The coastal city of Trujillo, long a beach retreat for the people of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, has yet to fully recover from the 1998 devastation of Hurricane Mitch. It's not that the place is a mess, but rather that tourists haven't been flocking here. The beaches are now in good shape and the airport has been repaired -- there just aren't any flights. Trujillo seems to have completely missed the rampant progress going on in places like La Ceiba, 165km (103 miles) east, but that might change: The first rumbles of development have begun west of the city, and there's even talk of adding a cruise terminal here -- yet at the rate things are going, any significant change is still a ways off.
Trujillo has borne witness to many of the most significant events in Central American history. On August 14, 1502, Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland here for the first time on his fourth and final voyage. The first Catholic Mass on the continent soon followed. In 1860 the North American William Walker, after having previously taken over Nicaragua with a small army and a failed attempt to invade Costa Rica, took the fort of Trujillo. After 5 days of fighting with British and Honduran forces, however, Walker surrendered and was executed by Honduran authorities. In the early 1800s, Trujillo was one of the first places on the mainland where Garífuna settlers -- after they were dumped on Roatán by the British -- began to build communities. Their influence is strong along the coast of Trujillo Bay to this day.