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La Ceiba

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La Ceiba is a city on the north Caribbean coast of Honduras, 202 km from San Pedro Sula.


It is the third largest city in Honduras, containing roughly 250,000 people. The town is just beginning to have a tourist infrastructure for westerners. There are good hotels, ATM machines and internet cafes. Many people who visit La Ceiba do so to use the city as a base to visit Pico Bonito National Park, the Cuero and Salado Wildlife Refuge or beaches and ethnic Garífuna villages nearby. Or people just stop off for a night on their way to the Bay Islands or the Hog Islands.

Get In[edit]

Long distance[edit]

There are buses from San Pedro Sula for L125 from the central bus terminal or from Santa Marta (the taxis will know where this is) and the journey takes around 4 hr, as one may have to wait an hour or two for the bus to actually leave from the terminal whereas Santa Marta also has buses that come from Trujillo and Olanchito. Hedman Alas provide a slightly more expensive air-conditioned service froma separate terminal. There are buses going directly to Olanchito, Tocoa and Trujillo as well as direct buses to Tegucigalpa, which again go from their own terminal, e.g. Cristina. In addition, there are several flights to La Ceiba. air viva offers connections from Tegucigalpa, Roatan, San Pedro Sula and more cities.


From Guatemala City take a bus to San Pedro Sula (8-11 hr) or Copan and change. Ferry- Roatan has many flights from the U.S. so flying into Roatan and taking the ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba is a simple inexpensive option. The only drawback is that the ferry only runs twice daily so depending on your arrival time you may need to overnight but there are many hotels to accomodate. Just search "Galaxy Wave" ferry

Get around[edit]

Getting around La Ceiba is easy and cheap. Within the city and to the airport there are standard taxi rates. It is 25 Lempiras (May 2013) per person within the city limits. This jumps to 30 Lempiras after dark and goes up the later you are out. A ride to the ferry dock is 50 Lempira per person. As fuel prices have increased what constitutes a "downtown" trip has shrunk. Do make sure you know the fare before you get in the cab, particularly if you are leaving downtown for the port or the airport. Prices are generally quoted per passenger except from the airport. Don't be surprised if your driver stops to pick up additional passengers.

The streets are very common to every single citizen. Since its a small town, everybody knows where everything is. Know the name of your destination or have it written down (for the more obscure destinations, include the barrio or colonia in which it is located). However, you can also say names of important buildings and the taxi driver will most likely know what you're talking about.

There are plenty of buses in La Ceiba. The cost is 8 Lempiras within the city. A bus will continue to pick up people until it is full. Be advised that if a bus doesn't stop to pick you up it's because it has reached capacity. Just stand at the side of the road and flag one down when you see it coming. The people who ride the buses are locals that want to travel in a more economical manner.

See[edit][add listing]

Excellent options with children are:

  • Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge. You take an old train through the pineapple fields to a beautiful lagoon. There is a modern park building with small displays and public restrooms. You can then take either a motor boat or canoe tour of the lagoon. Bring suncreen, hats and water bottles.
  • The Lodge at Pico Bonito. The lodge allows day visitors. You can use their pool, hike their trails, climb their lookout towers and have lunch at their restaurant. It's a lovely place to explore and easy with children.
  • El Porvenir. The beach at El Porvenir is lots of fun. There is a river flowing into the sea and it makes for a freshwater "tubing" area that runs parallel to the sea. There's also a small restaurant for drinks and chips.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • La Ceiba Carnival, the biggest in Central America. It takes place on the third Saturday in May, though there are mini-carnivals in the various barrios in the days leading up to it. This is a unique event that completely packs the town out, and is generally very peaceful, good natured and well policed.

The Banana Republic hostel located between 12 Calle and 13 Calle on Ave La Republica (3 1/2 blocks south of Parque Central) offers daily commutes to and from their Jungle River Lodge, ~20miles north in the Pico Bonito national rain forest. Here they offer adventure in the form of canopy tours (i.e. ziplines from platform to platform built into the treetops) and whitewater rafting (very intense during the rainy season) among other activities.

