Copan Ruinas, Honduras

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I’m lying in bed when I begin to feel the warmth of the sun peering through the black curtains hiding us from the outside world. After rubbing tired eyes I opened the curtains to greet the sun and begin the next leg of our trip. The 2 hour journey lead us through rolling hills and colorful plantations that covered the mountainside. Most of the trip was spent gazing out of the window admiring how truly beautiful Honduras is. Tucked away in the hillside lives a small and lively town with ancient ruins and nature reserves waiting to be explored. The city streets swim through the hillside paved in traditional cobblestones all leading toward the beautiful town square. Parque Central is the center of town where you can dance to local mariachi music, peruse through local food and craft vendors, walk the museums, or just people watch.

Since we were in town for New Years there were firework vendors selling everything from exploding chickens to M-80s (illegal in the U.S.) which made for a fun evening. Justin and I decided to contribute to the fun by purchasing our own collection of fireworks. After purchasing them we then discovered that fireworks in Honduras are very different then the ones in the U.S. What we thought were fountains blasted off into the night sky and exploded at the grade of professional fire works. We thought we had seen it all that night until we lit our last firework. The rocket was supposed to launch in the sky when it then decided to spin around and explode a few feet from Justin’s leg. Needless to say, everyone watching thought it made for a good laugh.

Copan Ruinas is famous for its historic Mayan ruins that rest a couple minutes from the main town. It is an archaeological site of the early Maya civilization located a short distance from the Guatemalan border on the western side of Honduras. From the 5th to 9th centuries (During the Classic period) Copan Ruinas was the capital city of a major historical kingdom. K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ re-founded the city as the capital of the new Maya Kingdom and his image is seen throughout the ruins surrounding the archaeological site. Throughout my travels I’ve never experienced anything like Copan Ruinas before. I was constantly amazed with how spiritually beautiful this site is.

Macaw Mountain is a rehabilitation center for rescued and endangered bird species found throughout Central America. The center informs visitors of the vast species that live in Honduras and work to spread awareness and preservation. After the birds are rehabilitated and back into good health they are released back into the wild. Over 20 species of bird can be found at the park including a variety of macaws and toucans. Some of the enclosures you can walk through and interact with the birds up close. Walking through the toucan enclosure, a Keel Billed Toucan perched itself on my right forearm and played with my necklace. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget!

Since Copan is a small town, there aren’t too many budget accommodations available, especially during New Years week. Luckily, we were able to get a double room for 405 Lempiras ($18.00 USD) at the Iguana Azul our first night. The hostel is very clean and they have delicious handmade food in the cafe next door. The staff is also very helpful with any tour and shuttle information you may need. Our next two nights were spent at Via Via which is one of the more popular hostels/bars in town. They offer each of their rooms for 225 Lempiras ($10.00 USD) per night due to the noise of the bar next door. We didn’t mind since it was New Year Eve and we were out celebrating anyways. The rooms were spacious and included a bathroom with running hot water (which is nice after weeks of cold showers.) The staff and owner were very friendly and helpful with any questions we had. The cafe/bar had a fun atmosphere and offered daily specials with delicious food. I would highly recommend stopping here for happy hour and enjoying the outdoor patio and watching the sunset fall behind the mountains.

From Copan Ruinas we crossed the border over to Antigua, Guatemala where we spent the next few days exploring colorful markets and old church ruins.

 

 

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