Not much of a town itself, Peña Blanca lies at a major crossroads near the northwest corner of the lake. From here, roads continue to El Mochito around the west side of the lake, to Agua Azul and La Guama along the north side, and along the Río Lindo past Pulhapanzak Falls to the San Pedro Sula–Tegucigalpa highway to the north. Visitors will find no compelling reason to stop at Peña Blanca other than for transportation purposes. There are a few comedores, but save your appetite for one of the hotel restaurants nearby.
There are two basic options in town for accommodation. Hotel Maranata (tel. 504/650-0106, US$10.50 s with shared bath, US$13 s and US$16 d with TV and private bath, cold water only) is on the main road before the turnoff to Los Naranjos. Rooms are clean, and the hotel also offers laundry services to its guests.
The largish rooms at Hotel La Finca (US$18.50, cold water only) are a slight step up. There is one with a mural of the lake, perhaps to make up for its town location. Reservations can be made by contacting the sister property Finca Las Glorias (tel. 504/566-0461, www.hotellasglorias.com).
Of the several low-priced comedores, Cafetería y Repostería Candy (8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily), just across the canal heading toward Agua Azul, is about the best. It offers decent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for about US$2 per meal.
Buses leave Peña Blanca daily in late morning to San Luis Planes, a village set high on the northern flanks of Santa Bárbara Mountain, where you can find guides to take you into the cloud forest. The road to San Luis turns off just north of Peña Blanca and takes a bit under an hour to drive in a private vehicle.
A few kilometers outside of Peña Blanca, before you arrive at Los Naranjos Ecological Park, is the peach and ochre Hotel Colonial (tel. 504/9827-9524, US$21 s, US$26 d), with pleasant tile-floor rooms with air-conditioning, TV, and a fan. Amenities include a very small swimming pool and washers and dryers that guests can use. Room number 6 has a view. On the same road is Comidas La Champa, an open-air restaurant of wood and thatch.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition