Off the plaza, behind the cathedral is a market place. Step through the entrance into an enclosed patio area with a food concession at the center. Around the patio are colonial style business covered by tile roofs. I didn't see much worth buying for the tourist, however. This was apparently not the busiest of markets in the city.
It's worth a few minutes to walk some side streets in Santa Rosa de Copan to shoot pictures of the brightly colored and sometimes restored colonial buildings. The narrow elevated sidewalks are sometimes filled with vendors, so expect to step into the traffic of these congested cobbled streets.
The Cathedral is the main feature, but there is also a considerable number of buildings from the colonial period that have been restored. Some of these are notable governmental palaces. There are a number of ancient and well cared for trees on the plaza, as well as pleasant floral landscaping. We avoided eating at the outdoor food vendors in favor of a more upscale place just down a side street.
The most striking architecture is clearly the old cathedral, the only one in the area. It was built in the late 19th century, about the same time as the newer church in Comayagua, and it bears some resemblance to the Comayagua church architecturally, although the clock mechanism in the Santa Rosa de Copan church is centrally located, and not nearly so historic. However, the Santa Rosa de Copan features dual bell towers, one of which is actually a false bell tower with a loud speaker in it.
The interior architecture of wooden columns and arches is very impressive, but this contrasts with the rather drab artwork of the altar. I liked the front doors.
I always like to get a haircut while traveling. This time, the barber was a kid, and the other young barbers were giggling the whole time. Back at the hotel, I saw that my sideburns were completely uneven, so I had to shave the "normal" side to match the other side which was higher than the top of my ear!
The current Cathedral dates from 1880. It is a typical example of colonial sacred architecture, with a striking white façade, and a more humble interior.
Like all Honduran churches, it needs to be viewed several times during the day, to enjoy the way the sunlight plays with the decorative details.
"Flor de Copan" is a famous cigar manufacturer. Even if you have no intention to ever smoke - let alone a cigar - this is an interesting place to visit. You will learn about an ancient craft, and about working conditions in a developing country. Unfortunately, taking photos is strictly forbidden. The visit costs $3 and can be organized at the tourist office in the central square. The security guard is not overly welcoming, but the visit (in Spanish) will be given by a more congenial worker.
You will walk through hangars kept at a set humidity, where the tobacco leaves ferment, producing a moist and choking atmosphere. Then you will see how the leaves are sorted and distributed to produce sweeter or stronger cigars. The cigars are rolled on ancient machines, then packed carefully. The working conditions are dim, but not terrible - except for the air quality in a couple of sections. The noise level is low.
Most of the cigars are exported, and the factory has suffered from the recent downturn.
Dominated by a handsome cathedral, the central square is particularly pleasant. In the center if the square, you will find a tourist information office (a rarity), that is actually open, and manned!
The square is pleasantly busy, with mango sellers and children playing. Since Santa Rosa is not a tourist destination, yet, there are no beggars or shoeshine touts.
This is what a typical street of Santa Rosa de Copan looks like. Badly paved and very quiet. Some places you will see the locals hanging out with their cowboyhats.