Ask a local about nightly football games at the Municiple Stadium located about 4 blocks east of Parque Central. The East side of the stadium has a much more lively atmosphere than the family outing-like setting of the West side; the tickets are a slightly more expensive but certainly worth it for a more authentic experience.

  • Villas Pico Bonito, Km 7 Carretera de Yaruca (La Ceiba, Honduras), 504 449 0045, [1]. Villas Pico Bonito, Jungle Eco Resort on the spectacular Rio Cangrejal. A hidden paradise in Pico Bonito National Park with self contained lodges for rent. Beautiful infinity pool with views of the Waterfall and Jungle. Hidden Paradise restaurant with wireless internet. Close to the bridge leading to the waterfall and cloud forest in the park. Great hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting and zip lining. We are just a short ride to the Bay Island ferries. A splendid holiday destination.  edit
  • Cangrejal Rafting, Colonia Toronjal 2, +504 2441 3279, [2]. Exciting trip along the turbulent Class III & IV rapids of Cangrejal river. Departing from La Ceiba heads upriver to the rafting put in, while accessing to the unique and amazing set up of this side of Pico Bonito Park that will be the background during the two hours and a half that this journey lasts. Rafting tour includes instruction on procedures, security equipment, bilingual professional guide and gear (rafts, paddles, life jackets and helmets). Participants are invited to a picnic meal at the end of the activity, consisting of some sandwiches, cookies and fruit and soft drink. (504) 9699-9300 $35 p/p.  edit
  • Honduras Canopy Tours, La Ceiba (E of town), 355-5481. 8-5. Offers hotel pick up, the canopy tour has some of the best views around. Included in the price is time spent at the hot springs and a massage/mud bath. The friendly staff will take care of everything and the cost is inexpensive for what one would find in other countries considering everything is included. You will be ziplining through the jungle looking out over the caribbean with Cayos Cochinos and other islands visible in the distance. 45.00USD.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

The souvenir shop with the largest selection in La Ceiba, including a good variety of local art and artisan work, is the Rain Forest located just to the northwest of the stadium in Colonia El Naranjal. Local hammocks can be purchased around central park at a reasonable price, but start your negotiations at half the asking price.

Eat[edit][add listing]

A great place for tourists and ex-pats alike is Bar Expatriados, any cab driver or local will know its roof top downtown location (in Barrio El Iman at the end of Calle 12). The former owners, Mark and Maureen have returned to Canada but the new American owners, Joe and his wife Michelle, are helpful and friendly. The menu is typical American/Honduran. Great burgers and imported/domestic beer. The cost for a meal is expensive compared to the non ex-pat places but much cheaper then a fancy restaurant. A night of dinner and drinks for 2 will run you about $30USD

The Mango Tango is another popular moderately priced restaurant along the beach strip in the Zona Viva (Calle 1 along the beach).

Ricardos on Avenida 14 de Julio is also delicious and well priced and serves some of the best food in Central America and has the awards to prove it. They are at the top end of the price scale in La Ceiba but still half what you would expect to pay for the same plate above the Rio Grande.

A bit outside of town toward the airport the ex-pat owned and operated Iguana Bar & Restaurant serves local seafood and open grille beef specialty dishes on the beach at more moderate prices.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Expatriates Bar & Grill, 12a Calle, South of city center, 504 440 1131. Good grilled food, cold beer and friendly staff.  edit
  • Downtown Grill, La Ceiba. Nicely done, simple place with an expansive menu with everything from hamburgers to cajun food and seafood. A hangout for many ex-pats as the owner is american/honduran mid-range.  edit
  • El mundo de Amelie, calle 12 esquina opuesta a escuela morazan, (entre avenida la republica y san isidro), 00504 32128115, [3]. A unique and cousy cafe bar a fusion between the style of their owners and their countries Spain and Honduras  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are safe budget hotels in town such as the Catracho and the Lastenia. A good mid-range hotel is the Iberia. There are upmarket hotels in La Ceiba, including the Quinta Real, La Quinta, Hotel Paris and the Aurora.

