Parque Nacional Montaña de Comayagua
Only seven kilometers from Comayagua is the edge of Montaña de Comayagua National Park, covering 30,094 hectares, of which 6,600 hectares form the core zone. The highest point in the park is El Portillo, 2,407 meters. The cloud forest is not one of the country’s finest, certainly nothing compared to Celaque or Sierra de Agalta, but sizable patches of cloud forest remain, populated by quetzals, toucans, eagles, deer, monkeys, and a few pumas.
You can hike into Parque Nacional Montaña de Comayagua from the villages of Río Blanco and Río Negro, both reached via dirt road from San Jerónimo, 12 kilometers from Comayagua by dirt road. (It’s about an hour’s drive from Comayagua to Río Negro.) In San Jerónimo, ask for the Gonzalez family for more information.
Near Río Negro is a lovely waterfall hidden amid the dense forest, about a two-hour hike round-trip from Río Negro, along a clearly marked trail. Several other hikes nearby are also possible, with guides (easily found in Río Negro, or the park caretaker may be able to help).
Off the road to La Libertad, you can also enter Parque Nacional Montaña de Comayagua through Tres Pinos or Zona Helada. Reputedly, two trucks leave Comayagua daily to Río Negro, one shortly before and one shortly after midday—ask around near the market for more information. It’s also possible to get out on the road early in the day and look for a jalón.
Ermis Banegas (tel. 504/3369-1871) is a guide who can also arrange transportation, or call the Casa Cultural Comayagüense for more information (tel. 504/772-2028). Private transportation to Parque Nacional Montaña de Comayagua is a hefty US$63, for anywhere up to 10 people, and guiding is another US$20 a day. There are well-marked trails, so a guide is really optional.
If you decide to stay the night, there are simple cabins in the park for US$6 per person (meals are available too). Independent travelers who don’t have a car should plan on staying the night, as rides up leave around 11 a.m. or noon, and rides back aren’t available later in the afternoon.
Topographical maps covering the park are 1:50,000 Comayagua 2659 II and Agalteca 2759 III.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition