Lancetilla Botanical Garden

The Lancetilla Botanical Garden is located only 2 km (1-½ miles) from the city of Tela, and is one of the largest tropical botanical gardens in the world. It was established in 1926 by the United Fruit Company as an experimental garden to identify different species of fruit and hardwood trees that could be of economical interest to the company. Under the direct supervision of Dr. William Popenoe, the area quickly grew to be one of the largest tropical botanical gardens in the world, and is currently is the second largest of its kind in the world, and the largest in the Americas. The gardens were turned over to the government of Honduras in 1974, when the state of Honduras actually took possession of the banana companyrailroads, the Lancetilla Gardens, the area that is now the Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, and many other important assets.

Lancetilla was eventually turned over to the Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Forestales (ESNACIFOR) whose headquarters are in the city of Siguatepeque. (www.jblancetilla.org  and E-mail:jardin_lancetilla@yahoo.com ) Esnacifor is the most important forestry school in Central America and has worldwide recognition for the graduate students from this faculty.

The Lancetilla Botanical Garden is located only 2 kilometers (1 ½ miles) from the city of Tela, and about 90km, (55 miles) from San Pedro Sula and 110 or 65 miles from La Ceiba. The entrance to the gardens is clearly marked on the main highway that connects Tela to San Pedro Sula, leading towards the south (towards the mountains, opposite of the Caribbean Sea.Many of the modern day crops that produce an important income to Honduras through exports were actually introduced to the country via the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens. A fine example of this is the African Palm, which has become a truly important crop for Honduras, generating millions of dollars in exports and thousands of jobs in the country. Another important crop that is of growing importance is the Asian fruit known as Rambutan, which is now being exported to the USA.