The El Olvido Trail in Nombre de Dios National Park is a treat! It affords the visitor to see the tropical rain forests of Honduras’ North Coast. But you also get to travel high across the river in a primitive cable car that is not for the weak of heart! The trip will take you high across the canyon that the river has carved. A cable joining both riverbanks is about 200 meters long. You will be about 80 meters above the river. The cable car is operated by hand, and at least one of the passengers will need to help propel the cable car to get it across the river!
Once you get to the opposite side of the river, you are officially in Nombre de Dios National Park. You arrive at La Canasta Eco Lodge, one of the Lodges along the Cangrejal River Valley where you can choose to spend the night. Here you will meet Doña Rosario, who runs a small cooperative of women that produce some of the most beautiful colorful handicrafts you have ever seen. Best of all, they are usually with motifs that are native to the local jungles, such as colorful birds. You may be lucky to see the ladies at work, and purchase some of their handicrafts. Nothing like meeting the person that produces the handicraft that you are buying!
From here, you will be able to take the El Olvido trail in Nombre de Dios. Part of the hike will take you through a farming area. In addition to some local crops, you will also see some of the cattle that are part of this ranch. El Olvido Trail will lead you towards the rain forests of Nombre de Dios National Park. Here you will find a pristine creek that flows down from the mountains. The final destination of the tour is a lovely natural pool in the creek. Ideal to jump in and have a dip in the refreshing, clean waters after a hike in the forest.
To enjoy this tour, you must first make reservations. To do so, you can contact Cangrejal Tours or Reservaciones La Ceiba. These are the only two tour operators that arrange for the hike in El Olvido Trail. I did my hike through Cangrejal Tours and was lucky enough to have a young man by the name of Adolfo Lopez as my guide! Adolfo is not always available, because he is studying Forestry Engineering at the local public university in La Ceiba. Adolfo proved to be knowledgeable about the local plants. He was also great at helping me spot different birds in the area.
Cangrejal tours is an association of local young men that have had training as nature guides and birding. Not all of them speak English, but they are indeed a pleasure to take a tour with. These young men offer a diversity of tours in the area near Las Mangas, in the Cangrejal River Valley. By hiring their services, you are effectively improving the local economy, which in turns discourages immigration to other parts of Honduras and abroad.