Plátano River Rafting Expedition (10 days)
On this trip we cross the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage site, following the entire course of the river in a route of about 130 km, starting at the headwaters of the river and ending at its outlet in the Caribbean Sea. The entire route takes us through the exuberant tropical vegetation, navigating the exciting rapids and calm waters on inflatable rafts that allow us to enjoy the benefits of the jungle. Three species of monkeys, otter, morpho butterflies, and a multitude of parrots and macaws will be our constant company, and with luck, we will come across a tapir or a jaguar on the road or river. Mysterious caves, ancient archaeological sites and contacts with Pech, Miskito and Garífuna peoples combine to make this experience unforgettable.
DAY 1: OVERNIGHT AT COUNTRY HOUSE IN BONANZA
We travel from La Ceiba by 4×4 car to Bonanza, Olancho, where the road ends (approx. 8 hours from Tegus and 10 hours from La Ceiba). This day we pass through various typical towns and small cities with residents who are dedicated to agriculture. and livestock. We will make rest stops along the way. We spend the night in tents and inflatable mats. We had dinner at Bonanza in a rural house owned by Mr. Tito Padilla. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
DAY 2: COUNTRY HOUSE IN LANCETILLAL
We roll up tents and mats before breakfast very early as today is the longest day of the trip and we will have to get to the PUT IN (Rafting Boarding Site). The mules carry the entire load and the group walks approximately 10 hours. through coffee farms of mestizo settlers and through forests with steep terrain until we reach the headwaters of the Plátano River, the place where our trip begins in an inflatable raft (Raft). This bridle path can be muddy if it had rained the previous days. We will take a mule with a saddle in case someone gets tired and that will also carry water to resupply us during the walk. During the journey we will make frequent stream crossings throughout the route. This is considered the most difficult day of the trip due to the heat, some muddy sections of the trail and steep slopes mainly during the first 4 hours of hiking. At the end of the day we will see that the effort was worth it because we will already have group privacy. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
DAY 3 to 4: COUNTRY HOUSE IN CASA DE PIEDRA AND CHILMECA
We start our navigation on inflatable rafts after the instructions of your guide. We pass through class II and III rapids depending on the level of the river and we come into direct contact with the exuberant tropical forest typical of the NUCLEUS OF THE RESERVE. This first day of navigation is long when the river is shallow, because we have the goal of camping at the Casa de Piedra camp from where we will explore La Cueva del Antigual the next day in the morning. On day two we will have a deeper river with fewer obstacles and in the afternoon calm and deep waters until we arrive at the CHILMECA camp in about 4 hours. Approx. All these days we will have a good chance of seeing spider monkeys and many birds such as macaws, toucans, motmots, and orioles among others.
DAY 5, 6: UNDERGROUND CAMPAIGN AND KAWAKIR
On day 5 we arrived at noon at the entrance of “EL SUBTERRANEO” a canyon of about 2 kilometers with gigantic rocks and class III and IV rapids. This day we will carry walking with all the equipment and rafts what we call the HEAD OF THE UNDERGROUND. The support of the participants is necessary to quickly and safely carry the equipment on this day. After the portage we row about 20 minutes to our next camp in the UNDERGROUND.
The next day we left early and only 10 minutes paddling away is PORTEADA number 2 of the subway, walking about 150 meters on a rocky path. We always request the same support from the participants to load the equipment and save time. Once the rafts are recharged, we continue paddling for about 10 minutes to the turbulent MARIN rapids, which we stop to observe its condition. We continue until the last and third porteada known as the Cola del Subterráneo and in Miskito TAIRA LUHPIA where we again charge between all the teams with a distance similar to the previous one. We recharge the rafts and continue sailing through the most remote area of the Reserve and where the chances of seeing tapir, jaguar and pumas increase.
Below the underground we continue through calm waters until we reach the Kawakir camp where we will spend the night in the jungle.
