The former headquarters of the United Fruit Company now attracts visitors with beaches, tropical coastal national parks and cultural diversity.
Tela is located halfway between San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba in the middle of a wide sweeping bay, which is bordered on both sides by a national park:
Jeanette Kawas National Park, also known as Punta Sal, to the west, and Punta Izopo to the east.
Punta Sal can only be reached by water and offers pristine beaches, good snorkeling, shorter and longer hikes, and a culinary encounter with the Garífuna culture in the community of Cocalito.
Punta Izopo is best explored by kayak, which offers fascinating views of the mangroves, swamps and lagoons that make up the habitat of the national park. Here there are good opportunities for bird watching of water birds such as herons and kingfishers, and with a little luck you may also see specimens of the Blue Morpho, probably the most magnificent butterfly species of these latitudes.
Afterwards, you can try one of the typical dishes and relax in one of the garifuna villages on the beach.
Tela itself is a rather sleepy little town, its center stretching within a few blocks between the Caribbean Sea, the Río Tela and the tracks of the former banana railroad. Its town beach is less inviting compared to those in the surrounding area.
One of the few good legacies of the banana multinational UFCO can be found in the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, located a few kilometers south of Tela, the second largest botanical garden of tropical flora in the world.