Copán Travel Guide

  • Ruinas de Copan
    Ruinas de Copan
    by Twan
  • Stela E and view of Structure 4, Copan
    Stela E and view of Structure 4, Copan
    by atufft
  • View from Ballcourt across to Ceremonial Court
    View from Ballcourt across to Ceremonial...
    by atufft

Copán Highlights

  • Pro
    calcaf38 profile photo

    calcaf38 says…

     Ruins, a pleasant town, and good vibes 

  • Con
    kiwigal_1 profile photo

    kiwigal_1 says…

     Quite far away from other major cities / attractions 

  • In a nutshell
    Mailo profile photo

    Mailo says…

     Ruins, history, a quiet place and goof nigth life fo a small town. 

Copán Things to Do

  • Necropolis

    Initially thought as an area of tombs, the name "The Necropolis" was given to this site. However, it has since been determined that this was a residential area. However by this time the name had stuck to the site.

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  • Jeep Safari in Honduras!

    The valley of the Copán River was first built with stones in the 9th century BC. In 159 was for the first time a kingdom located in the area. This was in the 5th century one of the most important Mayan cities. Since the 9th century to century the kingdom was governed by a single kingdom called Xukpi, which means "Maize Bundle". Copán, Oxwitik then...

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  • The site

    A unique structure is a hieroglyphic staircase, built along a 30 meter high pyramid. This staircase is lined with the longest cartoon of the Americas: more than 2000 hieroglyphs in the 72 steps of the staircase carved. Here is the history of the Copan dynasty to read. Through these hieroglyphics could much of the history of Copán studied. There are...

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  • Copan Museum: Details and 2nd Floor

    The Flashes, Barbara and William, who discovered and uncovered Rosalila, among other features of Copan are still very active in the field. In 2011, for example, Barbara Flash published the Copan Sculpture Museum, published a full color text showing all the exhibits in the Museum, which is the official guide of sorts and on sale at the gift shop and...

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  • Copan Museum Basics: First Floor

    Sorry I forgot the entrance price. I did that a lot in Honduras where everything happens to be very reasonable in price even for Extranjeros like me. Anyway, buy the ticket and get in. This is a beautifully naturally lit museum, where the entrance is like an archeological tunnel.The first floor begins with a focus on Rosalila, the big red temple in...

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  • Wander Around The Streets of Copan...

    The town of Copan Ruinas sits mostly on a hilltop, and has lots of cobble stone, or rather river rock stone, streets that are fun to walk around, is generally safe even at night.

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Copán Hotels

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Copán Restaurants

  • Best High-End Breakfast in Town

    This is sort of a new age style local food that includes an Arab twist. The upscale and clean atmosphere makes it one of the easiest places to enjoy in Copan Ruinas, which strangely seems short of good places to eat.I don't have any particular favorites here, but I tried almost everything on the menu and found it all very good. Prices are not that...

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  • Carnitas Nía LoLa Restaurant

    Carnitas Nía LoLa is a bar and restaurant two blocks south of Parque Central. I came here one evening and as I had had a big lunch I just ordered soup and a beer. While I was waiting for my soup I got tortillas with beans and some pickled vegetables. This was something that was given to everyone ordering a meal. And after the soup I got a few...

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  • La Llama del Bosque

    La Llama del Bosque is situated across the road from ViaVia. It was mentioned in my guidebook as a nice place with good and cheap food. It was not that cheap but the food I had for lunch was great and it was a very nice place. I ordered chicken in a yummy sauce with French fries and lots of vegetables. To drink I had a big lemon juice. With tax and...

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Copán Nightlife

  • Cerveza craze

    If you are a big drinker, Papa Chango's is the place to hit after 11 or 12 pm. There is usually a party going on Friday and Saturday nights. There is no closing time, just closes when the crowd thins out. You can enjoy a nice dinner right across the street at the hotel. Rancheras and Reggae music.

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  • new places

    Mohitos and Daquiries drink specials everynight, 2 for 1 Cocktails 3 till 6. Has Micro beer on tap. the only place in Copan Ruinas. They do a Full Monte breakfest open at 6.30 for only $5.They also help with hotels and diving and drivers for the Bay Islands, you can book the Canopy Tour from there too.

