Exploring Honduras by Train and Canoe
to Cuero y Salado
Historically, La Ceiba has been the main export port for Standard Fruit (Dole brand), which explains why The Tourist Train ends at a small coconut processing operation beside the Cuero y Salado park headquarters.
However, it will be quite some time before any more coconuts are processed here. The trees are topless, as if a giant scythe beheaded them.
From a distance, the acres and acres of denuded palms appear like thousands of gray sea anemone tentacles rising from the ground.
Lethal yellowing destroyed the entire coconut plantation. Hurricane Mitch in the late 90s is credited with accelerating its spread. Caused by microbes, planthoppers normally distribute the disease.
To combat the blight, resistant African palms have since been planted, but they are years away from producing.
Cuero y Salado's tropical wet and mangrove forests are crisscrossed with numerous estuaries and natural canals, so a boat is the best way to explore.
When Jorge Salaverri of La Moskitia Ecoaventuras brings around our canoe, I climb in. Most people use small motorized skiffs, but a canoe can explore shallower channels and allows a quieter experience.
We paddle in the direction of the distant yet still impressive looking mountains of Pico Bonito park miles away inland.
To Part 3
To Part 1