San Pedro Sula and Cusuco National Park
San Pedro Sula Travel Blog› entry 60 of 80 › view all entries
Spent an afternoon , evening and morning in San Pedro Sula , Honduras second city after the capital Tegucigalpa. San Pedro has something of a dodgy reputation (for gangs , crime and HIV) so not a place where I was looking to linger around too long , just somewhere I wanted to see briefly on my way to the Bay Islands. San Pedro is almost like a US city in some parts , such as around Avenida Circunvalacion & Boulevard Los Proceres with its large US style restaurants like Applebees and Chicago Grill ... somewhat understandable as its supposed to be the main business centre of Honduras. San Pedro has a pleasant enough looking Parque Central , dominated by the large & impressively designed cathedral , but frankly after a while it became a bit of a hassle with the absoutely searing heat (I was dripping in sweat continually) , the constant hassle from touts looking to change currency every time you walked 10 yards , and overly persistent taxi drivers who felt the need to shout taxi or sound their horns about 15 times at you as if you didnt register their presence on the third occasion .
To start, Cusuco National Park is located west to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. the cloud forest has 2 zones. The core zone and the buffer zone. The core zone is the area where the forest is most dense and virgin, and it's more protected. The buffer zone surrounds the core zone; it's the area where mountain villages settled.
The huge diversity of activities you can do in Cusuco National park is amazing. I will give you top 10 I most like. Our guide from junglexpedition tours showed us the way.
1) 4x4 truck experience!
To get to national park, you have to get with a 4x4 vehicle. San Pedro Sula, has a elevation of 120 meters above the level, and the highest elevation of the park is at 2200 meters above sea level. But the truck can reach till the 1800!. While you drive up you can see the astonishing views of the mountain valleys. Plus, you can feel the elevation changes. As you go up it gets colder and all the geographical terrain changes.
2) Stop at "Caritas Observation Tower" at Naranjito village.
Caritas is a NGO that brings a lot of help to the mountain villages surrounding Cusuco National Park. It starts with the only bilingual (Spanish - English) school, for the mountain villagers children at a very low price.
3) Get some traditional Honduran food at "Buenos Aires village".
Buenos Aires is the last village of the mountain. It holds the entrance to the national park. Here you can get very delicious meals at "Toucan restaurant" or "Quetzal restaurant". The villagers from here are amazing; they have protected the biodiversity of the park since before it was protected by the government.
4) Visit "Toucan Waterfall".
To get to this astonishing waterfall, you have to hike for one and a half hour. While you walk you get to see different traditional/high quality/conservation coffee farms.
5) Hike to "Golondrinas Waterfall".
This trail is bit more complicated, hour and a half of a more difficult terrain. At this hike you have a denser cloud forest trail. The environment is different from Toucan Waterfall; the canopy of the trees is closer and a more mystical look. Hidden inside this forest, the waterfall looks as if it's in a cave and creates a Jurassic environment.
6) Check out "Quetzal Waterfall"
Departing from the Visitors center of the National Park, one of the easiest trails allows you the chance to be close to the core zone.
7) Mountain biking
Once over there, mountain biking trails are remarkable, 6 kms of downhill from Base camp to Buenos Aires Village, and 9 Km of mostly horizontal and downhill to Naranjito Village.
8) Camp at one of the different location.
Recreational camping is something with a lot of potential. Being alone with nature makes this destination an exotic place to be. The cold climate makes this a cozy experience and because there is no electrical energy the only thing you'll hear is from nature itself. There is no more than 5 mm of difference between all the stars in the sky.
9) Stay at the Eco-Lodge.
The Honduran government helped to create the Eco-lodge at Buenos Aires Village. With solar panels it’s eco friendly. The capacity for accommodations is five double rooms, a kitchen, a living room, and an incredible balcony view.
10) STAY FOR MORE THAN A DAY!
I just said 10 things to do at the park, but the options are way more.
Well there you have it my fun time in Cusuco National Park a definate must see!!! my next stop is Utila for some hopefully really excellent diving and of course more great pics!!! See you in Utila!!!!