El Progreso and east

El Progreso, an important but unattractive agricultural and commercial centre on the Río Ulúa, is 30 minutes' drive on the paved highway southeast of San Pedro Sula, en route to Tela. While most people make straight for the coast at Tela, heading east from El Progreso leads through mountain scenery up to the small town of Yoro, beyond to Olanchito and a link to La Ceiba. With everyone else rushing to the Bay Islands, you could well have the place to yourself.

Parque Nacional Pico Pijol

This park protects the 2282-m summit of primary cloud forest that is home to many quetzales. It is 32 km from the town of
Morazán
in the Yoro Department, which is 41 km from Progreso (bus from Progreso or Santa Rita). In Morazán are
Hospedaje El Corazón Sagrado
, several restaurants and a disco. The lower slopes of Pico Pijol have been heavily farmed. Access by vehicle is possible as far as Subirana. A guide is needed from there to a large cave nearby and access is difficult. Another trail to the summit (2282 m) starts at
Nueva Esperanza
village (bus from Morazán, Parque Central); ask for the correct trail. The first day is tough, all uphill with no shade; the second is tougher and requires a lot of clearing. Take a compass and a topographical map. Also in the park is the waterfall at
Las Piratas
; take a bus from Morazán to Los Murillos and then walk to El Ocotillo (ask for Las Piratas).

Yoro and around

The paved highway to the prosperous little town of Yoro passes through pleasant countryside surrounded by mountains and dotted with ranches and farms. The
Parque Nacional Montaña de Yoro
is 8 km to the southeast (access from Marale), comprising 257 sq km of cloud forest, home to the Tolupanes indigenous people, also known as Xicaques. The
Asociación Ecológica Amigos de la Montaña de Yoro
has an office in the Parque Central in Yoro. From Yoro a dirt road continues to
Olanchito
via
Jocón
, through attractive country as the road snakes along the pine-forested slopes of Montaña Piedra Blanca and Montaña de la Bellota, with fine views of the surrounding valleys and distant mountain ranges.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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