The Zacate River Trail in Pico Bonito

The Zacate River Trail in Pico Bonito was the first trail open to visit in Pico Bonito National Park. This trail continues open for guests, but is no longer the most popular trail, as the El Mapache Trail in the Cangrejal now receives more visitors. Access to the Zacate River Trail in Pico Bonito is through the Pineapple fields that belong to the Standard Fruit Company. This area is West of La Ceiba, just past the community of El Pino. The entrance is not clearly marked, and your best bet is to hire a guide to take you on the hike. I Recommend that contact Reservaciones La Ceiba. Another option is to visit the site where the artisans and guides of El Pino function and hire them to take you there.

The DOLE pineapple plantations in La Ceiba

The famous DOLE pineapple plantations in La Ceiba. Isis I. Castro Alberto . Photo: Courtesy of

The Zacate River Trail in Pico Bonito gets its name from a lovely, crystal clear creek whose name is Zacate River. It runs from high in the Nombre de Dios Mountains into the Caribbean Sea. The trail starts at a spectacular swimming hole with a lovely fall. I suggest you resist the temptation of jumping into this natural pool and keep it for your return. The Trail goes up the East bank of the river and comes down the West bank. So you will be back at the same spot after the loop ends. The trail is not an easy hike. Especially the first part of the hike, which is up a flight of steps on a very steep hill. Take your time during this first section of the hike to avoid burning up to fast!

Zacate River Trail in Pico Bonito

Spectacular Rio Zacate Waterfall in Pico Bonito National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Arturo Sosa

The Rio Zacate Trail in Pico Bonito has a spectacular water fall as its destination. These falls are not only spectacular, they are surrounded by a lush tropical jungle that offers many different shades of green. The site invites you to relax and contemplate the beauty of nature at this national park.

Natural swimming area at Zacate River in Pico Bonito

Natural swimming hole at the Zacate River in Pico Bonito. Photo: Courtesy of Evelyn Hüllinghorst.

On your return trip you will arrive at that natural pool you had trouble resisting jumping into. The good news is that you can now enjoy its refreshing water and cool off after that unique hike into the tropical jungles of Honduras. There is a nice picnic area with tables, rustic toilets and changing rooms. This is the ideal spot to have your lunch or snacks after this fantastic but trying hike into Pico Bonito National Park. On your return, as you drive through the pineapple fields, remember that you are not allowed to get out of your car and take pictures or explore. If you are interested in learning more about these pineapple fields that belong to DOLE, you can hire the unique pineapple tour through Reservaciones La Ceiba.