RIO PLATANO BIOSPHERE EXPEDITION (10 DAYS)

Starting at Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LA MOSKITIA ECOAVENTURAS

INTRODUCTION

La Moskitia Ecoaventuras & iCatracho Tours offers you a unique opportunity to participate in one of the most interesting expeditions ever performed in Central America. This is a wholesome top excitement adventure which will transport you to some of the most remote places within the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, a site declared World Heritage by UNESCO, where we shall be protagonists of an exotic journey across diverse tropical environments and landscapes.

 

Imagine our main scenario on the riverbed of the Platano, where we are going to cover a distance of 130 Km, starting at its headwaters in the southern side of the reserve to just about reaching its outlet to the Caribbean Sea at the North Coast. After an interesting ground approach, walking through the last farmland territories on the buffer zone, most of our trip is performed by navigating on rafts across a natural set up where the tropical rain forest displays the lush of an exuberant pristine vegetation. The sequence of calm waters followed by the fast currents of thrilling rapids adds also excitement to the countless surprises awaiting us during this singular journey into the jungle.

 

The pristine environment of this ecosystem makes it home of a great diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate species which will not  easily remain unnoticed to us, such as monkeys, of which we might see up to three species, iguanas, frogs, turtles, several fish species chased by the river otters, a diversity of butterflies among which the magnificent blue Morpho quickly outstands, gregarious parrots and solitary cranes, king fishers, cormorants, toucans, macaws, and other colorful bird species which will accompany us along our trip. Among the biggest mammals, deer, tapirs, and some big cats are the most outstanding, being these last ones much harder to spot due to their night lifestyle.

 

Although the main part of the journey is carried out across entirely human deserted territories, some big caves and other archaeological sites witness the former presence of ancient cultures of people living ashore the river centuries ago. Their present heirs are the indigenous peoples Pech, Miskito and Garifuna, with which we shall interact during the last stage of our trip, a latest ingredient whose contribution to our experience will make this voyage become into an unforgettable adventure about which many a story will be shared with our relatives and friends.

ITINERARY

 

Day 1:            TRUCK RIDE TO BONANZA CAMPSITE

Guides and Gear travel by 4x4 truck from La Ceiba to Bonanza a village located in the buffer zone of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. If participants arrive at Tegucigalpa the day before we will hire a mini bus or double cab 4x4 truck to pick the group up at Hotel and bring them to Catacamas to meet guides and continue together in 4x4 trucks to Bonanza.

On this day we go through a few small towns and some typical villages as well as several settlements of farmers devoted to agriculture and cattle ranching. We are due to arrive at our final destination late in the afternoon, just in time to put up our tents on our host family´s yard. Let´s enjoy our “campesino” dinner and get some relaxing sleep to wake up early next day.

Please select tonight any extra gear that will not be brought to trip to send it to La Ceiba.

 

Day 2:            HIKE TO LANCETILLAL CAMPSITE

We break down our camp and eat breakfast quite early since the longest day of march awaits us up to the rafting “put in” point. Our mules will carry the burden for 8 hours, while riding through coffee plantations owned by mixed migrant farmers and traversing woods on hilly grounds. We always bring a mule with saddle for any tired hiker. This mule also brings extra water during the long hike. In the afternoon we will hike through old abandoned flat grasslands encounter the Rio Platano. Our campsite is near an archaeological site that is difficult to observe due to the overgrowth of the jungle. The only vestige is a petro glyph located on the river bed. Today is considered the must physical demanding day of the trip.             

 

Day 3 to 4:    CASA DE PIEDRA AND CHILMECA CAMPSITES

After breakfast our guide teaches us the basic rafting commands to proceed with navigation from the head waters. We make our way through the exciting pristine tropical jungle for the next two days by paddling down the river on class III rapids with frequent stops to scout ahead. Next morning, we take a short hike to explore an archaeological site and cave to end up near the entrance of the subterraneous creek.

At around midday we continue down river and visit an archaeological site with plenty of small grinding stones located near the river. The rest of the evening (around 4 hrs) we paddle down to Chilmeca camp. Today is a good day to spot spider monkeys, birds and do some fishing. Paddle time depends on river level.

                       

Day 5 to 6:    CAMPSITES AT EL SUBTERRANEO AND KAWAKIR

On day 5 we arrive at ‘EL SUBTERRANEO’, a narrow and impressive gorge of massive rocks which extends on for nearly one mile downstream. It will require our group’s resolution at working alongside in order to overcome this hazardous passage by means of three portages and skilled navigation of Class III and IV rapids before we reach its lower end successfully. We raise our first night campsite inside the forest near a deep river pool, making this the perfect place to find relaxation after an intense working day. Still two portages await us further ahead on day 6th through a beautiful environment of outmost pristine jungle where our chances to see wildlife increase too. Exciting white water rapids alternate with extensive stretches of calm waters as we head downstream to our campsite at Pomokir, first one of the last set of class II rapids left in our journey.

