Best Things to Do at Lake Yojoa in Honduras (+Map)

Despite its abundant natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and warm locals, Honduras is the least visited Central American nation. Honduras tends to have a less favourable safety reputation than its neighbouring countries, which, admittedly, had me questioning whether I should follow through with my intended visit.

After spending a few days in a small village called Los Naranjos, nestled alongside the tranquil Lake Yojoa, I had long forgotten my preconceived ideas and doubts about this vibrant country. If anything, I was stunned that this serene nook of the country is often omitted from many travellers’ itineraries, and I’m hoping I can convince you to make some time for it.

Lake Yojoa has plenty of exciting things to do to keep you on your toes for days, but it’s also a pretty fantastic place to unwind a little, and a blend of the two is precisely how I spent my time there!

Throughout this post, I’ll give you a rundown of the top things to do at Lake Yojoa while also including some helpful advice for your visit.

Why Visit Lake Yojoa?

Lake Yojoa Kayak

In a part of the world where spectacular lakes are plentiful and breathtaking scenery is on every corner, you’ll probably be wondering why I consider Lake Yojoa a must-visit.

After my experience in Central America, I found Yojoa to be one of the only lakes in the region that felt peaceful and untouched. As much as I thrive in the hustle and bustle of more populated areas, the laidback atmosphere that encircled the lake was a welcome change after spending a few weeks in hectic cities.

At present, most of the visitors to Lake Yojoa are locals, and there’s just a handful of tourists compared to the buzzing lakes in adjacent countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua. As is often the case, hidden gems like this don’t stay under the radar for too long, so now is the time to explore Lake Yojoa before the secret’s out!

If you’re keen to get off the beaten path without venturing too far into the unknown, this up-and-coming Honduran hotspot might just be for you.

How to Get to Lake Yojoa

Lake Yojoa

While many travellers skip over Honduras, those that do visit usually stick to tried-and-tested destinations like Copan Ruinas or the islands of Utila and Roatan. When visiting as part of a larger trip around Honduras, chances are that you’ll be arriving at Lake Yojoa from one of the above spots.

I started my journey to the lake from the town of Copan Ruinas, the site of the striking Mayan ruins of the same name. Whether you’re also travelling from Copan Ruinas or the islands, you’ll first need to make your way to the main bus station in San Pedro Sula.

This particular city is not generally considered a safe place to visit, but luckily, the bus terminal is located out of the centre and is very much a secure place to transit. Most of the buses that run in northern Honduras operate from here, meaning you’ll need to catch a local bus here first from your origin destination before switching to the route serving Lake Yojoa.

Lake Yojoa

From Copan Ruinas, it’s best to set off early and take the local bus at 6.00 a.m. to San Pedro Sula bus station. After you arrive, head inside and look for the booth selling tickets for El Mochito. These buses typically depart every 30 minutes to Lake Yojoa.

Pro tip: The lake is huge, so ensure you tell the driver where you’re staying so they can tell you where you need to get off.

Rent Kayaks for an Afternoon

Lake Yojoa

If you only do one thing while you’re at Lake Yojoa, it has to be renting a kayak to soak up the scenery from the water. From Los Naranjos, the main lakeside village for visitors, you’ll notice several different companies offering kayaks for rent along the edge of the canal that leads to the lake.

Depending on where you get your kayak from, you can expect to paddle for around 30 minutes to reach the lake from the canal at a leisurely pace. Once I’d gotten to the point where the canal met the lake, I paddled a little further inwards before kicking back and taking in the jaw-dropping vistas of the surrounding mountains.

I hired my kayak for around three hours, and it cost about 100 Lempiras (€3.80), which included a life jacket. Some prices I was quoted were over three times this, so it’s best to ask a few different vendors first before agreeing on a fee to avoid getting overcharged.

Pro tip: There’s little to no shade when you’re out on the lake, so be sure to stock up on sunscreen and water before setting off.

