A Picnic at Cacao Lagoon

I love innovation, and find it always refreshing. I just got back from a unique tour: A picnic to Cacao Lagoon. And the picnic at Cacao Lagoon was on the lagoon, not its shores! It turns out that a local entrepreneur has built a floating picnic table and is offering tours in the lagoon that include a picnic. Talk about innovation! His floating picnic table is a barge with a 15 hp outboard to power it around the lagoon. The vessel is slow, but heck, I was here to enjoy the day, not to race around the lagoon! The tour starts at the elevated trail that takes you through above the mangroves to the main dock. There, our barge was waiting for us with all the goodies!

Picnic at Cacao Lagoon

All aboard and off we go on our adventure!

The tour can be purchased with lunch or without. This means that you can in effect bring your own lunch if you prefer to do so. They offer different menu options, including a seafood platter, a typical lunch or a cheese platter with red wine. I went for the last! The tour can operate with a minimum of 2 persons, and a maximum of 12. In these days of tourism with social distancing, a group of 4 to 6 seems more responsible. This is a half day activity, lasting between 4 and 5 hours. I suggest an early departure, as your chances of seeing wildlife are best early, before it gets hot. Chances of seeing capuchin and howler monkeys are outstanding. For bird lovers, make sure you bring your binoculars. Birding is great with both migratory and local species to be seen.

Picnic at Cacao Lagoon

Let the adventure begin!

Our vessel has two long benches on either side with a table in between them. The table is spacious, and we were soon onboard and ready for our adventure. Our picnic at Cacao Lagoon was about to begin! IT was early in the morning, and the lagoon was flat as a mirror. You could see the reflection of the mangrove forest and clouds on the water surface. As we navigated through a mangrove canal, we suddenly came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. They were high in the mangrove canopy and seemed as curious about us as were about them! After some great photo ops, we continued our path.

Navigating the Mangrove canals

Navigating the Mangrove canals

Soon we heard some ferocious howls. It was evident we were close to a troop of howler monkeys. As soon as they saw us, they increased the level of their howls. They were intent of making us know we were not welcome! What a spectacle they created for us! Again, after some great photo opportunities, we continued our tour, now heading towards the sand bar that separates the lagoon from the beach. We found a beach that made me think of the beaches that Columbus found during his fourth and last voyage to America not far from here. From the beach, we could clearly see the Cayos Cochinos islands. We succumbed to temptation and jumped into the tranquil waters of the Caribbean. I could feel the call of Cayos Cochinos, summoning us to continue our journey there. This was not an option today!

touring Cacao Lagoon

Arriving to the sand bar on the beach at Cacao Lagoon.

After some time at the beach, we were ready to continue navigating to the spot where we could enjoy our picnic at Cacao Lagoon. We found a nice shade under the mangrove forests. Then we pitched an oversize beach umbrella as a backup for shade. The cool breeze and the shade of the forest made for a perfect setting for our picnic at Cacao Lagoon. What a delightful lunch after touring the mangroves and seeing the monkeys.

Hot Springs in La Ceiba

Jungle Hot Springs at Sambo Creek. Photo; Courtesy of Evelyn Hullinghurst

My only possible gripe about the tour was that I had salt all over my body after enjoying a swim in the beach. As I expressed my complaint, our hosts suggested we stop by at the jungle hot springs in Sambo Creek. These were on the road back to La Ceiba. We decided to do so, and we were soon in freshwater pools with natural thermal water. That was an extremely wise suggestion they made, and it was even wiser on our behalf that we did as suggested. While relaxing in the hot springs, we could hear and see persons flying through the forest canopy. You see, this facility also has a fantastic zip line canopy tour within Nombre de Dios National Park! What a way to end our picnic at Cacao Lagoon. I will cherish the memory of this experience for a long time! To arrange for a tour, email nathalienieto3018@gmail.com or whatsapp at 504 32944909.