We stayed at The Lodge at Pico Bonito for three nights at the end of November. The lodge is located near La Ceiba, Honduras on the border of Pico Bonito National Park. This eco-lodge in the rainforest has 22 rustic, but well-appointed cabins that are spread out for privacy. Our cabin had two queen beds and plenty of room for our family of four.
While the lodge is popular with hard core birders, there are plenty of other activities and adventures to keep an entire family entertained. They even offer a Family Adventure package that would be the perfect spring break trip for an active, adventurous family. The package includes whitewater rafting, snorkeling, guided hikes, and a trip to the Cuero y Salada wildlife refuge. Our boys are a little too young for whitewater rafting and snorkeling, but they enjoyed the other adventures, which are fine for kids of any age.
Also on-site at the lodge is a Butterfly Farm where they raise over 40 species of butterflies, including the Blue Morpho. We went when it was raining and a little cool so many of the butterflies were resting, but there were still at least five different species that were active, including an impressive Blue Morpho. It was a thrill for the boys to chase the butterflies and ‘explore’ the small paths. I can only imagine how impressive it would be to visit when the butterflies are very active. We learned that butterflies rest with their wings closed, while moths keep their wings open. This trait makes photographing the butterflies extremely difficult.
In addition to the Butterfly Farm, there is a serpentarium with a wide variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes. The most memorable was an aggressive cottonmouth. I’m not sure how they feed that snake without getting bit, but I certainly wouldn’t want to draw the short straw for that weekly event.
On the walk back to the lodge, our guide Joel caught a few anoles for the boys to hold. Could they look any happier?
We are not foodies so we rarely talk about food on our blog, but if you are staying at the Lodge at Pico Bonito, there are not many dining options available to you. Unless you rent a car, your only option is the restaurant at the lodge. Thankfully, it is a great option. They have a diverse breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, including the typical kid’s menu. We really looked forward to our meals every day because the food and service were as fantastic as the setting. You can enjoy your breakfast surrounded by hummingbirds, drinking orange juice that is freshly squeezed from the orange trees growing on the property.
The meal costs can add up, but breakfast was included in our room rate and one of our excursions also included lunch. While everything we tried was fantastic, we thought the seafood options were the best. Our favorites were the fish tacos (only $8), scallops and risotto, and the fish of the day that could be prepared to your liking.
Another factor that’s important to consider when staying in a rainforest lodge is the quality of the guides. Your chances of spotting wildlife increase dramatically with professional guides with eyes that are trained to spot insects and animals that blend in perfectly with their surroundings.
We stayed at the much more expensive Bosque del Cabo in Costa Rica last year, but I think the Lodge at Pico Bonito offers a comparable experience at a fraction of the cost. The only advantage of Bosque del Cabo is the number of mammals on their property. It isn’t common to see monkeys at the Lodge of Pico Bonito, but there are excursions that you can take to greatly increase your chances.
Don’t be afraid of visiting Honduras because of a few dangerous cities. We never felt unsafe during our entire trip, even at the San Pedro Sula airport. You can also fly to the La Ceiba airport, which is a short drive from the lodge, but based on the cost and connection times, it made more sense for us to take the three hour van transfer from San Pedro Sula to the The Lodge. It was also a nice way of seeing more of the country and the drive went by quickly.