Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve – UNESCO Heritage of Honduras



One of the few remains of a tropical rainforest in Central America and has an abundant and varied plant and wildlife. In its mountainous landscape sloping down to the Caribbean coast, over 2,000 indigenous people have preserved their traditional way of life. The property protects the entire watershed of the Río Plátano all the way from the headwaters in the mountains to the river mouth on the Caribbean Coast. In 1982, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.


Located in the Mosquitia region of Northeastern Honduras.

About Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

1. Recognised as a nature conservation gem, the property also harbours notable archaeological and cultural values, with numerous Pre-Columbian sites and petroglyphs, as well as the living cultures of the various local and indigenous communities.

2. Besides the remarkable dense rainforests in the mountains, there is a highly diverse array of distinct ecosystems in the coastal lowlands, including wetlands, savannah and coastal lagoons.

3. The property boasts an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems and species. For example, 586 species of vascular plants have been reported in the low lands of the reserve. The over 721 species of vertebrates comprise more than half of all mammals known to occur in Honduras and include the critically endangered Mexican Spider Monkey, the endangered Central American Tapir, the vulnerable Giant Anteater and West Indian Manatee, as well as the near-threatened Jaguar and White-lipped Peccary. The endangered Great Green Macaw, the vulnerable Great Curassow and the near-threatened Guiana Crested Eagle and harpy eagle stand out among the impressive 411 documented species of birds.

4. The natural beauty of Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve is a function of the variety of the terrain and landscape types and features. The property comprises two main geomorphological areas. These are the steep mountain range harbouring the headwaters of Río Plátano and the flat to undulating coastal plains.

5. The Plátano River is a major landscape feature and corridor connecting all the landscape elements from the rugged mountains to the coastal plains. Granting a conservation status to the entire watershed from the headwaters to the river mouth is an ideal set-up from a conservation perspective.

6. Hiking on this trail will take you through the middle of a tropical forest, which makes for a breathtaking experience. Rafting is also another popular activity offered in this locale.

Best Time to visit

The dry season along the Caribbean coast lasts from February to June which is generally the best time to visit, with the coolest time of the year being the months from November to February. When the rains come they are usually in short bursts, heaviest between August and December. Inland it can rain all year round.


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