Occupying the northeast corner of Honduras is the remote and undeveloped expanse of La Mosquitia (often spelt “Moskitia”). Bounded to the west by the mountain ranges of the Río Plátano and Colón, with the Río Coco forming the border with Nicaragua to the south, this vast region comprises almost a fifth of Honduras’s territory. With just two peripheral roads and a tiny population divided among a few far-flung towns and villages, entering La Mosquitia really does mean leaving the beaten track. There are few phones in the region, and all accommodation is extremely basic, often without electricity and with latrine-style toilets. Food is usually limited to rice, beans and the catch of the day, so if you’re making an independent trek, bring enough food with you for your party and guides. Getting around requires a spirit of adventure, but the effort is well rewarded.
To the surprise of many who come here expecting to have to hack their way through jungle, much of La Mosquitia is composed of marshy coastal wetlands and flat savanna. The small communities of Palacios and Brus Laguna are access points for the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, the most famous of five separate reserves in the area, set up to protect one of the finest remaining stretches of virgin tropical rainforest in Central America. Puerto Lempira, to the east, is the regional capital.
The largest ethnic group inhabiting La Mosquitia is the Miskitos, numbering around 30,000, who spoke a unique form of English until as recently as a few generations ago. There are much smaller communities of Pech, who number around 2500, and Tawahka (Sumu), of whom there are under a thousand, living around the Río Patuca.