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Puerto Cortes (Cortez) on the North Coast of Honduras

Puerto Cortes is the principal port of Central America, and it's port facilities are the most advanced. Big ships loading and unloading every day of the week. Recent expansion and development at Puerto Barrios in Guatemala will create stiff competition for Puerto Cortes. The new port projects in Guatemala are privately owned and are expected to be more competitive and aggressive than the government run facilities at Puerto Cortes.

Port at Puerto Cortez, from the deck of the Regal Voyager Approaching Puerto Cortez on the Regal Voyager

There is no airport at Puerto Cortes; nearest international airport is San Pedro Sula, about 40km away. Puerto Cortes is a head of the Pan American highway system. Paved highway connections to neighboring Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and all Central American countries. Local bus services will take you anyplace in the area and intercity direct buses run to San Pedro Sula about every 15 minutes.

The town itself has been cleaned up a lot by the current municipal administration and has a very attractive central park. It is a usual commercial center without much attraction for tourists. There are decent hotels and restaurants in the town center, on the municipal beach, and on other nearby beaches. The municipal beach is a big attraction for locals on weekends and holidays.

On the left, is an historial postcard showing a banana boat at the dock in Puerto Cortes in the early 1900's. Lots more of these postcards are for sale at "Postcardman".

The Saturday farmer's market draws big crowds of shoppers, tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats from local producers. We buy most of our vittles there. From Puerto Cortes there is a partially paved road to the west taking you to Chivana, Omoa, Cuyamel, other small ocean side villages, and Guatemala. It's a great drive, mountains on your left and the ocean on your right. There are many beach homes belonging to upper crust folks from other parts of Honduras scattered among the local villages and homes.

View of Puerto Cortez Harbor, north coast of Honduras

Omoa is a small beach town with a protected harbor that has attracted an international community of yachts, backpackers, restaurants, and hotels. Nothing 5-star but quite nice, similar to Tela but smaller and more laid back. Omoa is also the site of the fortress of San Fernando, a large and fairly well preserved fortress built by the Spanish for the defense of the Spanish Main. Omoa is the site of the annual fishing contest.

Cuyamel, located on the Cuyamel peninsula, is the site of the first banana plantation of Central America. Only a few vestiges remain but it's interesting to hike around. The Cuyamel river is a popular place for bathing by locals and there are vast expanses of great beaches. A dirt road to the East takes you to the Garifuna villages of Travesia and Baja Mar.

Puerto Cortes is an OK place for me and my family, close enough to San Pedro Sula for business purposes without the high crime and all the hassles of the big city. We love having the mountains on one hand and the beaches and sea on the other.

R. James, January, 2003

Click here to find more information about Puerto Cortez, Honduras.

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