The Top Atractions in Omoa
Omoa is a small, mostly overlooked destination on the northwestern corner of Honduras. It is a pleasant beach town that was once an important banana port. The Cuyamel Fruit Company in Honduras had its headquarters in the nearby community of Cuyamel, within the municipal limits of Omoa. But the history of Omoa goes back long before Honduras became a Banana Republic. During Colonial times, the Spanish Conquistadors worked the silver mines around Tegucigalpa. The closest port to send the silver to Spain was Omoa. Thus, the Spanish Colonial authorities built a massive fortress to fend off attacks by the Brits and the buccaneers that were after the silver. I refer to the Fortress of San Fernando de Omoa.
The fortress is the largest and most important Spanish Colonial military building in Central America. Fortunately, it is in very good shape and easy to visit. The Instituto Hondureño de Antropologia e Historia manages the site, which includes a museum. There is also a nice small colonial church in town that is in good shape if you like colonial buildings.
Omoa is between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra de Omoa Mountain Range. Here the mountains serve as a backdrop from the beach and reach over 7000 feet of altitude over sea level. The only other similar setting of Caribbean beaches with a massive green set of mountains in Central America is in La Ceiba, with the magnificent Pico Bonito National Park. If both instances, the mountains are home to tropical rainforests that turn into cloud forest habitat as you surpass the 4500 feet of altitude. On the opposite side of the mountains (facing south) the habitat changes to a drier pine forest climate.
Great Beach Town & Restaurants in the Bay of Omoa
The Bay of Omoa today offers a variety of small restaurants and hotels that you can choose. Beach activities available include a ride in a banana towed by a speedboat, as well as fishing trips out the Caribbean. About 25 years ago, the historical Fantome Cruise Ship set its home port in Omoa. The four masted tall ship was once commissioned by Aristotle Onassis as a gift. The beautiful ship was lost at sea while trying to escape the path of Hurricane Mitch back in 1998.
Many Sampedranos, as we call the inhabitants of San Pedro Sula, love escaping to the beach in Omoa during weekends. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps the most important is that this is the closest beach town to San Pedro Sula. A second very good reason is the excellent highway between San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortes. This is a 4 lane highway that makes the trip easy, fast and safe.
There are many different hotel options in Omoa, as well as in nearby Puerto Cortes. In addition, the variety of beachfront restaurants in the Bay of Omoa offer an idyllic quiet Caribbean setting to relax and enjoy the view. Regardless of whether you are looking for a quiet beach town, a gastronomical experience next to the beach, or the learning about the history of Honduras, Omoa is a great option.
Omoa is home to the largest marine school in Honduras. You will find many young Hondurans in Omoa because they are doing their courses to become seafaring chaps. I bet you did not know it, but there are many Honduran citizens working on both cargo and passenger vessels around the World. You would be surprised at how many ship captains are from Honduras. Most of these persons have gone to the marine school in Omoa or in La Ceiba.