The oldest church in Gracias is Iglesia Las Mercedes, dating back to 1611. It is a few blocks off from Parque Central. At the time I visited, it was closed, and mostly fenced off from tourists. The church was in obvious need of renovation, having weeds growing in its tower. A bell tower has two nice bronze bells hanging. Apparently it took 30 years...more
The Parque Central has the statue of Lempira, and other memorial statues and fountains under an arbor of old tropical trees. One of the more curious statues is apparently of Mary with baby Jesus, because the way she holds arms outstretched a sexualized infant is a very rare style of art. Closer examination reveals this is a Lion's Club statue to...more
Adjacent to, not facing, the Parque Central in Gracias, is the largest church in town, the Iglesia San Marcos has 18th century origins, but appears newer than this. The interior was only sparsely decorated for Christmas, not having the textiles hanging from the ceiling found in so many other churches along the Lenca trail. The altar is gold gilt,...more
As a mining town, Gracias was subject to unrest for many years after its founding, so the San Cristobal fortress was established on the hilltop to ensure control over the miners, as much as anyone. Yet, Juan Lindo’s tomb, a former governor of Honduras, who was one of the most concerned for education in Honduras and in El Salvador, is also located...more
One of the many Iglesias in Gracias, one of lessor importance that was closed, was very close to our hotel. San Sebastian has a cross-shaped exterior structure, but I wasn't able to confirm the chapel's interior floor plan. The grounds outside are devoted to children's play equipment and open landscaping.more
The roads in Honduras are difficult, so by the time we arrived in Gracias, we were pretty eager to visit it's famed Aguas Termales, or mineral baths. There's a supply of hot water that several private and one public bath tap into, so the first thing we had to determine was which bath to visit. The private baths are mostly conventional swimming...more
On the unpaved road towards Celaque, you will find this church, amid considerable litter. This is the only church I saw in Honduras with a little color on the façade - like a novice nun wearing a touch of blush. I believe that churches in Nicaragua often sport such colorful accents.more
The San Marcos church is the largest in Gracias. It was built it the late 1800s, and what makes it distinctive is a series of curtains, almost like sails, hanging from the ceiling.The light plays with the curtains in the most interesting way, and the caretaker will let you take as many pictures as you wish.more
Sleepy Gracias is a very pleasant town to walk around. I felt safe on each and every street, as the town is probably too small to have distinct good or bad neighborhoods. The center is quite colonial, with a deserted Parque Central, and handsome churches. The outskirts suffer from the Mesoamerican bane of unfinished masonry block houses.more
Even if you don't stay here, dining at Guancascos Hotel Restaurant is recommended not only for decent food, but also for the great view across the town. Some would like to spend time using there wifi. There's plenty of seating, and this is also a bar, so sitting around with the iPad is OK. We ate the typical breakfast with fresh juice and coffee,...more
When I read the Lonely Planet description, I was determined to dine authentic Lenca style, rather than at the popular pizza place in the center of town. The initial problem though was in finding the place. Walking are poorly lit cobblestone streets, we passed the place twice until we came across a shop owner to showed us the door. At the time, the...more
Gracias is - to an extent - the "end of the line." There must be some direct buses from San Pedro Sula, but you are more likely to need changing buses in Santa Rosa de Copán, a larger town.
In both directions (to Gracias and from Gracias), there was a bus for an immediate connection in Santa Rosa. And I mean quick, involving running through lanes of traffic.
Gracias will always be referred to by bus conductors as Gracias-Lempira, to distinguish it from the remote Gracias a Dios Department.
The buses to Santa Rosa are coaches, but between Santa Rosa and Gracias, your bus will be a school bus. Going farther than Gracias is more of an adventure, as you can see on my La Campa page.
We came across this very unusual place when we were trying to find our restaurant. The owner stuck her head out the door and offered to help. Then, I peered inside and found a large and most unusual collection canned vegetables neatly arranged in clear jars on shelves as shown in the photo. It was obviously a great found photo because I questioned whether all this canned veggies could ever be sold. In California, canned veggies aren't too popular anymore, but his made for great photos. At then counter, there are a number of tropical fruit candies, some that appear homemade.
Later, I noticed that these sorts of canned veggies are a substitute for salads on the plate. They are very much like the pickled jars produced in Italy.
What to buy: In the back are some freezers filled with fruit popsicles and ice-creams. My favorite is guanabana, a tropical fruit most people in the mid-latitudes don't even know. They also had coconut, pineapple, papaya, and other tropic fruits frozen desserts.
What to pay: Cheap, very cheap by American standards. The hospitality of the ladies at this place was very good too.
Take a walk further out of town, maybe a mile or so out, and you'll find Santa Lucia, an attractive recently painted church surrounded by traditional homes. The interior was simple and decorated for Christmas. Outside, chickens and children play.