Of all the places i have ever visited on backpacking trips, La Mosquitia is the the most remote I have ever been. And by a long way too. And that’s not to say i’ve spent most of my travels in cities partying my heart out.
Trekking across the mountains in Peru to experience Machu Picchu, driving through deserts in The Middle East and North America; they all pale into remote insignificance when you’re in a “Cayuco” exploring Patuca river in the Honduran jungle known as La Moskitia.
La Mosquitia takes up nearly the entire eastern half of Honduras and remains undeveloped and sparsely populated. To get there requires a 45 minute ride on a small bi-plane (The Honduran Domestic airline “Sosa”has flights from La Ceiba to Brus Lagoon in La Moskitia) which will can only squeeze 20 people in at a push.
And don’t look down when you come in to land – all you’ll see is a strip of grass in amongst the trees, likely with a few kids running around chasing a ball. This is no Tokyo International Airport.
From there you find yourself a captain with a cayuco; long, motorised dugout canoes which the locals use to get around. If you want to get further into the area then this is the only way around. No roads, no cars, no other options. Then it’s time to get comfy as the distances between riverside villages are pretty big. This is where the adventure starts to get rewarding though as you realise how far you are from civilisation. Technology goes out the window and you’re back to nature with a bang.
I spent 4 days travelling by boat around the area with our captain, going deep into the jungle and staying in various communities who welcomed us with open arms.
I was as intriguing to them as they were to me. Fascinating experiences were abound, whether it was hopping in the boat at nightfall and paddling out to search for crocodiles (terrifying but amazing!) or discovering a tree that, when chopped, dripped pure drinking water. Tasty it was too! Wildlife was everywhere and surprises like ancient petroglyphs were hiding around every corner.
But the most satisfying times were those spent in our cayuco, cruising through the jungle with nothing to do but take in the surroundings. Stunning jungle, wonderful sounds and no hint of another human being for miles around. For any backpacker looking to truly get off the beaten track, La Mosquitia is the real deal.