A roadside shop in Los Naranjos, Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

Five things to do at Lago de Yojoa

When I was in Nicaragua, I heard people coming from Honduras talking about this lake that I had never heard of. I made a note of it, and when time came for me to go to Honduras, this was at the top of the list. And it was definitely worth it. Lago de Yojoa is the opposite of what you hear about Honduras. It’s the most peaceful and friendly place.

You could probably spend weeks here without running out of activities, but if you need to prioritize, here are my favorite things to do at Lago de Yojoa.

Go kayaking on the lake

We got a double kayak with transportation included from our accommodation, but there are lots of places to rent kayaks around the lake. I’d definitely recommend going in the morning, before it gets too hot and the sun will fry you up. We started at 9, and paddled around the lake for three hours.

Kayaking on Lago de Yojoa, Honduras.

We were dropped by the canal leading down to the lake and paddled on for a bit before it opened up. It was so tranquil and nice! Lots of birds that I don’t know the names of just gliding above the surface, and no other person as far as we could see. The weather was lovely and we stopped to swim from the kayak several times.

We did get horribly sunburned though, so make sure to reapply your sunscreen properly after swimming! I missed some spots and everyone could tell afterwards. The kayaking is only as strenuous as you want it to be, so you can pretty much just float around once you get to the lake. No previous kayaking experience needed, don’t worry!

Visit the archeological site Los Naranjos

For a Central American archeological sight, this must be one of the least impressive I’ve been to. Sure, they do have some ruins and they do have a small museum with the usual clay pots and stone carvings, but that hardly made it worth paying the 6 USD entrance fee.

Archeological museum at Los Naranjos in Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

For me, this visit was all about the park itself. The ruins are located inside a large natural park, with well-maintained paths going through the lush forest. There were hardly any other people around, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. I think it’s possible to spend hours just walking around it.

There’s also an area with boardwalks that go above the marshland, which we found really exciting. Unfortunately, during our visit, most of this was closed for maintenance. Not sure when or if it will open again. It was still possible to go out to a small clearing with a view over the lake.

The boardwalk at Los Naranjos archeological park, one of my favorite things to do at Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

When we got there, there was a local family having a picnic in there. Turns out the man worked for the park, so even though he was off duty, he told us a lot about the park and the ancient civilizations of the area.

Enter the Taulabé Caves

Getting to Taulabé Caves (Cuevas the Taulabé) required taking three buses from Los Naranjos, but hopping between buses is a breeze in Central America. Everyone was super helpful about where to change and where to wait. The cave entrance is just by the main road, so you’ll get dropped just outside. It’s also possible to get a driver if you’re several people, but then you miss the loud music and all the cowboys on the buses.

Normally, the caves are lit up by electric light, but when we came there was a power shortage and we were given flashlights. I think this is probably a very different experience compared to what it is like with the regular lights on, but I enjoyed it! The entrance fee was for foreigners was 4 USD.

Inside Taulabe Caves near Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

We were the only people visiting at the time, which was probably good, because it was quite scary. The trail into the cave goes on for a few hundred meters, and then you will turn around and walk the same way back. It still feels pretty deep, the air is damp and there are bats that will move when you hit them with the flashlight. Still, it was very enjoyable, and all the buses getting there was worth it.

Visit Pulhapanzak waterfall

We went to the Pulhapanzak waterfall immediately after the caves. This also required a bunch of buses and then a walk through the village, but it was still fast, and it was that kind of day. If you have a driver, I assume you can get both of these into a half day tour. I would really recommend the buses and walking and hanging out with the locals around here though, if you have the time.

Pulhapanzak Waterfall near Lago de Yojoa Honduras

Now, I’m well aware that every small town in the world has a waterfall that they promote and make tourists go to, but this one is actually worth the hike. It’s pretty big, and it has a viewing platform both above and below the drop. There’s also an area for swimming if you’re up for it, and some other activities on offer such as ziplining and a guided tour behind the falls.

My favorite thing was the iguanas that moved about the area, seemingly unbothered by the tourists. It seemed to me that mostly local tourists came there, and the whole thing was very low-key. There is an entrance fee of 70 lempiras, and you will obviously pay more for ziplining.

Try the local craft beer at D&D Brewery

We stayed at D&D Brewery, which is a bit of a backpacker hangout around these parts. They have different types of accommodation, ranging from dorms to stand-alone cabins in a lush forest area. This very hostel is a shuttle stop, which explains the backpacker vibe.

They also have a restaurant on site, and more importantly, it is a brewery, so you can taste a half dozen locally brewed beers. It was a strange feeling, arriving after hours and hours on chicken buses to a place in the middle of the forest, on the outskirts of a small village, and be served super hipster craft beer. Strange, but nice.

Honestly, I thought the place was just alright. I’d heard people raving about D&D for ages, some saying that staying there was the only thing he’d recommend about Honduras. Yet I wasn’t really comfortable there. The beer was great, the outing advice was great, the kayaking was great. The bed was really comfy. It just wasn’t very personal, I guess. I think it has been a smaller place before, so maybe it just needs some time to transition.

The village by D&D Brewery, Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

It’s still a good base for activities around the lake, but do make sure to spend your time outside of the hostel. The village is really nice, you can watch the kids play football, buy your lunch supplies in the small shops, and have your laundry done for a fraction of the price just down the road from the hostel.

How to get to and from Lago de Yojoa

We went from Copán to Lago de Yojoa with public transportation, and it was a breeze. Well, it wasn’t the most comfortable ride of my life, but the connections were very smooth and we were dropped just outside the hostel.

Riding the bus near Lago de Yojoa, Honduras

To make the same journey, take the early morning bus from Copán to San Pedro Sula. Get there on time for the 7 o’clock, as we got to the bus stop about fifteen minutes before departure and scored the last seats. The journey to San Pedro Sula takes about three hours, and you will be dropped in the huge bus station. San Pedro is pretty much the murder capital of the world, but you will never have to exit the bus station when you transfer and the vibe in there is not weird at all. It’s just a regular bus station. We were going to the village of Los Naranjos, and so changed to the minibus going toward El Mochito. The total journey took around six hours and we paid just over 200 lempiras (8 USD). It was not comfortable, but not scary or unsafe at all.

There are also tourist shuttles passing Lago de Yojoa, going between the coast and Nicaragua, I think. If you’re not a chicken bus kind of person, there are also bigger buses going this route. Check with your hostel!

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