In the search for the most beautiful cascades in the world, the Pulhapanzak waterfalls in Honduras might come quite close to the top spot
With a water drop of 43 meters and surrounded by an outstanding natural scenery in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, the Pulhapanzak waterfalls in Honduras are considered one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Central America. I went to Honduras to explore this astonishing wonder of nature and ended up immersing in raw nature like anywhere else.
A waterfall’s unexplained beauty
There is something mesmerizing in seeing or exploring a waterfall anywhere around the globe. No matter if it’s the water tumbling down a mountain at full force in front of your eyes or the arhythmical pounding on the rocks, the fascination for these natural formations has no age or preferences. At the same time, each one of us have probably a favorite waterfall or a waterfall we would like to explore at least once.
Iguacu, Niagara and Victoria Falls are some of the most iconic in the world, while Iceland’s waterfall go sometimes beyond the imagination itself.
A natural gem in plain sight
Visiting the Pulhapanzak waterfalls in Honduras is uncomplicated. There is no secret trek hidden somewhere in the jungle or a 5-hour expedition passing rivers and lakes. Located north of the Yojoa Lake and right next to the highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the accessibility to Pulhapanzak is a good reason to imagine this place as one of the most visited places in Central America. However, Honduras has been considered in the past years a travel destination for only the most adventurous and there is still a taboo in the dangers of visiting this country.
I won’t say Honduras is the safest place to visit, but I would disagree to call Honduras unsafe. I traveled all around the country for 5 days and the only frightens I got were losing control of my kayak on a rapid or zip lining above the Pulhapanzak waterfalls for first time. Just like in any other volatile country around the world, there are always some dangers involved if you are independently exploring, but being properly informed is the best way to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
This means, Pulhapanzak has the easy access, outstanding beauty and adventure feeling travelers usually look for, but also the isolation and calm you would never expect from a place like this. Beside a couple of local tourists, I was basically the only person exploring the waterfalls (all of this during the pre-corona times).
The national government is also putting some effort in promoting Pulhapanzak on an international level. There is an eco-park protecting the natural beauty around the area, but there are also camping spots for those looking forward to spending more time in Pulhapanzak. Furthermore, the eco-park offers several outdoor activities like cave exploring, zip lining and tubing.
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Feeling the raw nature of Pulhapanzak
Standing in front of a 43 meter waterfall drop for the very first time is quite intimidating. The wind blows so strong that you can barely breath, water drops splash constantly in your face and the thundering sound of the water pounding the rock can’t let you hear what everyone around you is saying.
Pulhapanzak takes this whole experience to a new level. What it first starts as a 3 meter jump into a natural pool in front of the main drop is just the beginning of the rawest adventure I had in Central America: crossing the base of a 43 meter waterfall.
This was not a normal walk to the base of the waterfall and then wandering behind the sheets of water flowing from above. This adventure was feeling thousands of liters of water falling on your back, being barely able to open the eyes and only rely yourself on holding the hand of the person in front of you.
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Climbing boulders, traversing smaller water drops and jumping into deep natural pools was part of the experience. And while I was waiting for the moment I could just look up and try to see the sky from the base of this powerful fall, that moment never came up.
This is an adventure you can’t do by yourself, but hiring a local guide is not an issue. The eco-park has several trained official guides offering tours starting 15 EUR.
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Seeing one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world from below is quite a unique experience, but feeling the force and energy of the waterfall on the body is something that simply left me speechless. It is a sensation everyone should feel at least once in a lifetime.