A big draw-back for budget travelers is the lack of hostels. There are only a couple and both are surrounded by dark streets after 7pm, offering very little. There is a hostel located in La Ceiba called Banana Republic but it has problems with security, most recently (date unknown) involving a series of break-ins. Fortuanetely there are many hotels which offer reasonable cleanness and wifi with a provate bathroom for no more than $15.

Lastenia Hotel is nice and cheap place to stay, they have a really tiny swimming pool upstairs, a cafeteria next door, you can get a room with a/c or fan, depending on your budget. 3 people can stay for about $15.00 a night and they now provide transportation to Bus station, airport or Ferry terminal for about $3.00 per room, not per pax, per room.

Hotel Gran Ceiba is another seemingly good quality hotel, but travelers who stayed there in February 2009 were robbed by someone with access to the hotel keys, so buyer beware.

  • Hostal (La Ceiba, Honduras). La Mokitia Ecoaventuras Guesthouse/Hostal in La Ceiba, with tropical gardens, big yard, Tv hall, book exchange, Free Wireless Internet Service, Our friendly, bilingual, staffs are ready to help you with information and reservations. NO check out time. Inf. (504) 2441-3279 / (504) 9699-9300 (24hrs)  edit
  • Banana Republic Guest House, Avenida La Republica, between 12th and 13th St., (+504) 2440 1268, [4]. checkout: 11am. Nice hostel with a Kitchen, Wifi and computers, hammocks and a selection of dorms or private rooms. However, there is an overwhemingly large bed bug infestation. Practically every bed has a colony of them boldly crawling across the mattress surface and seams. Still, there is a book swap in addition to lockers being available, but you'll need your own padlock.(As of June, 2012) $8/L150.  edit
  • LMEA Guest house (La Ceiba, Honduras), Col. Toronjal 2, (504) 2441-3279. Economical guest house in La Ceiba, with free wifii, kithchen, social, TV A/C L.150.00 p/p the night (504)9699-9300 geanie 24hrs  edit
  • Paradise Found, 19 Sambo Creek, 011-504-9808-8888. checkin: 2:30; checkout: 11:00. Great b&b on the beach on the edge of the village of Sambo Creek about 15mins outside of town. Rooms are simple but clean and have tv/dvd, hot showers, towels, and breakfast is served when you prefer. Wide variey of food and friendly expat american owners who will help set up any tours/activities available on the north coast. The boats to Cayos Cochinos will pick you up in front of the hotel and bring you back. The food is widely considered some of the best available in the area and reasonably priced. You can also arrange a pick up to go to the hot springs and jungle canopy zipline which is only 10 mins away. 59.00.  edit
  • La Villa de Soledad Bed and Breakfast, Km 9 Carretera La Ceiba Yaruca, 504 9967 4548, [5]. checkin: 2;00 PM; checkout: 12;00 Noon. A lovely 5 bedroom boutique bed and breakfast, located on the Cangrejal River, only 200 meters from the entrance to Pico Bonito National Park via the hanging bridge. Walking distance to Rafting, canopy zip line, horse back riding tours amongst others. Outstanding home made food. This is a great spot to relax, enjoy nature, plunge into adventure or simply have a great time. Rates are $100 US in double occupancy, including breakfast and taxes. Low season rates from September through December offer 25% discount. Free transfers from town for guests staying 3 or more nights. $100 US. (15.4342.30N,86.4400.86W) edit

Stay safe[edit]

Avoid the beach area to the west of the old pier that juts out to sea from the end of Avenida de la Republica, as it is allegedly the territory of a heavily armed gang. The east side, including Barrio la Isla, is safer, and is also where much of the nightlife is to be found. Walking alone at night in some parts of La Ceiba should be avoided as robberies or sometimes murders may occur, but out of the three major cities La Ceiba is generally safer in terms of crime rates. Taxis are abundant and cheap and the safe way to travel at night no matter what part of La Ceiba you are in.

Get out[edit]

There is a shuttle service to Leon, Nicaragua. The vehicles are all equipped with Wifi, HDTV, and air conditioning and the trip takes 12-14 hours. For more information check out

There are twice daily boats to Roatan and Utila (weather dependent) as well as flights in small single or twin engined planes (also weather dependent).

There are many buses to San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and other destinations in Honduras.

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