Located near the town of Tela on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Lancetilla Botanical Gardenhas a history dating back to 1925, when it was founded by the United Fruit Company as an experimental garden for plantains and other fruits. Today, it’s one of the largest tropical botanical gardens on the planet.
The garden encompasses 4,151 acres (1,680 hectares) with more than 1,200 species of flora representing four continents. The Wilson Popenoe Arboretum houses the world’s largest collection of fruit plants — 636 species — as well as a germplasm bank for developing fruit cultivars. An experimental plantation grows 60 species of timber and fruit trees and doubles as a laboratory for teaching forestry.
A huge swathe of the gardens is occupied by the Biological Reserve, an area divided into tropical and subtropical humid forest. This is the best area of the park to view wildlife, including 250 species of birds, as well as howler monkeys, deer, puma and several types of reptiles, fish and insects.
Lancetilla Botanical Garden is located 1.5 miles (2 kilometers) outside of Tela on the main highway leading to San Pedro Sula.