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Introduction

Naitonal Park outside La Ceiba

Naitonal Park outside La Ceiba

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Starting as hut under a Ceiba tree along the coast with a small dock in 1872, La Ceiba quickly grew into a major port. The city grew because of the fruit trade and commerce into a large economic center for the country. The early growth of La Ceiba was because of the Standard Fruit Company, which was part Dole Fruit. This is mainly because of the pineapple and banana trade.

The city has now grown to about 170,000 people divided into 170 barrios. One of the main parts of the economy now is tourism and is considered the capital of Honduras's emerging eco-tourism industry. The coastline is home to amazing beaches that are great for relaxing while enjoying some delicious fruit.

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Neighbourhoods

There are 170 Barrios in the city.

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Sights and Activities

  • Banco Atlantida is the oldest bank in Honduras and was built in 1913.
  • Beaches here are great place to relax and enjoy a good time.
  • Night Life is one of the main attractions and La Ceiba is home to one of the best drinking scenes in the whole country.
  • Pico Bonito National Park is home to an amazing 2,435-metre-high mountain and great for hiking.
  • White Water Rafting can be experienced on the Cangrejal River and is home to Class III to IV rapids. This river actually runs into some nice wildlife refuges.
  • Cuero and Salado Wildlife Refuge is located on the edge of the city and is great place to see wild animals.

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Events and Festivals

Carroza La Ceiba de Plata

Carroza La Ceiba de Plata

© All Rights Reserved TBS

  • Samana Santa (Holy Week) is when tourists from all over the country come to city to have fun on the beach and enjoy the nightlife.
  • Carnaval de la Amistad is the largest celebration in the city every year during the week leading up to the third Saturday in May. The city swells with over 200,000 people in order to experience the great parade on Saturday afternoon. Many of the barrios have smaller celebrations during the weak, which are worth a visit.
  • Feria de San Isidro - Held annually the week preceding the third Saturday in May, this festival sees over a quarter million Hondurans flocking to the town to take part in the celebration. It is a lively fun-filled event full of street pageantry similar to Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.

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Weather

La Ceiba has hot and humid weather yearround with temperatures around 30 °C during most days, dropping to a balmy 20 °C at night. Unlike many other areas in Honduras, or in fact Central America, La Ceiba receives more rain from October to February, instead of May to November which applies for many other places.

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Getting There

By Plane

Golosón International Airport (IATA: LCE, ICAO: MHLC) is also known as La Ceiba Airport and is located on the western side of the city. The airport has domestic flights to most major cities in Honduras and has international flights to Montreal and George Town (Cayman Islands).

By Bus

There are buses from San Pedro Sula for L100 (lempiras), the journey takes around 3-4 hours. From Guatemala City take a bus to San Pedro Sula (8-11 hours) or Copán Ruinas and change.

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Getting Around

Getting around La Ceiba is easy and cheap. Within the city and to the airport there are standard taxi rates. It is !20 (June 2008) per person within the city limits. This jumps to L25 after dark and goes up the later you are out. A ride to the ferry dock is L50 per person. As fuel prices have increased what constitutes a "downtown" trip has shrunk. Do make sure you know the fare before you get in the cab, particularly if you are leaving downtown for the port or the airport. Prices are generally quoted per passenger except from the airport. Don't be surprised if your driver stops to pick up additional passengers.

Since its a small town, everybody knows where everything is. Know the name of your destination or have it written down (for the more obscure destinations, include the barrio or colonia in which it is located). However, you can also say names of important buildings and the taxi driver will most likely know what you're talking about.

There are plenty of buses in La Ceiba. The cost is usually around L10-15. A bus will continue to pick up people until it is full. If a bus doesn't stop to pick you up it's because it has reached capacity. Just stand at the side of the road and flag one down when you see it coming. The people who ride the buses are locals that want to travel in a more economical manner. Hondurans are generally very friendly, still, it's a good idea to watch your belongings like everywhere else in the world! If you're not showing off your cash and valuables, you should be ok.

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Eat

A great place for tourists and ex-pats alike is Bar Expatriados. It's been a while since I've lived in La Ceiba but any cab driver or local will know it's roof top downtown location (in Barrio El Iman at the end of Calle 12). The former owners, Mark and Maureen have returned to Canada but the new American owners, Joe and his wife Michelle, are helpful and friendly. The menu is typical American/Honduran. Great burgers and imported/domestic beer. The cost for a meal is expensive compared to the non ex-pat places but much cheaper then a fancy restaurant. A night of dinner and drinks for two will run you about US$30.

The Mango Tango is another popular moderately priced restaurant along the beach strip in the Zona Viva (Calle 1 along the beach).

