Updated: Jan 23, 2022
This magnificent 43m waterfall on the Río Lindo is 17km north of Lago de Yojoa (and also an easy day trip from San Pedro Sula). Surrounded by lush forest, it's a privately run beauty spot where guides will lead you along a fun, challenging path behind the waterfall.
Now, it’s the next adventure that left us realizing the extremeness of anything labeled ‘extreme’ in Honduras. We had the entire morning at Pulhpanzak and there were a range of activities to choose from: ziplining (check!), tubing in the river (about three hours including drive time), and the behind-the-waterfall tour. People had talked about the latter and we were intrigued. We can go behind the waterfall? Sign me up!
Pulhapanzak is a beautiful waterfall which is kind of lost in the middle of nowhere. It is the most famous waterfall in Honduras, and the biggest as well, dropping about 140 feet. As for reference, the worldwide famous Niagara Falls drop about 170 feet, so Pulhapanzak is only 30 feet shorter in height, so you can bet it is an impressive waterfall alright. As for the width Pulhapanzak is not even close to Niagara Falls, the impressive feeling is only about the height.
Pulhapanzak is a name that comes from ancient native languages, some people say it´s a voice from Mayan language, some others say it´s from Nahuatl language. Anyway, the most accepted version is that Pulhapanzak comes from a Nahuatl expression which means "Rebalse del Río Blanco", in english it would be like "Overflow of White River". Rio Blanco or White River is a very known river in the region.
When you go to Pulhapanzak you can actually go very close to the waterfall. You can admire the beauty of the waterfall from a certain distance and that is what most people and visitors do, but you can also get into the waterfall if you dare, not many people have the guts to do it because it´s kind of scary. And how is that?. There are some walking trails that go very near to the waterfall, in one of those trails you can actually get into the waterfall and behind the falling water, you can feel the water almost all over your body and you can get into some small caves behind the falling water.
Be aware it´s not that easy to walk into that area, you need to have a guide with you and a lot of guts, there are some safety precautions to account for, it´s not like you want to go and just do it, not at all. But if you are an extreme sports fan, you should do it, I'm sure it is an incredible feeling. I've never done it myself, but I´m thinking maybe next time I go there I'll do it so I can talk about it with my own experience and not for other people´s experience.
Some other people take a swim very near to the base of the waterfall, you should be careful though, you don´t want a 140 feet waterfall hitting right into your head. Some other visitors also take a canopy trip very near the waterfall, which is glidding with a rope and going all the way hanging in the air in front of the waterfall almost at the top. I'll pass on this last one, I don´t have any intentions to do something like that, at least not on this life, but I guess many people like to take some risks. Well, that´s their choice.