Saturday, October 29, 2016

Honduras Trip: La Tigra National Park

From El Picacho, I tried to negotiate with a cab driver to bring me to La Tigra National Park. It was more than 1 hour to go there. In the end, we agreed to a payment of 50 USD back and forth. He will bring me there and bring me back to the hotel. He was a very nice person with two kids but don't speak English but we understood each other eventually. So after the deal was closed, we drove to an uphill climb to Honduras' first national park.

The entrance is 10 USD. The park encompasses a cloud forest and eight hiking trails. I took the 'Sendero Bosque Nablado' trail. The trail is more than 2 hours hike and obviously, going down is easier. I was told that the place could be chilly so proper clothes is advisable. Also, guides are not really needed as long as you stick to the main trails.

The park is heavily forested with towering trees, orchids and large fens. The trails are easy to walk with, steps and small stairs are provided. The name of the park means 'The Tigress' and I was fortunate that I didn't see one. I was told that the park have several elusive creatures around. I actually didn't see any animals around but I must admit, it was a bit scary hiking alone in the middle of the forest.

La Tigra is the biggest remaining natural area near the capital Tegus. The park also supplies about thirty percent of the city's fresh water consumption. If you are planning to visit this place via bus, there are buses leave from Parque Herrera about four times a day. You will also need to bring anti-insect spray or lotion. If walking through the cloud forest and hiking is your passion, don't miss this park.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Honduras Trip: El Picacho

The name of this tourist spot in Honduras sounds like the famous online game now but it is totally different. From Hyatt Hotel, you can take a taxi to the mountain of El Picacho for 7 USD. The most famous landmark of it is the statue of Christ on the top. When I saw it, I couldn't help but compare it to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro which I also visited last year. Nevertheless, the place offers different atmosphere and approach in enjoying every moment of your visit.

The entrance to the main park is about 2 USD and they will give you a map. Surprisingly, El Picacho is not mainly about the famous statue. It also has parks (including for kids with complete playground) and a small zoo. From the entrance it is almost 30 minute walk to reach the top where the statue of the Christ is located.

While walking, you will see many spots to take a look at an amazing view! You can see the entire Tegucigalpa city. It was indeed a very refreshing moment for me. I was just sitting there and looking down to those mountainous places and how the simple lives of Honduran people happen everyday. 

From that spot, a few more walk and you will see the statue of Christ. Unfortunately, there is a separate entrance fee to reach and see the famous icon. It was around 5 USD or less so it is still okay.

On the front of the statue, there is also a perfect spot to see the amazing city.

Around it is a small park when people can walk around and sit for few moments. Historically, the statue was completed in 1998 after just one year of construction. It is 98 feet and in elevation at 4,353 feet. If you are in Honduras, try to visit this place and make sure to spend few hours to just appreciate the wonderful view of Tegus.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Honduras Trip: Tegucigalpa City

After more than six hours of bus ride to Honduras, I checked in my hotel and was a bit disappointed because it was raining. I was planning to roam around the city but unfortunately, that was not possible. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a bit of luxury in Hyatt Hotel. The next morning I prepared early to walk around Tegus (short for Tegucigalpa). The city is located in a mountainous area and the houses and buildings that surround it make a picturesque view.

From hotel, it was more than 30 minute walk to Plaza Morazan which is located in Calle Bolivar. This square is considered as the heart of the Tegus' old city. The most notable icon is the statue of Francisco Morazan (obviously, the plaza was named after him). He was a great solider and the president of Central American Republic in 1830.

It was Sunday when I visited the plaza and Honduras was still celebrating their independence day. There was a program that time and the kids that were performing were all smiles and were wearing an image of proudness of their country. It was mostly musical program that ended with flag raising in the main square.

Also located in the plaza is the Catedral San Miguel (also known as Catedral del Arcangel San Miguel). It was built from 1765 to 1782 and it is very well preserved. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1823. 

When I entered inside the cathedral, I was strucked with amazement of the design of the main altar. There is a beautiful sculpture of San Miguel in a rock garden style. I can say that this cathedral is a "must see" when visiting Tegus.

Upon walking further, I saw this very noticeable structure. It was actually the old presidential house that was used from 1919 up to 1972. The main entrance has a stone facade. In 1972, it was renovated and is now home of the Center for Documentation and Historical Studies of Honduras. As oppose to what I read, Tegucigalpa is a very safe city. You can just walk around and the people are nice.

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