Comprising 4,537 hectares between 667 and 1,235 meters above sea level, Parque Nacional Capiro y Calentura is centered on the two jungle-clad peaks right behind Trujillo . Capiro y Calentura has few trails or tourist facilities, as tourism was a secondary reason for establishing the reserve, the primary reason being to protect Trujillo’s water supply.
The easiest and most common access to Capiro y Calentura is via the dirt road past Villa Brinkley, which winds up the mountain to the radio towers just below the peak of Cerro Calentura. Formerly, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintained a radar station here, but now the caretakers of a Hondutel tower and the Catholic radio station antenna are the only occupants.
From the radio towers, you can see out over the Valle del Aguán, and a trail goes east a short distance to a lookout point with great views out over the bay and Laguna Guaymoreto. The peak of Cerro Calentura is a bit farther east, but there are essentially no trails. To get out there would require a machete.
The two- to three-hour walk up to the towers from town is best done in the early morning, when it’s cool and the birds are most active. Muggings have been reported on the road, so it might be wise to go in a group. A small wooden cabin at the bottom of the road is where the park vigilante stays—he will collect your US$3.50 entrance fee between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
Another popular hike in Capiro y Calentura is up the Río Negro, in a valley between Cerro Capiro and Cerro Calentura. The trail follows a water pipe along the river to a dam, above which are two small waterfalls.
Just outside the western edge of the park, a colonial-era stone road cuts over the mountains to the village of Higuerito on the south side of the mountains. The trail begins east of the village of Campamento, on the road to Santa Fe. Somewhere in the sides of the mountains—good luck finding them—are the Cuevas de Cuyamel, which archaeologists say have been used as a ritual site since pre-Columbian times.
Because the trails are not well maintained and the route steep, a guide is highly recommended for hiking in the park. The Fundación Capiro Calentura Guaimoreto (Fucagua, tel. 504/434-4294) oversees the park and may be able to help identify an able guide. Its office is on the second floor of the kiosk in Trujillo ’s central park. It is also possible to arrange a tour with Tourist Options (www.hondurastouristoptions.com ) if you are a group of three or more.