VILLA PICO BONITO
Next time, we’ll spend more time at this wonderful spot. We squeezed in a night at Pico Bonito at the end of our trip, and both my daughter and I wished we had planned for at least one more day there. The setting is incredibly beautiful. Richard and Ana have built a lovely respite there with several cottages dotting the landscaped property overlooking the river.
We were met at the La Ceiba airport by Ralph Bodden, a driver who lived in the US but has moved back to Honduras. He took us on the half-hour trek up the mountain to Villas Pico Bonito where we were greeted by Richard, a Brit who has lived all over the world. He entertained us while we waited for lunch to be prepared to order telling us about his adventures Spain, Chile, Australia, China, the UK and the US. As in other small inns we visited in Honduras, getting to know the owner was one of the best parts of our trip.
Our room, the Jungle Lodge, was huge with 2 large beds, comfortable chairs around a coffee table, a big wardrobe and a kitchenette complete with a small refrigerator, microwave, fresh water, dishes and other utensils. The bathroom was a good size and came with plenty of plush towels (and there were more towels for use at the pool or in the river). No air conditioning but there were 6 fans that kept the room very pleasant (and at night, we actually turned them down or off because it was chilly). We didn’t cook at all, but it would have been easy to prepare a meal or two there, and I understand the other cottages have even larger kitchens and more space. This was the biggest and best equipped room we stayed in while in Honduras.
The property is stunning. Our lodge overlooked the river. The patio had a table and chairs. There was a fountain in front with a large ceiba tree and an amazing view of the waterfall high in the mountains directly in front of us. On the grounds, there are beautiful stone paths, luscious flowers and plants, a fresh water pool, bridges and an infinity pool with chaises and tables around it. Unfortunately, it rained much of the time we were there, so we didn’t have the chance to enjoy the pools. We did hike up the road a short distance to the entrance to the national park. When we arrived there, we discovered there is a entrance fee (just 20 lempiras), and we didn’t have any cash with us. But the guard let us pass through anyway. We crossed a hanging bridge over the river, a bit scary if you’re afraid of heights, but fabulous views in both directions of the rushing river, the boulders, the rapids, the jungle and the mountains rising on either side. On the other end of the bridge, we found two trails, both slippery and muddy, so we retraced our steps back across the bridge.
We were asked to order dinner in advance so they could prepare for us. We had the Caribbean fish with garlic and a large salad plus baked potato and bread, shared everything and it was more than enough. All the food is local, and while the fish was delicious, I’d love to try the steak or pork chops. We had to order breakfast the night before as well, not a big deal, just meant choosing between pancakes and baleadas. Breakfast came with fresh fruit, juice and coffee and was included with the room.
We wanted to go white water rafting, and Richard suggested the outfitters just up the road at Jungle River Lodge. Our guides, Angel and his colleagues, were professional and entertaining. We felt safe and had a great time for $40 each. Included was a training session making us practice different strokes and a rescue. The river was too high to raft above the lodge, so they gave us two runs down river including a few class III and IV rapids. In between, we got a treat of fresh watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe.
I wish we’d had time for more hiking, especially up to the waterfall, and more time to simply enjoy Villas Pico Bonito. We had considered splurging on the very expensive lodge on the other side of the mountain, but I’m glad we decided on Villas Pico Bonito. It was charming and beautiful. I’d recommend it to anyone.
One note: I wish our photos were better, they just don't do justice to this lovely spot!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villas Pico Bonito, Jungle Eco-Resort situated on the most beautiful part of the Rio Cangrejal, in the awesome Pico Bonito National Park, with spectacular vistas of jungle covered cliffs, opposite the largest waterfall on the river, El Bejuco. Villas Pico Bonito offers self catered homes with full kitchens, nicely appointed rooms and comfortable beds. In addition we have the Hidden Paradise restaurant for your convenience if you wish. Welcome to our Eco Lodge in the jungle. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas Pico Bonito Hotel La Ceiba
- Villas Pico Bonito Honduras/La Ceiba