What, you haven’t heard of Tela?
I hadn’t either. In fact, when it came to planning our first annual #SibTrip, we evaluated a slew of options including Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Cayman Islands and Colombia, and never once did Honduras really come to mind. Beyond Roatan, it’s not exactly on most people’s radar for a vacation destination. Costa Rica has taken the lead on Central American getaways, followed closely by Belize, but the remainder of Central America’s destinations are largely considered too dangerous or too poorly developed to be worthy of the annual vacation splurge.
Let’s backtrack here. First, what’s #SibTrip? It’s a new tradition-in-waiting that we hope to kick off this year with our inaugural getaway. SibTrip is short for Sibling Trip, a trip that involves Scott, myself, and our siblings (both younger, both same-sex siblings). There’s this thing that happens as you get older: you begin forging your own path, moving forward with your own career, living in a new city (or country!), and generally building your own life and your own family. While life is happening, we sometimes forget to nurture important family relationships and keep up to speed with our siblings. Scott and I are generally fairly good about staying in touch with our siblings but we really get very little quality time to bond; to find out what’s really happening in each other’s lives. This trip – hopefully an annual getaway – was proposed to do just that; to provide us with one unadulterated week of bonding, of relaxing and of making memories together in new locales. We’ll democratically pick a new location each year – preferably a location that none of us have been to, and preferably a location that makes sense for everyone in terms of travel time (i.e. a somewhat central point).
Here’s the kicker with our sibling trip: it was dreamed up as a way to spend time with our siblings, not as an excuse for a romantic week together. This means that my sister and I share a room, and Scott and his brother share a room. I’m not sure how it works from a guy’s perspective, but some of the best conversations I’ve had with my sister are hanging out before bed, in pajamas, being real, and laughing until our stomachs hurt. For those interested in starting a SibTrip of their own, I’m happy to share other details with you (like what you do when a sibling wants to bring a significant other in the future; naturally, we’ve discussed this and have put rules and regs in place).
I know what you’re thinking: why, oh why, would you pick one of the most dangerous countries in the world (statistically speaking) for your sibling trip? Well, this resort played an integral part in our choice. Typically, we’d be staying in much more rustic accommodations but an opportunity came up to spend a week at the Indura Resort in Tela, Honduras and we couldn’t pass it up. The Indura is fairly new, but it’s positioned to be one of the leading hotels in all of Central America, putting it in line with the Four Seasons in Costa Rica and Mukul in Nicaragua. Again, normally we’d do something a bit more raw but one of the goals of this year’s SibTrip was pure relaxation – much needed after a crazy few months of work – and a place that offers affordable massages, a relaxing pool, beach service, etc. definitely fits the bill.
We’re planning on tempering this rather luxe experience with a couple of days at D&D Brewery and Lodge at Lake Yojoa to mix in a bit of adventure into the trip (if we weren’t staying at Indura, we would have been very interested in staying at D&D for our entire stay). When we did our initial research about Honduras, we were intrigued by the ruins at Copan, snorkeling with whale sharks in Utila, and venturing to a variety of reserves, but we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, which is the natural tendency for over-planners like us. Instead, we thought a 1 1/2 day trip to Lake Yojoa, the largest lake in Honduras, would provide us with the adventure that we need along with exposing us to a different face of Honduras. We’ll have an opportunity to hike to Pulhapanzak waterfall, test our hand at ziplining, enjoy a morning kayak, and explore some coffee fincas and an ecological reserve. While we hadn’t given Honduras a fair shot at the outset, it’s actually a pretty interesting location for anyone wanting to experience the adventure and natural wonders of Costa Rica on a smaller budget. For example, D&D’s private rooms with private bathroom? $15 per night. Renting a kayak for two for an entire day? $15.
It’s been a decade since I’ve been to Central America (the last time was a trip to El Salvador to visit family). That journey to San Salvador marked my first international trip ever so I’m excited to see how my perceptions have changed since then. That experience was eye-opening to say the least. I had never understood the drastic disparity between rich and poor that exists in many developing nations until I witnessed it there. I don’t know that I truly ever understood the notion of poverty – real poverty – until I saw it there with my own eyes: children selling genips on the side of the road wearing nothing but underwear. Now, having been to other developing nations and having traveled far more extensively, it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about safety in the region, about infrastructure, and about economic and social development in the area. Above all, I’m excited to have a week with my sister – something that we haven’t done ever! – and to be able to share in some of these adventures with Scott and his brother. Even if we do absolutely nothing, it’ll be great.
Have you been to Honduras? Any thoughts on must-try excursions or experience in the country?