Lakeshore Lodging and Food
A little farther down the dirt road that passes D&D are the Cabañas Ecológicas Paradise (tel. 504/602-9743, US$50 s/d), two recently built wooden cabins high on stilts. The rather overpriced cabins each have a lovely enclosed porch with rustic furniture, and a cramped bedroom with a fan and a mini-fridge. The cabins are located within the lush Centro Turístico Paradise, next to coffee fields, a gurgling stream, and a jarringly unkempt staff house. The resort gets packed with day visitors during Semana Santa, when it is decked out with flowers.
In a spectacular setting on the north shore of Lago de Yojoa, along the highway between Peña Blanca and Agua Azul, located 1.5 kilometers off the highway down by the lakeshore, is the more upscale Finca Las Glorias (tel. 504/566-0461, www.hotellasglorias.com, US$46 s, U$49 d), renting attractive but worn cabins and apartments set on a grassy lawn by the water’s edge, each with air-conditioning, fans, TV, and porch hammocks. During the rainy season there can also be an outrageous number of bugs in the rooms. Come for a day visit instead: The restaurant is good (US$6 for tilapia from the lake, US$4.50 for a buffet breakfast), horseback rides are available, and the hotel has a small marina where you can rent boats. There is also a gift shop, a little bit of play equipment for tots, and a murky swimming pool.
About a kilometer east of the Las Glorias entrance is Brisas del Lago (tel. 504/608-7229, Tegucigalpa tel. 504/237-0194, San Pedro tel. 504/557-1433, US$32 s, US$39 d), with institutional-looking concrete buildings painted a cheery yellow set on a hillside well away from the lakeshore. The spacious rooms, which feature air-conditioning and small balconies or patios, are quite nice, although the buildings in which they are contained are decidedly unattractive. There is a swimming pool and children’s play equipment on the grounds, and horseback riding is available. Brisas operates a turicentro a kilometer away on the lakeshore with pools, small boats, kayaks, canoes, sports fields and a restaurant. The turicentro (tel. 504/608-7229 or 504/9992-2937) is open to the public as well as hotel guests.
Just past the entrance to Brisas on the highway heading toward Agua Azul, on the opposite side of the road, is the Cabañas y Restaurante Estoraque (tel. 504/608-3669 or 504/9992-9807, normawari2004 [at] yahoo [dot] es), run by a Honduran-American couple. There are four cute cabins set back from the road in a garden (US$18 s to US$26 for four people), each with a private bathroom, fan, and TV. While there isn’t any waterfront, guests can head to the nearby turicentro at Brisas del Lago, to the Hotel Agua Azul, or to Finca Las Glorias, for use of their marinas. The restaurant (8 a.m.–9 p.m. Wed.–Sun.) has a simple menu of burgers (US$2), fish dinners (US$6), and barbecued chicken (US$4), prepared with care in a spotlessly clean, screened-in kitchen. The cabins are frequently occupied, so book in advance.
Four kilometers east toward La Guama from Brisas del Lago is Hotel Agua Azul (tel. 504/9991-7244 or 504/608-3671). The attractive wooden cabins on a small rise above the lake are slowly being updated, with rustic wood furnishings, TV, and air-conditioning; the two rooms closest to the lake have been renovated and cost US$33 per night for up to four people. The remaining 16 rooms are quite basic inside, with a fan and hot water, and rent for US$22 a night. Five two-bedroom cabins that can sleep up to five people cost US$40 per night. The reasonably priced food is good, and although service can be slow, the wooden-porch restaurant with its two pool tables offers stunning views out over the lake, making time pass quickly. Kayaks, fishing trips, and boat trips around the lake are available. The swimming pool is a disappointment, with more vegetation than water inside. The nearby Isla del Venado and the rocks at La Venta are good places to watch birds.
At kilometer marker 161 on the San Pedro–Tegucigalpa highway, in the village of Monte Verde on the east side of the lake, is the pricey Honduyate Marina (tel. 504/990-9386 or 504/990-9387, www.honduyatemarina.com, US$79 s, US$89 d, US$115 suite), a marina/restaurant/hotel. The owners can arrange water-ski and fishing trips, and they hire out their nine-meter yacht for full-day cruises with picnic lunch and bar service for US$120, or you can rent a sailboat, motorboat, or rowboat. The hotel’s five rooms are not luxurious, but quite nice, if a bit cutesy, with wireless Internet (for a charge), TV and DVD player, and air-conditioning; the doubles have small balconies as well. There are also two small cabins with air-conditioning (US$30 for a double bed, US$44 for a double plus a twin). Shoestringers can stay in a large cabin with bunkbeds for US$15 per person or arrange to camp on-site. Nonguests can use the swimming pool for US$3.50 (US$2 kids). The on-site restaurant is closed Tuesdays.
A couple of kilometers toward Tegucigalpa from Honduyate, also right on the lakeshore, is a strip of (at last count) an astounding 53 fish restaurants crammed up against one another, all serving reasonably priced fresh fish and comida típica.
La Naturaleza, a buffet restaurant on the east side of the San Pedro Sula–Tegucigalpa highway near the village of Monte Verde, has a bilingual photo display and small museum regarding the Cerro Azul/Meámbar National Park, the lake, and the surrounding area. Other features include a good butterfly house, children’s play equipment, and a Kobs ice-cream shop. (This is a great stop on a road trip with kids.) Plans for a hotel are underway. You can occasionally get good information on the national park from the people here, but your best bet is up in Los Pinos.
At the southeast corner of Lago de Yojoa, where the Santa Bárbara road meets the San Pedro–Tegucigalpa highway, is the village of Pito Solo. The only rooms available are actually just before town at Los Remos (tel. 504/9959-9812, los-remos [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$26 s/d with fan, US$37 s/d with a/c), a one-level, ranch-style place reminiscent of, in the words of one guest, the Bates Motel. Rooms are none too great, but facilities include a pool, a small restaurant, and rental rowboats. With its lake views from the restaurant it’s a great place to stop for lunch (although service is exceptionally slow), and if you decide to go for a row, there is some good birding here (spottings include lesser yellow-headed vulture, wood stork, fork-tailed flycatcher, American wigeon, lesser scaup, muscovy duck, and both the fulvous and black-bellied whistling ducks).
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition