If You Have 3 Days: Traveling by land here from other parts of Honduras or from Nicaragua can take days, so make the most of your time and take a one-hour flight to Brus Laguna. From there, hire a motorized canoe to take you across the lagoon to Belén. Spend the afternoon horseback riding down the empty coastline, and meet around the campfire later to hear generations' old stories from Miskito locals. Sleep in the next day in the beachfront cabanas, and take a local water taxi east to Raista. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Bodden family ecolodge, then set off on a two-hour jungle hike. Paru Creek offers a refreshing spot for inner tubing at the end of the trek. Rise early on the third day and grab a water taxi back to the Brus Laguna airport for the early afternoon return flight.
If You Have 5 Days: Fly into Brus Laguna and head straight to Belén. Enjoy the beaches, take a stroll through the jungle, and join a Miskito dance ceremony at night. Arrange in advance for a canoe to pick you up the next morning, and devote the second day to a six-hour journey up the Río Plátano to Las Marías, a Miskito and Pech community in the heart of the reserve. Dine and rest at a locally run ecolodge along the riverbank that night. On the third day, hire a local guide to take you two hours up the river to see the Walpaubansirpe petroglyphs. Stretch your legs on a rugged jungle trek, and relax with a picnic lunch on the beaches near the carvings. If you're up for more adventure, skip the petroglyphs and take a moderate trek to the Cerro de Zapote. Head back down the Río Plátano the next day and spend the evening lounging in Raista, then boat back to Brus Laguna in the morning.
If You Have 7 Days: From Brus Laguna, take a 45-minute water taxi to the Yamari Cabanas in the Caribbean pine savanna. Cool off in the swimming holes and take an excursion for bird-watching or crocodile spotting. Spend the second day in Belén, and head down the Río Plátano to Las Marías on the third. Pico Baltimore and Cerro Mico, with steep trails and wonderful wildlife-spotting opportunities, are great places for an intense two-day hike. For less rugged travels, take a two-day camping trip to the petroglyphs. On the sixth day, travel the river back to Raista for one last quiet night.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe