Honduras is often forgotten or for most people only a stop on a cruise ship at the Roatan. Because of being perceived as a dangerous place, Honduras gets left out as a vacation destination.
When I told my friends and family that I am going to Honduras for vacation, concerns, and fears displayed on their faces. Google “Honduras” and the first search results page show the travel warnings.
The images of Honduras as a very violent place has significantly impacted the tourism industry.
The restaurants and hotels are barely full. It is hard to find group tours operating. The city of Copán is bustling, but with the locals going on with their daily lives, not with tourists. Who mostly suffers? The small business owners that heavily rely on tourism to feed their family.
There are several safe areas in Honduras to explore. The Tourism office even provides a list of various secured places for visitors.
I always wanted to go to Copan to see the archaeological ruins. I felt very safe in Copan, walking around during the day and even at night, heading to my hotel after dinner. The people are helpful and friendly.
Copán, a small town located in the western part of Honduras has cobblestone streets, plenty of restaurants and coffee shops. Architecture that reminds me of the Spanish colonial period and full of colorful moto taxis (Honduran rickshaws) to take people around town. A place best to explore by foot than in a taxi or on a bus.
How to travel to Copan
From San Pedro Sula, you can get there by buses. There is a tourist bus (Hedman-Alas) for $25 that leaves directly from the airport. If you miss that bus, take a taxi for $15-$20 from the airport to the bus terminal and catch the Casanola local bus for $2.50.
Note: The Casanola buses do not have an air-conditioner.
When I was in Honduras, it was the hottest days in years, with temperature averaging from 97-102 degrees. On a 3- hour bus ride from San Pedro Sula, a bus with an air conditioner would have been a life saver.
Hotels in Copan
In Copan, most hostels and hotels are walking distance from the bus terminal. A cheap hostel, Berakah I offers dormitory style rooms. And Berakah II has private rooms and private bathrooms. A lovely terrace to get a view of the city at night. The rooms are comfortable, with modest size bathrooms.
There is also the Via Via Copán hostel. A small hostel with only five private rooms, which includes hot water and a fan. I prefer Via Via because it has a great atmosphere and a restaurant. To get there, you can take a mini taxi from the bus terminal.
In San Pedro Sula, I stayed at Hotel Las Cascadas, a boutique hotel. Centrally located, within walking distance to one of the modern shopping centers. In a safe neighborhood, there are many hotels chains in the area. The rooms are in decent conditions, friendly staff and reasonable prices.
Where to eat in Copan Ruinas
Via Via Copán restaurant offers a fusion of local and American dishes. Most dishes made vegetarian and vegan options. The menu consists of corn tortilla filled with guacamole, pickled onions, vegetables, pinto beans and salsa. Also, it serves burgers and spaghetti and my favorite fried plantains.
You will enjoy the delicious American breakfast and lunches.
For coffee and tasty snacks, my go-to places are San Raphael Coffee Roasters that has not only coffee but various cheeses, pasta, granolas, and nuts. The Welchez Cafe sells sandwiches, ice cream and the best specialty coffee drinks in Copán.
Things to do in Copan
- Take a horseback to La Pintada, an indigenous community. This village depends on agriculture and selling cornhusks dolls to tourists for income.
- Experience the Maya culture at the Copan Archaeological Park. General entrance is $15 and an extra $15 if you want to see the tunnels under the ruins. At the park, take a nature walk at the Sendero Trail.
- If Archaeology is not your thing, visit the Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Reserve. A bird sanctuary, where you can see Honduras native birds and plants diversity.
- Taste the most authentic chocolate beverages in Honduras at the Tea and Chocolate. Open for a limited time, from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, you can catch the sunset from the terrace while sipping blended flavor teas.
- Take a tour to the coffee farms. Honduras produces the finest coffee in Central America. Learn about growing coffee while supporting those farmers.
How to travel to Copan
FLY: There are several flights from Atlanta or Miami or any major cities in the US to San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, the Capital.
Tips: Avoid San Pedro Sula. Like any big cities, there are too many people and not much tourist attractions.
Make a difference in the lives of the citizens in Copán, Honduras. Volunteer at the Mayatan Bilingual School. It is a non-profit institution founded by women. Their primary purpose is to educate local children in Spanish and English.
Tell us what you think of Honduras! Leave your comments below.