Global Travel Club
Central American Travel Specialists
Once a sleepy coastal town on the Caribbean
Coast, Tela remains unspoilt despite becoming known as an attractive beach
destination where eco-tourists can enjoy the wonderful natural
surroundings and national parks. Located less than 90 km east of San
Pedro Sula's International airport, Tela is very easily reached from
San Pedro Sula on a well paved road in about 1 hour.
The home base for the Tela Railroad Company for many years, owners and producers of the famed Chiquita bananas, Tela retains the air of a true banana town. The Hotel Villas Telamar (see below) complex was actually the living quarters for many of the executives of the banana company.
Tela offers the natural beauty of its beaches, its exuberant tropical vegetation and the opportunity to experience the Garifuna Culture. Tela is well worth your time on your vacation in Honduras.
Punta Sal National Park
Located on the western end of the Bay of Tela, the Punta Sal National Park takes its name from the rocky point that juts out into the sea. Based on its size and biodiversity, the park is one of the most important national parks in Honduras. The small bays within the park served as havens to the pirates and buccaneers of yesteryear.
The park has two separate, well defined areas: the peninsula and the lagoon. The peninsula is only accessible by sea. A vast natural beauty awaits the traveler: white sand beaches, an exotic and very exuberant jungle and a very attractive coral reef are the main attractions. During the tour, it is quite possible to encounter different animals, such as dolphins, monkeys and of course a large variety of tropical birds.
Los Micos Lagoon
The Lagoon, known as the Micos Lagoon, is the area with the highest population of birds in the park. From December through May you will find up to 350 different species of birds living within the lagoon! The lagoon is surrounded by mangroves, forming canals and cayes where other types of tropical plants and trees coexist. To the east, the lagoon is separated from the sea by a narrow tongue of sand, forming an extensive and very beautiful beach.
The Garifuna village of Miami is built on a sand bar on the lagoon allowing visitors to experience life the way these villagers have lived for over two hundred years, since they established themselves on the North Coast of Honduras. The village, built entirely of thatched huts, makes the tour to Punta Sal both a natural as well as a cultural experience.
All along the Bay of Tela there are several different Garifuna communities, and perhaps some of the most interesting ones in all the country are right here. From west to east, you will find the Rio Tinto, Miami, Tornabé, San Juan, La Ensenada and finally Triunfo de la Cruz. Amongst these, without doubt, the most interesting and unique is Miami, the only one that to this day is still completely built of thatched huts. You can eat typical foods at all the villages, and learn some of their traditions. Outstanding, and definitely fun, are the "punta" and "yancunu" dances, that have origins in their African roots.
This social group that arrived to Honduras in 1787, from the Caribbean Island of Saint Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, was the result of racial intermingling of the black slaves (who where shipwrecked after being brought from Africa) with the local Carib Indians. They have retained many of their ancient customs and beliefs. They settled along the coasts of Honduras and Belize.
Perhaps the most visible contribution of these peoples to modern culture is the "punta" dance, that has made the Caribbean Coast of Honduras and Belize famous.
A new alternative in Tela, this new museum is of great value to anyone trying to understand the Garifuna heritage of Honduras. This social group that arrived to Honduras in 1787, from the Caribbean Island of Saint Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, was the result of racial intermingling of the black slaves brought from Africa and shipwrecked and the local Carib Indians, has retained much of its ancient customs and beliefs. The group spread along the northern coast of Honduras, always staying along the coast.
Perhaps the most visible contribution of these peoples to the modern Honduran culture is the "punta" dance, that has made Honduras famous. In the Museum you will be able to see the colorful artifacts, the liveliness of their music and dances, and the taste of their foods and recipes, which you can sample at the restaurant next to the museum, located at the end of the Jose Cecilio del Valle street, which ends at the river that crosses town.
Lancetilla Botanical Garden
Located only a few kilometers from Tela, the Lancetilla Botanical Garden is the second largest tropical botanical garden in the world. It was established in 1926 as an experimental site by the Tela Railroad Company. The park boasts a very large variety of plants from the Central American region as well as from other tropical lands from throughout our planet. A large number of tropical birds have made the garden their home, due to the many fruit trees that abound here. There is a well marked trail that you can follow. In addition, if you follow the road that leads into a fascinating bamboo forest, you will arrive at a very pleasant swimming hole in the Lancetilla river, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim after your hike through the park.
The above information is courtesy of Honduras Tips
Hotel Villas Telamar, located on the beach is an old landmark hotel. It originally was built for housing United Fruit Company employees. The main units are actually houses, and they have also built a motel unit. There is a restaurant, two pools, tennis courts, golf, and horseback riding is available.
The Last Resort , located on the beach at Tornabé is a rustic but comfortable and charming hotel, famed for its excellent food, especially the fish cooked in coconut oil. Accommodation is in bungalows with private bathrooms.
Hotel Sherwood , is situated on the beachfront in Tela overlooking the Caribbean Sea. There are 18 room on two floors, all of which have oceanviews, a/c, private bathrooms with hot and cold water and cable TV. Upstairs rooms have private balconies. In front of the swimming pool a restaurant serves great breakfasts and is known for its excellent seafood soup and outstanding garlic dishes. The service is good and the atmosphere relaxed.
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