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.
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.