Beyond Comayagua, the highway descends from the mountains and the air becomes appreciably warmer. Some 67km north of Comayagua sits the spectacular, sparkling blue LAGO DE YOJOA, a natural lake approximately 17km long and 9km wide. Its reed-fringed waters, sloping away to a gentle patchwork of woods, pastures and coffee plantations, are overlooked by the mountains of Cerro Azul Meámbar to the east and Santa Bárbara to the north and west. Both of these contain small but pristine stretches of cloudforest and are protected as national parks. The bowl of the lake is a microclimate and attracts more than four hundred species of bird, one of the highest concentrations in the country.
During the week, the waters – and surrounding hotels – are virtually empty, making this a supremely relaxing place for a couple of days of rowing, birdwatching and general outdoor exploring. However, at weekends the lake is a favourite with middle-class hondureños, and the peace can be shattered by the crowds and the buzz of jet skis.
The area around Lago de Yojoa offers some of the most adventurous activities of the region: you can hike through the cloudforests of the national parks, get wet crawling behind a 43m waterfall, explore some dark and mysterious caves or get up close to the local wildlife (see Nature tours of Lago de Yojoa).