A while back my sister and I were having a conversation about the hotels we’d stayed at in our lives. Astonishingly, she claims to remember just about every room. For a normal person this might not seem like much, but for someone like my sister, who’s been to some 50+ countries and has spent most of her adult life traveling, it’s quite the feat. As for me, I can make no such claim.
Some I remember and others… well, presumably there would have been a bed and maybe a table or a window. But was there a private bathroom? Or one down the hall maybe? A view? A television? Cockroaches? A butler? Okay, okay. I’ve stayed at lots places with cockroaches but only one place with a butler – that’s not an easy one to forget.
I think I’d like to blame bland hotels rather than a poor memory – so I’m just going to stick with that. Besides, I certainly remember some of the hotels of vacations past… especially the ones that have personality coming out their ears, such as was the case at the Jungle River Lodge in Honduras.
I’ll get to the rest of the details about the Jungle River Lodge in a minute, but first I want to talk about our room.
Our room was fit for a Stone Age queen (not to be confused with Queens of the Stone Age). I don’t mean to make it sound bad, because it wasn’t. It was a bit rustic but the playful décor was charming and it was perfectly fine for the price. And seriously, doesn’t it look like a place that Fred and Wilma would have stayed… you know, on a little getaway outside of Bedrock?
Not all the rooms had the full Flintstone flair. While our friends’ rooms above ours did have some Flintstone-esque touches, it was a far cry from this head (or should I say headboard) to toe look.
First there was the bed, like you see above. Then there was the shower.
Then there was the rest of the bathroom.
Overall the room was pretty cool – and when I say cool I don’t just mean that it was swell, the stone walls did a great job of keeping the heat out during the day.
One downside was that all those rocks make for solid walls that don’t really allow for things like outlets – of which there were none. But I’ll take sturdy screens over outlets any day. Falling asleep to sounds of crickets, cicadas and geckos outside your window always beats not falling asleep while all those critters crawl on the walls and ceiling around you.
Now onward to the rest of the review:
The Jungle River Lodge is about 10 km west of La Ceiba, Honduras. We stayed there in December of 2012. Since we had reservations, one of the employees picked us up in town in the lodge’s jeep. The drive out there was bumpy but scenic. Here’s a glimpse of our journey – also, the video has a bit of a rock-and-roll theme for some reason.
When we got to the lodge we immediately set out rafting down the Cangrejal River. I’m not gonna lie, when they handed out helmets and started going through all the commands that our guide would be shouting out, I got a little nervous. I doubted that a few lazy inner tube floats down the river at home had really prepared me for such an adventure. As it turned out though, I was totally fine and we all had lots of fun. Of course, we did each get thrown from the raft at least once but it was nothing an average swimmer couldn’t handle. Our guide, Darwin, was great and seemed to know that river like the back of his hand.
It was one rapid, The Rodeo, that caused particular mayhem. Courtney and I had flown off one side of the raft which had caused Sam, Andy and our guide to go flying off the back. By the time we all caught our breath, caught our oars and caught our raft we realized Andy had opted to catch his glasses instead of his oar – which he’d chucked into the jungle never to be seen again. Opps.
Back at the lodge we also walked around the jungle, dipped our feet into the rock pools and watched some fireflies at night. The people at the lodge were really cool about us bringing our own food and drinks into the eating area – something which we really appreciated but I could have seen it going either way.
We’d known that it was a long way to any store so we’d packed in some drinks and snacks but for the most part we ate the food they made us. The lodge meals were nothing to really write home about, but they were just fine and they filled us up – which is all you really need.
The final verdict of the Jungle River Lodge is that it was a pretty good time. The river was cool, the jungle was cool, the rafting was cool and the fireflies were cool – especially for us West Coasters who never get to see them.
And while I may not be able to tell you if the hotel we stayed at in Dublin last year had a private bathroom or not, or a TV or not – the room at the Jungle River Lodge is one I won’t be soon forgetting. Partly, of course, because it’s just so darn unique and partly because it’s now on the internet forever in the form of this blog post.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the jungle. Enjoy!