Tag Archives: Copan Ruinas

Honduras

I spent last week traveling around Honduras. Or rather, taking a mini-vacay within my grander summer vacation. Crossing the border was fun, as always. And we got new money! El Salvador was on the U.S. Dollar, and Honduras uses Lempiras, at aproximately 18.5 to the dollar.

The first stop was a night in Gracias, Honduras. It was once a capital city, and it’s full name was Gracias A Dios. There were a number of pretty churches, and it was a fun walking town, but nothing extraordinary. It also was my first experience with the Hondurans, who were unfortunately not as kind or sympathetic to foreigners as the Guatemalans or Salvadorans. It was nice to walk around the town, but after hitting 4 towns in 4 days we were getting kind of tired. Those chicken buses can be exhausting!

Old Church in Gracias, Honduras

Central Park in Gracias, Honduras

Our next stop was two nights in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. We lucked out, getting a hotel room with 3 double beds and internet! Great for our tired bodies. We pretty much pigged out on Baleadas and Pupusas, some of the best budget food out there. And I started my minimum of 2 ice cream sandwiches per day diet. We checked out the ruins, which I already wrote about, and that is pretty much all the town has to offer. There are some hot baths nearby, but it would have cost $40 (US) to get there. There was also horseback riding options, but that is not really a budget activity either. It also rained all afternoon, so I ended up watching ‘What About Bob’ on the computie.

Pyramid, Copan Ruins

These buildings were HUGE!!! Copan Ruins

After Copan we headed north to the Bay Islands. Utila is more often thought of as the ‘budget’ or ‘backpacker’ island, although all three are more expensive than mainland Honduras. We headed over to Roatan though, because it’s difference in higher prices was negligible, and it is supposed to be much prettier.The ferry ride was torture. If you are prone to motion sickness, you will likely puke. You get sea sickness pills when you buy your ferry ticket, and they handed out bags as we sat down. A number of people (luckily I held my lunch down) used them.

Sunken ship that greets you as the ferry pulls in. Roatan, Honduras

The cheapest diving certification in the world is off of these islands, so if you’re interested I would highly suggest it. We met a lot of divers, both first timers and those who just came to experience the second largest reef in the world. I’m not a diver, but the snorkeling we did was fantastic. We took a boat out to the reef. It was so diverse and beautiful. You can also go right of the beach if you want for just the price of a $5 all day snorkel rental. Amazing! I spent 4 nights on the island, risking Malaria and Dengue Fever at every mosquito bite, but it was worth it! Beautiful beaches, clear water, and although more expensive than the rest of Central America that I visited, still quite affordable.

So beautiful! Roatan, Honduras

Sunset on Roatan, Honduras

On the 5th morning I got up bright and early (5:30) to depart from my traveling buddies of 2 weeks and make my way back to Guatemala. Looks like the trip is coming to a close and I have to get ready for real life again!

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Copan, Honduras

Greetings from the most annoying birds on the planet. These guys hang out at the entrance to the Copan Ruinas Archaeological Park.

Last week I went to see the Maya ruins at Copan in Honduras. Now I’m back staying at Copan Ruinas for the night before heading to Antigua and then back to New York. It has been quite a trip, and now that I’m traveling solo I’ve got too much spare time! I thought it was only fitting to write about my experience here last week seeing the ruins.

Copan is known as the ‘Paris of the Mayan World’, with the most stelae of any ruins, according to the Lonely Planet Central America guide book. I was super psyched because ever since I saw ‘The Voyage of the Mimi II’ when I was in 5th or 6th grade I’ve wanted to see some Mayan ruins. Plus I’ve spent 2 months living among the Mayan people in Guatemala and I really wanted to see how the ancestors had lived. I was not disappointed.

We entered the park after paying the $15 admission fee and it was virtually empty. Compared to my visits to European tourist sites this was amazing. I was able to take pictures of huge structures and not have to worry about stray people walking into them.

View of one of the fields. I don't know what anything was called...

Everything was fascinating. From the scale of the temples to the intricately carved stelae with all the hieroglyphs on them.

Check out the scale of the building as my friend poses.

One half of the ball court.

Close up of one of the many Stella

Half a face

One of the parts that I wish I had given more time to was walking around the part of the ruins that contained the ruins of the more residential homes. I  was getting pretty tired, plus my camera died. What’s the point of looking at ruins if you can’t take pictures (even pictures as unflattering as the ones I captured??!) I’m sure I was getting hungry and cranky around this time too…surprise surprise.

left over foundations of an ancient apartment building.

All in all it was an exceptional experience. I can’t wait until I’ve saved enough money to come back and travel to other ruins. I think that’s going to be my next goal, a trip around Mexico and Guatemala to see the ruins.

Anyone want to come?