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Overview

Honduras’s largest lake lies along the highway between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, and many travelers stop at the strip of lakeside fish restaurants. The lake region, with its wetlands and surrounding mountains, is the finest bird habitat in Honduras, home to over 350 species. The archaeological site at Los Naranjos is mostly unexcavated, and the ruins aren’t much to see, but the park is an easy place to spot wildlife and birds, with its forest trails and boardwalk through the marsh. The crossroads town of Peña Blanca has little of touristic interest, but there are several pleasant lodgings around the lake, as well as boat rentals and ...

Honduras’s largest lake lies along the highway between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, and many travelers stop at the strip of lakeside fish restaurants. The lake region, with its wetlands and surrounding mountains, is the finest bird habitat in Honduras, home to over 350 species. The archaeological site at Los Naranjos is mostly unexcavated, and the ruins aren’t much to see, but the park is an easy place to spot wildlife and birds, with its forest trails and boardwalk through the marsh. The crossroads town of Peña Blanca has little of touristic interest, but there are several pleasant lodgings around the lake, as well as boat rentals and guided tours. Two vast protected areas flank the lake. Cerro Azul/Meambar National Park includes tropical broadleaf and pine forest, as well as cloud forest near the 2,000-meter (6,562 feet) peak. This lush land of rivers and waterfalls is home to toucans, motmots, hummingbirds and quetzals, as well as monkeys and wild cats. It’s an arduous trek to the Blue Peak, but the park is also easy to visit on day hikes. La Naturaleza Visitor Center has a small museum and restaurant. Santa Barbara National Park, west of the lake, is less easily accessible, with few facilities, but hardy adventurers willing to camp out in the wilderness can explore an undisturbed cloud forest. North of the lake, the popular Pulhapanzak Falls is a scenic swimming spot with a zipline and a thrilling walk behind the falls.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Bordered by two national forests, the lake lies on the main highway of Honduras, 130 miles north of Tegucigalpa.
  • Language: Spanish, Garifuna, Miskito
  • Currency: Honduras Lempira
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Dry season (November-April) is the main tourist season. May-October can be wet, but there are far fewer tourists.