So, we had been hearing great things about rafting the Rio Cangrejal in Honduras and decided to check it out. After a little research we decided to take up an offer of a room and some food for a few days Tanya had received from the chap - Pepe Herrero - that owns Hotel Rio. The Hotel offers its own Rio Cangrejal rafting trips, so it was an idea opportunity.
Tanya and I grabbed the ferry from Utila (island famous for diving and snorkelling) to La Ceiba (nearest mainland port town). We spent an amazing few days near the river at Don Pepe's Hotel Rio doing different activities each day including jungle trekking, bird watching, visiting the chocolate factory and agroforest farm. Rafting was just one of the many highlights.
The Rio Cangrejal
The water level in the river was at the lowest level it had been for several months. We visited during dry season and this was further magnified by the fact that there had been a serious water shortage even during the previous wet season. Despite the low water level, the Rio Cangrejal still offered rafting to challenge even the most expert rafter. Us being complete newbies went on the calmer section of river that happened to run past the hotel.
We were joined by two cool girls and our two guides and we lept in the 4x4 pickup with the rafts on the roof and headed up the valley for a few miles. We arrived and the guides took the rafts down to the river. Kitted up with helmets, life jackets and paddles, we had a laugh as we walked down to the water’s edge. The guides gave us an extensive safety training session on the calm water. Then we headed off down the valley to find some white water.
We spent the next few hours paddling through rapids and around huge boulders and had a thoroughly excellent time. We highly recommend making a special trip to go rafting in Honduras and particularly the Rio Cangrejal.
If you haven't already seen it, then check out the short video below. Also look below the video for the resource box that includes how to get to Hotel Rio Rafting and where to eat, drink and be merry.
How to get to Rio Cangrejal and Pico Bonito National Park
You can fly to the capital San Pedro Sula and then get an internal flight to La Ceiba. We have always found Skyscanner give us the best deals on flights. The internal flight can be expensive ($200 or more) and the Hedman Alas bus service between the towns is fairly quick and value for money.
You can also get the Utila Dream ferry from Utila to La Ceiba for only a few dollars depending on time of year etc.
Once in La Ceiba you will need to organise a hotel pick up to your chosen hotel or find a taxi which are easy to find at the airport, bus terminal and ferry terminal. The taxi can be a little pricey and its worth emailing your hotel to see if they can arrange pick up. The valley is very friendly, and we found locals happy to give us lifts if previously arranged and they were heading that way anyway. There is a local bus that runs up the valley from La Ceiba, but we couldn't find any info on times or costs etc. If you find out more then drop us the details in the comments box below.
Where to Stay
There are many places to stay at in the valley. We had an amazing time at Hotel Rio and met a diverse group of fellow guests and of course Don Pepe himself. Pepe is a truly remarkable man who has done some incredible work as an environmentalist helping to protect the local and wider ecosystem. The Cangrejal Valley is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and Pepe and others in the valley fight hard to protect it.
Where to eat and drink
We thoroughly recommend you take our travel insurance whenever you travel. We recently had to put in a claim for over $5000 when we had to cancel our flights and other bookings and quickly fly back to the UK due to a family emergency. The claim went through very quickly and we managed to recover most of our expenses. Without travel insurance, we would have lost the lot!
You can find out more about our time rafting in Honduras on Tanya's travel blog at Can Travel, Will Travel.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission if you purchase through a link, but this will not increase the amount you pay. Read my full Affiliate Link Disclosure here.