Food and Drink in Banana Coast (Trujillo)
Editor's Note: Addresses in Trujillo do not exist the way we know them. So if you're looking for somewhere, the address you might be given is "below the fort" or "on the beach" or "beside the monument," rather than a street number.
Local specialties in this part of the world are largely what you might expect from any Central American country: chicken, rice and refried beans, or variations on the same. Grilled meats in the form of pinchos (kebabs) are popular, and being on the coast expect lots of fish a la plancha (grilled). For a quick snack, try a baleada from a street vendor; it's basically flatbread with a filling of your choice, and will set you back approximately $1.
Casual, In-Town Joint: Arguably boasting the best views in town, Casa Vino Tinto, just below the statue of Columbus in Parque Central, looks out across the whole of Bahia de Trujillo. It offers delicious local snacks, drinks and great music, as well as free Wi-Fi. (Open daily except Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
Casual Beach Joint: Bamboo, a hip beach bar and grill set in a traditional palm structure directly below the Fort, is probably your best bet for a light lunch and a casual vibe. They also offer free Wi-Fi.
Upmarket Lunching: It's hard to choose between the beachfront restaurants, but El Delfin, directly below the port, has the best reputation. It offers freshly caught local seafood and shellfish, served either indoor on the shaded second floor or right on the beach. Try too, Bahia Azul (open Mon-Sun from 9 a.m. to late) and Playa Dorada (open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.). All are very reasonably priced (mains average around $10) and offer free Wi-Fi.
Best Cocktail in Banana Coast (Trujillo)
Honduras doesn't have a wine growing culture, but it does produce a non-alcoholic "wine" known as "Magustin," which is fermented from various different local fruits. For something harder, try the great local beer, Salva Vida.
Beaches in Banana Coast (Trujillo)
Trujillo is not yet geared up to provide many of the activities associated with established Caribbean ports, but if you walk beyond the restaurant strip towards the west of town you will find a couple of resorts.
Best Beach for an Active Day: Head to Banana Beach Resort west along from the restaurant strip where you can get a day pass, play beach volleyball and use one of its three pools.
Best Beach for Families: The first resort you get to beyond the strip, Tranquility Bay, is a gorgeous eco-lodge run by a Canadian couple. The resort offers paddle boards and kayaks along with windsurfing, snorkeling, banana-boat rides and fishing.
Best Secluded Beach: The further west you head from town, the more secluded it becomes. Beaches do not have individual names; it is just one long stretch. Note, however, that crime is an ever-present threat in Honduras, and although at time of writing this area is regarded as safe, this may well change as the town gets more used to mass tourism.
Don't Miss in Banana Coast (Trujillo)
Parque Central: You'll find most of Trujillo's main sites here, including the Fortaleza, the Cathedral and some Caribbean-style wooden houses with balconies which house the small Oficina de Turismo (open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and an Arts & Crafts Center (open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), where you can pick up local handicrafts. This is also where the open-air market is held on cruise ship arrival days.
Fortaleza Santa Barbara: The spot where William Walker was shot by firing squad may not be particularly big or in great condition (it's mainly in ruins now), but it overlooks the whole of the bay. Stand here long enough and you can imagine how it must have been to first spot the sails of a pirate ship on the horizon. There are 15 cannons pointing out to sea, and a small museum. (Open daily from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; expect an admission fee).
Cementerio Viejo: A few blocks up from the main square is the town cemetery. Overgrown and with crumbling gravestones, it's a peaceful shaded spot away from the crowds. William Walker is buried here, in a prime spot just up on the left from the entrance.
Snorkeling: There is a sandbank just off the beach where hundreds of starfish gather; no one is quite sure why, but it could be because the currents bring nutrients. You can take the official excursion which includes a guide and snorkeling gear, or make your own way -- it's quite a sight!
Horseback riding: Banana Coast Tours offer horseback riding for all levels of experience, combined with a tour in the Campo del Mar Nature Reserve. You start by following your guide on a slow trot from the stables at nearby Campamento along a stretch of beach towards Campo del Mar. Once there, you do a trolley tour before returning to the stables for a drink and a swim.