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Tela is a city in Honduras.


A sleepy coastal town with a lot of history and nice beaches. Tela has been slowly but surely working its way to becoming an important beach destination.

Tela is located in a region inhabited by the Afro-Caribbean communities called the Garifuna. The Garifuna live on communally owned land around the Tela area and have their own distinct language and culture.

Tela has been the site of a pilot program aimed to create the Tourist Police. The result has been outstanding, with a force of 20 bilingual, friendly tourist police officers. Statistics show that there has been absolutely no crime incidents against tourists in Tela for several years now.

Get in[edit]

Located less than 90 km east of San Pedro Sula's International airport, and connected by an excellent paved highway, Tela is very easily reached from San Pedro Sula and El Progreso. If you are driving your own car, the driving time is under one hour from San Pedro Sula. If you are taking the public bus your best option would be to choose Hedman Alas, a first class service coach operator that has non stop service from San Pedro Sula to Tela; otherwise, make sure that you take one of the direct non stop buses to La Ceiba, and let the driver know you wish to get off at the entrance to Tela. From this point, you can easily catch a taxi to take you to the beaches, that have become Tela's main attraction.

Get around[edit]

Once in Tela, like in most Honduran cities, the Taxi services will provide a reliable and inexpensive way to get around. Also Tela is a great place to walk around and explore the beach and downtown areas.yaaa

See[edit][add listing]

  • Museo Garifuna, 8 Calle NE, near the Rio Tela. All about Garifuna culture.
  • Parque Nacional Punta Sal. Mangrove swamps, tropical forests, shady lagoons and coral reefs. Monkeys and bird watching.
  • Pier and Tela Railroad Company. Tela used to be one of the main shipping areas for bananas from the United Fruit Company. The term "banana republic" came from Honduras, when American and other fruit companies held great political sway. A rail service from the interior of the country brought produce to Tela to be shipped to the United States. Today the pier and train station that were central to that trade have been abandoned. They are within 100 yards of the bridge in downtown Tela and are a great destination for any avid photographer. The pier is also a great adventure (not for small children). There you can see local fisherman trying there luck at the end of the pier. The best time to go is usually a weekend as the pier becomes a gathering point for many people, especially at sunset when the view is extraordinary. Part of the old railroad company building has been renovated as municipal offices, it is quite picturesque.
  • Maya Vista Hotel. This hotel is on one of the highest points in the beach area and offers and amazing view of Tela from the observation deck on top of the Hotel. The Hotel also has a great eating area that offers a nice view as part of the dining experience.

Do[edit][add listing]

Go to the beach! Tela has a beautiful coastline, with tall palms, white sand, and exceedingly warm water. Make sure your belongings are watched at all times--either by you or a friend or family member--as unattended items can be taken by passing thieves. On the whole however, the beach experience is wonderful, and not to be missed.

Triunfo de la Cruz. For those looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience in Tela, a trip to the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz is a necessity. Located just a few miles up the beach from Tela, the area has not been invaded by the hotel industries. Small beach restaurants often have changing cabins, showers and beach shacks for tourists to relax. Some will even supply you with hammocks for your day of relaxation. A bus from the center bus station or a taxi are your best way to get to this area. Walking is not recommended.

  • Lancetilla (Botanical Gardens), Tela Honduras. 9am-3pm. Beautiful Botanical Gardens, situated 10 minute taxi ride (100 Lempira) from Tela Centro. Can arrive by public transport but it is a 3 km walk to the entrance. Advised not to walk this if you are a solo traveller. Entrance Fee for tourists is 160 Lempira (50 Lempira for Honduran citizens).You can walk around the gardens by yourself after a visit to the exhibition and map of the site or better with a guide (100 Lempira) to explain (in Spanish) the plants and history of the gardens. There is an orchid house. The cafe serves a huge plate of great food. Other sellers of seasonal fruits and drinks available by the entrance. If you go on a Sunday the orchid house is closed.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Tela's Garifuna community provides some of the best items to purchase in Tela. Strolling along the beach area, tourists will surely find people selling their hand made crafts and jewelry. Shell and shark tooth jewelry, coconut shell jewelry, and the more common hand woven jewelry, are the most prevalent items being sold.

