Rio Platano Biosphere Area
Many people when
they visit the Rio Platano, miss meeting the Miskitos. The airlines fly into
Palacio, a Ladino or Spanish speaker town with a nice wooden hotel and a small
neat cafeteria. Palacios also has a museum covering the archaeology and
anthropology of the area. Canoes connect the town to the Pech village of Las
Marias, deep in the Rio Platano Biosphere.
One way to see the Miskitos is instead of going straight from Palacios to Las
Marias, a grueling 7 hour canoe ride, go from Palacios to Raista, a Miskito
village near the Coast. There is a small wooden hospedaje or hotel here that
will feed you. Besides visiting the Miskitos, you can visit the Butterfly Farm
where butterflies are raised for export to Butterfly houses in US gardens and
zoos. It is easy to arrange a trip down the Rio Platano from here. There are
monkeys, macaws, parrots, and river turtles along the way.
The hotel in Las Marias is wooden with a palm leaf roof and bucket showers.
Food, mostly rice and beans, is available. If you feel unsure about making the
trip yourself, Moskitia Eco-Adventures in La Ceiba arranges twice weekly tours
of trips from Palacios to Las Marias and back with or without a stay in Raista.
Pech and Miskito crafts are available in Las Marias, although you may do better
to look for tunu bark cloth in Souvenirs El Bueno Amigo in La Ceiba before or
after the trip. There are two stores by this name, but only one carries Miskito
crafts. Rainforest, another souvenir shop in La Ceiba also carries some of the
Wampusirpe made tunu bark cloth.
In general Pech, Miskito and Tawahka areas are low in crime even though the
travelers must carry their cash on them for the trip.