Diverse Eating Alternatives are Available at the Cangrejal River Valley!
The spectacular Cangrejal River has always been a favourite for locals when it comes to a picnic day. Ceibeños have traditionally preferred swimming in the fresh clear waters of the many rivers that flow down the mountains over the warm salty water of the Caribbean. The Cangrejal River is, and has always been, one of their top choices. Here families can find nice swimming holes, with the challenge of the nearby rapids for those that feel a little more intrepid!
If you are planning on having a picnic in the area, keep in mind that the area is most visited during the dry, hot months, mainly February through June, so you might end up sharing river front space with other persons. The further you drive from town, the better your chances of having a private, personal spot to yourself.
If you decide to eat along the Cangrejal river, we beg you to bring your own trash bag and take your garbage back into town. Trash collection at the river is not very efficient, and only operates once a week, if at that. Leaving your garbage bag neatly tied on the side of the road will only be an invitation for the community dogs, which are always under fed, to tear the bag open and get into whatever edibles you leave behind, the rest of the trash will be scattered throughout the road!
If you prefer to have lunch at a restaurant, there are several great places!
Restaurante La Jungla at Omega Tours.
Located within the Omega Tours Jungle Lodge, at km 9.5 of the main road, this nice, cozy, informal restaurant offers a very affordable menu, including some German specialties, sandwiches and salads. They also have a full service international bar. There is a small pool where guests and clients can swim in the refreshing, mountain spring water that keeps the pool full. Restaurant is open 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. English, German and Spanish are all spoken at Omega Tours.
Restaurante Rio Rafting
This restaurant will require a short walk up the hill, but lo and behold, you will be awestruck with the spectacular view of Pico Bonito National Park. A spacious terrace with a high ceiling offers what is probably the best view in the Cangrejal River Valley. A full service bar and a menu that gives you just enough options to choose your favorite food. The large open area towards the many different fruit trees below provides for a great setting for a relaxed session of bird-watching from the comfort of your chair or chaise lounge. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the restaurant at Hotel Rio Rafting has been closed, so please call in advance to check with them to make sure they are open!
The Rio Vista Bar and Grill
Located at the Villas Pico Bonito complex. This restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve an outstanding burger, great USDA steaks, as well as sandwiches and salads. When deciding where to eat at the Cangrejal river, consider that this setting is the nicest in the area. They offer great river views and direct access to the river. They also have the only infinity pool in the area, which is for the exclusive use of clients. Prices are the highest in the area, but the quality and setting are worth it. English is spoken at the premises. There is a minimum consumption fee per person to enter their premises. This is to keep the crowds from just showing up to make use of the lovely pool. Rio Vista is also a full service bar, where you can enjoy an ice cold beer, a tropical cocktail or your favorite spirited drinks.
El Encanto de Doña Lidia
Located in the community of Las Mangas, between the soccer field and the bridge crossing over the Cangrejal River, this restaurant is open daily from 10:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. and features typical Honduran cuisine. They serve have ice cold beers and a pleasant setting with direct access to the river and a small pool for guests. Prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is very definitely Honduran! El Encanto de Dona Lidia has been closed for some time, but we expect it to re open soon.
Restaurante Coco y Bamboo
Located at the Jungle River Lodge, this restaurant offers an extremely nice, yet informal setting. The menu is very basic, but the bar does offer ice cold beer and rum drinks.. Atmosphere is quite pleasant and informal. This restaurant is frequented by young backpackers who are staying here overnight. This restaurant has been closed since the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic. It is not likely to reopen any time soon.
Cafeteria El Tucan
Sometimes, crisis means opportunity… This new typical restaurant has opened its doors in the middle of the COVID 19 pandemic and fills a much needed gap! Owned by a local rafting and nature tour guide, this nice, open air eatery is in the El Naranjo Village, very close to La Villa de Soledad B&B. If you want an affordable meal with a very local menu, this is a great alternative! The restaurant also has a good access to the Cangrejal River and some of its natural swimming holes. As such, you can enjoy the river and then a local meal while helping out some of the local community. In addition to food, they offer beer, sodas and fresh fruit juices. Service is friendly and they are serious about bio security. Definitely a great addition to the Cangrejal River alternatives! Do remember that you can arrange for a guide for local activities right here! Ask for Darwin, the owner. You might also want to walk across the street and check out some of the locally made souvenirs from local hardwoods. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.