The most comfortable place to visit the Miskitos is the Puerto Lempira area. It
is connected by a direct flight to La Ceiba. It has a hotel, the Gran Hotel
Flotel, that provides air conditioning, television and lights all night lone. It
costs around $20 a night. There are cheaper hotels which only have electricity 5
pm – 9 pm. The Gran Hotel Flores is made of Cinder Block which help keep out
rats, a problem in wooden hotels. Good clean restaurants called cafeterias exist
in Puerto Lempira, serving rice and beans cooked separately with maybe some eggs
or a fried plantains. Traditional Miskito food like wabul is not
available in restaurants, which are mostly run by the town’s Ladinos or Spanish
Puerto Lempira has many Miskito houses of wooden construction.
local goods most readily available are batana hair oil,
tunu art pieces,
and tunu bark cloth wall hangings.
Batana is supposed to prevent gray hair and baldness. Tunu bark is what the
Miskitos, Tawahkas and Pech previously made their clothes out of. These are
sometimes sold in the store in the MOPAWI compound. MOPAWI is the chief
development organization in the Mosquitia which is also very active protecting
the environmental. They can help orient travelers if you speak Spanish.
Besides walking around, the other popular thing to do in Puerto Lempira is go
across the Caratasca Lagoon. Morning water taxi canoes leave for a town across
the Lagoon called Cauquira. You can either spend the night in Cauquira and catch
the water taxi back the next day or have someone help you make arrangements to
be picked up by a canoe and brought back to Puerto Lempira. It is also possible
to rent a canoe and go around the Lagoon and see the many water birds like
egrets and herons. Puerto Lempira is not in the rainforest. It is in the
savannah. Spanish is widely spoken, but English is not.
Christmas is a special time to visit the Mosquitia. The Miskitos do special
dances for Christmas called Tambakus. They also do a Christmas pageant and dance
children’s dances on Christmas day. Ask at your hotel.
To get to the Nicaraguan border you need to hitchhike, as there is no bus
transportation. Little boats can take you further along the Coast for example
towards Raya and Kruta by accommodations become scarce to non-existent after
leaving Puerto Lempira.