La Tigra National Park



Steve with a Bromeliad


La Tigra National Park is a cloud forest not far from Tegucigalpa. The park encompasses over 238 square kilometers. In 1952 it was declared a protected area and became Honduras' first national park. Within it's boundaries live tapirs, monkeys, ocelots, and jaguars, bromeliads, orchids, and arborescent ferns, and over 200 species of birds including the elusive quetzal. The highest point in the park is 2290 meters.
The "Expedition Vehicle"

The "front" entrance to La Tigra is accessible by car from Tegucigalpa, but the "back" entrance, through Valle de Angeles, San Juancito, and El Rosario to the old El Rosario Mining Company site requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle and some skillful maneuvering.

With the right vehicle, the "back" way is a very interesting trip through the history as well as the countryside of Honduras.
View from La Tigra of El Rosario (front left), San Juancito (middle right), and the river valley (distance).

Old US Embassy building in San Juancito.

Because of the richness of the mines in this area, the towns of San Juancito and El Rosario were very important, if only for a short while. San Juancito was the first town in Honduras to have electricity and the location of the first US Embassy in Honduras. The towns are still inhabited but there is no longer mining in the area. Many of the buildings currently being used for residential and comercial purposes were originally built by El Rosario Mining Company, which was headquartered in New York City.
Hotel and Visitor Center

At the "back" entrance to La Tigra National Park, the former hospital building of El Rosario Mining Company has been converted into a hotel and visitor center run by Amitigra, a non-profit ecological foundation for the preservation of La Tigra cloud forest park.
Calla Lillies growing outside the Visitor Center.










The Visitor Center is at about 1640 meters above sea level and, as John said, "27 miles and 200 years NE of Tegus".

On Sunday, July 9th, John McKennan and Steve and Deborah McCain took John's Land Cruiser to the back side of La Tigra. After signing-in at the Visitor Center they hiked the trail to the old Peņa Blanca mine entrance and beyond it toward the waterfall. The driving time was about 3 hours round trip and the hike also took about 3 hours with lots of stops for picture-taking.

Mouth of the Peņa Blanca mine (center of photo).

Steve & John at the mine mouth.

Steve & John at the mine's old powder magazine.

Bridge over a Hurricane Mitch wash-out.

Steve hacking his way through the jungle with John's genuine, collector's item, Indonesian military parang.