Triunfo de la Cruz
Another Garífuna town similar to Tornabé, Triunfo is eight kilometers east of Tela. The beach in town, though lined by fishing boats and not kept conspicuously clean, is a quiet place to sunbathe and swim in the warm waters. Locals are not bothered by visitors, and though they may not seem very friendly at first, neither do they hassle the few backpackers who come in search of a little peace and sun.
If you are interested in seeing a group of local dancers perform a traditional dugu dance, it can easily be arranged by asking around. The townsfolk often hold dances in different houses for their own purposes, and a polite visitor might be allowed to watch, if he or she asks nicely. Triunfo’s annual festival is held on May 3, the Day of the Cross. It’s also possible to arrange trips out to Punta Izopo in motorized canoe, usually around US$40 per boatload (up to 10 people) for a day trip.
The best place to stay in town, although overpriced for the services provided, is Caribbean Coral Inn (tel. 504/9994-9806, www.globalnet.hn/caribcoralinn, US$46 s, US$58 d, including breakfast), with five small but comfortable cabins, each with fan, TV, and hot water. The cabins can sleep up to four, and children up to 12 stay at no charge. The hotel, run by a non-Garífuna family, is on the beach, two blocks from the main road into town. They run a decent restaurant (reservations only) and will pick you up from your hotel in Tela upon request.
A couple of blocks away, also right on the beach, is Cabañas Colón (tel. 504/9982-0966), a cluster of small cabins (US$16 s/d, cold water only). Some are concrete and others bamboo, two have air-conditioning, several have TVs, and most have hammocks. Nearby Panchi (tel. 504/9929-0600) also has cabins that rent for US$10–20. A friendly watchman keeps an eye on things, so visitors can relax without fear of theft.
Jorge’s Restaurant, just east of the hotels, serves up succulent fried snapper, as well as a hearty, veggie-filled conch stew. Another great place to eat is at Playa Miramar, at the far west end of Triunfo, almost two kilometers from where the entrance road comes into town. The owners serve excellent seafood and take care to keep their beach clean for visitors to swim. There is a restaurant on the highway toward La Ceiba that some Hondurans claim serves the best conch soup in the country.
Getting to Triunfo
Several buses daily run to and from Tela (US$0.40), usually every hour or so. The buses leave Tela from near the market, the last returning to Tela in midafternoon. A taxi to Triunfo costs about US$5 for a carload (up to four passengers), or US$3 if you are solo. Sometimes one that has just dropped off passengers in Triunfo will offer a ride back to Tela for US$0.50. The two-kilometer dirt road to Triunfo leaves the Tela–La Ceiba road roughly five kilometers from the Tela turnoff. Formerly, the two- to three-hour walk to Tela via the small village of La Ensenada was a pleasant way to return from Triunfo, but several muggings have been reported, so it’s best to take the bus or a car.
Near La Ensenada is the site of Cristóbal de Olid’s first landing on Honduras, marking the beginning of Spanish colonization. Triunfo was originally established as a settlement by Olid, but the colonists soon moved elsewhere and the area was not permanently occupied until the Garífuna moved there from Trujillo in the early 1800s.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition