The lush, tropical northern region of Honduras has seduced visitors for centuries with its natural wonders and easy Caribbean vibe. Between the beaches are mangrove swamps and jungle reserves that scream out to be explored. Rafting the white waters of the Río Cangrejal is the big-ticket experience, but there's also fine hiking in Parque Nacional Pico Bonito and the unique flavor and rhythms of the coast's Garifuna villages. Finally, isolated Trujillo, the last stop before the Moskitia, is a charming slice of the old Caribbean, with some wonderful beaches nearby and superb mountain scenery behind it.
Despite all the region has to offer, many visitors simply travel through here en route to the Bay Islands or Belize, and see nothing more than the drab charms of Puerto Cortés, Tela or La Ceiba. Avoid the towns and make a beeline for the countryside!