It’s in the details, and this place has got them dialed in. The hot fashion in Central America is to stamp Eco in front of the name of your hotel and then it’s business as usual. Not this place. From the seats in the 1982 Land Cruiser shuttle being made out of old whitewater rafts to the delicious juices from its own citrus groves the Jungle lodge lives up to it’s name. Did I mention they source their meats in the valley, smoke fish onsite, recycle, reuse and refurbish just about everything you can imaging?
What’s truly amazing about this place is the balance that they’ve managed to achieve. It’s out of the way, off the beaten path, down 10 miles of dirt road, but you can still get here with relative ease. While they trickle in, the place isn’t overrun with backpackers. It’s a balance. There are people here from all walks of life, expats, boaters, adventurous vacationers and oddballs like us riding a motorcycle across the continent. The Jungle Lodge at Omega Tours isn’t having an identity crisis like so many other similar establishments in this niche. It knows exactly what it is and does it well.
What coaxed us into this little Jungle nook in the first place was whitewater rafting on the Cangrejal in Pico Bonito national park. The tours side of this outfit, Omega, has been running trips on the river here since 1992. Seeing as we know a little about this rafting thing we thought we’d pop in and see what Honduras has to offer on the whitewater front. Stunning, tight and technical, big drops and bolder dodging on beautiful turquoise water was what the Cangrejal offered up. Couple that with warm water year round, small boats, excellent guides and you’ve got one of the best rafting rivers in Central America.
Our day started out with one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in three months. Like I said, it’s in the details. A delicious omelet from the kitchen and we we’re geared up and ready to go by 9:00. It takes five minutes to load boats and another five minutes to drive to the the put in. I wished the drive was longer. I loved the old, yellow land cruiser with the recycled raft seats that much. By 9:30 we’re done with the safety talk and on the water. It’s amazing how stress free and easy things are with just a handful of guests.
We spend the next two hours running 7K of the lower Cangrejal. It’s a class 4 run with enough tight maneuvering and narrow shoots to keep even guides paddling along entertained. The jungle scenery is breathtaking. A 130 meter (400+ feet) waterfall pours out the side of a mountain heading for the Cangrejal. The trip takes a break and hikes towards the base. On the opposite shore a spur in the river reconnects over a bank of rocks 10’ tall and 150’ wide.
By noon we’re back at the lodge where a spaghetti lunch has been prepared by the ever so talented jungle lodge cooks. The guests and guides dine together, share stories and laughs and retire their individual ways for siesta time.
Supper brings us to the coolest cooking device ever devised by man, Udo’s smoker. I don’t know what to say, but I want one. We had smoked mackerel. If jungle rain forests, hiking whitewater rafting, horseback riding, sustainably or cool old trucks aren’t your thing, plan a trip to Honduras to try Udo’s smoked mackerel.
Many thanks to Udo and Silvia for a splendid good time.