Bajamar and Travesía
Bajamar and Travesía are two of a loose string of Garífuna communities spread along the road that follows the coastline east from Puerto Cortés. There are various simple restaurants, pulperías, bars, and shady beaches, not to mention the gregarious Garífuna people going about their business. Travesía and Bajamar are relatively safe and relaxed, especially the farther away from Puerto Cortés you go.
Locals support themselves by fishing, selling coco-bread, and, increasingly, with money wired from relatives in the states (mostly in New York City), allowing many male townsfolk to sit back and drink copious quantities of gífiti, a lethal Garífuna concoction of herbs, roots, spices, and aguardiente (the favored Honduran poor-quality booze).
Bajamar is the site of the annual National Garífuna Festival, normally held in late July, which draws Garífuna from Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras for a party of dancing and music.
Beyond Bajamar, the road continues, ending five minutes past the village of Brisas de Chamelecón. Curious travelers can continue farther by renting a lancha (US$2 per boat) to carry them across the river’s mouth to La Barra Chamelecón, where they will reportedly find several eateries serving fresh fish and alcohol on the beach.
Hotel Frontera del Caribe (tel. 504/665-5001), located on its own beach at the northeastern exit of Puerto Cortés, on the road toward Travesía, is a self-contained hotel and restaurant with eight simple rooms with fans and private baths that have seen far better days; US$13 a room sleeps up to three people. The cute seafood restaurant, with seating in individual champas overlooking the beach, serves up tasty fish plates for around US$8.50. The beach itself is pretty dirty, but the veranda between the restaurant and beach helps hide the trash from view while you dine.
Getting to Bajamar and Travesía
Buses to Bajamar leave five times a day from next to the Citul station in Puerto Cortés, 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (US$0.40), with the last two buses of the day remaining in Bajamar. By taxi, expect to pay about US$5.25 to Travesía or US$8 to Bajamar, or hire a cab to take you out for a day trip for about US$6 an hour.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition