Hiking and Backpacking
Blessed with more rugged mountain country and intact forest cover than anywhere else in Central America, Honduras offers fantastic possibilities for wilderness. Not that the country’s natural areas have much in the way of tourist infrastructure. Apart from the national parks of Celaque, Cusuco, Cerro Azul/Meámbar, and La Tigra, wilderness areas generally don’t feature marked trails or informative visitors centers. What hikers will find are dozens of unexplored patches of cloud forest across the mountains of central Honduras, huge areas of lowland tropical forest near the Caribbean coast, and several less extensive but unique ecosystems like mangrove wetlands and dry tropical forest. Each of these environments is well stocked with its own varieties of vibrantly colorful tropical birds, stealthy predators, and a myriad of other creatures seen only by those who have the energy to get out into their habitat and the patience to wait quietly for them to appear.
Not only is hiking in Honduras the best way to fully appreciate the country’s natural beauty, but it also brings foreigners in contact with rural Hondurans, who are some of the most decent, open-hearted people you are likely to ever run across. The rule (replicated, no doubt, in most of the world) seems to be the farther one goes out into the campo, away from cities and roads, the friendlier people get. You may find yourself stopping repeatedly on the trail to share a cup of coffee at the friendly insistence of some campesino in his hut.
While most people logically prefer to head into the woods during the dry season (roughly January–April, depending on the part of the country), hiking during the rains has its own appeal. The trails turn into muddy bogs (which they often are for most of the year anyhow, within the forest), but the electric green brilliance of the foliage often makes up for the discomforts.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition