La Ceiba is a town for those with a zest for living each moment to the fullest, indulging in all the modern day conveniences yet wrapped in an Old World charm that brings you back to simpler times.
La Ceiba is a photographer’s ultimate destination; nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Nombre de Dios mountain range, surrounded by banana and coconut plantations and ranging from white sand beaches through to red volcanic soiled hillsides. With its lush vegetation, riotous floral colours and myriad species of local and migratory birds taking their own southern sojourn from northern winters and breathtaking sunsets, it is a visual feast!
Stroll through the various “colonias” (neighbourhoods) each with their descriptive names, featuring pastel coloured homes with walled yards of stonework. Wander through El Centro with it’s indoor market and street stall vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, the daily catch of huge shrimp, brilliantly coloured fish and live crabs and cruise the sidewalk tables and their collections of house wares, music CD’s, DVD’s, clothing and souvenirs. Discover for yourself the tiny, tucked away shops, cafes and bars that you’ll be hard pressed to find again in your travels.
Drift down, simply a few blocks, and take in the beaches with their upscale restaurants, hotels and the infamous El Bacalao, where the “gringos” meet on a casual basis. Slip off your sandals and walk barefoot along the white sands, collect sea shells and conch shells and then reward yourself with an inexpensive cold drink while listening to the waves and welcoming that million dollar sea breeze to cool your sun kissed face.
Wave down one of the innumerable taxis and take a drive through town to visit the Butterfly Museum, the Mega Plaza Mall or catch a round of golf at the D’Antoni course. Take a moment to stroll through the Central Park, with its impressive church on one side, and take photos of the various statues before slipping into the courtyard of the Hotel Paris. Discover Swinford Park, the botanical garden and outdoor train museum which is an oasis of calm in the busy center of town.
La Ceiba is becoming known as the “Eco Tourism” centre of Central America, with tours available in national parks and marine reserves or the outlying islands of Cayo Cochinos. You can indulge in hot springs; white water rafting or canopy zip lines if you are more inclined to real adventure or amuse yourself with the pseudo trolley train tour of the city, complete with expressive guides.
La Ceiba is known throughout the country as the “novia of Honduras”, (the sweetheart) and maintains a reputation of being both a gregariously welcoming city and a nightlife hot spot with its Zona Viva located along the eastern beach neighbourhoods. Learn your Spanish greetings, use them with a smile and you will feel that you are a new member of an affectionate and respectful family.
Is La Ceiba the place for you? You won’t know until you come for a visit and discover her many secrets for yourself. Admittedly, it has its own problems with poverty and crime but for the serious adventurer, who wants to have a winter home, a retirement investment or to satisfy their zest for living life to the fullest it is most definitely an option worth exploring!
"written - through the eyes of Stephanie in la Ceiba"