The Lodge at Pico Bonito
What We Love
- Daily à la carte breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Free on-site features, including a pool, butterfly farm and rugged loop trail leading to secluded swimming holes and waterfalls
- Diverse range of eco-friendly activities (on and off property), including the most popular attraction: world-renowned birding
- Exquisite menu of Honduran-inspired and international cuisine, recently rejuvenated by the new general manager — a former Parisian chef
- Expert, lightning-fast service despite the relaxed, natural setting
- Friendly, bilingual guides who offer encyclopedic knowledge of the region and its wildlife
What To Know
- Costs of individual meals (besides breakfast) and guided excursions not included
- Not handicap-accessible; this is the jungle, after all. Loose gravel walkways connect the lodge and guest cabins, and there are also a few stairs
- Hikes and excursions range from medium to difficult, especially in summer, so physical limitations should be considered
- A tourist tax of 19 percent and a 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
The refined yet rustic aesthetic of the lodge blends in nicely with the natural surroundings without sacrificing simple luxuries, such as plush bedding or air conditioning. Discreetly scattered amid dense jungle vegetation, the 22 standalone guest cabins are done up with native stone and polished local pine, from the floors to the louvered windows to the vaulted ceilings. Understated plantation-style decor pays homage to the area’s agricultural history — think simple prints of pineapples and handcrafted wicker furnishings — without distracting from the lush rain forest setting. There are no TVs — except two flat-screens in the bar lounge — and interior accents are kept to a minimum. After all, the real show is outside.
Bed and Bath
The stand-alone cabins are like private treehouses, each with its own porch and hammock and warm interior of floor-to-ceiling hardwood. All cabins (from Standard to Superior) have the same square footage and interior design, with a few differences in amenities. Standard rooms feature two Queen or Double beds; Superior, a four-poster King. Some cabins share connecting doors, perfect for large families, and spacious vanity areas compensate for slightly stark showers. Coffeemakers (with local organic coffee) and iPhone docks add extra comfort, and room amenities such as shampoo and bottled water are replenished daily.
The Itzama restaurant and bar, next door to the reception area, offers a full-service daily menu of various Honduran specialties and exceptional international cuisine, starting at 6 a.m. Highly attentive, speedy service accommodates guests with early morning excursions, and an adjacent open-air deck can be set for private dinners or cocktails overlooking the Corinto River below. A meeting space is available for large retreats or conventions, and plans are currently in motion to construct a game room, as well as a small boutique spa just beyond the pool. For now, massages are available at the new River Pavilion or in guestrooms on request.
In the Area
The lodge’s roster of daily adventures, from night hikes to whitewater rafting, extends past the property lines, so guests can experience the region’s diverse culture and ecosystems. It’s possible to explore via rental car, but it’s much easier to book guided excursions through the front desk to see stunning but slightly isolated destinations, such as Cuero y Salado, a manatee and wildlife refuge amid nearby mangrove forests bordering the Caribbean. Or Cayos Cochinos, a remote archipelago stretching along an unspoiled coral reef that’s ideal for snorkeling. The lodge also arranges rural village tours in conjunction with the Adelante Foundation, which seeks to empower single mothers through micro-loans and financial independence.
How to Get There
This was my first time in Central America and the lodge exceeded my expectations as a traveller and a birder. Trip was with WW Quest. The food and cabins were great, and there was extensive property to walk on trails with a guide (at first) then without one. We swam under a little waterfall. Toucans, monkeys, coati just some of the many, many creatures I saw quite close to the lodge itself. Didn't have any issues with bugs in the cabin and the intense heat of the day dissipated at night so we only needed the ceiling fans. Pool area very lovely and refreshing. Loved eating on the long porch with hummingbirds buzzing all around. The meal prep was a bit slow at dinner as someone else mentioned, so pre-ordering helped that. The lodge took care of all the transportation on side tours and to and from the airport and the bird guides Olbin and Older were knowledgeable and helpful! Excellente I was concerned about contracting a gastro bug but no issues. I think they filter the water.
We spent 5 nights / 4 days at this lodge, and it was definitely worth the visit. For those who want variety, it offers it in spades. The property is inside the National Park, which is a tropical paradise full of birds as well as some mammals (we saw Agoutis and Coatis.) It's also not far from Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, a pristine mangrove eden that is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Then, there's the ocean, beaches and islands - it's not exactly on the property's doorstep (more like a 30 minute drive to the dock), but the snorkeling, beaches and scenery around Cayos Cochinos is breathtaking.
The lodge itself is very nice - the grounds are well maintained, there are bird feeders placed liberally around the main area (tons of Long-tailed Hermits, White-necked Jacobins, Violet Saberwings and Crowned Woodnymphs congregate in the area for this reason. The rooms are studio-style and are not super large (roughly 400 square feet.) It's comfy enough, but not sufficiently spacious to enjoy a day lounging inside the cabins. On premises is a butterfly farm and a Serpentarium, which is nice to spend an hour or two during downtimes. The wait staff in the restaurant were attentive and friendly; we enjoyed the quality of service provided by Eduardo and Mario there.
A few areas to nitpick: First off, food was a letdown. Breakfast was fine (not hard to do, to be honest), but lunches and dinner menus were repetitive and what they had was only so-so. Everything from the chicken to bread to desserts seemed to have been sitting in a fridge or freezer for a few days before they were served; I'm guessing because we visited during low season (only 6 of the 22 rooms were occupied during our time there.) Secondly, service is decent, but not super attentive or responsive. The staff are friendly enough, but the front desk people in particular did not seem to take our needs as seriously as we've experienced in other top nature lodges. For example, it took us several requests to have them replace all of the smelly (a mixture of sweaty and musty-smelling pillows that REALLY stunk) pillows in our room. And it wasn't until I brought one of the pillows to the front desk that they took action. We pre-arranged airport transfers (to/from La Ceiba Airport), but for the return transfer, they wanted us to check with the airline (the evening prior to leaving) whether the flight was still planned for the scheduled departure time. We gave them our flight details, and the lodge was tasked to take us to the airport. They eventually double checked, but not until I firmly insisted that they do so.
We booked a private guide for all of our excursions (we like the flexibility and the ability to change our plans on a whim), and Joel was an amazing guide. Knowledgeable, laid back but always aiming to please, and engaging without being unnecessarily chatty. We loved his company, and he went the extra mile to ensure that we had the best experience possible for every outing. Kudos to him!
We are nature and wildlife enthusiasts and have stayed at some of the world's finest lodges and camps in Africa, India, South America, SE Asia and India. Specifically compared to the best lodges in Central America (especially Chan Chich in Belize and Bosque del Cabo in Costa Rica), it holds its own but falls slightly short when it comes to food and service (in the lodge itself.) If your mission is to see a ton of mammals, the undisputed champ is Bosque del Cabo. But it's much more expensive than the Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito, and birding (at least during peak season) is supposedly superior at Pico Bonito. Not to mention, the snorkeling and diving experience (and beaches) in the calmer Caribbean waters is far superior to the rough Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
All in all, we had a good time, and the lodge is a terrific value for what you get.
We stayed at Pico Bonito for a week full of birding and other activities. With only 22 cabins, the lodge is small, but still has a beautiful pool, wonderful spa, excellent restaurant and the surrounding grounds were gorgeous. The pictures online are quite accurate. We found everything to be nicely appointed and well maintained. The general staff was very attentive and the wait staff was friendly and professional.
We took excursions to the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, Cuero y Salado, and snorkeling at Cayos Cochinos and they all were fun and exactly what we expected.
Pico Bonito is a haven for birding, whether you are a serious ornithologist or just watching for fun. Our guide, Elmer (supplied by the lodge), was phenomenal! His complete knowledge of all birds, the area and what birds you could find and where you could find them was unsurpassed!
The Pico Bonito Lodge is famous world wide especially for bird watching .
My first birding trip in Honduras was 7 years ago , my bird guide mentioned the place when we visited Lancetilla Botanical Gardens which are close by , it peaked my interest but we were on our way to a distant place .
At last I’ve had the good fortune to stay at this exquisite place , as a birder and someone who loves to photograph birds I was often reminded by wonderful photos of birds on Instagram & Facebook .
The accommodation is separated by lush gardens and towering trees , there are open areas of lawn , a great swimming pool with tables , chairs large sun umbrellas and recliners for total luxury after a jungle hike through the mountain directly behind the lodge .
Staff are very friendly , the dining room is very large and comfortable , open to the gardens , an international menu & bar .
Wifi is accessed from the spacious lobby & dining , sitting room .
I just loved staying here , every morning my guide organised trips to totally different habitats for birding .
Three of us and our guide Katinka from Peaks and Beaks Tour Company stayed here for four nights at the end of our 2 week birding tour of Honduras. First take the stories about how dangerous Honduras is with a grain of salt. We were all over the country and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe from the big cities to the small villages in the mountains.
Overall the only complaint we had was how slow the restaurant was to prepare food especially at supper. Even after ordering food for 7 pm at 6 pm it still was not ready at 7:30. Made for late suppers. However once it arrived it was always very good at all meals. The staff are friendly, attentive and helpful. The rooms were spacious and well appointed. Grounds are well kept and there are a myriad of easy , medium and hard trials that hikers and birders can take. There are guides available at the lodge for people who are there without one. There is a swimming pool and there are swimming holes in the river for the adventuresome. If you are a birder there are many great birds in the area to see. The lodge is also close to some other good birding sites that are close by.
Don't forget to buy some local coffee from a coffee finca nearby. It is very inexpensive and is so good I could even drink it black. I wish I had bought a few more pounds to bring home.
All in all we would return here again.