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Old 03-17-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
Sideoff OP
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Hood River, OR
Oddometer: 552
La Moskitia Honduras (Plus Broken Leg)

A few weeks ago I broke a leg on a 4 month trip from Oregon down to Panama. The broken leg happened in a really interesting and remote area called La Moskitia (aka Mosquito Coast) in northeast Honduras. Wanted to share some info on this really remarkable and cool area.

The La Moskitia idea started in Copan Ruinas near the Honduras border. I went out for a few beers with a fellow moto-traveler named Andreas (Andreas are you on here?) who I met at the border crossing. We went to a bar called ViaVia where the owner (Gerardo) is a moto guy. I told him about my desire to cross Honduras spending as little time as possible on pavement. He said that if I REALLY wanted to do something interesting, I should try to get across through La Moskitia. He had heard it was possible but had never heard of anyone trying it with a bike.

La Moskitia is a really remote corner of Honduras with no roads. It is famous for narco trafficking. I read something online that about 1/3rd of the cocaine traveling to the US stops in La Moskitia. Because it is flat, planes can land almost anywhere, plus it has great water access with tons of rivers and bays. The traffickers buy or steal a plane in Colombia, land it in la moskitia, destroy the plane on arrival, transfer the drugs to a water vehicle (boat or sub), and then take them the rest of the way north to the US. There is no army or police presence in La Moskitia so it is truly like the wild west out there.

Gerardo said that despite this rep for narco trade the area is ok to travel through and really, really fascinating. So with this idea firmly lodged in the back of my mind, the next day I started off with a day exploring dirt roads in southern Honduras between gracias/la esperanza in the north and the el Salvador border in the south. This is a beautiful area and I was having fun, but it was similar to some of the riding I had already done in mexico and Guatemala and I was ready for something new. Plus I could not stop thinking about Gerardo and his obvious excitement about La Moskitia. Decided I HAD to try. Figured the worst case was that I could backtrack out and cross Honduras in the south like everyone else.

Here's a map of Honduras. La Moskitia is (approximately) the area in the box. There is no road that crosses it. If you can get to Puerto Lempira, there is a road that connects to Puerto Cabeza in Nicaragua, and from there you can head SW to get back on the main travel routes.

Here's a pic Andreas snapped of Gerardo getting me fired up on La Moskitia. I'm the tall guy on the right. If you're headed through Honduras on a dualsport and looking for dirt, I highly recommend stopping to talk with Gerardo. He has tons of route info. Great little bar/restaurant and I think he's got a hotel there as well.

Gerardo told me that, approximately, I could ride from La Ceiba to Batalla on roads which would eventually just merge onto the beach. Then from Batalla I could get a boat to Brus Laguna, from Brus Laguna I could get a boat to Ahuas, and then from Ahuas he wasn't sure if there was a road to Puerto Lempira or not. If not, there would be a boat. So that was basically the info I set out with.

Will post pics/details of the trip here as I get them sorted.
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