West Bay, Roatán
West Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bay Islands and the best one for snorkeling. There is good reef really close to the shore here. The area near to the rocky headland at the end of the beach is best. Sun beds and snorkeling equipment are for hire on the beach.
You can reach West Bay by water taxi from West End.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Road Trip
Tegucigalpa has been the capital of Honduras since 1880. It stands at an altitude of 975m giving it a pleasant micro-climate. The downtown area around Plaza Morazan, with its colonial buildings, is quite pleasant to stroll around, but the city as a whole does have a rough edge to it.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Copán Ruinas archaeological site
Copán Ruinas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a real highlight of any visit to Honduras. The Mayan ruins here are stunning and, in my opinion, second only to Tikal as the best Mayan site in all of Central America. The 63 steps of the Hieroglyphic Staircase contain the longest hieroglyphic text in the world, which details the history of the Mayan kings of Copán. Another highlight is the ball court, with its stone Macaw heads.
Admission: $15Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Copán Ruinas Museum of Sculpture
The museum at Copán Ruinas is the most interesting I saw in the whole of Central America. It is not until you have visited this museum that you realize just how sophisticated Mayan civilization and culture was. The quality of the stone carvings on display here is superb.
The museum opened in 1996 and the exhibits are very clearly organized, labelled and displayed. The centrepiece is a replica of the whole Rosalila Temple, painted in its original colours.
Admission: $7Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Copán Ruinas town
Copán Ruinas is a charming little town, with a population of just 6,600. Men in cowboy hats gather in the main square, Parque Central, giving it the appearance of a Wild West town. There are some nice hotels and restaurants here.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
The Lancetilla Botanical Gardens
With an area of 4,151 acres (1,680 hectares) the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. It has more than 1,200 species of tropical plants from four continents, all labeled and divided according to their principal characteristics: ornamental, medicinal, fruit-bearing, timber, and poisonous. (Lancetilla is a species of spiny palm tree that is endemic to the area).
The Lancetilla Botanical Gardens was established in 1924 by tropical botanist Wilson Popenoe. He was hired by the United Fruit Company (an American company formerly with vast banana holdings in Central America) to research diseases of the banana. Popenoe's wife Dorothy, also a botanist, helped establish the botanical gardens, but ironically she died after eating the poisonous fruit of one of the trees.
In 1974, the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens was turned over to the Honduran government. Nowadays, it is a popular tourist destination as well as a research center.
La Tigra National Park
Located just to the northeast of Tegucigalpa, La Tigra National Park is the closest wilderness area to the capital. It comprises 92 square miles (238 square kilometers) of rugged mountains and steep valleys in the Central Highlands of Honduras. The highest peaks in the park attain an elevation of about 7,218 feet (2,200 meters) and are covered with lush cloud forest. The lower elevations in the park consist of dry pine forest. Because of intensive logging in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most of today's forests are secondary growth. There are also many rivers and spectacular waterfalls within the park's boundaries.
The area that now makes up La Tigra National Park was heavily mined between 1880 and 1954. The area produced more than $100,000,000 in gold, silver, copper and zinc. In 1954, the American-owned mining company abandoned its operations when the government threatened to nationalize the mines. Rather than continuing the mining operations, the Honduran government wisely set aside the area as a forest preserve in 1952. In 1980, it became the first national park in Honduras. And today, Honduras has more land set aside as protected national parks than any other country in Central America.
Due to its close proximity to Tegucigalpa, La Tigra National Park is a popular destination for day trips from the city. Visitors can hike on eight different well-maintained trails which lead up into the cloud forests. Because this was once a mining area, there are many unmarked mine shafts throughout the mountains. Therefore, visitors are cautioned to stay on the marked trails to avoid falling into one of these shafts. The abandoned mining town of El Rosario is located on the lower slopes of the park, and is another interesting part of the park to visit. However, visitors are not allowed to enter any of the dilapidated buildings for safety reasons.
Although there are several varieties of small mammals that can be seen in the park, it is known more for its exotic tropical birds, with more than 350 species recorded.
Pico Bonito National Park
At 414 square miles (1,073 square kilometers), Pico Bonito National Park is the second-largest national park in Honduras. It is dominated by the towering east-west Cordillera Nombre de Dios, which parallels the Caribbean coast. Its highest mountain, Pico Bonito, is the third-highest mountain in the country at 8,000 feet (2,438 meters).
Most of the area covered by the national park is unexplored due to its exceptionally rugged terrain and thick, impenetrable jungle. The lower elevations of the park consist of tropical rain forest and broadleaf forest. Above the 3,937-foot (1,200-meter) level, the habitat changes to cloud forest. There are many rivers in the park which cascade down the steep slopes, as well as several waterfalls. The untouched forests are home to many animals that are becoming rare elsewhere, such as jaguar, mountain lion, wild pigs, and several species of monkeys.
Visitors are not allowed to enter the vast majority of the national park. This is to ensure that the forests remain pristine and unaffected by human activity. There are only a few trails at the park's perimeter which lead to waterfalls that are open to the public.
Cerro-Azul Meámbar National Park
Cerro-Azul Meámbar National Park is one of the most scenic national parks in Honduras. It covers 120 square miles (312 square kilometers) of rugged forested mountains to the east of Lake Yojoa. The lower elevations consist of humid and semi-deciduous forest, the higher elevations are characterized by cloud forest, and elfin forest dominates at the highest points in the park. The high mountains, the tallest of which is 6,824 feet (2,080 meters), trap rain clouds coming in from the Caribbean Sea, and the clouds release their water onto the mountains. This means the national park is very wet, with many rivers and spectacular waterfalls. In fact, it is the source of about 70 percent of Lake Yojoa's water.
