A few kilometers east of Corozal and more appealing is Sambo Creek, another Garífuna village at the mouth of a small river. Two good seafood restaurants, often filled with Ceibeños out for a meal, are La Champa Kabasa, right at the entrance to town, with an excellent, hearty seafood soup, and Sambo Creek Restaurant, just to the east on the beach.
Just east of the main entrance to Sambo Creek on the Tocoa highway is another dirt road leading toward the water, with signs for Villa Helen’s, Hotel Canadien, and the Diving Pelican Inn, three adjacent hotels on a quiet, clean, and safe stretch of beach—the first two are run by (unrelated) Canadian expats, the latter by Americans. All three hotels make great places to have a relaxed few days near La Ceiba.
To get there, either catch a Jutiapa or Tocoa local bus and get off at the turn, or take a US$12 private taxi from La Ceiba (a bit more at night). It’s possible to reach Sambo Creek by colectivo at the taxi hub in Barrio Potreritos in La Ceiba, on 6 Calle between 4 and 5 Avenidas, behind Hondutel. Taxis leave every half hour.
Day trips to the Cayos Cochinos can be arranged through boatmen in Sambo Creek, either by asking around in town the day before if you already have a group or, if not, by checking in at either Helen’s or the Canadien to see if they have any groups going. Prices vary, but usually a boat should do the trip for US$60–100 for up to 10 people, or maybe US$20–30 per person if you join with a group already going. One boatman based out of Sambo Creek that runs tours to Cayos Cochinos is Omar Acosta (tel. 504/408-1666).
Also just off the highway near Sambo Creek is the Sambo Creek Canopy Tour (tel. 504/3355-5481, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$45). Prices include a 40-minute horseback ride to the zipline site and a stop in nearby hot springs. It’s also possible to do just the hot springs and horseback riding for US$25 per person, which may be something to consider, as the canopy platforms haven’t always been sturdy in the past.
Near the entrance to Palma Real Beach Resort is Water Jungle (9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fri.–Sun.), Honduras’s largest water park, with a wave pool and pool games for small children, as well as huge water slides.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition