Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge

Cuero y salado Wildlife refuge

The first Wildlife Refuge in the Honduras National Park system came to life in 1987. The area was actually under the control of the Vacaro Brothers Company almost a century before. The land was part of the concessions the Honduras government gave to the Banana Companies. The Vacaro Brothers Company evolved to the Standard Fruit Company over the years. When the 100 year concession expired, they returned part of the land back to the State of Honduras. Thus the refuge came to be.

It was here where the first banana plantations on mainland Honduras were established. Later, the fruit company changed the main crop in this land from banana to coconut. Access to the Refuge is via an old narrow gauge railroad track that built by the banana company.

The Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge gets its name from the Cuero and Salado Rivers. Both rivers flow into the Caribbean Sea. As they do so, they form a large delta with estuaries in the form of canals and lagoons. These are all interconnected, and serve as the perfect habitat for many different species. Although the most iconic animal species in the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge is the Antillean Manatee, there are many others.

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of options for the nature lover. The best way to see the wildlife is using a boat to explore the aquatic trails. You will spot a variety of alligators and crocodiles, sea turtles and with much luck, a manatee. The refuge is a magnificent hot spot for birders. A variety of marine birds call the refuge their home. Depending on the time of the year, you can also see many migratory birds.

Cuero y Salado is the perfect complement to Pico Bonito National Park. Together they are a true birdwatchers paradise. Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge is a short 50 minute ride from La Villa de Soledad. Access is via the town of La Union, where you will take a funky old train. The train is reminiscent of the old banana railroad that transported workers in and out of the farm. An ample visitor’s center with proper toilets is on the opposite end of the railroad line. You will arrive there after a 30 minute ride through cattle farms and coconut groves. 

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