Lago de Yojoa
Honduras’s largest natural lake, Lago de Yojoa, is roughly 16 kilometers long by eight kilometers wide, at an altitude of 635 meters, right along the San Pedro Sula–Tegucigalpa highway. Lake depth varies between about 18 and 25 meters, depending on season. The setting, backed by the majestic cloud-forested mountains of Santa Bárbara and Cerro Azul/Meámbar (both protected as national parks), is spectacular.
Formerly overlooked by many Central America travelers, Lago de Yojoa is growing in popularity as a spot well worth visiting for a few days of hiking, ruins exploration, bird-watching, or just soaking up the glorious scenery.
The shores of the lake are dotted with innumerable ruins, mostly believed to be of Lenca origin, including Los Naranjos. Along with the Valle de Sula, Lago de Yojoa is thought to have been one of the most heavily populated areas in Honduras in pre-Columbian times, used as a home by the Lenca, Maya, and perhaps other groups.
The lake is drained naturally on the south side by Río Tepemechín, which leads eventually into the Río Ulúa, and on the north by the Río Blanco, which has been partly channeled to power a hydroelectric plant at Cañaveral. Along the Río Lindo, a tributary to the Río Blanco, is Pulhapanzak Falls, an easily visited and very beautiful 43-meter waterfall.
Regular buses ply the roads around the lake, between Peña Blanca and El Mochito, La Guama, and Pulhapanzak Falls. If no buses are immediately apparent, just stick out your thumb—hitchhiking is fairly reliable.
Getting to Lago de Yojoa
There is frequent bus service to the lake both from San Pedro Sula (take a bus to Peña Blanca or El Mochito) and from Tegucigalpa (take a bus to La Guama). To get to D&D and the Cabañas Paradise, take a bus to El Mochito and get off 2.3 kilometers after Peña Blanca when you see the Los Naranjos soccer field on the right. Take the second right-hand turn after the football field; it’s maybe half a kilometer to D&D, a full kilometer to Cabañas Paradise.
To reach the hotels along the northeastern border of the lake, there are frequent buses between Peña Blanca and La Guama—just let them know where you want to get off (it’s about US$0.50 from La Guama to the Los Naranjos park, US$0.40 from Peña Blanca).
From Pito Solo, it’s 157 kilometers to Tegucigalpa, 97 kilometers to San Pedro Sula, and 53 kilometers to Santa Bárbara.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition