Tela City Tour

Tela is a small and friendly community, where everything is close by and walking is a great way to get around.

The ideal Tela City Tour is a walking tour of the city, and of course, the perfect place to start your Tela City Tour is at the central park. The park is known as the Plaza Cabanas, in honor of Jose Trinidad Cabanas, one of the founding fathers of Honduras. At the park you will find a small gazebo, as well as a monument in honor of Jose Trinidad Cabanas and a bust of General Francisco Morazan, one of the founding fathers of Honduras. Another site of interest is in the adjacent city hall, where at the foot of the flag poles that faces the park you can see a bell and a two old canons, that were salvaged from an old shipwrecked Spanish galleon that lies in the bottom of the bay of Tela.

The Old Train Station
From the Central Park our next stop will be the old train station, which is only a couple of blocks away. To get there, follow the 6th Avenue, which is right in front of the municipality, and walk two blocks to the south, opposite of the direction to the beach. You will come right past the Hotel Gran Central, one of the nicest boutique hotels in Tela. The old train station is a rather unimpressive yellow concrete building. With a bit of imagination, you can take yourself back to the nineteen twenties and thirties, in the heyday of the “banana republic” days, when the only way to come and go was on the railroad. This station was especially important, because it was an obliged stop to change trains, the Standard Fruit Company railroad that came from La Ceiba had narrow gauge tracks, so if you were going on to San Pedro Sula, you needed to change trains because the Tela Railroad tracks were regular gauge, and therefore incompatible with the other trains!
The Hotel Mayavista
From the old railroad station, we will now head out to the best lookout spot in the Bay of Tela: The Hotel Mayavista. To get there, we will walk back south on the 7th Avenue one block to the 8th street, where we will take a right turn (towards to East) and continue two blocks counting the blocks on your left, not right. On the second block turn left, you will be facing a steep street going up. At the top of the street you will see the Hotel Mayavista on your right. Come on in and take the steps up to the restaurant. This is the perfect spot to sit down and relax enjoying the view while you sip a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or better yet, an ice cold beer. The view from here is absolutely spectacular: you can see most of the city, as well as Punta Sal National Park on the far left side of the bay and Punta Izopo on the closer east side of the bay.

After you have enjoyed the view for a while, it is time to continue our Tela city tour, so we will now go down a flight of steps that will bring us to the 9th Street, directly below Mayavista. Take a left here and walk back to Central Park, taking a right turn on 5th Avenue, which is on the far side of the Central Park. From here you are three short blocks from the beach. Parallel to the beach you will find the Tela Beach pedestrian street, a short 3 blocks of street facing the beach where you will find a series of restaurants, bars and hotels that together provide the liveliest part of town. This pedestrian street is only three blocks long, so you will soon arrive at its end, which is where the Sherwood Hotel and Restaurant is at.

To continue with our Tela City Tour, we will take a left for one block and then a right on the first street. You are about one block away from a bridge over the Lancetilla River. Go over the bridge, enjoy the view towards the beach and see the boats waiting for tourists to take them to Punta. On the opposite side of the river you find a pleasant boulevard with the beach directly on your right. To your left, opposite of the beach, you will find the old Tela Railroad Company accounting building, the oldest standing building in Tela. The building has been renovated. It is a beautiful example of the typical banana republic architecture that shaped Atlantida 100 years ago.

At the end of the boulevard, instead of turning left to follow the street, turn right into the beach. From here, you can see the old Tela Municipal Dock. The dock was built by the Tela Railroad Company and used to export the fruit produced by them to the USA. The dock is still in use today. Much of the fuel imported to Honduras comes into the country through this dock. The storage facilities are next to the CA13 highway that leads from Tela to San Pedro Sula.

If you continue on along the beach you will soon be walking in front of the Telamar Beach Resort which is the old residential complex where the executives and selected employees of the Tela Railroad Company used to live. Here you will see some old wooden homes, as well as several buildings, that will then be replaced by the modern buildings that house the resorts hotel rooms. At the far end of the Telamar Resort complex you will see a paved street, which actually wraps around the complex. Walk down this street towards the first street, as if you are going around the perimeter of Telamar. On the right you will pass by one of the nicest small hotels in town, Hotel Playa Bonita, which is not on the beach, but offers nice spacious rooms at a fair price.

As you continue down the street, you will notice several old homes on the right side of the street. Most are reminiscent of the old Banana Era architecture. On the far end of the homes you will see a large three story building; this was where the Tela Railroad Company store was located. Back in the early days of the company, there was no official money circulating in the country. Thus, the fruit company’s would issue tokens in payment to their workers. These could be exchanged for goods at the company store. Talk about a sound business for the fruit companies!

Almost adjacent to the old store, which today houses a bakery, you will see a small park. There is a monument dedicated to Honduran mothers here. This is a good place to stop for a few minutes and cool off under the shade of some rather large trees. You are now very close to being back in “Old Tela” which is on the opposite side of the Lancetilla River. (New Tela is where the Banana Company established its headquarters and residences for its executives). Just before the old Lancetilla River Bridge you come across the Catholic temple that is dedicated to the patron saint of Tela: San Antonio de Padua. This is the most important Catholic temple in the city.

As you walk into Old Tela, you have three blocks before being back in Central Park. This is one of the oldest areas of the city, however you will notice that buildings do not seem that old. This is because back in 1933 Tela was destroyed by a terrible fire that burnt most of the old buildings to a crisp! After this, the city hall issued an ordinance, declaring that all new buildings must be built out of concrete, to avoid the spread of fire. This street you will be on is known as Calle del Comercio, Commerce Street. Many of the old companies that have been in Tela for a long time have their buildings here. Such as the one that belongs to Banco Atlantida, that dates back to 1938. Our tour ends at the Central Park.

We hope you enjoyed this brief walking Tela City Tour. Please note that if you pretend to do it by bicycle or car, you will have to do in an inverted fashion. This because many of the streets are one way and traffic flows are mostly opposite to our route.


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