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  • Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (La Mosquitia): One of the most remote and inaccessible reserves in Central America has preserved the array of diverse creatures better than most. Whether you take a pipante (dugout canoe) to Las Marías or raft here from Olancho, those with good eyes and guides will spot tapirs, jaguars, anteaters, spider monkeys, iguanas, scarlet macaws, harpy eagles, toucans, and much, much more.
  • Lancetilla Botanical Garden (the North Coast): Bird-watchers are in paradise at Lancetilla, a onetime banana research facility founded by William Popenoe of United Fruit in 1925 and now one of the world's largest botanical gardens. More than 350 species of birds frolic in the citrus groves, bamboo groves, and primary forests.
  • Lago de Yojoa (Western Honduras): Two national parks (Santa Bárbara and Cerro Azul Meámbar), with an enormous range of tropical birds, mammals, and plants, sit on both sides of this sparkling lake in the center of the country. The lake itself is rich with wildlife, including several types of toucans, woodpeckers, herons, kingfishers, otters, bats, and lizards.
  • Cuero y Salado Reserve (the North Coast): While not always easy to find, manatees are the main attraction at this mangrove-lined river reserve near La Ceiba. On any given day, though, an early-morning canoe ride will put you in touch with caimans, howler monkeys, kingfishers, and boat-billed herons.
  • Whale sharks off Utila (the Bay Islands): During select months every year, the waters off Utila become ground zero for whale sharks, not to mention whale shark enthusiasts. The deep waters on the north side of the island make it one of the best places in the world to see these bus-sized creatures, a big reason why two whale shark research facilities are located here.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.