La Ceiba On a BudgetLa Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras, situated on the north Caribbean coast. The city has a population of about a quarter million people. Many people who visit this city do so before heading into Pico Bonito National Park. It hasn't had the best infrastructure for tourists in the past but is developing fast. It is about 200 kilometers from San Pedro Sula, another large city in Honduras.
SightsThe Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place to see. You begin by taking a scenic train ride through pineapple fields all the way to a lagoon where you get off the train and onto a boat. The boat tour takes you around the lagoon, where you are sure to see different types of wildlife. Be sure to bring water and sunscreen, as it gets pretty hot on the boat ride.
Check out The Lodge at Pico Bonito, where you can swim, hike, and explore the beautiful surrounding nature. El Porvenir is a beautiful beach to see while in La Ceiba. A river flows into the sea and you can rent tubes to ride down the river into the sea. There is a restaurant at the beach as well for a light snack and refreshing drink.
NeighborhoodsLa Ceiba is usually a "base" for travelers heading into Pico Bonito National Park. In the park, you can do various hikes and outdoor activities. La Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras. It is two hundred kilometers from the second largest city, San Pedro Sula. This city is one of the most violent and dangerous cities in the world. The largest city (and capital) is Tegucigalpa. It is south of La Ceiba and it is often referred to as "Tegus". This city was hit hard by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and is still under the works of recovering from that. In all of these parts of Honduras, it is very important that you don't walk anywhere after dark. As with many other places around the world, the crime rate is high here. Locals will not intervene if they witness a crime happening in an effort not to get involved. Common sense is key while traveling through these cities.
ActivitiesLa Ceiba Carnival is a lively activity that takes place on the third Saturday in May. It is the largest carnival in all of Central America. Leading up to the main carnival, there are many smaller carnivals and street festivals in surrounding neighborhoods. This event has been known to be well-policed and peaceful in the past.
Go watch an authentic Central American football (soccer) match. The Municiple Stadium is very nearby to Parque Central. For a more authentic experience, sit on the east side of the stadium. The west side of the stadium is more of a family friendly area.
Villas Pico Bonito is a resort in the jungle of the national park where you can part take in activities like hiking, mountain biking, and white water rafting. There is a beautiful infinity pool here with clear views of the jungle and waterfalls.
Raft on the Cangrejal River in thrilling class three and four rapids. The Cangrejal Rafting Company has a two and a half hour tour that includes instruction, safety equipment, and a picnic at the end of the tour. This costs about $35 per person. If you would rather do an activity high above ground, Honduras Canopy Tours have a great zip line course with beautiful views. They will pick you up from your hotel and it even includes time to spend in hot springs and mud baths. This tour costs about $45 per person.
TransportationIf you are flying in from the U.S., it is best to fly into Roatan and catch a ferry to La Ceiba. The ferry only runs twice daily, so be sure to make sure your times align. The ferry is called Galaxy Wave. You can also take a bus to La Ceiba from Guatemala City. You will need to change in San Pedro Sula or Copan. This is an inexpensive option, however, it is a very long journey. There are flights to La Ceiba on Air Viva; however, this is a more expensive option.
Once in the city, you can get around mostly by taxi. This is an inexpensive option to get you around the city and to and from the airport or ferry port. Negotiate a price before getting in a taxi. Drivers charge per person in La Ceiba; it should be around 25 Lempira per person within the city and to the airport. It gets a bit more expensive at night. Traveling to the ferry port is usually around 50 Lempira per person. Sometimes the driver will stop to pick up additional passengers. If you wish to take the bus around the city, it costs 8 Lempira and you just flag one down when you see it. The bus will pick passengers up until it reaches capacity, so if it does not stop you can assume that it is full. As stated above, take caution when walking the city, especially after dark.