Trujillo Things to Do

  • Trujillo Fort
    Trujillo Fort
    by atufft
  • Trujillo Fort
    Trujillo Fort
    by atufft
  • Trujillo Fort
    Trujillo Fort
    by atufft

Most Recent Things to Do in Trujillo

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    Trujillo Fort

    by atufft Updated Jan 13, 2012

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    Trujillo Fort
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    The fortress at Trujillo is a national heritage site that maybe the oldest settlement and fortress in Central America (Granada, Nicaragua was founded by Royal Spanish charter in the same year, however). Columbus himself had first set foot here, and Cortez ordered that a supply settlement be founded here. Thus, Trujillo was also the first Spanish capitol of Central America, until it was changed to Comayagua in 1550. Although the waters were deep in the area, being somewhat less encumbered by coral reefs than elsewhere along the Honduran coastline, the fortress was difficult to protect from buccaneers who sought protection among the reef encrusted islands. Indeed during the 1600s Trujillo was attacked and plundered more than 10 times by Dutch, French, and English pirates.

    The fortress sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, adjacent to the old city plaza area. An entrance fee of $3- is required for entrance to the fort and museum, payable at a small office just off the main street at the plaza. Guards patrolling the area will escort tourists to this office, if you happen to walk into the fortress grounds by accident.

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    Cayo Blanco

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012

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    Cayo Blanco Crew
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    We hired a boat and crew to take us snorkeling out over some shallow reefs known as Cayo Blanco. These are definitely in need of preservation, but are well worth the dive time. See my iPhone videos for this. The price of the boat trip was about $70- for maybe 3 hours. It's important to bring your own snorkel, mask, and fins from the USA, although life preservers are more commonly distributed by the boatman. We recommend that one person stay in the boat to watch others dive. The boatman are generally honest and concerned for the safety of their guests, but I recommend this as a precaution against any sort of trouble.

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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Trujillo Central Plaza

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012
    Trujillo Church
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    The parish church at Trujillo was once the Bishopric of Honduras, although the original structure must have vanished with some pirate invasion since the current structure dates to 1930. Within the plaza are various memorials, the most notable of which is to Juan de Medina, 1525 founder and mayor of the city. Walking the cobblestone streets of the inner city is definitely worthwhile.

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    Trujillo Cemetery

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012
    Flowers on a grave in Trujillo
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    Besides William Walker, this cemetery reportedly has the tombs of various pioneers of the settlement, and so is very old. The location is excellent and beautifully overrun by tropical flowers. Unfortunately the gate was locked at the time of our stopping by. Wander around uphill from the plaza, or ask locals for directions to this place.

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    William Walker's Central American Empire

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012
    Walker was Executed Here
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    After you read this, you'll understand why I wanted to pay tribute to William Walker's site of execution and tomb. His spot of execution is marked with a concrete marker inside the fortress grounds, while his tomb is further in town at the city cemetery.

    William Walker was a dynamic and controversial Tennessee born lawyer, journalist, and adventurer who conceived of the idea of creating slave states in Mexico and Central America. During the expansive period following the Mexican War, weak leadership in Latin America was painfully obvious, opening a window of opportunity for the slave holding American south which was itself facing increasing political pressure from the abolitionist north.

    Walker became well educated very early in life, spending time studying medicine in Europe during the European revolutions of 1848. His notion of "filibustering" or "freebooting" new slave states as a buffer for the USA occurred to him while he was visiting San Francisco in 1849. Walker was initially successful in capturing La Paz, and later the whole of Baja California with a small band of mercenaries, mostly from Kentucky and Tennessee. After a Mexican Army dislodged him from Mexico, Walker then found financing to conduct a similar venture in Nicaragua, where control of transportation routes across the isthmus was critical to fast transit between New York and San Francisco, prior to construction of the transcontinental railroad.

    Sailing from San Francisco with 60 men, Walker took advantage of a civil war situation in Nicaragua, providing a military leadership and taking Granada in 1855. After a phony election, ineffectual President Franklin Pierce briefly recognized Walker's government in 1856.

    However, Walker's reinstitution of slavery and imposition of English as the official language, and the swagger of his empire building rhetoric, created a wave of fear in Central America and among Wall Street investors concerned about transit across Nicaragua's lake. So, reinforced in part by Cornelius Vanderbilt's corporate agents, President Mora of Costa Rica declared war on Walker's regime, and defeated Walker's army in two separate battles. In the Second Battle of Rivas, Drummer boy Juan Santamaría established himself as Costa Rican folk hero.

    Although Walker's Southern-bred mercenaries were good fighters at the tactical level, superior reconnaissance and strategy were given to the Costa Rican army. Walker prematurely retreated to the capital at Granada; then, when facing a combined force of Costa Rican, Salvadorian, Honduran and Guatemalan soldiers, Walker's leadership torched the oldest European city in the Americas and fled to safety and repatriation to the USA by the American navy.

    Interestingly, once back in the USA, Walker publicly ridiculed the American Navy for not having properly supported his cause with military force. Walker was actually rescued once again by the American navy in Central America, before English speaking residents of Roatan and the Bay Islands enlisted him as a defense against Honduran annexation.

    The complexity of global politics was beyond Walker's understanding however, since the British navy, which controlled Belize and Moskitia, found Walker dangerous and more useful as a territorial bargaining chip. Thus, when Walker disembarked in Trujillo, he was immediately seized and turned over to the Hondurans. Naturally, the Hondurans celebrated the opportunity to trie and execute the 36 year old grey eyed Walker at their already historic fort.

    Unfortunately, the cemetery was locked up tight, so we could put flowers on Walker's grave.

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    Trujillo Fort Museum

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012
    Fort Trujillo Museum
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    The admissions fee covers entrance to a small collection of artifacts found on the grounds of the museum archeologists. This research work revealed pottery fragments dating back to the Pre-Classic Mayan Period (1200 to 600BC). Ask the guard to turn-on the lights. There are actually two separate buildings, the newer one being devoted to cultural artifacts for the Pech and Garífuna tribes.

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    More About Trujillo Fort

    by atufft Written Jan 11, 2012

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    Trujillo Fort
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    Juan Bautista Antonelli, a military engineer, may have completed plans for a fort in Trujillo, but it's also reported that the fort may have been constructed in Trujillo during the years 1607-1629.

    The website, the link for which is below, reports also that the fort was attacked by the Dutch in 1632, the French in 1633, and the English in 1672 and 1689. The city itself was burned by the French in 1633, the following year by the Dutch, and 3 times by others between 1786 and 1797.

    This vulnerability was due to heavy pirate presence during the late 17th century at both Guanaja and Roatan, nearby islands famous today for coral reef diving, but during that period for ship wrecks.

    The indefensible nature of the city resulted in transfer of the capital to Comayagua in 1560, and abandonment of the fortress by the 18th century.

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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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