Hidden Gems,  Honduras,  North America,  Travel

Pulhapanzak Waterfall Honduras: The ULTIMATE guide [2024]

When you’re travelling in Central America, a lot of people will tell you to skip Honduras. Most people who visit this overlooked Central American country stick to the Caribbean Bay Islands, or visit the Mayan ruins of Copan on a day trip from neighbouring Guatemala. You can do that, but you’ll be missing out on the insane Pulhapanzak waterfall hike.

Well, I say ‘hike’. But on this tour, you won’t just be viewing the waterfalls. You’ll be literally diving headfirst into them. It’s definitely not the safest activity out there (maybe tell your parents about it afterwards!) but that’s where all the fun is, right? Keep reading for the ultimate guide to Pulhapanzak Waterfalls, Honduras


Pulhapanzak Waterfalls are the largest waterfalls in Honduras, a country that is often-overlooked in favour of ‘safer’ neighbouring Central American destinations

With water cascading from a height of 43 metres (140 feet), Pulhapanzak doesn’t sound like much. There are certainly taller and wider waterfalls in the world. Is it even worth going? Well, I can guarantee that a visit to Pulhapanzak Waterfalls will be a much more memorable trip than most other waterfall viewing tours

Why, you ask?

Because you won’t just be viewing the waterfalls from a nice bridge or viewpoint. You’ll actually be going underneath them.

Here, we’ll share our ultimate guide to Pulhapanzak Waterfalls including; what to expect on the waterfall tour, what else in the are is a must-do, and all the logistics!

Short on time? Jump to:

Pulhapanzak Waterfall surrounded by lush greenery

Pulhapanzak Waterfall from the viewpoint


Just a few hours from both San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, you’ll find Cataratas de Pulhapanzak – often shorted to just Pulha, or Las Cascadas. The waterfalls are a short bus ride away from Lago Yojoa, the largest lake in Honduras (also worth a visit!)

The area around Lago Yojoa is one of Honduras’ most popular backpacker spots, but that doesn’t mean it’s busy! Many backpackers still choose to skip Honduras due to its reputation as a dangerous country with high rates of violent crime

We were skeptical too, but we had a great time there! It’s pretty cheap and there’s tons to do. The coffee is excellent and the locals are super friendly and authentic. What’s not to love? 

You won’t find many travellers outside of the Bay Islands of Utila and Roatan. But, if you make the journey to the mainland, you’ll be rewarded with lush green valleys, hills covered with coffee plantations, adventure activities, low prices, and friendly folks. 

Yes, Honduras has a bad reputation. But outside of the big cities, San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, it’s actually not much more dangerous than any of the other Central American countries you’ll visit on your travels! Give the ‘bad boy’ of Central America a chance, and you may be pleasantly surprised!

Is Honduras actually dangerous? (coming soon)


The entrance fee to the Pulhapanzak Waterfall park is a pretty reasonable 80 Lempira ($3.2 USD, £2.5 GBP). This gives you access to the park, but not any additional adventure activities.

It’s an extra 450 Lempira ($18 USD, £15 GBP) for the waterfall tour. Apparently, if you’re staying at D&D Brewery Hostel (more on that later), you get a discount of 50 Lempira. We asked, but we’d forgotten to ask D&D Hostel for the special card you apparently need to bring! 

We still really recommend visiting the site, even if you don’t want to go underneath the waterfall itself! The waterfall viewpoint is beautiful and you can swim in the crystal clear and refreshingly cool pools further up the river. It’s also the perfect place for a picnic, and they sell ice cream! 

Pulhapanzak Waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. Two swimmers bathe in a pool

Relaxing in the first natural pool before the waterfall tour


The waterfalls are open every day from 7 am to 6 pm. The activities run a couple of times a day at set times. We had to wait an hour before our tour, which wasn’t the end of the world. 

We recommend booking the tour at the office as soon as you arrive at Pulha. Then, if you have time, you can relax by the natural pools, read a book, or grab something to eat depending on how you feel. 


Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for – what to expect at the Pulhapanzak Waterfall Tour.

We’d been recommended the Pulhapanzak waterfall tour by another traveller, but no one had really explained how intense it was going to be! Having read the Google reviews, I was under the impression that we’d be walking between a break in the waterfall to clamber about in the caves behind. Maybe we’d get a bit damp from the mist. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  

I’d thought about taking my phone in a waterproof neck pouch to take photos, but after said pouch failed me in Panama, I left it safely locked in the office with the rest of my things. And let me tell you, I was so glad I did. As other travellers have mentioned: take anything other than a Go Pro and it won’t make it out alive. As for getting a bit wet? Let’s just say, it was a good thing I wore my swimsuit. 

That said, the behind the waterfall tour was an absolutely amazing once in a lifetime trip. It’s fun, exhilarating and will leave you feeling pumped for the rest of the day, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! It’s important to know what to expect, so keep reading to make sure you’re prepared for your Pulhapanzak waterfall tour.


Before the tour you’ll be kitted out with a life jacket and bicycle helmet (yes, seriously). You’ll also have to sign a waiver to accept responsibility for any personal accidents. This just means that if you get injured, you can’t blame the tour guide.

Then, you’ll head down to the Pulhapanzak Waterfalls Viewpoint. Once you get to the viewpoint, you’ll go through a locked gate. As you get closer to the waterfall you’ll be able to feel a light sprinkling of mist on your face and a sense of exhilaration in the air.

Now the real fun begins! 

Alice is underneath Pulhapanzak Waterfall wearing a life jacket and helmet. You can't see anything because of the mist.

Mid-way through the Pulhapanzak Waterfall tour


The tour starts with a small three-metre jump into a natural pool in front of the waterfall. This is just the beginning; a ‘practice jump’ for the craziest adventure you’ll have in Central America.

After everyone’s used to the water, you’ll begin clambering over boulders, and jumping into a series of pools until you’re standing right in front of Pulhapanzak Waterfall. The wind coming off it is so strong that you can barely breathe. Mist blows across your face, and the thundering sound of the water pounding the rocks drowns out the voices of your guide and travel buddies. It’s just you, the water, and the moment.

This is where it gets a bit technical.

One by one, you’ll head under the waterfall. Holding onto a rope, you’ll traverse through a series of caves behind Pulhapanzak, until it’s time to climb upwards. Using the rope and the steps carved into the rocks, you will slowly guide yourself up through the waterfall.

This is the most intense part. The thousands of litres of water pummelling your back feel like a massage. You’ll need to keep your head down, and you’ll be barely able to open your eyes because of all the spray. But eventually, you’ll make it to another small cave where you can sit and watch sheets of water fall between you, sheltering your group from the rest of the world.

Then, if you’re lucky and if conditions are safe, your guide will let you jump the 8 metre (25 feet) off the waterfall into the rainbow mist, to land in a pool below. 

After that, you’ll jump and scramble your way back to the start point, pumped full of adrenaline and ready for another go!



Wear sturdy shoes. We brought the Tropicfeel travel trainers, and although the quality wasn’t amazing, they were great for all of our watery adventures in Central America. Flip flops or Crocs won’t be good enough. In fact, we’d even hesitate to recommend wearing securable outdoor sandals, like Tevas. You’ll want something to cover your toes. 


Bring a swimsuit to wear underneath your clothes, and bring a full change of clothes and shoes. It’s impossible to do this tour without getting absolutely soaked. You’ll definitely want to get changed into something dry once you’re done. 


Leave your phone behind. Anything other than a GoPro (or similar) will likely get destroyed. And make sure whatever you bring can be secured to your body. You’ll need both hands free to climb. We tied our GoPro securely to a life jacket. 


If you’re staying at D&D, don’t forget to ask for a card before you set off for your day. You can get a few discounts on activities at Pulha! It’s not much, but every little helps when you’re on a budget.

