Nagano, New Zealand
July 11, 2001
It was not devastated as badly by Hurricane Mitch as other parts of Honduras were. Tela is located less than 90 km east of San Pedro Sula's International Airport, and connected by an excellent paved highway.
Tela is very easily reached from San Pedro Sula. If you are driving your own car, the driving time is under one hour from San Pedro Sula. If you are taking the public bus, make sure that you take one of the direct non stop buses to La Ceiba, and let the driver know you wish to get off at the entrance to Tela. From this point, you can easily catch a taxi to take you to the centre of town where you can find a variety of hotels. If you don't take a non-stop bus then you will need to get a bus to El Progreso (direct is best) and then change to a Tela bus. The Tela buses are very slow and stop as often as there are passengers needing to get on and off. You should pay when the conductor goes around the bus.
Tela is located within the department of Atlantida, of which La Ceiba, located 100 km. east is the capital. Tela has become famous for its beaches, however, there is much more to Tela than beaches. The home base for the Tela Railroad Company for many years, owners and producers of the famed Chiquita bananas, Tela retains the air of a true banana town. The Villas Telamar hotel complex was actually the living quarters to many the executives of the banana company. The Lancetilla Gardens is but one of the many assets left behind by the company that has since moved its quarters to La Lima, just outside of San Pedro Sula.
It is very easy to get around town, as it is quite small. Locals use bicycles as the preferred mode of transportation. The roads mainly run on a east/west north/south pattern so it is easy to navigate your way around. The Calle de Comercio is the main shopping street. The Bulevar is a large street running along a stretch of the beach.
The best part of the beach is located where the Hotel Villas Telamar is (at the end of the Bulevar on the far side of the pier). I lived in a house (see pic) that overlooked the beach.
The garifuna people have many villages around Tela.
It is possible to visit them on an Eco-Tour which can be arranged in Tela. If you want to go to the vilages alone you may do so but you probably won't have much interaction with the locals. An easy one to reach is Triunfo de la Cruz at La Ensenada at the eastern end of the beach (about 30 mins walk).
From journal Living in Honduras