Friday, November 11, 2011

A Road Less Traveled: Southern Honduras


Southern Honduras is on the Pacific coast and doesn’t draw a fraction of the crowd of the Caribbean coast, but that just makes it more appealing!  Twinkle your toes on a quiet sandy beach, just you and the Pacific! 

To get to the towns in Southern Honduras, it’s just four or more hours on a bus.  If you’ve been to Central America you’ve seen these buses before.  Old American school buses decked out with colorful airbrushed names.  They are truly a lovely site!  On occasion you’ll sit next to a lady with a live chicken or various other cargos, but that adds to the ambiance. 

San Lorenzo
Catch a bus from Teguc to San Lorenzo and don’t pay more than 45 Lemps!  To find the bus stops in Honduras, you’ll have to catch a cab and ask, you’ll need your Spanish for this.  There aren’t signs for bus stops; the cabbies just know where different buses chill till they feel like leaving. 


San Lorenzo - Rumor was the sailboat belonged to an
Auzzie sailing around the world.







San Lorenzo has a handful of waterfront discotecas and cute little restaurants.  Pull up a bench on the palm leaf covered deck of one of the restaurants and order yourself a fresh grilled fish or lobster.  Be prepared to peel back the skin and eat around the bones.  Yum!  As you walk around San Lorenzo you will notice an assortment of sea statues, including shrimps and seahorses. 
View of Amapala from Coyolito

My favorite beaches in Southern Honduras are on an island called Amapala.  I think this used to be a volcanic island because the sand is very dark on the beaches, but it’s beautiful!  Catch the bus to Coyolito and then barter with someone that has a boat to catch a ride to San Pablo, the little port town on Amapala.  It’s a short ride, but it gives you a beautiful view of the coast and some other islands, so get your camera out.  I advise keeping your camera inside a zip lock bag, because this ride can be bumpy! 

Empty Secluded Playa Grande on Amapala
Upon arrival in the town, you’ll wander through the cute streets and hopefully you’ll find the main square where you can buy ice cream and meet some of the locals.  There are cute little motorcycles converted into cabs that can give you a ride to one of the beaches.  Or you can hitch a ride like I did on the back of a pick-up truck. 

The beaches are beautiful but this island is not very developed so you won’t have too many options on places to eat and such.  We had to walk most of the way back to San Pablo after playing on the beach all day, because there were literally no cars driving by for 30 minutes.  We finally squeezed into the back of a motorcycle cab with 2 small kids already on board.  But as you traverse this island, admire the jungle and the landscape.  It’s beautiful and untouched! 

Lobster shack on Amapala
As a safety note, I would like to advise travelers not to carry purses or use your expensive electronics when in the large cities of Honduras.  Save your digital camera for the southern beaches where it’s not a problem.  While in the capital, I kept my money in my bra and carried nothing else on me.  I took pictures from the safety of a cab on our way to the bus stop, but that was it.  Gringos stand out in this country like a sore thumb, so just be prepared.  Also, drink plenty of water!  Bags of water shouldn’t cost more than 2 lemps.  There’s no such thing as bottled water so just get used to sucking water out of the corner of a plastic bag. 

Dog trying to get out of sun on Playa Grande




But most importantly have fun!  The Honduran people are generally warm and friendly.  Say hello and they will say hello back!  

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