Alice is underneath Pulhapanzak Waterfall wearing a life jacket and helmet. You can't see anything because of the mist.

The highest point of the Pulhapanzak Waterfall tour


It’s important to remember that the Pulhapanzak Waterfall tour is in Honduras. The definition of safety in Honduras (and most Central American countries outside of Panama and Costa Rica) is a little loose. It’s definitely not comparable to safety standards in Europe or the USA.

In fact, I doubt an activity like this would even be allowed in more developed countries. But that’s all part of the fun! Just maybe wait until afterwards to tell your parents…

There are no harnesses and no barriers to keep you from being washed away with the current if you fall. If you slipped badly, you could seriously hurt yourself. It’s pretty common to get a few small cuts and bruises as you climb, but you’ll be having so much fun, you might not even notice. 

The Pulhapanzak waterfall tour is definitely not for the faint hearted. But if you’re slow, careful, somewhat sensible, and listen closely to your guide, you’ll come away feeling elated and exhilarated without serious injury. 


There are tons of other activities to enjoy at Cataratas Pulhapanzak, including ziplines, river tubing, swimming, and more. If you’re going for the waterfall tour anyway, why not pack a picnic and make a day of it?


Seven zip lines run back and forth above the waterfall and river. Strap yourself in and get ready to soar directly over the river and the main body of the waterfall. Not just once, but seven times! 

This is a much tamer experience than it sounds, and definitely less intense than the waterfall tour. It still looked like a lot of fun though. You can zipline in most Central American countries, but this is one of the only ones we found where you can zipline over a waterfall. It’s also comparatively cheaper than other Central American zip lining experiences, so if your budget wouldn’t stretch to ziplining in Costa Rica (ours wouldn’t!), Pulhapanzak is a great alternative.

Cost: 600 Lempira | $25 USD | £20 GBP


This is a relatively new activity at Pulhapanzak Waterfalls. It’s probably the tamest adventure activity on offer. Jump into a rubber tyre and float gently along the surface of the river over some small rapids toward the waterfall. Don’t worry, you’ll get out way before the water goes over the edge!

Life jackets and rubber rings are provided, so all you need to bring is your swimsuit and a thirst for adventure. 

Cost: 500 Lempira | $25 USD | £20 GBP


You can’t access the pool at the bottom of Pulpahanzak Waterfall unless you’re taking the official behind-the-waterfall tour. But there’s a protected swimming area with several beautiful clear blue pools in the area above the waterfall. 

Whilst there are no ropes or barriers in place to stop you, the drop around the waterfall is clearly marked. There are tons of pools to choose from, so take your pick and jump in to escape the Honduran heat. Just don’t get too close to the edge!

Cost: Included in your entrance ticket


Not up for the adrenaline-pumping tour behind the waterfalls? Don’t skip them completely! Although you can’t stand at the very bottom without a tour, you can still get up close for an excellent view of Pulhapanzak Waterfall in Honduras. 

Follow signs for ‘Hacia el Mirador’ until you reach a set of steep steps. They’re near to the ‘PULHA’ letters, a popular photo spot with the waterfall in the background. These steps will take you down to a viewing platform opposite the falls which overlooks the river. 

Wear sturdy shoes as the spray makes the ground slippery and sometimes a little muddy too. Trainers or hiking sandals will be fine, maybe skip the flip flops. 

Top tip: the best viewing areas of Pulhapanzak Waterfall are from the walkway on your way down! Here, you’ll be able to get a good view without all the bushes blocking your photo. 

Cost: Included in your entrance ticket


The Pulhapanzak waterfall tour might be for ages 14+ but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this site with younger kids. 

For children and children-at-heart (aka, us!), there’s a small play area with a ropes course. Families can enjoy the tubing, swimming, and older children might enjoy the ziplining. 

There are also tons of picnic benches for you to refuel, and a couple of small shops on-site selling souvenirs, light snacks and most importantly, ice cream!

Cost: Included in your entrance ticket. Food prices vary. 

