There Are Many Different Things to do in Tela: Enjoy the Beach, Visit the Garifuna Villages, Enjoy Nature in the National Parks…
Following is a list of the most outstanding things to do in Tela. Do keep in mind that your local tour operators in Tela can arrange special tailor made tours and activities for you.
Punta Sal National Park
The most popular of all things to do in Tela! Punta Sal offers a unique experience, which combines a marine adventure with a brief hike in the tropical rain forests of Central America. Visit Cocalito Beach, arguable the most beautiful white sand beach in continental Central America, snorkel in some well preserved reefs, and simply relax in the sun. The boat trip out to Punta Sal might even surprise you with a welcome commission commandeered by pod of dolphins that will escort your boat part of the way! The best alternative for this trip is to hire it through one of the local tour operators: Garifuna Tours, Eco di Mare Tours and Tela Dive Center.
Punta Izopo National Park
Punta Izopo National Park is located on the Eastern tip of the Bay of Tela. Access is via de Garifuna Village of Triunfo de La Cruz, reputedly the one of the oldest communities in Honduras, and certainly the first where the Garifuna people landed in continental Central America. Although the park is relatively small, the experience of paddling through mangrove canals teeming with life will certainly provide for a thrilling experience. A visit to this park requires the use of kayaks, so you will need to purchase a tour with either Garifuna Tours or Eco di Mare Tours.
Lancetilla Botanical Gardens
Are you into plants? Lancetilla Botanical Garden offers a variety of different collections of plants, including exotic fruit trees, tropical palms, and many different ornamental flowers. You may even have the chance to taste some of these fruits, and buy some fruit conserves and jellies made by a group of local ladies, to take with you some of the tropical flavors of Honduras. A visit to the Lancetilla Gardens is one of the more popular things to in Tela. Make sure you hire a local guide if you visit on your own.
Walking tour of Tela.
Although Tela does not have many old buildings to speak of, there are different very iconic sites, and you can easily take a walking tour of the area, visiting both old and new Tela. For a complete description of a good walking tour, visit the official Visit Atlantida web page.
Garifuna Villages in the Bay of Tela
There are many different Garifuna Villages within the Bay of Tela. They are all easily accessible if you have a car. If you do not have a car, consider hiring a cab or contact one of the local tour operators for a tour. There is no doubt that the most picturesque, and probably most interesting of the Garifuna Villages in the area is Miami. However in addition you will find Tornabe and San Juan on the Western side of Tela. La Ensenada and Triunfo de la Cruz are on the Eastern side of Tela.
Until very recently, nobody even imagined that diving could be included in a list of things to do in Tela! In order to have some good quality diving, you need a reef close by… Well it turns out that there is a great reef just off the coast of Tela that is in extremely healthy conditions! The Capiro Reef has been acclaimed as the best preserved reef off the coast of Central America’s Caribbean shoreline. (This of course excludes the Bay Islands of Honduras, and the Corn Islands of Nicaragua, which offer outstanding diving conditions). Tela Dive Center offers a full service PADI dive shop, including certification courses, diving expeditions, equipment rental and sales. They can also offer diving trips to the Bay Island of Utila, which is not far away.
Tela offers two golf courses, so if you are into golfing, this could be a real treat for you! Indura offers a Par 72 18 hole Gary Player Championship course, and Telamar Resort has a 9 hole course which originally belonged to the Tela Railroad Company. Now how is that for a true adventure playing golf in an authentic Banana Republic Golf course? Now you know that Golf is certainly on the list of things to do in Tela!
Los Micos Lagoon and a visit to Los Olingos
Los Micos Lagoon is an extensive lagoon system that is part of the Jeannette Kawas National Park. The lagoon is separated from the ocean by a narrow sandbar that provides just enough space for the most authentic of all Garifuna Villages in the World: Miami. This place is a far cry from Miami, Florida! It is truly close to an idyllic paradise, but with few services. The beaches are quite spectacular, and there are a few spots where you can have a meal.
Los Olingos is a beautiful eco property located on the mountain side of Los Micos Lagoon. For a great day experience, and better yet, for an overnight experience arrange for a stay at Los Olingos. Your stay will include a boat trip from Miami, and across the mangrove canals through the lagoon. A visit to los Olingos is one of my very personal favorite things to do in Tela.
Enjoy the Beach
Tela is best known for its beaches, and this is what most people come here for. So chances are that if you decided on Tela, you came here because of the beaches. Our best advice is: enjoy the beaches! If you are not staying in a beachfront hotel with direct access to the beaches, there are several different alternatives that you work on.
The beach in front of the pedestrian street in Tela is always a great alternative. This beach offers a variety of restaurants and bars within the pedestrian street. Simply choose the type of food you would like and enjoy the street side seating here. As with any public beach in the World, keep an eye on your belongings and bring only what you need with you. Leave your valuables, personal documents and the rest of your belongings in your hotel.
The new Playa Equipada, or equipped beach refers to the beach area located in front of the old Tela Railroad Company accounting building. This beach is also adjacent to the Municipal dock. The beach now has a variety of services and is regularly patrolled by security and protected with cameras. This means you can enjoy the beach safely!
A last alternative is located on the beach adjacent to Telamar Resort, towards the west. This beach is also provides diverse services, such as a toilette’s, boardwalks and little thatched roof champas to provide a refuge from the sun.
Farther out towards the Garifuna communities located west of Tela you will find other beachfront areas that you can enjoy. As with anywhere in the World, avoid a completely solitary beach. In the unlikely happening of someone trying to mug you, you will be completely on your own. The Garifuna Communities are very safe, but do not try to get out to them walking or on a bicycle.