A great purchase is the coconut bread or coconut candy (called 'tabla'). Women can be found carrying large buckets on their heads, which often contain the delicious baked goods.

  • Tela Dive Centre, Hotel Marsol, Tela (2 blocks from the beach from the old bridge.), [1]. Tela Dive Centre is a must. Miguel is a very competent and patient Dive master. His focus is to have a safe and fun dive, he is a very experienced diver. The coral is so different from that of the Isla de Bahai and Cay Cocina. Being less distrubed by people, the weather because of its situation and greater depths it remains more pristine. There can run strong currents (I did dive in the month of January!)but generally the dives are good for all divers of all abilities. Watch out for the lion fish invading the seas on the Honduran coast. They have no predators therefore are becoming a pest to the reef and other sealife.Not to mention their spikes can give you a painful infection! 2xdives USD95.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

A trip to Tela can not be completed with out trying the fresh seafood of the region. Sopa de Caracol (conch soup) and sopa de jaiba (crab soup) are well-known treats in local restaurants. Locals have their opinions about which seafood restaurant is better, but they are not always the same. The people of Tela are very helpful (and used to wandering tourists) if you would like a recommendation.

In addition, Hondurans say that the baleadas in the Tela and La Ceiba areas are the best in the country. A baleada is a thick tortilla with refried beans, avocados, scrambled eggs, fresh crema, butter and other ingredients such as chicken and sausage. They are fantastic.

One of the best restaurants in the area is Pizzeria Bella Italia, a small pizza place right near the oceanfront bridge in downtown Tela. A new patio out back of the restaurant is right on an inner-coastal waterway, which enhance the dining experience. It also has a play area and swings for those traveling with young children. The pizza is affordable and delicious.

Most hotels have their own restaurants, often inside of a secure compound for those that do not wish to walk around outside of the secuirty of their hotels.

Drink[edit][add listing]

For the brave tourist, the Garifuna community will be happy share their homemade brew called Gifi (a coconut liquor).

For the more traditional experience, the beach front offers several bars. In addition most restaurants will have local beers and mixed drinks.

For those looking for a non-alcoholic beverage, a fresh, cold coconut will surely hit the spot. While at the main beach areas, someone will surely find you at some point and offer you a fresh coconut to drink from. It is part of the Tela experience and should at least be tried before leaving. Fruit juices are also popular.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel La Ensenada Beach Resort & Convention Center a new resort.
  • Hotel Bertha is a budget hotel. Rooms are small but clean.
  • Hotel La Quinta Real a nice hotel right on the beach, with a bar, restaurants and meeting facilities.
  • Hotel La Quinta different from La Quinta Real, this hotel is in town, off the beach.
  • Villas Telamar a large resort with nice beaches, bars and a big pool with waterslides, plus entertainment. There are villas or a separate hotel building. This resort was formerly the United Fruit Company's residential complex, so there are a lot of nice old bungalows from the 1900s.
  • Caribbean Coral Inn, Triunfo de la Cruz (Pickup from Tela upon request), (+504)669-0224, [2]. Very welcoming family has a beautiful remote spot at the beach in the Garifuna village in Triunfo de la Cruz. The cabins are spacious, have private bathroom, fan, and sufficient seabreaze. An open space living room is avaiable to guests. A small restaurant serves 4 daily fresh diners. The food is tasty. Continental breakfast is included with fresh juices, cereals, bread, tea. Within 40 mins walk is the Ipozo reserve. Hotel can arrange a very good guide for L600. Recommended, better than staying in Tela. US$53 + 16% taxes per night; each additional person is US$9 +16% taxes per night.  edit

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