La Ceiba can trace its name to 1872 when an early settler, Manuel Hernandez, built his small shack under a Ceiba tree near the city’s old docks. Over time, more and more people from the region settled in La Ceiba, attracted by the cultivation of bananas, and it was declared a municipality in 1877.
La Ceiba soon became the center of Honduran pineapple and banana production, and began to attract large North American businesses such as Standard Fruit Company in the late 19th century. The investment of these companies spurred much of the early growth in La Ceiba, and led to it becoming home to the first bilingual school in the nation, as well as the location of Cerveceria Hondureña, the national brewing company and holder of the Coca-Cola license in Honduras.
La Ceiba features a tropical rainforest climate that’s pleasantly warm all year long. Average high temperatures exceed 80 degrees, with lows rarely dropping below the mid-sixties. The most significant rainfall in La Ceiba usually occurs from October through February.
Many public schools are located in La Ceiba, including Escuela Francisco Morazán and Instituto Manuel Bonilla, the city’s largest public high school with over 5,000 students. La Ceiba is also home to many private and bilingual schools, including Mazapan School, the oldest bilingual school in the nation. Higher education is available at the public Centro Universitario Regional del Litoral Atlántico and private universities such as Univerisidad Tecnologica de Honduras and Universidad Catolica de Honduras.
La Ceiba’s healthcare needs are met by Hospital y Clinicas Vicente D'Antoni. In operation since 1924, the hospital features 37 rooms, X-ray services, and a laboratory, pharmacy and ambulance heliport.
With its proximity to a variety of parks, beaches and active nightlife, La Ceiba has long been known as the tourism capital of Honduras. The city’s most visible landmark is Pico Bonito, a national park that’s part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and a popular area for eco-tourism.
On the eastern edge of La Ceiba is the Cangrejal River, one of the few waterways in the region that offers Class III-IV whitewater river rafting and canoeing.
La Ceiba plays host to numerous celebrations and festivals throughout the year. Holy Week, which leads up to the Easter holiday, is very popular with tourists. However, the city’s biggest event by far is the week leading up to Gran Carnaval Internacional de La Ceiba, a celebration of its patron saint St. Isidore, which occurs on the third Saturday in May. During this the time the city is full of neighborhood celebrations, all of which lead up to a raucous parade on Saturday down Avenida San Isidro, the city's main thoroughfare. After the parade, locals and tourists alike celebrate together on the road with a variety of food, drinks and souvenirs.
There's much to see and do in La Ceiba, Honduras. If you're looking for an oceanfront home, furnished villa, resort property or quiet mountain getaway, contact our United Country office today and let us help you find your freedom in Honduras.