Ricardos on Avenida 14 de Julio is also delicious and well priced and serves some of the best food in Central America and has the awards to prove it. They are at the top end of the price scale in La Ceiba but still half what you would expect to pay for the same plate above the Rio Grande.

A bit outside of town toward the airport the ex-pat owned and operated Iguana Bar & Restaurant serves local seafood and open grille beef speciality dishes on the beach at more moderate prices.

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Drink

  • Expatriates Bar & Grill, 12a Calle, South of city center, ☎ +504 440 1131. Good grilled food, cold beer and friendly staff.

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Sleep

There are good quality hotels in La Ceiba, including the Quinta Real, La Quinta, Hotel Paris, the Aurora and, between the airport and downtown, the Coco Pando. A good mid-range hotel is the Iberia. There are also safe budget hotels in town such as the Catracho and the Lastenia.

A big draw-back for budget travelers is the lack of hostels. There are only a couple & both are surrounded by dark streets after 7:00pm, offering very little. There is a hostel located in La Ceiba called Banana Republic but it has problems with security, most recently (date unknown) involving a series of break-ins.

  • Lastenia Hotel is nice and cheap place to stay; they have a really tiny swimming pool upstairs, a cafeteria next door, you can get a room with a/c or fan, depending on your budget. Three people can stay for about US$15 a night. They now provide transportation to the bus station, airport or ferry terminal for about US$3 per room (not per person).
  • Hotel Gran Ceiba is another good quality hotel.
  • Hostal (La Ceiba, Honduras). La Mokitia Ecoaventuras Guesthouse/Hostal in La Ceiba, with tropical gardens, big yard, Tv hall, book exchange, Free Wireless Internet Service, Our friendly, bilingual, staffs are ready to help you with information and reservations. NO check out time. Inf. (504) 2441-3279 / (504) 9699-9300 (24hrs).
  • Banana Republic Guest House, Avenida La Republica, between 12th and 13th St, ☎ +504 2440 1268. Check-out: 11:00am. Nice hostel with a Kitchen, Wifi and computers, hammocks and a selection of dorms or private rooms. However, there is an overwhemingly large bed bug infestation. Practically every bed has a colony of them boldly crawling across the mattress surface and seams. Still, there is a book swap in addition to lockers being available, but you'll need your own padlock (as of June 2012). L250.
  • LMEA Guesthouse (La Ceiba, Honduras), Col. Toronjal 2, ☎ +504 2441-3279. Economical guest house in La Ceiba, with free wifii, kithchen, social, TV A/C L150 p/p the night. +504 9699-9300 Geanie 24hrs.

View our map of accommodation in La Ceiba or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

No matter where you are in Honduras, you should find Internet access, either in a cafe, mall, or cybercafe. Most hotels, even hostels, have their own Internet service, and more and more are beginning to have Wi-Fi service. Roughly 90% of these hotels offer Wi-Fi for free, yet some international chain hotels in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, as well as a few resorts on Roatán, charge a fee that ranges between US$6 and US$15 per day. If the hotel does not have Internet service, the hotel staff can usually point out where to find it. Expect to pay approximately 20 lempira per hour.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The emergency numbers are 199 (police), 195 (ambulance) and 198 (fire). The international area code in Honduras is 504. All local phone numbers are eight digits, including the area code. Numbers either start with a 2 (landline) or a 9 (cellular).

Kiosks and convenience stores throughout Honduras sell phone cards with individual instructions on long-distance dialing, and phone booths at telephone centers will provide instructions on dialing.

Honduras's largest phone companies, such as Telefonica, operate on a GSM 850 or 1900 MHZ frequency, which several large North American carriers also use, though these frequencies are rare in other parts of the world. Any dual or multiband GSM cellphone will work in Honduras, but you might pay expensive roaming rates; it's better to buy a local SIM card and install it in your own cell phone for cheaper rates.
You can also rent a phone at kiosks located on the arrival level at the San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa airport; they are open daily from 6:00am to 9:00pm. Depending on your service, you may be able to insert your own SIM card, though you'll likely still pay regular roaming rates. Some cellphone companies in Honduras will rent phones with prepaid calling cards.

Post

Honducor is the country's national postal service. Post offices are open from Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm (though generally with a long lunch break) and on Saturday from 8:00am to noon. Sendings standard letters or postcards internationally start at around US$1 and take 10-14 days at least. You can get stamps at a post office and at some gift shops in large hotels. The Honduran postal service is renowned for being considerably more reliable than in other Central American nations, though if you are sending anything of value, it is still recommended to use an international courier service like DHL, UPS, TNT or FedEx, which have offices in larger cities.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 15.759394
  • Longitude: -86.780882

Accommodation in La Ceiba

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in La Ceiba searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in La Ceiba and areas nearby.

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This is version 14. Last edited at 12:29 on Feb 8, 18 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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