Alice is jumping into Pulhapanzak Waterfall pools

The jump at the end of the waterfall tour!


Visiting the Pulhapanzak waterfalls in Honduras is easy. With the site located north of the Yojoa Lake and right next to the highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, is a wonder more tourists don’t make it out here. We were the only non-Hondurans there when we went on the weekend!


From San Pedro Sula, take the ‘El Machito’ bus from the main terminal heading towards Lake Yojoa (Los Naranjos). The journey takes around an hour.

Ask for Pulhapanzak, or ‘Las Cascadas’ if you’re worried about your pronunciation. The driver should stop, but if not, get off at San Buenaventura. There’s a HUGE sign that points to Pulhapanzak down a village track – you can’t miss it! From there, it’s a 10-minute walk down said village track. 

There isn’t a set fare for the bus. It cost us 50 Lempira ($2.50 USD) to get between San Pedro Sula and Los Naranjos. If they try and charge you more than 50 Lempira to get to Pulhapanzak, which is closer than Los Naranjos, I’d be prepared to haggle. As always, you should ask a local, or check the price before you hand over your money.

Top tip: If you need to get back to San Pedro Sula, the last bus from Pulhapanzak leaves around 4pm! Make sure you’re at the bus stop early, as chicken buses tend to run to their own schedule. 


If you’re planning to visit Lago Yojoa for a few days, D&D Bewery in Los Naranjos is the place to be. To get to Pulhapanzak from D&D Brewery, you’ll need to hop back on the chicken bus towards San Pedro Sula. This will probably be the same bus you used to get to Lago Yojoa, just on the opposite side of the road!

The buses usually come around every 30 minutes. But since they’re chicken buses, they arrive when they arrive. There’s no way of predicting the schedule, but you probably won’t have to wait very long.

The journey is around 30 minutes and shouldn’t cost more than 30 Lempira ($1.50 USD). Hondurans seemed very honest when charging us on the chicken buses, more so than other Central American Countries. But be prepared to haggle if you feel you’re being ripped off. 


Calling all beer lovers! D&D Brewery is an independent craft beer brewery on the edge of the jungle that’s also a hostel. Here, you can explore the untouched, spectacular, and very safe area around Lago Yojoa. 

Straddling the borders of two national parks, D&D Brewery was the best place we stayed in Honduras. The hostel, a series of cabins in the jungle, is modern and spotlessly clean. It’s super social too – there’s a campfire every night where you can relax after a day of adventuring, craft beer in hand.

The area around D&D is loaded with nature and adventure. It’s within walking distance of Lago Yojoa, Honduras’ largest lake. There are ancient ruins that predate the Mayans, kayaking tours, great hikes, and coffee plantation, all within walking distance!

Relaxation is never far away, either. The hostel has a great space to chill out, and (in our opinion) the best pizzas in Central America!  We think D&D Brewery is your perfect stay when in “The Real Honduras.” (and no, we’re not being paid for this glowing review!)

Blue river surrounded by rocks and greenery

Misty atmosphere at the base of Pulhapanzak Waterfall


Absolutely yes! Feeling the raw energy of a waterfall cascading down on you as you climb and scramble is an exhilarating and unique experience. Tell me where else in the world you can do this?! 

If you’re visiting Honduras, don’t do what everyone else does and limit yourself to just the Bay Islands or Copan Ruinas. Yes, these are both beautiful destinations in their own right, but neither of them will give you the real taste of Honduras. It’s worth travelling to experience the Pulhapanzak Waterfall tour and the surrounding area.

We loved this tour, it was one of our favourite experiences in Honduras. And quite possibly the rawest thing we did in Central America. It’ll make you feel alive – that’s for sure! Make sure to include it in your Honduras itinerary. 

And if you visit, let us know how it goes in the comments. We’d love to hear if you had as good of a time as we did. 



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Alice is a UK travel blogger who advocates sustainable travel and being more eco-conscious on a budget. She loves coffee, her houseplants and summiting mountains.

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