Let me share a secret about ceibeños. They prefer La Ceiba´s crystal clear rivers over the beaches. The truth is that there is no better place to cool off during the hot summer days that in one of the many rivers and creeks that flow down from the Nombre de Dios Mountains. Yes, beaches are nice, but the water is salty, the ocean is warm and you end up full of sand when you get back into your car. There really is nothing like La Ceiba’s crystal clear rivers when it comes to cooling off in a long hot day. You will find these just about anywhere! The rugged, jungle clad mountains of the Nombre de Dios Mountains hide these creeks from your view. But as soon as you find a creek, if you follow up to the mountains, you will see lovely waterfalls and natural swimming holes.
Sometimes, after a good rain, you can see some of these creeks. As the water swells, they become more evident. They form waterfalls that are visible from afar! But regardless of whether its rainy season or dry season, they are usually crystal clear. There are two specific rivers that are most popular with the Ceibeños. Without doubt, The Cangrejal River is the most popular of La Ceiba’s crystal clear rivers. It is easy to understand why: This river is the natural boundary between two of the protected areas in La Ceiba. On the western bank you will find Pico Bonito National Park, on the eastern one you find Nombre de Dios National Park. Furthermore, access is extremely easy, as an all-weather dirt road leads from La Ceiba along the eastern bank of the river. The Cangrejal River is part of the natural heritage of La Ceiba.
Within 3 km of the CA13 detour, you will find tranquil waters that provide the perfect spot to relax and cool off in the waters. The shadows of the tropical rain forest provide refuge from the hot sun. Many locals come here in their bicycles, but of course motorcycles and cars can easily work as well. A special tip, as you drive further up the road, the scene will change, as the water descends at a faster pace. However, there are always pools and eddies behind the rocks that provide a perfect setting. If you do visit the Cangrejal river, please help us keep it clean by bringing a bag to take your garbage. Make sure you take it with you, there is no garbage truck picking trash along this area!
The other extremely popular area is also along the CA13 highway. A small creek coming from the Nombre de Dios National Park forms some nice pools almost next to the road. The area is known as Balneario Los Chorros. Entrance is just past a small bridge opposite of a detour towards Piedra Pintada. This is past the community of Rio Maria, but before the Garifuna Village of Corozal. There is a small entrance fee, and you can also buy some basic food, such as baleadas. If you hike a few yards up the river, you will find different pools and small falls. The area is understandably popular. If you do not have a vehicle, you can always get a bus to Corozal and let the driver know you are getting off at Los Chorros.
Both spots are safe to visit. You Will enjoy nature and relax in these two most popular of the many La Ceiba’s crystal clear rivers. Now you Will understand why the locals prefer their rivers to their beach. I bet you Will agree with them after visiting these two sites!