veggies, lettuce, tomato, etc. in a small bowl with 2-3 drops of Clorox for three minutes before consuming them to avoid getting parasites, then rinse in clear tap water and dry.
No flashy jewelry
To the average Honduran, you appear quite wealthy. Most Hondurans are honest and caring but as in any country, there are those who will take advantage of an opportunity if you are careless with your belongings. Do not walk around with your cell phone or iPod visible. Keep your backpack or other bags on your lap when riding in a taxi. Do not wear flashy jewelry. Do not carry a lot of cash.
Phot0copies of passport & credit cards
Make photocopies of your passport and credit cards before you go. Be sure to include the international 800#’s to call if they are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with your family and keep another copy in your locked luggage. If you lose your wallet, this copy will be very handy! There are checkpoints throughout La Ceiba and other cities and along the highways, so please always carry a copy of your passport with you.
Use the buddy system whenever possible. If you plan to travel around the country or even to the local internet café, TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU PLAN TO BE BACK. Even better, bring someone along too. Never walk alone!
Say NO to drugs. Do not even THINK about purchasing or using illegal drugs while in Honduras.
Common sense please!
As is common in Central America, you will notice that most businesses, banks, department stores, supermarkets, etc. will have an armed security guards.
We provide a pick up service from La Ceiba for a small fee. We can arrange pick up from San Pedro Sula if requested. Basic safety rules for taxis once you are here. Do not get in a taxi that has no inside door handles and note the taxi number you use before getting in. Taxis generally cost 25 lps around town. ($1.50-$2). Taking a taxi to/from the airport or ferry dock is considerably more. Ask around so you know what prices are and have the price arranged with the taxi driver before getting in a taxi.
Seasons. Summer is March/September. Usually hot and dry except for tropical events. Rainy season October/December. Cool from December/February usually very cool and rainy when a cold front passes. If you are visiting during this time, make sure you bring some light weight but warm clothing as it is 60 degrees at night and cool in the evenings.
Money, Cards etc. US dollars are accepted in all but the smallest stores. Plenty of ATMs in the Cities. $5 charge at each end so quite expensive, only use ATMs at banks. There is no need to carry large sums of cash as Credit cards are also accepted most places. Travelers Checks are not so don’t bring them. Possible exception American Express for use in large cities. The department stores have fixed prices. Negotiate all pricing especially with taxi drivers and small shops. Do not use US dollars in large denominations to pay for small purchases anywhere, you will get a very low exchange rate. Best to carry a small amount of Lempiras with you for incidentals, there are banks at the airport where you can change money ($1 = 22 LPS). The money changers are not regulated so may be a small risk but should be OK for small amounts. No guarantees! Easy way to calculate costs. Divide by 2 and take off the zero. 100 lps / 2 = 50 remove 0 = $5.