Beyond Morazán, the highway winds up into the hills to the east before descending on the far side into the Valle de Yoro. At the eastern end of the valley is Yoro, a major market town for the region and a pleasant rural Honduran town. This is the end of the paved road, some 110 kilometers from Santa Rita. Many of Yoro’s streets are dirt, although several have been paved in recent years (thus depriving local shoeshine boys of good business).
The church in Yoro holds the remains of Padre José Manuel Subirana. Known as La Santa Misión, he was a tireless missionary and protector of the native Tolupán in Yoro; he died on November 27, 1864. Subirana is still revered among the campesinos of central Honduras, many of whom consider him a saint.
There’s not much for tourists in Yoro itself, but it serves as a base to visit the nearby Montaña de Yoro National Park and the colonial mission church of Luquigue. Nights are cool in Yoro, a pleasant change from the heat of lower-lying Progreso and San Pedro to the west in the Sula Valley.
Yoro’s best annual party is held every June to coincide with the Lluvia de Peces. Villagers come from all parts to dance in the central park on the big night.
Getting to Yoro
Five daily buses to San Pedro Sula with Transportes Urbina, charging US$6 for the three-hour ride. Buses from Yoro go via Sulaco and Cedros to Tegucigalpa once daily at 7 a.m. (US$8), or else take a bus to Santa Rita and catch a Tegucigalpa-bound bus from the highway there.
Buses run east through the mountains to Mangulile and La Unión in Olancho, near La Muralla National Park, but not with a regular schedule, and depending on the road conditions (both in terms of potholes and banditry). Private pickups still run the route and will take passengers on the three-hour ride, usually leaving by late morning at the latest. Ask at the market on the main street. The road to La Unión has exceptionally lovely scenery, and its safety is reported to have improved in recent years. Check with locals, preferably the local police, before taking this route.
The scenic dirt mountain road to Olanchito (101 kilometers) via Jocón is generally in good condition and takes two hours in a private car. Be sure to check in Yoro on the current state of the road, as the rains sometimes cut off through traffic.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition