Honduras Explorer: Ruins, Lakes, Jungles & Reefs

  • Trip Type
  • Adventure
  • Length
  • 11 Days / 10 Nights
  • When to Go
  • November - June

  • For the intrepid & the curious

    Venture off the trodden path to one of Central America’s least visited, yet most enriching destinations. Discover ancient Mayan ruins in the lush green highlands of Copán, and answer the call of the wild in the country’s lush rainforested south. Hike to hidden waterfalls, paddle the waters of Lake Yojoa, and spend time in an indigenous Garifuna village before you retreat to the Bay Islands for days spent beach combing, snorkeling, and sailing to palm-speckled islands with nary another soul in sight. Unleash your inner adventurer.

    Trip Highlights

    lush rainforest & deserted beaches • exotic wildlife & ancient ruins • off-the-beaten-path adventure • Copán ruins • cruise Lake Yojoa • waterfall hike • kayaking • Garifuna village visit • wildlife boat expeditions • Cayos Cochinos sail & snorkeling • vibrant coral reefs • beach time

    Full Package per person from:

    $2,850.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $3,000.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: Copán - Arrival

      When you land in San Pedro Sula, a driver will be waiting to whisk you off to the charming mountain village of Copán, located in the Honduran highlands. Not far from the Guatemalan border, the region of Copán boasts a rich colonial history, some of the country’s best coffee, and its most notable feature – the extensive ruins of a Maya city that was occupied for over two thousand years, from the fifth to ninth centuries AD.

    • Day 2: Copán - Walk in the footsteps of the ancient Mayans as you wander the mysterious ruins of Copán

      Today, you’ll explore the important archeological site of Copán, once the capital city reigning over a major Classic period kingdom in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region. Wander through the site, now declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, on foot as you learn about its special connection with the Guatemalan site of Quirigua and the dynasty that ruled the area between the fifth and ninth centuries.

      Led by a local guide, climb magnificent stone pyramids, revel in stunning views of the surrounding forest, and marvel at the many glyphs and sculptures that the site is known for, while you learn how the Mayan culture flourished in the western part of Honduras, leaving many different costumes and traditions behind as evidence of its past.

    • Day 3: Copán to Tela - Cruise Yojoa Lake by boat, and hike to the stunning Pulhapanzak waterfall

      After breakfast, set out to discover Lake Yojoa, Honduras’ largest lake. This little-known paradise, surrounded by cloud forest, offers unique scenery, a cool climate and some of the best birdwatching in the country. Embark on a birdwatching boat cruise along the lake. Enjoy a delicious local lunch, then hike into the forest to stunning Pulhapanzak Falls, for prime photo ops and a swim in the river to beat the jungle heat.

      Next, head back down the highway to Tela, and check into the luxurious Indura Resort, tucked between crystal-clear Caribbean waters and jungles teeming with exotic birds, monkeys and mangrove trees.

    • Day 4: Tela - Catch some rays and take in the incredible scenery of the beaches of Punta Sal

      Today, explore a hidden gem where jungle meets sea that few others ever have the chance to see. Accessible only by water, Punta Sal boasts unspoiled beaches lined by rainforests home to a wide diversity of wildlife, including white-faced and howler monkeys. Embark on a boat ride across the Bay of Tela, keeping your eyes open for dolphins playing in the shallow waters. When you arrive on the peninsula, take a guided hike through mangrove and tropical forests, then don a snorkel and dive into the turquoise waters to explore Punta Sal’s protected coral reefs. Finally, kick back and relax in true Caribbean style as you dry off on Cocalito beach and enjoy a typical Garifuna lunch.

    • Day 5: Tela to Pico Bonito - Kayak through mangroves to a native Garifuna village

      Head out this morning on an adrenaline-filled kayak adventure where the Rio Platano meets the Caribbean Sea. Depart from Tela, and pass through two indigenous Garifuna villages on the way to Punta Izopo National Park. Climb into a kayak and set out through a maze of mangroves and rivers, paddling through narrow channels that feel like something out of a Jurassic Park movie, with greenery closing in around you, as you revel in tropical birdsong and watch as magnificent Blue Morpho butterflies fly through the air nearby.

      After a couple of hours on the river, stop at a Garifuna village to learn about the indigenous way of life, and enjoy a traditional meal before continuing down the coast toward La Ceiba, where you'll branch off of the highway into the heart of the rainforest, and check into Pico Bonito Lodge, the eco-luxe hideaway where you'll rest your head for the next three days.

    • Day 6: Pico Bonito - Venture into the heart of the rainforest

      Spend your day relaxing, lounging poolside, reading in a hammock, or get some activity in on Pico Bonito’s Loop Trail, specifically designed as a self-guided interpretive hike that takes you to the perimeter of Pico Bonito National Park. The trail passes three canopy observation towers that each offer spectacular views and wildlife observation opportunities, as well as multiple swimming holes and small waterfalls.

    • Day 7: Pico Bonito - Paddle through Cuero y Salado Reserve in search of the elusive manatee

      Get an early start today, on an expedition to Cuero y Salado Refuge where the Cuero and Salado rivers meet the ocean. After a short drive from the lodge, you will travel in a small motorized train along a narrow-gauge railway that leads through pastures and coconut plantations to the mouth of the Salado River. Here, board a motorized skiff (or a canoe, if you prefer).

      The refuge contains over 3 200 acres of tropical wet and mangrove forests, where monkeys, sloths, caimans, crocodiles, iguanas and turtles are all common sightings, along with over 350 species of birds.

      The refuge’s most famous inhabitant is the elusive and endangered West Indian Manatee, with an estimated population of 50 individuals living in the reserve.

    • Day 8: Pico Bonito to Roatán - Find paradise in the Bay Islands

      Once you’ve satisfied your jungle craving, a flight east to Roatán will stun you with aerial views of azure and turquoise waters speckled with tiny islands before you touch down in perfect beachy paradise. Transfer to the stunning boutique Ibagari Resort, where your luxurious ocean-view suite awaits.

    • Day 9: Roatán - Explore pristine white sand beaches & vibrant island nightlife

      The last days of your adventure-packed holiday will be spent taking things down a notch. Take advantage of Ibagari’s onsite yoga and painting classes, schedule a massage, or just kick back and catch some rays by the pool.

      If you’re craving a little more excitement, make your way to West End Village, a mini-metropolis full of bars, restaurants, lounges, scuba operators and souvenir shops. The town also boasts Half Moon Bay, a perfectly crescent-shaped palm-studded beach well worth a visit. As night falls, the village becomes a flurry of activity, with many bars and eateries offering happy hours and live music.

    • Day 10: Roatán - Set sail to the Cayos Cochinos

      Today, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a picturesque, yet little-known archipelago off the coast of Honduras. Discover colorful reefs at two unique snorkeling spots along the way and indulge in a delicious lunch of barbeque chicken, grilled fish, pineapple salsa and an array of mouthwatering sides. Drift past remote private islands and Chachauate, the only inhabited cay in the archipelago, home to a small indigenous Garifuna village.

      Find your spot and settle in to watch the sun dip low in the sky, signaling another perfect day in paradise.

    • Day 11: Roatán - Departure

      Transfer to Roatán’s international airport 3 hours prior to your international departure. Adiós!

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    We'll give you everything you need, everything you want, and a few little surprises to make your trip extra special. We've got you covered, from start to finish. Unique, unforgettable destinations; private tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations and new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; perfect romantic touches; blissful relaxation; and a feeling of total freedom. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy an unparalleled, hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup

    • All hotel accommodation

    • Meals as indicated

    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide

    • All special events and tours

    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off

    • All baggage transportation

    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Honduras.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • If departing Honduras by air, most major airlines include exit taxes in the price of your airfare. If not, you must play L880 (USD $40) in departure tax at the airport. When you check in for your flight, the agent will let you know if payment is required.

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.

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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Honduras’ three international airports: Toncontín International Airport in Tegucigalpa (airport code: TGU), Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula (airport code: SAP), and Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport in Roatán (airport code: RTB). As our itineraries depart from Honduras' north, please arrange flights into and/or out of the airports in either San Pedro Sula, or Roatán. Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Honduras from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.

    When you arrive in SAP or RTB, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your first destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

    Ready to book, or just want to get more information? Let's get started! Fill out the form below, and we will send you a no-obligation quote.

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