The Honduran Countryside

A Weekend at Caserio Valuz

Many travelers enter Honduras in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Whether it’s the frustration caused at the border or the stories of bad roads and that it’s an unsafe country, most people skip right to Nicaragua. After an opportunity showed up on Couchsurfing, I decided I’d spend the weekend there before going to Nicaragua. Not in the chaotic capital city but out in the beautiful Honduran countryside.

I rode along the Pan American and then took CA-5 north to the small village of Zambrono. Once I passed Tegucigalpa, the capital, the CA-5 turns into a beautiful 4 lane highway.

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When I got to Zambrano I rode along a cobblestone and dirt road for 1.5kms till I arrived at the inn Caserio Valuz.

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Caserio Valuz is a country inn that was designed and built by Jorge. Jorge grew up in the capital city but 13 years ago built this inn out here in the countryside. I didn’t expect a place this nice way out in the middle of nowhere in Honduras. With the leaves changing color on the mountains and the cooler climate it felt like autumn on the east coast.

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The design, materials, and decor make this a truly unique place and one of the most beautiful inns I’ve seen in Central America.

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It’s not just the design that makes Caserio Valuz unique, it’s the attention Jorge gives to the guests. Over the weekend Jorge asked me and the other guest what we wanted to do, see, eat, and drink. We had great conversations while listening to classic records. When we drove around town he only had a few cassette tapes in his car. Not just any cassette tapes but Sade and George Winston. Driving around the countryside listening to George Wintston’s Autumn album was so peaceful. My parents played George Winston a lot during the holidays so I have good memories listening to that album.

Jorge has traveled all over the world but loves the quiet country life here in Honduras. After running a successful restaurant for many years in Tegucigalpa he shut it down and built the inn.

Jorge was the original hipster

Jorge was the original hipster

And I have to agree there’s a lot to love about life out here. He showed us around the area. First by horse then by car.

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This horse gave me so much trouble in the river crossings. At the first crossing he stepped in and then instantly layed down in the shallow muddy water on the bank. I jumped out of the saddle to the river bank. I’ve never had a horse do this. I grabbed the reins and got the horse to stand up so I could get back on. We went a few feet till the middle of the river and he started stomping his front hoofs in the water. The water was already up to my feet and now with the horse splashing around I was soaked. No amount of yaws, kicks, shouts, pulling on the reins would get this horse to move. Jorge and his horse watched from the other side of the river. Eventually the horse decided he had enough and crossed the river. He did the same at the next river. Still, it was an awesome ride through the woods and mountains around Zambrono.

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Driving an hour down a rutted out dirt road to a small farming village.

Driving an hour down a rutted out dirt road to a small farming village.

We visited a nearby remote village where Jorge knows some of the people who live there. They welcomed us into their homes, giving us coffee and tea. We stopped by the home of Israel, who is a coffee farmer and a friend of Jorge’s. He made us a cup of delicious coffee and we sat on his porch as the sun set. Such a simple life he lived there but no doubt a life of hard work. I wanted to ask to take a photo as Israel had this smile and happiness about him. He seemed to love life. It’s easy to see why as I looked out at the view from his front porch of the mountains in the distance.

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We walked from house to house as the sun went down. You could see for miles.

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We stayed at one home for over an hour. The oldest son, Edward, wanted to show us tricks he knew.

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This kid didn’t say a word or a sound for the first 30 minutes we were there. He just watched from behind the chair. The last 30 minutes he laughed and laughed.

These people were so friendly, even with my bad spanish. I kept thinking about what I would have been doing had I just went to Nicaragua and skipped Honduras. Though it was only for two days I learned about cooking, history of Honduras, religion, coffee, flowers, trees, Honduran people, and so much more from Jorge. Plus I have the memory of hanging out with Israel, Edward and the others in the village, sipping tea and fresh roasted coffee.

Thank you, Jorge and Caserio Valuz for showing me the good life in Honduras.

If you’re traveling through Honduras, treat yourself to a few nights at Caserio Valuz Country Inn

Caserio Valuz website: http://caseriovaluz.wordpress.com

Comments

  1. Ken Ford says

    You seem at home on the road….

    Your ether a really big guy, or that was a really small horse.

    I’ve heard that people get multiple copies of there international licence. So they can be handed out like candy to corrupt police. Was that the only licence you have?

  2. Jorge Valle Aguiluz says

    Dear Dan:
    I have just found your blog and the beautiful history and pictures you put on Caserío valuz and your experience here in Zambrano. I have to thank you very much for it, i love it, you have done a great and remarkable gift for me and Caserío Valuz.
    Although we have not been in contact, I have thought of you very much and am very happy that you came and got to know you, I wish you all thre brdst on your trip, perhaps we will meet in Argentina in April-May. A great hug from the heart, dear brother and friend, peace and light and love, Jorge

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