Seven Days / Six Nights (Land & Air) ::
Overland In / Fly Out – Tue, Thur, Sat Departures

Day One – Overland Bus & Boat route to La Moskitia / Raista ecolodge

The trip at a Glance:
Day One »
Overland to La Moskitia / Raista Ecolodge
Day Two »
Boat Ride to Las Marias / Traditional Miskito Home Visit
Day Three »
Las Marias / River Trip to Petroglyphs
Day Four » Las Marias / Jungle Hike
Day Five » Belen Beach Cabanas / Miskito Cultural Evening
Day Six » Great Pine Savannah / Nighttime Croc Cruise
Day Seven » Fly Out of La Moskitia to La Ceiba

Your adventure begins with an overland route that involves a series of bus connections from Trujillo to the isolated community of Iriona (approximately 6-7 hours, depending on weather). In Iriona, you board a small boat that will take you to Palacios (approximately 1 hour), the western gateway to the impressive Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, the largest tract of rainforest north of the Amazon.

From Palacios you travel by boat to your first destination along La Ruta Moskitia, the welcoming community of Raista. Spend the evening in Raista at the friendly, family-owned hotel of the Bodden family – one of the first local families to become involved with ecotourism in the Reserve – where the matriarch of the family, Doña Elma, will fix you the best home-cooked meal in the entire Caribbean.

Day two – Boat ride to Las Marias/ traditional Miskito home visit

Continuing on from Raista, you will travel up the mighty Río Plátano by pipante to the community of Las Marias. Considered the main ecotourism destination in La Moskitia, Las Marias has a unique cultural heritage in that it is the home to one of the Reserve’s smallest ethic groups, the Pech Indians. A one-time nomadic tribe, the Pech have settled into a more permanent existence in Las Marias. While traveling upriver, expect to see a variety of wildlife including parrots, toucans, river turtles, and even an occasional crocodile.

En route to Las Marias you will stop at the home of a local Miskito family who have a small farm along the banks of the Rio Plátano. Stretch your legs, take a swim, and have lunch as you learn about some of the traditional agricultural techniques used by indigenous communities to raise casaba, beans, corn, and a variety of fruit.

Day three - Las Marias / River Trip to petroglyphs

Day three includes a truly unique experience. First, you will climb into a small “cayuco” canoe to be paddled and poled further upstream from Las Marias by local nature guides. Each minute takes you deeper and deeper into the heart of La Moskitia, and on either side of you primary rainforest rises up from the river valley. Following a short hike along a well-maintained jungle trail, the guides will bring you to the Walpaulban Sirpi petroglyph site, located directly on the Rio Plátano. The petroglyph is known to date back approximately 1000 years, although its origin remains a mystery. Take a swim in the cool waters of the Rio Plátano, and warm up under the sun as you ponder the mystery of the ancient rock art.

Day Four – Las Marias / Rainforest hike

Day four in Las Marias includes an invigorating hike through the surrounding rainforest with spectacular views of nearby Dama Peak and the Baltimore mountain range. During the tour a local nature guide will lead you through Las Marias’ towering rainforest, and show you traditional and medicinal uses of plants, point out birds, orchids and giant hardwoods, and share with you stories of growing up in this amazing natural area.

Day five – Down the Rio plátano / Belen beach cabanas / Miskito cultural evening

Day five takes you back down the Río Plátano to the Miskito community of Belen. Belen’s ecotourism enterprise consists of three palm-thatched cabanas that are cooled by the breezes from the Caribbean Ocean, which sits just ten meters away. Belen also has a beautiful dining area, which sits on the edge of a small fresh water lagoon and serves as a great spot for early evening bird watching.

Following a walk through the community, you will return to Belen along deserted Caribbean beach, where the community will build a large bonfire for dinner. While you eat, a local women’s group will present a cultural evening of traditional Miskito songs and dancing, passed down from generation to generation.

Day Six – Great pine Savannah / Crocodile cruise

Day six begins with a boat ride to the Miskito community of Brus Laguna. Here, you will begin winding your way up small creeks and lagoons and into the heart of the Great Pine Savannah. Often passed over by travelers who have only the rainforest in their sights, the expansive Great Pine Savannah is a beautiful and mesmerizing landscape, and it is here you will spend your final night in the Reserve. The Yamari Savannah Cabañas sit on the shore of a small translucent river and offer great swimming holes, cool breezes, and some of the best bird watching in the region.

Following a relaxing afternoon and a hearty dinner, you will board your pipante to quietly glide through some of the larger canals in search of caiman and crocodiles, as a sky full of stars looms overhead. Visiting their dens along the river bank and using spotting lights, you will look for the red reflection of their eyes as they quietly rise to the water’s surface.

Day Seven – Fly out of Reserve

An early morning flight from Brus Laguna will bring you back to La Ceiba, wrapping up your adventure in La Moskitia!

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