Cerro La Estrella (the Star Mountain) is one of the five main peaks of La Tigra National Park in Honduras about fifteen minutes outside of the capital of Tegucigalpa. It is hard to distinguish between the peaks because there are no markers and the vegetation is extremely dense, making navigation somewhat difficult when off the trail. This is also what makes the park so charming. The park is most well known for this dense vegetation called Cloud Forest, which is high elevation rain forest. Cloud Forest is Honduras' most well known eco-tourist attraction and La Tigra offers a great opportunity for anyone flying into the capital to get a quick glimpse of these fantastic forests.
Honduras is a country of mountains and Cerro La Estrella is one of many peaks over 2,000 meters, but La Tigra is the closest high range within reasonable distance of Tegucigalpa. The highest mountains in the country, including Cerro de Las Minas - Honduras' highest(2,849m), lie northwest of the capital city of Tegucigalpa and the terrain is extremely rugged and accessible only with 4x4 in many cases.
A visit to La Tigra National Park and Cerro La Estrella is quite the experience because of the diversity of life in the cloud forest. Along with high mountain views, the dense jungle supports a wealth of ecosystems and some surprising environments.
Parque Nacional La Tigra
La Tigra was the first area of land set aside by the Honduran government as a reserve in 1952, later to become a national park in 1980. The park straddles a high ridge of impressive mountain peaks between 2,100-2,300m each. Cerro La Estrella is the third highest at 2,245m with Cerro La Pena de Andino (2,290m)first and Cerro El Volcan (2,270m)in second. There is a good trail system with three main trails across the park, one of which is a 4x4 road used as a footpath. The park is most well known for its well preserved cloud forestes, the staple of Honduran ecotourism.
There are two access points for La Tigra.
- The western access is through the town of Jutiapa on the road from El Picacho. Follow signs from the city to El Picacho. When you reach the top of the mountain, instead of turning left for El Picacho, turn right and follow the signs for La Tigra and Jutiapa. Continue until you reach the visitors center. It is about 12km.
- The eastern entrance is through the rugged mountain town of San Jauncito. For this access follow signs for Santa Lucia and Valles de Angeles and continue past these communities farther into the mountains until you reach San Juancito.
There is a 100 lempira fee to enter La Tigra National Park and acquire a day ticket. For camping, the fee is slightly higher, but regardless the price will be somewhere betweeen US $5-10.
You will need to ask at the park headquarters for regulations and fees for camping. I have not been able to find any accurate information on the rules and regulations, but I do know that people camp there.