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“Amazing Wildlife Reserve but dangerously threatened”

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Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve
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US$ 74.00*
and up
Punta Izopo Wildlife Refuge In Ranger 4x4 from...
Ranked #168 of 208 things to do in Honduras
Reviewed 18 June 2011

I spent a week in Mosquitiia last December, based mostly in Las Marias, tiny village deep in the heart of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. Stayed with local villagers, very friendly and so peaceful. Wildlife all around, including masses of parrots, macaws, toucans, and lots of other riverbirds. We did several river trips, and hikes, including one tough all-day hike up to Pico Baltimore - never been so wet and muddy in my life, but ultimately elated at the adventure. But, and this is a BIG BUT: the whole area - supposedly protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site - is being threatened by: drug gangs cutting down the first to build landing strips, illegal settlers, or "invasores" as locals call them - suspected set up by drug smugglers laundering their profits - also cutting down trees to create cattle pastures, illegal hunting of endangered animals, tapir, etc, and even dynamiting of rare fish. The local indigenous people feel threatened, unprotected and scared - some narcos have been seen wandering around with machine guns, intimidating locals into selling off communal land. So far no one has been injured or attacked, and the area is safe for tourists - as far as I have heard - but people need to lobby UNESCO and anyone else they can talk to, to try to get this "Little Amazon" protected.

17  Thank HugoDevon_
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Reviewed 12 November 2008

When we went to the Rio Platano we were on a really tight budget. Some of the locals in Teguchigalpa suggested we go. So we took a bus to La Ceiba, paid for a ride in the back of a truck to get us close to the river, and then hiked for three miles on the sand. It was all worth it. Rio Platano was one of the most beautiful, prestine, untouched areas I have ever seen. I definitely suggest going with a tour if you are not fluent in spanish, and even that won't help sometimes, and have any difficulty hiking in the rain forest. The locals hooked us up with a guide but he didn't really speak any spanish and some of the other people that joined us were not ready to do the hike to the next town up the river in the mud of the rain forest. But, the next town had a beautiful little hut for us all to stay in (6 total) and the owner made us an amazing breakfast the next day. If you are in for an adventure and are used to roughing it...go by yourself and you will love it. If you just want to experience the area, go on a tour.

And, I would probably suggest taking the flight both ways into the main town. However, I did love my ride on the back of that pick-up.

10  Thank Snowbeast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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