DAY 7 TO 8: CUYAMEL COUNTRY HOUSE AND LAS MARIAS
Once we leave Kawakir camp behind, our navigation progresses over calmer waters as we continue paddling downriver for an hour until calm is broken upon reaching the POMOKIR class III rapid. From here we continue through calm waters for about 5 more hours until we reach the Cuyamel river where we will spend the night again in the Jungle. The next day we navigate the Cuyamel rapid and in about 2 hours we will arrive at Kiplatara, which in Miskito means BIG RAPID, class III. This, our last day on the river, we will arrive at the petro-glyphs, mysterious drawings engraved on the rocks by unknown inhabitants of the jungle at sites called Walpaulbantara and Walpaulbansirpe. Today we come into contact with Miskito and Pech indigenous people who navigate their lever-and-oar-propelled pipantes coming and going to their farms. In the afternoon we arrive at Puhlak, one of the neighborhoods of Las Marias where we will stay in a family hostel that has beds, mosquito nets, showers and toilets. After all these days in the jungle we will have the luxury of sitting down at a table to eat and enjoy the service of our indigenous hosts.
Day 9: HOSTEL IN RAISTA (Miskito people)
After breakfast (8:00 AM) we return to the coast by motorized canoe to Raista (4.5 hrs.) where we have lunch and can optionally visit the nearby communities of Cocobila or Belén or the beach in the afternoon.
Overnight in the same family hostel.
DAY 10: TRIP TO LA CEIBA (Miskitos)
This day we leave at 5:00 AM from Raista to Pueblo Nuevo in the water taxis. From here you take the 4×4 pick up to La Ceiba. Part of this route is along the old embankment of the train that reached Iriona and from here we continue along a dirt road passing through coastal Garifuna villages, through small settler villages and African palm farms to Bonito Oriental where the paved road begins. We continue passing through Tocoa until we reach La Ceiba. Normally you arrive around 2:00 PM in La Ceiba.
END OF OUR SERVICES IN LA CEIBA.
The Services include:
- Transportation of equipment and guides from La Ceiba to Bonanza.
- Transportation of Participants, equipment and guide from Tegucigalpa to Bonanza or La Ceiba to Bonanza.
- Land and water transportation of equipment, guides and participants on the last day from Raista – Pueblo Nuevo –Tocoa- to La Ceiba.
- Mules to load up to the Put in and an emergency mule with mount.
- Food for participants and guides from breakfast on day 1 to breakfast on day 10.
- Water transport in motorized pipante from Las Marías to Raista
- Thermarest tents and mats, AIRE brand inflatable rafts, vests, rowing helmets, water rescue equipment, first aid kit.
- Kitchen equipment (pots, plates, cups, forks, spoons, etc.)
- Accommodation in local hostels en route. (The Marias and Raista)
- Bilingual naturalist headguide (English-Spanish) (minimum two guides per trip)
- Personal items (soap, toothpaste, etc)
- Boots or sneakers with ankle protection for hiking.
- Light pillow (optional)
- Paddling gloves
- Repellent (apply to skin, shoes and clothing during walks against chiggers and ticks. We recommend Permethryn applied to clothing the day before for added protection. Check with your outdoor store.
- Blocker (Apply constantly by reflection of the sun in the H2O)
- Antifungal talc apply it every night on the foot.
- Flashlight, bulb and extra batteries.
- Camera (protect it against water)
- Caps, hats and/or scarves
- Personal meals (snacks)
- Dry bags, plastic bags or ziplocks to pack personal items against water.
- Binoculars, tropical bird guide (if you are a bird watcher) and other guides according to your taste.
- Bottle or canteen to refill purified water
- Personal water filter (optional)
- Prophylactic medicine against malaria and vaccines against tetanus, typhoid, and other tropical diseases (ask your doctor)
- Personal Medicines
- Personal meals (snacks)
- Travel, evacuation, illness and accident insurance
- Free insurance 504 assist.com For participants arriving by plane Please register online to obtain the benefit of the insurance.
- Signature of Release or Waiver at the beginning (release of responsibility)
Note: Please bring luggage up to 25 lbs. (12 kilos) since there is limited space in the rafts and mules.