A nice spot to have a look at in Tela, is the pier you'll find in the new part of the town: Tela Nuevo. You can get here by crossing the bridge in the western part of town, and by entering the beach here immediately. After 100 metres you will see this old pier going into the Caribbean Sea.
The nicest thing here are the many fishermen that are trying to catch some fish here. With only a piece of fishing rope tied to their finger they keep it really basic, but they actually catch fish, even though I didn't see any big ones come up while I was there.
The pier itself has a railroad track on it, that dates from the times that the trains used to play an important role in the area. Today the only purpose of the tracks is to keep the pier together, because a lot of the wood is rotten away throughout the years. Especially this rotten material makes the pier as photogenic as it is, together with the wooden fishermen's boats you'll find around it.
In the 19th century Tela became famous for being an important banana producing city. The American companies Standard Fruit Company and United Fruit Company established large plantations and also invested in the railroads along the coastline. After 1930 most of these plantations were abandoned because of deceases and floods and because of this, so was the railroad.
At the boulevard in Tela Viejo, close to the bridge towards the new part, you will find the old, abandoned station that is a silent memory of the times that the trains still drove through the plantations. Today the building is hidden behind trees and is somewhere between being building and ruin.
If you want to get an insight in the world of the Central American railroads, a fascinating book "The Old Patagonia Express" by Paul Theroux is very interesting and makes you feel sad that all the railroads have been shut down nowadays.
One of the nice areas of tela is Telamar, a large hut that is like a restaurant, and a rental place for beach chairs and ocean toys. It was such a beautiful place, i was told by locals that this place is rarely visited. But is extremely busy during semana santa (Easter week). This is a beautiful view from the hut looking out towards the little town and the bare beach!
The train that leaves from Tela to San Pedro Sula or Puerto Cores is a highlight in Honduras. It leaves from Tela at about 2 every Friday and Sunday, and from Puerto Cortes and San Pedro Sula at about 6 or 7 in the morning every Friday and Sunday.
Before reaching Tela by bus you will pass through an area of African palm trees. When I see these I feel the excitement of returning home! San Alejo is the area around these palm trees. There is a large manteca factory which provides employment for the majority of people living in San Alejo. Manteca is the vegetable oil used in cooking.
I had a friend who worked at the American School in San Alejo which was quite cool. She was provided with her own house and membership to the San Alejo club which has a really nice swimming pool!
Triunfo de la Cruz is located in the part of Tela beach known as La Ensenada. It is a small garifuna settlement. It makes a nice day trip from Tela either walking along the beach or by car along the highway travelling east. There are many garifuna restaurants with fish or sopa de caracol being the specialty.
Lancetilla is located on the outskirts of Tela. It is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. There is a small charge for entry into the gardens and you should go there by car or bike. There are fruit trees and a river that runs through it. The locals come here mostly to swim in the river.
About 20-30 minutes outside of Tela is the Esperanza River set amongst a beautiful backdrop of lush forest. The river is pure mountain water and serves as a reservoir for villages along its path. I have been here a couple of times to swim in the river and think it is one of the most beautiful and natural places I have seen in Honduras.