La Ceiba  is not bursting with tourist sites—most people come either because it’s a stop-off point to the Bay Islands  or to visit natural attractions in the area near La Ceiba. The town’s beaches are downright filthy and not very safe, which is unfortunate since they could be attractive if cleaned up. Swimming in the beaches in town is not advised, as the water is not kept clean.
The downtown parque (park) is nothing special, though it does provide a shady place to sit on a hot afternoon. The nearby main commercial district, centered on Avenida Atlántida and Avenida 14 de Julio, between 4 and 6 Calles, is a lively and colorful scene. The central market is a 1931-vintage, weather-beaten wooden building at 6 Calle and Avenida Atlántida.
Anyone with an entomological inclination should be sure to visit the Museo de Mariposas (tel. 504/442-2874, www.hondurasbutterfly.com , 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$3 adults, US$1.50 children), displaying some 9,000 butterflies and 4,000 other insects, in glass cases lining the walls. Those especially interested can take advantage of the free guide service, if one is available. Included are examples of the two largest butterflies in the world. The museum is in Colonia El Sauce just south of the golf course, Segunda Etapa, Casa G-12. Take the main entrance to El Sauce and turn left on the last paved road, and look for the museum two and a half blocks up on the right side.