Stark, sun-baked coastal plains stretch south from Tegucigalpa all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Though a world away from the clean air and gentle climate of the highlands, this region is nonetheless beautiful in its own right, defined by a dazzling light and ferociously high temperatures. Traditionally a poor region, it’s also a little-visited one, with the foreigners who do pass through usually in transit to Nicaragua or El Salvador. If you’re really looking to get off the gringo trail, this is the place to do it.

The chief attraction in the area – and well worth a visit – is Isla El Tigre, a volcanic island set in the calm waters of the Golfo de Fonseca, while the colonial city of Choluteca offers a change of pace from the frenzy of the capital and makes a convenient stopover en route to Nicaragua.

The main transport junction in this part of the country is the village of Jícaro Galán, at the intersection of Highway CA-5 and the Carretera Panamericana, some 70km south of Tegucigalpa. Buses stop here to exchange passengers before continuing west to the border with El Salvador at El Amatillo, 42km away, or east to Nicaragua.

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