When you think about white water rafting in Central America most people think of Costa Rica, and there are some great rivers to raft there, but why not save yourself a lot of money and hit the incredible rapids that run through the jungle in Honduras?
La Ceiba lies on the northern coast of Honduras and just so happens to be the same town where you will catch the ferry if you’re heading to Utila for some (not so) cheap scuba diving. Getting there is easy enough, head to San Pedro Sula (if you have to stay the night I would recommend La Hamaca Hostel, it’s safe and they cook amazing burgers) the local buses run every half an hour, it takes 3 and a half hours and costs US$6.
I stayed at the Jungle River Lodge, if you arrange it in advance they’ll pick you up from the coach station in their bright yellow jeep. The staff were amazingly friendly and helpful, we got a free night in the dorm room with the rafting and they cooked us lunch while we waited and enjoyed the view.
Rafting the Rio Cangrejal
There were only 3 of us on the tour and our guide made it a lot of fun. We were driven further into the jungle and carried the raft down to the Rio Cangrejal while the locals watched us practice a few maneuvers. The rapids started small and progressed to Grade IV as we dropped down a few waterfalls, squeezed in between some giant rocks and swirled around in the giant whirlpools.
We stopped at the Jungle River Lodge for half an hour of cliff jumping before climbing back into the boat and finishing the tour. We hit a few more big rapids and then slowly floated towards the big yellow jeep on the river bank that drove us back to the lodge, where cold showers and a hot dinner were waiting.
There are two river rafting tours available. The 7km tour with Grade III and IV rapids (the one I chose) only costs $40 and is well worth the money. However, I wish I did the longer 14km tour that takes you 7km further up river and through Grade V rapids, this option costs $100 and is for experienced rafters only, but would be well worth it, especially if you compare it to the prices of rafting in Costa Rica.
If rafting isn’t your thing you can still enjoy the peace and quiet at the Jungle River Lodge, or take part in one of their other tours – mountain biking, hiking or canopy zip lining all for good prices.
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