Visitors can hike on three main trails totaling nine miles (15 kilometers) through the various forest habitats. Although well-maintained, many of the trails are steep and narrow, and are recommended only for those people who are in reasonably good physical shape.
The national park also has a good visitors' center where visitors can relax behind picture windows and enjoy the view over nearby Lake Yojoa. There is a cafeteria that serves fairly good food, but it is restricted to groups of seven or more who order their meals in advance.
Visitors can also spend the night in the park, either camping at a small campground, or in cabins with bunk beds, hot water, and linens.
Lake Yojoa is the largest natural lake in Honduras, with an area of 34 square miles (89 square kilometers). The lake is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in the country as well. It is almost completely surrounded by rugged mountains that rise almost straight up from its shores. To the west rises the 9,003-foot (2,744-meter) Cerro Santa Bárbara, the second-highest peak in Honduras (pictured here). To the east is Cerro-Azul Meámbar National Park, with peaks reaching 6,824 feet (2,080 meters).
Traditionally, Lake Yojoa was internationally known for its world-class bass fishing. The bass bite every 45 seconds on average, and the average fish caught weighs 13 pounds (six kilograms). The road along the east side of the lake is lined for several miles by dozens of open-air roadside restaurants specializing in bass.
However, in recent years Lake Yojoa has become popular as a tourist destination in its own right. The area is a convenient base to explore Cerro-Azul Meámbar National Park to the east and Cerro Santa Bárbara National Park to the west. The nearby Los Naranjos Archeological Park is one of the best sites to learn about the Lenca Culture, boat rides on the lake make for a relaxing activity, and several new hotels have been built along the lakeshore.
The elevation of Lake Yojoa is about 2,200 feet (671 meters), and it is in one of the wettest areas in Honduras. The elevation and precipitation level provide an ideal climate for coffee. There are many fincas, or coffee plantations, around the lake, and local restaurants and hotels feature locally grown coffee.
Lake Yojoa is also one of the best birdwatching spots in Honduras, with over 375 species recorded in the area.
The Museum of Archeology and History
The Museum of Archeology and History houses an impressive collection of hundreds of artifacts and antiques relating to the history of the Sula Valley, in which San Pedro Sula is located. The exhibits date from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. The upper floor of the museum focuses on the prehistory of the Sula Valley. The exhibits are well-displayed and described, with signs in both Spanish and English. Books in both languages which explain the artifacts in more detail are also available.
The museum is licensed by the Honduran Institute of Anthropolgy and History to house the collection of archeological and historical artifacts, which belong to the people of Honduras by law.
The Museum of National Identity
The Museum of National Identity is the newest museum in Tegucigalpa. It highlights all aspects of Honduran history from pre-Columbian civilizations to the present day. It is housed in the former Palace of Ministries, which was initially built as a hospital in 1880.
Exhibits feature artifacts from the pre-Columbian Mayan and Lencan civilizations, the colonial era (including many old Spanish maps and other documents), and modern Honduras. Some of the exhibits about the modern era contain information about former presidents, archeologists, and recent immigrants from Palestine.
In addition to artifacts, the Museum of National Identity has state-of-the-art video and virtual presentations. Some of the more impressive of these exhibits include Copán Virtual (a three-dimensional tour of Copán during its heyday), a video presentation of a Mayan ball game, and a screen in the shape of a globe that shows the formation of Central America as the continents shifted.
Los Dolores Church
Los Dolores Church is just one of several colonial churches in the historic center of Tegucigalpa. Although it is not the largest or most important church in the city, it is perhaps the most beautiful. Los Dolores Church was built in 1732 on the Plaza de la Merced. At that time, the buildings surrounding the plaza housed the monks of the Mercedian order. In the nineteenth century, those same buildings became the home of the National University of Honduras.
The façade of Los Dolores Church contains figures representing the Passion of Christ. And there is an inscription on the doorway indicating that the church was built by the mulattos and blacks of Tegucigalpa, many of whom became rich from the mining of silver. Many of the glazed angels that decorate the church have black features.
Nowadays, Los Dolores Church is a tourist attraction for those who appreciate colonial architecture and religious works of art. It is illuminated at night with unearthly purple spotlights.
Visiting Turtle Farm at Cayman Island
Everyone will love this trip. Try to book an excursion with the ship to be more safe. The tour takes you to the farm where they raise the turtles. They're huge!! You get to hold & pet them as your friends take your momentous photo. Don't worry, they won't bite. Next part of your tour is the famous trip to "Hell". Got it's name from what looks like volcanic rocks that make up the land. You can buy your postcard & they'll stamp it for you. Now you can send your family a postcard from "Hell".Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Luxury Travel
Blown away by Hurricane Mitch, tourism in Trujillo has never really returned. The former capital sits in a torpor on the North Coast opposite the heavily trafficked Bay Isles. It is a pity that Trujillo is neglected, for it is one of the most beautiful small towns in Central America.
Trujillo is also of historical interest to travellers who know the tale of William Walker, the American who dreamed of making a Central American Empire in the 1850's. On his last of several expeditions in Central America, he was captured in Honduras, and brought to Trujillo to be shot by firing squad. You can visit his grave with a stunning vista of the jungle and bay below.
the old fortress f Trujillo is a lovely small museum dedicated to the Walker story and the Spanish influence on Honduras. Sit on the old defensive walls and dream of the days of sailing ships and high seas adventure.
For accomodation, the Irish Hotel a few blocks above the main square is outstanding value. The seafood joints along the wide sandy beaches below the town are also a must.
For a colorful travel story in the old town, check out:
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
3 kms anParque Arqueologicotes del, Copan, 504, Honduras
Good for: Couples
West Bay Beach, Island of Roatan
Good for: Business
I had read good comments about this hotel, and, as is my custom, I wanted a reservation for my first...more
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