The answer is a categorical no! The Lodge at Pico Bonito is open and there are no plans to close it. So where did all this rumor about the Lodge at Pico Bonito closing come from? Although there were some administrative changes in the management level. This is due to the fact that the Honduran partners bought out their US investors. The lodge originally came to be under a partnership that sought to protect Pico Bonito National Park. The partners saw tourism as a perfect to tool to achieve their goals. And indeed, the Lodge at Pico Bonito quickly earned accolades as the premier eco lodge in Honduras. It soon became the center of a fast growing bird watching tourism industry in Honduras.
Another rumor that has spread like wildfire is that the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez bought out the foreign investors. This rumor comes from the fact that president Hernandez recently visited the lodge and met with the Honduran owners. The fact is that no, the president did not invest in the lodge, and the Honduran partners are exactly the same as those who originally invested in the property. The new manager, Jose Enrique Graugnard recently invited us to the Lodge at Pico Bonito to meet the current staff.
Mr. Graugnard himself has been an executive at the Lodge since it opened its doors almost 20 years ago. So, in effect, I already knew him and most of his staff. The Honduran business group that owns the lodge is committed to tourism. They own other properties, including Telamar Resort in Tela and the Hotel Honduras Maya in Tegucigalpa.
Are These Changes at the Lodge at Pico Bonito for the Better?
It was great to be back in the lodge, even if it was only for a short couple of hours. It certainly did look like the Lodge at Pico Bonito closing was imminent. I can report that the property is open and looks great, just like it has always. The staff is friendly, and I must say that if there is any change it is for the better! For one, the Lodge has been offering outstanding packages for Hondurans and legal foreign residents living in Honduras. This means that if you are an expat living in Honduras, you can now afford to visit the lodge and experience it to the fullest, spa and all! I recommend that you keep an eye on the Lodge at Pico Bonito web page as well as their Facebook page to stay in tune with their low season promotions.
The wildlife, including birds, reptiles and mammals are still here. They are not going anywhere and are being protected here just as always. A small whiteboard in the lobby has a handwritten note of the different animals sighted in the vicinity. This includes not only those in Pico Bonito National Park, but also at the nearby Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge. Across the lobby from the board you will also see a small sculpture that represents Copan. It is in effect the Copan Prize, which is the highest recognition the is given to innovative tourism related businesses in Honduras. The Lodge at Pico Bonito continues to be a unique lodge and a leader in Honduras tourism industry. It is certainly comforting to no there are no plans to have the Lodge at Pico Bonito closing their doors any time in the near future!