As we climbed up through the property, Kent outlined his future plans. Located between two fast-moving rivers, the resort will consist of 22 bungalows based around a central area, and it will offer river outings, day trips to local conservatories, and guided walks through the surrounding area. Honduras, the locus of both overt and covert Central American military operations, lags behind Costa Rica in tourism infrastructure. Having my own personal eco-tour guide pointing to the flora and fauna was revelatory, though I did have to hold back a chuckle as he stooped to break open feces: "Herbivore, see?"
"Hey Kent," I called ahead, "this snake in the brush, is it sleeping or dead?"
"What does it look like?"
"Brown on brown, looks kind of deadly."
"Oh, uh, that kind, I'd have to say you want to pass with extreeeeeeme caution."
When we consulted the glossary back at the apartment, this snake turned out to be a pit viper (bothrops Nummifera) otherwise known as the Jumping Tamagas for its ability to leap far distances from a coiled position. "Poisonous" and "lethal" were two rather prominent adjectives in the entry.
In addition to the whitewater and rainforest excursions, Honduras offers the traveler Mayan ruins at Copan that date back to 1000 B.C. and other cultural touchstones such as the colorful Garifuna community with their native dancing to the Punta beat. Hondurans as a whole, I found, are incredibly nice, and while crime does exist, you're sure not to have any problems if you stay on your toes. The incredibly cheap liquor--which can be both a good and a bad thing--leads to colorful evenings exploring the active La Ceiba nightlife and greases the wheels of entertainment with great ease. And while you're sure to hear people say, "Yeah, but it ain't Costa Rica," it's good to remember that Costa Rica ain't Costa Rica anymore either.
Todd Krieger is a freelance writer from San Francisco.
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