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May 18, 2008

La Ceiba, Honduras -- Destination Next


POST-VISIT NOTE: I had an excellent visit in La Ceiba.  All the people I met there were remarkably kind and welcoming, though it is fair to say that one of the ways they expressed their kindness was in warning me to be careful about many parts of town.  I was snapping photos near the golf course (while walking to the mall) when a couple stopped in their truck to warn me that someone had been mugged the day before, on the block where I was standing.  So I asked them if they wouldn't mind giving me a ride to the mall, and they were happy to oblige.  On another occasion, a woman who had given me directions felt badly that the place I wanted to visit was unexpectedly closed, so she gave me a tour on her own.  And on another evening, I went out in the Zona Viva with the guys who worked at my hotel after they warned me not to go alone to the block I wanted to visit.  While I wouldn't describe La Ceiba as a gorgeous place with tons of sightseeing and recreational opportunities, I would still say that it is a beautiful town and a great place to spend some time actually meeting people as they normally live, not in the context of tourism.


Original blog post:

This is La Ceiba (pronounced "la SAY-bah"), on the northern coast of Honduras where I plan to visit from June 3 to 29.

Several people I know who have been there say, "it's a dirty nothing of a town, you'd rather go somewhere else.  Another country, even."  But when I explain that part of my point in traveling is to see different, not just obviously appealing, they say, "well, you'll get different, alright."  Hmph.  I'm sure I'm going to love lots.  There are even some cool bloggers there, and maybe I'll meet them!

Rightly or wrongly, Honduras is often labeled the "worst" country in Central America for its combination of poverty, bad government, bad luck, etc.  Despite their good weather and interesting geography, they've only recently started any effort for international tourism.  But the mountains next to La Ceiba have several new eco-tourism places that I plan to visit.  And who knows -- maybe the deforestation and pollution across the country aren't as bad as I hear.

Regardless, the nearby Bay Islands of Utila and Roatán are said to be perfect for diving: great water, great flora and fauna, great weather, and good prices.  My Australian pal Emaya* learned to dive there and has shared both underwater pix with sea turtles and abovewater pix with Scandinavians.

I've never tried scuba diving but I have friends who will shoot me if I don't take advantage of this trip.
We'll see.  While I avoid sports that require expensive equipment, I also avoid getting shot.


*We met in Mérida.  See bottom of this blog for a pleasant photo of her taken by yours truly.

La Ceiba photo credit: some unfortunately forgotten place on the internet.  Don't you love the green mountains right next to the sea?

08:49 PM in Traveling | Permalink


Phil, I look forward to hearing of your adventures there!

Posted by: Lisa | May 18, 2008 11:50:05 PM

Well, I'm jealous. I'd rather travel to a dirty nothing of a town in Central America than not travel at all ;-)

Posted by: lisa b | May 19, 2008 7:07:56 AM

HOLY SHIT! this is the first time i have heard of ANYONE say la ceiba is a dirty nothing of a town,holy hell,just don't go to no slums,stay in the more urban parts,damn,god forgive these ppl

Posted by: brad | Aug 16, 2008 7:27:51 PM

HOLY SHIT! this is the first time i have heard of ANYONE say la ceiba is a dirty nothing of a town,holy hell,just don't go to no slums,stay in the more urban parts,damn,god forgive these ppl

Posted by: brad | Aug 16, 2008 7:28:52 PM

those poeple that called my town dirty for nothing dont know what the fck they are talking about.la ceiba is one of the most prosperous city in the whole of central america.we the second most traveled in central america besides costa rica, then follows belize fck them!

Posted by: fernando grant | Mar 13, 2009 4:01:39 PM

Who ever told you that lie, about La Ceiba, being a "dirty nothing of a town".,spoke like a real IGNORANT JACK ASS! for true untuched beuty lays all aroud her,from her shore line cascading with teal and emerald waters to her warm and majestic mountains . GO AND EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR SELF AND MAKE YOUR OWN OPINION OF WHAT, LA CEIBA, REALLY IS!!.BTW>>FWYH>>ACT LIKE YOU KNOW BIOTCH!

Posted by: EL PAKY | Jul 23, 2009 2:54:15 AM

lets be realistic i'm from la ceiba and i know its not the best place to visit. our goverment has done nothing to help or atract the turism. the deforestation is bast. and every st is dangerous starting by the police.I still love my country but will not deny the truth.

Posted by: jonatan | Jul 23, 2009 7:50:03 PM

Well i personaly have been there and despite what you call "dirtieness" it is A beautifull place filled with beautifull people with an amazing love for god

Posted by: Ashley | Jan 18, 2010 11:07:29 PM

been there many times and loved it each time eat at el corral its the best grilled meat you can get.

Posted by: RON WHITE | Jan 30, 2010 3:24:52 PM

Hey ignorants! I'm pretty sure the neighborhood where you live is dirtier than La Ceiba. But if that were the case, why don't you stay in your pathetic city. No one is asking you to come. The less people like you that come, the better. By the way, leave your socialism theories in your pathetic city. La Ceiba is definately not a city for ignorants like you!

Posted by: Don Roni | Mar 1, 2010 8:37:34 PM

I have been to La Ceiba many times, I have also visited Paris, London and Dublin. The food in La Ceiba is better and a lot less expensive. The people are real and very friendly. There is a great American school there since the 1920s. There are many Americans that have visited and decided to make it home. Visit and judge for yourself, you may be returning to buy a huge home for under $100,000!

Posted by: Alex | Apr 10, 2010 10:26:07 PM

Its. Past midnight here in tx but , yesterday, I was having a wonderful, time in ceiba, a true ceibeno doesn't, talk about la ceiba like,this ,ignorant,asshole,

Posted by: alex b, | Aug 3, 2010 2:59:54 AM

I'm from La Ceiba and anyone that wants to visit Ceiba, i'll give you some advice. Never go anywhere alone in the streets porque the deliquents will get you, and its worse if you are a tourists because they know you have money. I have been at the beach and watched the poor american people get robbed in the daylight. They took these poor peoples money, clothes, shoes..they left them naked! And if you want to know which places are most dangerous its 'barrio ingles' aka 'el hoyo' and 'la zona viva'. La Ceiba is a beautiful place, but NEVER travel alone..or without a gun if possible! Better yet, you might just want to think about visiting another place all together. I was born and raised there, so I know everyone or know where not to go, anyway, they would rob an american quicker because they know you have money, but they still rob their own people too..they'll rob you in front of a hundred people or riding on the bus. They don't care. The police can't control all of this corruption...heck, I think the police probably have something to do with it most of the time. Yea, definitely go prepared if you go. I love my country, but I do NOT agree with robbing innocent people just because you can. Thats why our country cant prosper, because americans bring money to our country yet we are running everyone away because of evil doings. It's not right. We used to have alot more tourists, but now everyone is afraid, as they should be! Things should definitely change.

Posted by: Geovany | Sep 22, 2010 9:43:15 AM