  

Day 7 to 8:    CAMPSITE AT CUYAMEL AND LODGING AT LAS MARIAS

Once we leave camp we paddle for around 1hr to run class II Pomokir rapid. From here our navigation progresses on calmer waters as we continue paddling downstream for 5 hours through a few small and distanced rapids till we arrive to crystal clear Cuyamel river. Next morning, we run class II Cuyamel and Kiplatara, the last two rapids in two hrs. Farther down the river bed will have broadened up progressively when we reach the old petro-glyphs, mysterious drawings carved on the rocks by unknown ancient jungle settlers at the so called Walpaulbantara and Walpaulbansirpe sites. Two hours later we arrive at Batiltuk and Las Marías de Río Plátano, the Pech and Miskito village where a local family will accommodate and feed us at their hostel tonight.  Chances to see wildlife of mammals, birds and reptiles are pretty high throughout these two days too.

 

Day 9:           HOSTEL AT RAISTA 

We pass through Miskito territory as we continue towards the mouth of the river in the company of our Pech and Miskito guides aboard their dug-out canoes made of a single mahogany trunk. We traverse marshes and mangroves following an old canal made by the local settlers to connect the river with the Ibans Lagoon till we arrive at RAISTA to eat our lunch and overnight. In the afternoon we will have plenty of time to visit Miskito villages and empty large beach where we can enjoy some rest.

 

Day 10:          RETURN TO LA CEIBA - SAN PEDRO SULA - TEGUCIGALPA

On this last day we get up early (3:45) to start our trip back to La Ceiba in a water taxi (motorized canoe) for 2 hrs. to Pueblo Nuevo where we will take our 4x4 collective truck that will drive along the coast eventually crossing trucks with ferries till arrive to dirt road to continue to TOCOA (4 hrs). From Tocoa we continue to La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa, depending on your departing point.

 

Note: We purify water with microdyn (colloidal silver), breakfast and dinners are hot. Lunch is cold while on route on the river or hiking.  For latrine we use cat holes and a toilet chair that we name La Reina.

 

NOTE: This trip can be expanded one or two more days to experience more the remote wilderness.

 

Services included:

 

  • Guides and gear transportation from La Ceiba to Bonanza

  • Transportation for participants from La Ceiba to Bonanza

  •  Mules or horses to carry gear and water 

  • Transportation to Raista on the coast by motorized dugouts canoes.

  • Transportation of team and gear from La Moskitia  to La Ceiba

  • Rafting equipment, thermarest, tents, first aid adventure kit, cooking gear, plates, silverware, water purification with microdyn (colloidal silver).

  • Full board accommodation at village hostels,

  • Breakfast on day 1 to Breakfast on day 10

  • Bilingual nature guides.

  • Taxes

 

Checklist:

 

  • Personal medicines

  • Personal items (biodegradable soap, tooth paste, etc.)

  • Light hiking boots or tennis shoes with good traction

  • River Sandals (TEVA or Chaco) or tennis shoes

  • Rubber boots (recommended for hike on muddy trail to Lancetillal)

  • Rain gear (Rain jacket is more comfortable), paddle jacket

  • Paddle gloves

  • Sun glasses (Polarized is recommended)

  • Light tropical clothing (long pants, long sleeve shirts, shorts, and bathing suits) Sleeping sheets and inflatable pillow. Light towel, bandana.

  • Insect repellent and sun block (Permethryn is highly recommended on clothing to avoid chiggers & Mosquitos apply on clothing the day before)

  • Lamp with batteries and extra bulb

  • Cameras with extra batteries and reliable waterproof cases, power banks

  • Sombrero or Hat for sun protection

  • High absorbent small towel or bandana

  • Personal snacks (beef jerk and dry fruits)

  • Dry Bag 11” diameter and 28” high to carry personal stuff

  • Day back pack while hiking with small dry bags to protect valuables.         

  • Prophylactic medicines against malaria and shots for tropical disease. (Ask your physician)

  • Water bottle with wide mouth (check Nalgene)

  • Antifungal Foot Powder

  • Waterproof Binoculars (optional)

  • Life, travel, evacuation and medical insurance*

  • 504assist.com   Free insurance for participants flying to Honduras Please do not forget to register on line at arrival.

 

GENERAL WEATHER INFORMATION:

November to February:      Heavy Rains season (Cold Fronts)

March to May:                       Dry Season with some rains.

June to September:             Intermittent Rains. Hurricane season that rarely strike Honduras

October and November:    End of Hurricane season (higher hurricane probabilities for Honduras)

 

Note: Try not to bring more than 25 pounds or unnecessary equipment because sometimes you will have to carry your own back pack. Please pack as light as possible because space in Raft and Mules is limited.