Cruise ship in Roatan, Bay Islands. (PRNewsFoto/CANATURH)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Who has never dreamed of visiting the Caribbean? A must-see destination for lovers of the most beautiful places on the planet, for those who dream of swimming in turquoise seas, surrounded by coral reefs, and getting to know different cultures and countries.
That dream can come true easily thanks to the large number of cruise companies that take millions of people from all over the world to those natural paradises, offering such a variety of destination packages that the tourist's decision comes to be made based on price or those attractive details found in promotional brochures, an often difficult decision because of the truly tempting options over all.
However, if the traveler's decision is complicated, just imagine how it must be for the cruise companies when it comes to selecting a new destination to offer, which begs the question of what additional attractions that new destination should have to attract tourists. It's a question that eliminates many places hoping to be placed on the cruise companies' list of top picks.
But this is not the case with Honduras. This year the country launched its Banana Coast operations, the new cruise ship port located in the port of Trujillo, a place that offers much more than the Caribbean.
Trujillo was chosen for several important reasons. In addition to a series of technical requirements of a safety nature and being able to accommodate the huge post Panamax-class ships that will be arriving, Trujillo's history is one with a global dimension as it is the first place where Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas in 1502; it was the scene of battles between Spaniards and English pirates vying for control of the lands, Santa Barbara fort and its cannons, proof of which can be seen and felt.
Although this is perhaps the first attraction one will experience when getting off the ship, the most spectacular is the fact that Trujillo is one of the few places in the Caribbean where within less than a kilometer a person can go from white sand beaches and turquoise waters to tropical forests located some 1,200 meters away and that are part of the second largest forest in the Americas after the Amazon, an unmatched contrast and doorway to a biodiversity paradise, home to hundreds of bird and plant species in which nature lovers take such delight.
Thanks to these attractions and the satisfactory experiences that the cruise companies have had in Honduras, several cruise lines are scheduled to dock in Trujillo this year bringing with them with an estimated 80,000 passengers, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Silversea Cruises, and P&O Cruises and Oceanic Cruises.
Honduras offers the world three cruise ship ports in the Caribbean, two of them located on the island paradise of Roatan, a trip that millions of tourists enjoy, and with many planning to return to what is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, a natural paradise within the largest reef in the Americas and second largest in the world. It is a place so rich with life that being able to swim is not a prerequisite for experiencing marine life up close as a short walk into the water is all it takes before being greeted by schools of fish. It is an island with an age-old history; it is home to the Mayas, hideout of pirates, and residence of new settlers of African descent, an exquisite combination that entices all alike.
When you think of the Caribbean, your best choice is Honduras -- cruise companies are saying exactly the same.