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  • El tunkul

    A nice place to enjoy Salvavidas beer, open until midnight, good music and nice crowd (tourist´s and local´s)

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Copán Transportation

  • Copan cons

    We thought we had better let people know that there is a scam going on in Copan which will cause independant travellers a lot of grief. Travelling to Copan from Antigua no problem 125 quetzales door to door service leaving 4am arriving 10ish. Checked onward travel all the same everywhere in Copan $29 to Purto Barrios , Rio Dolce etc.  Costly but to...

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  • Three Wheeled Motor Scooters

    You will quickly become accustom to using the service of these small 4-stroke engine, 3 wheel vehicles imported from India. They are now popular all over Honduras. No need to bargain too hard because even if you pay too much, it will be a few pennies difference not worth quibbling about. If you drove in like we did with the rental car, then still...

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  • From Copán Ruínas to Flores (Guatemala)

    I took the first minibus in the morning leaving Copán for the border. It left at 6.00 and was 20 lempiras (July 2009). At the border the customs went quick as I was the only passenger from the minibus who needed to get my passport stamped. On the Guatemalan side the bus going to Chiquimula waited for me. For that bus I paid 25 quetzales. In...

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Copán Shopping

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  • Jardín de Mujeres Tejiendo Maya Chortí

    Jardín de Mujeres Tejiendo Maya Chortí is a small business made up entirely of woman. It is situated in the small Chortí Maya village La Pintada which I visited on a horseback-riding tour. Here the cooperative of woman weave colourful scarves and sell them in their shop. I had not intended to buy anything but when I felt how soft they were I...

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  • Pick up a few souvenirs in one place

    Honduras is a terrible shopping destination. In most towns, there is simply nothing you can bring back to friends or relatives. In Copán, you will find a few dusty places with dispirited crafts. Casa de Todo was rather the best of these, and I was able to pick up a couple of trinkets.

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  • Souvenirs of Copán

    Just outside the maingate of the Copán complex you will find a ridiculously cheap souvenir stall that is rn by some local people. At a carpet on the ground, they sell all kinds of souvenirs like wooden and stone statues, jewelry and local clothes. Different from what you would expect just outside a worldfamous attraction like Copán, the prices are...

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Copán Local Customs

  • Scarlet Macaws

    The ruins are inhabited by a flock of domesticated Scarlet Macaws. They can be seen at the entrance and flying around the grounds also.

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  • City of Copan ruinas

    Copan Ruinas is the small city just outside the archeological site. It definitely reflects rural Honduras and you get a feel for the distinct cowboy culture as opposed to the Mayan culture of Guatemala.

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  • Mud architecture

    In the villages in the mountains the houses and buildings were originally made of mud. In the village where we went on horseback we saw some older houses made of mud. Our horseman explained us how these constructions are made.He told us also that the last years new houses and buildings are constructed with concrete and bricks. So we visited the...

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Copán Warnings and Dangers

  • vaticanus's Profile Photo

    by vaticanus Updated Apr 25, 2006

    The Museo de Arqueologia Maya in the town of Copan is open SEVEN days a week (your guidebook is wrong if it says otherwise) and has enough exhibits and information to keep even the most informed Mayanist happy for several hours. Photography (NO FLASH) is OK.

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Copán Tourist Traps

  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo
    Central Square - Santa Rosa de Copan

    by kiwigal_1 Written Mar 27, 2003

    In Copan beware of young children swarming around the entrance to Copan and in the town of Santa Rosa de Copan. These children are capable of ripping off unsuspecting tourists. I bought a few things off them because I wanted them but please don't be tempted to give them extra cash or to buy something out of pity as they are often 'run' by adults who take all the money off them. Give them food perhaps. This picture is of the Central Square in Santa Rosa de Copan.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Archeology

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Copán What to Pack

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Pausing at Grupo Principal

    by atufft Written Jan 23, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: I don't recommend large backpacks as a substitute for conventional luggage with wheels, but I do recommend bring a daypack that will hold valuables, electronics, portable umbrella, etc.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes are a must for Copan. You will do a lot of walking, but even senior citizens not in great shape can get around much of Grupo Principal within a couple of hours. Bring a portable umbrella, just in case a tropic downpour comes.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant, hand sterilizing lotion, and bandages.

