A visit to Tela, Honduras, involves really getting off the beaten track. Most foreign tourists bypass this small fishing village in favour of nearby La Ceiba, which offers a regular ferry service to Utila, but a short visit here is worth the detour, if it weren’t for the lack of available hostels in Tela, Honduras.
Situated on the northern Caribbean coast, Tela is blessed with a tropical environment; the wettest months are October and December. On weekends and during Easter or Holy Week, this small town really come to life with an influx of Honduran city dwellers taking advantage of the beach. A festival is held also for the week-long celebrations with makeshift bars, restaurants, and a fair (think dodgem cars and a Ferris wheel) set up along the beach.
Most restaurants and bars are located along the waterfront, where you can generally pick up a menu of the day at a reasonable price or try the local dish, baleadas, a tortilla stuffed with pretty much whatever you want inside it.
If you’re into clothes shopping, you’ll be hard up to find any fancy stores here, but Tela seems to have loads of cheap, secondhand clothing stores, perfect for changing out old and worn clothes on your travels. A few hours alone could be spent sifting through the racks and boxes.
Another highlight is visiting a Garifuna village. Dotted along the coast, the main villages, Triunfo, Tornabe, San Juan, and Miami, offer tourists the opportunity to experience a different culture and a different way of life with their unique food and culture. Some villages offer accommodation in the form of a hotel, but unfortunately no Tela, Honduras hostels are available in these areas.
Closer to town, visit the Lancetilla Botanical Garden, which boasts a large variety of plants, a small museum, and bird-watching opportunities. The park is popular with school groups and can get warm, so take plenty of water and some snacks with you. A small café is also available on site.
So while Tela won’t be the most exciting place you’ll ever visit, you will find a friendly community (including a large group of ex-pats calling the place home), warm weather, and a place to sit back and relax without a worry. In fact, your only worry might be finding a Tela, Honduras hostel in which to sleep!
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