Christopher Columbus landed in the neighborhood of Trujillo in 1502, during his fourth and last trip to the Americas. Its geographic surroundings with one of the largest and deepest bays in Central America made it an important port during Colonial times. Founded the 18th of May of 1525 by the Spaniard Juan de Medina. The Conqueror of Mexico, Hernan Cortes actually visited Trujillo shortly thereafter for a brief period of time.
Trujillo was declared a city and was the site of one of the first bishoprys in Honduras, however, it had many factors that did not permit its sustained growth. Both the inclement hot and humid climate, made for unhealthy living conditions. In addition, the British pirates had their toll on Trujillo. Despite the fact that the city was basically abandoned on several occasions, the strategic location of Trujillo made the Spanish Colonial authorities redouble their efforts in keeping the city inhabited. At one point, there was even a monastery established in Trujillo, but today there is nothing to give testimony of it. As part of an effort to defend the city, the Fortress of Santa Barbara was built to repel these attacks, which started as early as 1590 and continued throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As a result of the pirate attacks, Trujillo was burned and totally destroyed on several occasions and was actually totally abandoned on different times. As such, you will find that Trujillo does have many remains of its rich Spanish Colonial heritage that you might see in other colonial cities, such as Tegucigalpa, Comayagua, Choluteca and Gracias, to name a few. The Fort of Santa Barbara stayed active even after the execution of famed American adventurer William Walker in 1860. Trujillo became home to many black Caribs, descendants of those that were marooned in Roatan in 1796. Today it is very multi-cultural city with each culture retaining their identity.
In and around this tropical community you can find many exciting points of interest. To the south of town one can search for the Cuyamel Caves (these are highly elusive and very few people actually know were to find them), archeologists date these back to pre-Columbian times. About 14 kilometers along a dirt road that parallels the spectacular coastline you will find the village of Santa Fe a Garifuna (black carib’s) community with the most pristine beaches and a couple of great restaurants, one named El Caballero or better known to the English tongue as Pete’s place, probably the best place to eat fresh sea food in all the north coast. Just about four kilometers after having left Trujillo towards Santa Fe you will pass the lovely Campamento Hotel & Restaurant. This rustic, yet full service resort offers all the basic comforts in a true paradise environment. Food here is great. From Santa Fe you can continue on along the coast to the end of the road to Guadalupe, where you will find some of the better Garifuna artisans. Another nice tour is to the Guaimoreto Lagoon, a perfect place to look at birds or just enjoy its exceptional virgin beauty. After the Lagoon you will want to visit the Hacienda Tumbador, a old Honduran cattle ranch that in recent years has taken on the preservation of its local crocodiles.
Among the many sites and sounds of Trujillo is Capiro and Calentura, a large national park and a great place to hike, hide and enjoy the view. Fucagua, a non profit organization has taken special interest and is actively participating in the conservation of this park. They are also a great source of information regarding this protected area. The evening hours are great to go and take a hot bath in the natural hot springs , there’s even a little hotel there in case you get to lazy to go back to town which is really only five minutes away.
The bay around Trujillo is one of the most beautiful unspoiled bays in the world . Nearby is Puerto Castilla a modern port facility where you can watch the big freight ships come in out of harbor. Trujillo is the type of place you could spend a lifetime and feel you were lost in a warp. Among the vast historical scope, you will discover its upbeat night life ranging from the energetic Garifuna barrio of Cristales, to the beach “Champas” such Rogue’s Gallery, were the establishment displays the personal statements written by customers over the years. For the romantics there’s nothing like a candle light dinner at the Villa Brinkley Hotel, gorgeous view and a great breakfast too.
If you need some pampering the Christopher Columbus Beach Resort Hotel might just do the trick, on the beach at the airport in Trujillo. The Trujillo Bay Hotel, located next to the airport offers total comfort for a very reasonable price. Although not on the beach, a three minute walk will have you at some of the best beaches in Central America. Banana Beach Resort is an outstanding place located on the road to Sante Fe. Offers a spectacular resort with wonderful rooms that include 2 story waterfalls. Banana Beach Resort also has an Olympic size Tennis Court right on the private beach.
Dollars can be easily exchanged in Trujillo at the Banco Atlantida. In addition they will issue cash advances on your international credit cards. Bancahsa also offers the above services. Banco de Occidente also has a branch here, and they are the representatives of Western Union in Honduras, therefore, it is easy to receive a moneygram in Trujillo. In addition, Banco de Occidente will also give you cash advances on your Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
As in any other place in the world, we recommend that you do not venture to walk out along the beaches alone after dark. If you plan on doing so, do it as a group. For a real feel of the Garifuna culture, try the Cocopando, a disco bar on the beach at Cristales. If you are interested in Garifuna souvenirs, Gariarte, located also in the Cristales district offers superb products.
Trujillo is a perfect place from where to launch your trip to La Moskitia.
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