    Photo Equipment: Digital camera with zoom lens and huge memory storage, lithium powered portable printer, if you want to shoot pictures of local kids or adults (and give them the image). Binoculars would be nice for birdwatching.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Copán Off The Beaten Path

  • Hogar Angelitos Felices orphanage

    I had read about this place on VTer Willy Wonka's page and elsewhere. Before leaving home, I stuffed my bag with packs of crayons. As soon as I arrived in Copán Ruinas, I asked around, and everyone knew where I meant to go. The orphanage must have moved because it was not in the center of town as described, but it is the same place, Los Angelitos...

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  • La Ruta del Café

    830 steps, and almos a mile long, a real experience into de rain forest, you walk with a tour guide that will explain you every detail of the trip, they take you there from the small village of Copan Ruins to the Finca Santa Isabel, and once you'ré there you take a bus (old truck with a wood cabin) up to the mountain, then you walk down the...

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  • Hire a Guide

    While the ruins of Copan can be enjoyed with any number of books and pamphlets that abound in the shops in town or on the internet, it is a different experience to have a guide give you a tour of the grounds. This can be arranged once you arrive, and usually costs about US$20 for a couple of hours.It is totally worth the cost. The guides, who speak...

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Copán Favorites

See all 11 Favorites in Copán
  • Read about the Copan Before You Go...

    Understanding Mayan archeology is generally more difficult than Medieval European History, or of archeology of Greece, Rome, Egypt or Syria. The literary glyphs are linguistic based writing which can be read, but only deciphered as recently as the 1970's. Numeric glyphs are much easier to interpret but still take some practice.While deep reading...

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  • Come early!

    The best tip I can give you about a visit to Copán is: come as early as possible! The park opens at 8:00 in the morning, but most tourists come from places like La Ceiba or Antigua and are on a daytrip. Because of the distance they have to cover, they only arrive around 9:00 or even later. When you spend the night in Copán you can make sure you are...

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  • Orphanage 'Angelitos Felices'

    When we were in the village of Copan Ruinas we heard about the orphanange 'Angelitos Felices'. There are no local funds for food, clothing and other basic needs. We bought food, purified water and other things they told us they needed most at that moment.In the evening we visited the orphanage. The kids were sitting at small stools and started to...

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Explore Deeper into Copán
Animals and Birds at Copan Ruins
Things to Do
Las Sepulturas, Sacbe'
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Las Sepulturas, Additional Landscaped Residences
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Las Sepulturas, Plaza A & Scribe's House
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Las Sepulturas Plaza C
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Las Sepulturas Plazas B & J
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Las Sepulturas Plazas D & H
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Entrance to Las Sepulturas
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Grupo Principal: Misc Views of Copan
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Grupo Principal: East Court Remains of Temple 21
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Grupo Principal: Tunnel of the Jaguars
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Grupo Principal: North Face of Structure 16
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Grupo Principal: West Court Altars I & H
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Grupo Principal: Structure 22a Popal Nah
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Grupo Principal: Stela N
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Grupo Principal: Structure 11
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Grupo Principal: Stela A
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Grupo Principal: Temple 22 Witz Corners
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Grupo Principal: Sculptured Doorway of Temple 22
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Grupo Principal: Stela B
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Grupo Principal: Stela E and Structure 1
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Grupo Principal: Stela 3 with various fragments
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Grupo Principal: Structure 4--Astronomical Center
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Grupo Principal: Stela 1 with Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela I and Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela J and Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stella H
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Grupo Principal: Altars G1, G2, and G3
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Grupo Principal: Stela F and Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela D and Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela C and Turtle Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela 4 and un-named Altar
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Grupo Principal: Stela 2 and Altar L
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Grupo Principal: Stelae P & Stela 7
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Grupo Principal: Tomb of Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat
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Grupo Principal: Jaguar Stairway
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Grupo Principal: Altar Q
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Grupo Principal:Hieroglyphic Stairway and Stella M
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Grupo Principal: Macaw BallCourt
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Grupo Principal: Rosalila
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Map of Copán

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