Imagine six hours in the back of a pickup truck. That’s what it took to get to canoe to take us to the village of Plaplaya along Honduras’ Mosquito Coast. It was an expedition to say the least. An expedition of uncomfortable and epic proportions. As we wove our way east and south along the coast line, the road ended and our little, overweight Toyota Highlander truck eased its way onto the sand. With the tide changing, we raced along the water’s edge through soft, wet sand, for what seemed like hours. You can see our deluxe seating arrangement in the back of the pickup. Not a great option for those with a delicate back. Six of us shared the planks wedged across the back of the truck. The floor was covered in cargo, and when the wash board road ended we found ourselves constantly holding tight as the truck worked up the banked sand dunes.
Was it the worst transportation of our whole trip? No, I’ll save that award for the return trip, it’s so much worse when you know what to expect. You can read more about our journey into the famed wilderness of La Moskitia in these posts: Flashback: Honduras, La Moskitia I, La Moskitia II.
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IF YOU GO: Wikipedia kindly refers to La Moskitia as: an underdeveloped region of tropical rainforest accessible primarily by water and air. By primarily they mean only by air and water as this place is extremely isolated. While air is an option, it usually means catching a ride on an NGO flight (there’s a semi-regular one run by a mission group) or booking a tour package. Here’s how to go overland. From La Ceiba, catch a bus to Tocoa. You will likely have to spend the night in Tocoa as the pick up trucks to Batalla leave around 7am. You need to arrive at the pickup truck depot (across from the main bus station) by 7am to organize a spot in a truck, seating is limited and negotiate hard, you’re negotiating your spot for both directions. Once you’ve chosen your poison be prepared, if you are inside the cab it’s incredibly squashed and difficult to breathe, outside it’s incredible uncomfortable and also difficult to breathe. You MUST bring protection from the sun, water and a bandana just in case you are stuck outside the cab. It’s 5-6 hours to Batalla, from there you’ll need to negotiate fare to Belen or Raista in a shared boat (collectivo). We arrived to Plaplaya late in the afternoon, the next morning the same collectivo driver came for us to take us to Belen and transfer us to a hired boat to Las Marias.