Admire the Powerful Pulhapanzak Waterfall

Pulhapanzak Waterfall

Another unforgettable experience was witnessing the remarkable Pulhapanzak Waterfall in action. It’s easily the most impressive waterfall I have seen in Central America; it’s even believed that these cascading waters were the inspiration behind the waterfall in The Jungle Book!

With water falling from a height of almost 45 metres, Pulhapanzak Waterfall is incredibly powerful, so much so that I could feel the water vapour spraying in my face from the viewing platform.

Pulhapanzak Waterfall

The entire complex is a dream for adventure-seekers, as you have the opportunity to climb under the waterfall and embark on a zipline course. I opted for the former, and it was among the most thrilling activities of my entire trip! However, even if you’re not planning on getting your adrenaline pumping, it’s well worth stopping by to catch sight of the falls.

Getting here from Lake Yojoa is quite straightforward, as you can jump on the El Mochito bus that takes you to Los Naranjos (from the opposite side of the road) and travel back towards San Pedro Sula for around 30 minutes. Again, it’s important to tell the driver where you’re going so they can help you get off at the most convenient stop.

Pro tip: Entry to Pulhapanzak Waterfall is 100 Lempiras (€3.80), and there are additional fees for any extra activities.

Enjoy Some Local Beers at D&D Brewery

D&D Brewery

Lake Yojoa even boasts its own microbrewery in Los Naranjos, and it actually doubles as a hostel and guesthouse.

D&D Brewery was where I stayed during my time at the lake and was the most popular place for both local and international visitors. Even if you’re staying elsewhere, be sure to swing by and try some of the tasty beers brewed right onsite.

D&D Brewery

The team at D&D offer a revolving selection of homemade brews, and their delicious beer flights and craft creations are musts. Those of you who aren’t avid beer drinkers will also have plenty of wine and spirits to choose from if you’re still keen to visit but don’t fancy the likes of ale or lager.

Best of all, D&D is hidden in the shade amongst lush jungle, yet it doesn’t tend to get particularly humid. Because of this, it’s a lovely spot to get some refuge from the sun’s unrelenting heat if you’re here during the dry season!

Sample Honduran Street Food

Honduran Street Food

Whenever I picture street food, I usually conjure up images of lively streets lined with stalls in a sprawling city. As this was the perception I had in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find some delectable street food readily available just a few minutes from the lake.

Having heard about Honduras’ much-loved baleadas on numerous occasions, I jumped at the chance to tuck into some of these stuffed tortilla sandwiches and see what the fuss was about.

Let me tell you, they really did live up to the hype. Filled with meat of your choosing, cheese, refried beans, and sour cream, baleadas quickly became my go-to food for the duration of the trip.

While you’re here, you’ll also find small roadside stalls and casual eateries whipping up pupusas, which are another favourite amongst locals. Consisting of a grilled rice tortilla packed with fillings of your choosing, pupusas are a great alternative when you’ve gone overboard on baleadas, as I ended up doing!

Pro tip: Though it can be daunting if you don’t usually opt for street food, a general rule of thumb is to stick to places where you notice locals eating to find the best dishes.

Getting From Lake Yojoa to Your Next Destination

Getting From Lake Yojoa

Because Honduras receives fewer tourists than most other Central American countries, it can be more challenging than you might expect to get around. Additionally, the country is quite vast, so getting to your next destination can be time-consuming.

My next stop was Leon in Nicaragua, which was upwards of 8 hours from Lake Yojoa, but your journey may be longer or shorter depending on where you’re headed.

In my case, the shuttle I needed to take only ran three days a week, so it’s worth checking out the schedules before arriving to plan your next destination accordingly.

You might find that the bus timetables don’t align with your visit. In that case, you’ll have the option of travelling by public transport, which may require you to head back towards San Pedro Sula first.

Unfortunately, you’ll likely have a lengthy travel day ahead of you to get to most of the tourist hubs. Still, if your journey is especially complicated, it might be worth checking out if you can get a flight from the airport in San Pedro Sula to cut down on some of your travel time.

Pro tip: Many of the shuttles use the local police station in a lakeside town called La Guama as a pick-up point, so you may need to make your way here first by taxi or tuk-tuk.

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