Rio Patuca: The Last Authentic Frontier

Travel information from Palestina Patuca to Wampusirpi

The route

patucaThe settlements along the river in Olancho district are the following:

  • Palestina
  • Cuyamel
  • Tiburo
  • Argaiti
  • Valencia
  • Gavila
  • Kuhmako

From here, it is Tawakha territory:

  • Wasparasni
  • Parawas
  • Cuncunwas
  • Camacas
  • Japuawas
  • Krautara
  • Krausirpi

Downriver Krausirpi, the ethnicity of the villages is Miskito:

  • Panzana
  • Pimienta
  • Buena vista
  • Arena Blanca
  • Nueva Esperanza
  • Tukrun
  • Khurpa
  • Ahuastingi
  • Bodega
  • Raja
  • Wampusirpi

There are several more settlements after this, but transportation gets more expensive and difficult.

patucaThe easiest and cheapest way to reach the upper part of Rio Patuca is by bus. From Tegucigalpa, take a direct line to Juticalpa (60 L), from here take the next leg to Palestina (80 L), starting at 8 am and 1 pm. If you start early from the capital, you may arrive to Palestina in the early evening. From Palestina, take a local bus to the river port (20 L), and take a pipante (long-boat) downriver (2 – 2,5 days) with an overnight stop at a local “hotel” (50 L). This will usually take you all the way to Wampusirpi, where you will have to rent another transport to the coast.

For this we recommend Luis Castro, an honest, kind local who makes the trip twice a week from Palestina to Wampu, stocking his stores along the way. Be advised though, this is a commercial boat, so don’t expect to stop whenever you like. Also, during dry season river traffic may stop altogether, except for small, private pipantes selling the trip to foreigners at exorbitant prices. Also, there may be frequent stops where you have to get out and help push the pipante over sand bars, help carry equipment for locals, wait patiently until the helmsman shoots an alligator or iguana, or walk a few kilometers while the boat navigates some rough rapids. Basic Spanish, good humor and a positive attitude are essential!