We offer you a unique opportunity to participate in one of the most interesting expeditions ever performed in Central America. This is a wholesome top excitement adventure which will transport you to some of the most remote places within the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, a site declared World Heritage by UNESCO, where we shall be protagonists of an exotic journey across diverse tropical environments and landscapes.
Imagine our main scenario on the riverbed of the Platano, where we are going to cover a distance of 130 Km, starting at its headwaters in the southern side of the reserve to just about reaching its outlet to the Caribbean sea at the North Coast. After an interesting ground approach, walking through the last farmland territories on the buffer zone, most of our trip is performed by navigating on rafts across a natural set up where the tropical rain forest displays the lush of a exuberant pristine vegetation. The sequence of calm waters followed by the fast currents of thrilling rapids adds also excitement to the countless surprises awaiting us during this singular journey into the jungle.
The pristine environment of this ecosystem makes it home of a great diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate species which will not easily remain unnoticed to us, such as monkeys, of which we might see up to three species, iguanas, frogs, turtles, several fish species chased by the river otters, a diversity of butterflies among which the magnificent blue Morpho quickly outstanding, gregarious parrots and solitary cranes, king fishers, cormorants, toucans, macaws, and other colorful bird species which will accompany us along our trip. Among the biggest mammals, deer, tapirs, and some big cats are the most outstanding, being these last ones much harder to spot due to their night lifestyle.
Although the main part of the journey is carried out across entirely human deserted territories, some big caves and other archaeological sites witness the former presence of ancient cultures of people living ashore the river centuries ago. Their present heirs are the indigenous peoples Pech, Miskito and Garifuna, with which we shall interact during the last stage of our trip, a latest ingredient whose contribution to our experience will make this voyage become into an unforgettable adventure about which many a story will be shared with our relatives and friends.
Day 1: Truck Ride to Bonanza Campsite
Guides and Gear travel by 4x4 truck from La Ceiba to Bonanza a village located in the buffer zone of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (8 hrs). If participants arrive at Tegucigalpa the day before we will hire a mini bus to pick the group up at Hotel and bring them to Catacamas to meet guides and continue together in 4x4 trucks to Bonanza. On this day we go through a few small towns and some typical villages as well as several settlements of farmers devoted to agriculture and cattle ranching. We are due to arrive at our final destiny late in the afternoon just in time to put up our tents on our host family´s yard. Let´s enjoy our “campesino” dinner and get some relaxing sleep to wake up early next day. Please select tonight any extra gear that will not be brought to trip to send it to La Ceiba. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Hike to Waraksa Campsite
We put down our camp and go eat breakfast quite early since the longest day of march awaits us up to the rafting “put in” point. Our mules will carry the burden for 8 hours, while riding through coffee plantations owned by mixed migrant farmers and traversing woods on hilly grounds. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 3-4: La Arenosa and Casa de Piedra Campsites
After breakfast our guide teaches us the basic rafting commands to proceed with navigation from the head waters. We make our way through the exciting pristine tropical jungle for the next two days by paddling down the river on class III rapids with frequent stops to scout ahead. We explore an archaeological site and cave to end up near the entrance of “El Subrerranio” (6 hour daily paddling). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 5-6: Campsites at El Subterraneo and Pomokir
On day 5 we arrive at ‘El Subterraneo’, a narrow and impressive gorge of massive rocks which extends on for nearly one mile downstream. It will require our group’s resolution at working alongside in order to overcome this hazardous passage by means of three portages and skilled navigation of Class III and IV rapids before we reach its lower end successfully. We raise our first night campsite inside the forest near a deep river pool, making this the perfect place to find relaxation after an intense working day. Still two portages await us further ahead on day 6th through a beautiful environment of out most pristine jungle where our chances to see wildlife increase too. Exciting white water rapids alternate with extensive stretches of calm waters as we head downstream to our campsite at Pomokir, first one of the last set of class II rapids left in our journey. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 7-8: Campsite at Wajawala and lodgind at Las Marias
Once we leave Pomokir behind, our navigation progresses on calmer waters as we continue paddling downstream for six hours a day through a few more exciting and now distanced rapids such as class II Cuyamel and Kiplatara. Farther down the river bed will have broadened up progressively when we reach the mysterious petro-glyphs, mysterious drawings carved on the rocks by unknown ancient jungle settlers at the so called Walpaulbantara and Walpaulbansirpe sites. Two hours later we arrive at Batiltuk and Las Marías de Río Plátano, the Pech and Miskito village where a local family will accommodate and feed us at their hostel tonight. Chances to see wildlife of mammals, birds and reptiles are pretty high throughout these two days too. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Hotel at Palacios
We pass through Miskito territory as we continue towards the mouth of the river in the company of our Pech and Miskito guides aboard their dug-out canoes made of a single mahogany trunk. We traverse marshes and mangroves following an old canal made by the local settlers to connect the river with the Ibans Lagoon, our expected stop over at Raista to eat our lunch at a Miskito hostel near an empty large beach where we can enjoy some rest. In the afternoon we finally get to Palacios at dinner time where we stay and eat at a small hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Return to La Ceiba
On this last day we get up early to start our trip back to La Ceiba between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning. To start this ground trip we cross Bacalar Lagoon to meet the pick up trucks that ride along the coast to Tocoa. We will finish our trip earlier at Iriona where our own vehicle will pick us up plus our gear to get quicker and more comfortably to our final destiny in La Ceiba. Includes: (B).
- Personal medicines
- Personal items (biodegradable soap, tooth paste, etc.)
- Light hiking boots or tennis shoes with good traction
- River Sandals (TEVA or Chaco)
- Rubber boots(Optional)
- Rain gear
- Sun glasses
- Light tropical clothing ( long pants, long sleeve shirts, shorts, and bathing suits)
- Insect repellent and sun block
- Lamp with batteries and extra bulb
- Cameras and films with reliable waterproof cases
- Sombrero or Hat for sun, “bandana”
- Personal snacks
- Dry Bag 11” diameter and 28” high to carry personal stuff
- Day back pack while hiking
- Prophylactic medicines against malaria and shots for tropical disease. Ask your physician)
- Water bottle
- Life, travel, evacuation and medical insurance*
- Antifungal Foot Powder.
Note: Try not to bring more than 25 pounds or unnecessary equipment because sometimes you will have to carry your own back pack.
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Central America and Caribbean Honduras Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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