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Ahuas

The Miskito village of Ahuas can be reached by boat from Brus Laguna and Puerto Lempira -- although you could wait weeks for a transfer -- and by Sami Airlines flights from Puerto Lempira. With around 1,500 people, it is the largest town on the Río Patuca and a center of missionary work in the region. The town is set back a kilometer from the river and is made up of a decent medical center, a few churches, and a small guesthouse. Previously, tourists would come here to explore the nearby Tawahka Asangni Reserve, but an airstrip farther upriver in Wampusirpi has mostly put an end to that.

Wampusirpi

Further upriver from Ahuas, Wampusirpi is the center of a few dozen small communities that pride themselves on their handicraft skills, particularly tuno, a type of craft designed from tree bark. While originally Tawahka, Miskitos escaping violence along the border near Puerto Lempira in the 1980s pushed the majority of them out. Apart from the airstrip, one extra rustic guesthouse, a Catholic mission, and a small health clinic, there are absolutely no facilities here. Most arrive by flights and boats from Puerto Lempira and other parts of the region in the hopes of heading farther upriver -- ask in town when the next cargo boat will head to Krausirpi.

Reserva de la Bíosfera del Tawahka Asangni

This isolated 230,000-hectare (568,342-acre) reserve, which borders Nicaragua, Olancho, and the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, was created in 1999 in the hopes of saving the last remaining home of the highly threatened Tawahka indigenous group who number under 1,000 and live in only a handful of communities here along the Patuca and Wampú rivers. They are the last of Honduras's indigenous groups to be contacted by the outside world and still live a life based on subsistence farming, foraging, and hunting. The Tawahka are renowned throughout the country for their long dugout canoes -- hollowed out of single pieces of mahogany -- that can reach as much as 10m (33 ft.) in length. Few people here can read and write; most do speak Twank, their ancestral language, though Miskito terms are becoming more common.

There are a number of 100%-Tawahka communities nearby, including Krautara, Yapuwás, and Kamakasna. Krausirpi, although it has an increasing number of Miskito settlers, is the center of the reserve, and there is a distant hope that ecotourism initiatives, like the Pech have done in Las Marías, will take hold here.

Rafting trips from Catacamas down the Río Patuca will stop here and are the timeliest way of visiting the reserve. The trips may hang around for a few days and take brief tours to caves and archeological sites, and go on hikes in the rainforest. While you cannot reach Krausirpi by air, you can fly into Wampusirpi and cross your fingers there is a cargo boat heading upriver, as they sometimes do.

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.