On may the 3rd 1524, Captain Cristobal de Olid, from the famous Hernan Cortez army, anchored its 6 caravelles in this part of the hondurian coast to find fresh water. This protected coast appealed to him and he decided to create the first municipality of Honduras by the name of Triunfo de la Cruz (the phonetic contraction was T la, that became Tela).
Two centuries later, african people, running from west indies island of St Vincent decided to settle on the coasts of Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua. They were named Garifuna. These people have kept their african habits : tradition, language, dance, agricultural and fishing activities. They founded in Honduras the typical villages on the sea front in the bay of Tela like Miami between the laguna and the ocean, Tornabe, San Juan, La Ensenada, Triunfo de la Cruz where you can enjoy some delicious specialities of seafood garifuna spicy cook as conchs, ceviches, shrimps, lobsters…and may be learn to dance « the punta » one of the national folkloric dance in Honduras.
In 1821, national heroe, the indian Lempira fought bravely for the independance of Honduras against Spain and gave his name to the national currency : the LEMPIRA.
It’s in the beginning of the XXth century that Tela has known an important economic development with the banana company : the Standard Fruit Company till the year 1976 and transformed it in the third prosperous town of Honduras. You still can see signs of the expansion of Tela ; the pier now distroyed, the administrative building Art Deco style on sea front, the Railway Station and warehouse wich will soon become the Historical and Cultural Center of Tela, and headquarter of the Company now tranformed into an elegant Resort.
It was, in this prosperous days that the Hotel Gran Central was built to welcome travellers coming by train every day.
It was really by accident that we discovered the Hotel Gran Central, long ago abandoned. Seduced by its colonial style, we finally decided to purchase and totaly restaure it keeping all that made its character. What makes the Gran Central’s particularity, is not only its colonial architecture or large and spacious rooms, but also the special care brought to its guests and desire to out put the attractive side of Tela, telling about its story, being more than simple hotelkeepers, trying to make the traveller landing on an unknown country at ease to fully enjoy his stay and bring back with him an unforgettable memory that will give him an urgent need to come back… because Tela Bay is not only sea and sandy beaches, 300 days of sun, but also 3 National Protected Parks : Park Punta Sal Jeannette Kawas, Park Punta izopo, and the famous 2nd Botanic Garden in the world, the Lancetilla park for its variety of trees and birds . Those Parks are the ideal place for eco-tourism and bird watching in Honduras.
Tela is also a central place for tourists to visit Honduras : 90 km of the International Airport of San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba, 4 hours of archeological Maya site of Copan and the historical hispanic towns : Gracias, La Esperanza, Comayagua situated in the center of the country.
In the mountain you can enjoy one of the best coffee of Central America as well as the famous cigars of Santa Rosa and Danli…Honduras has also its ladies tabacco leaf rollers.
Honduras is also the Pico Bonito 2,300m high (but sorry no skying), a preserved rain forest, a volcanic lake (lake Yojoa), breath taking waterfalls (Pulhapanzac waterfalls), coral reefs islands (Cayos Cochinos) for diving with the dolphins, a real paradise to be discovered !!
Hondurian people are very friendly, joyfull and proud to welcome you and you will return from your journey in Honduras with the memory of a splendid and authentic country out of the beaten tracks.
See you soon.