Budget

Best Vacation Deals 2009

by Bob Payne

Honduras

Things have quieted down after the recent military coup, which means that Honduras is once again being bandied about as the new Costa Rica. The diving and snorkeling in the Bay Islands is already on the travel radar, and enthusiasts know that the Mayan ruins at Copán are among the best preserved in Central America. Less known, however (and its rather unfortunate name gives you a hint as to why), is the rain forest–sheathed Mosquito Coast, where ecotourism programs being developed by native Miskito communities were recently recognized for their excellence by the World Travel & Tourism Council. One program, La Ruta Moskitia, offers four- to eight-day trips beginning at $425 per person if you book in a group of four or more; you'll trek the rain forest, look for crocodiles, and observe Miskito dancing, which is characterized by an over-the-shoulder slapping motion. In May, the coastal town of La Ceiba, where most Honduran eco-adventures (and trips out to the Bay Islands) start, hosts a carnival that attracts upward of a half million people. That might explain La Ceiba's motto, comparing itself with other towns in Honduras: "Tegus thinks, San Pedro Sula works, and Ceiba plays." And you might want to start playing on the covered patio at Ricardo's restaurant, said to be one of the best in Honduras.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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