No matter how long you plan on staying in Copán for, I can guarantee you that you will end up staying there for an extra night! It’s a quaint little town, safe and clean, with oodles to do and not too saturated by tourists.
Breathtaking Mayan Ruins in a beautiful park. Entrance costs $15, with $5 for a guide. Entrance to the site also allows you into a second, lesser visited site called “Las Sepulturas”, where you will end up climbing tomb raider style up and down more ruins than you can shake a stick at. I preferred the second site in some ways as it was quieter and the guides were more passionate, but the main ruins themselves were simply a beautiful place to just hang out and chill.
In San Pedro Sula, I was told that the bird park (“Macaw Mountain”) was unmissable, but I did in fact miss it. This was because:
a) I’m stingey
b) I prefer not to support businesses where animals are kept in cages
c) if you’re at the ruins at closing time, the macaws come in to roost, and you can get very close to them anyway.
Beautiful thermal springs 60 minutes drive from the centre. I treated myself to this experience on the night of New Year’s day. It cost $25 (including transport), which was so cheap compared to anywhere else that I just couldn’t resist.
Most restaurants can be found on Calle de la Plaza, which goes from the south west corner of the central park. For breakfast, Avenida Sesesmil had a wide range of eateries, from organic coffee shops to local eating holes. There’s also a supermarket on this street, across from the football field, if you’re looking to cut costs, although a main course meal is unlikely to cost you more than $9, unless you go to the ritzy British Restaurant (obviously our notorious culinary reputation doesn’t precede us to Central America)
Honduras has a bad rep, but if you want to chill out and have a nice relaxing time, I highly recommend Copán. I’ve spent 3 months in Honduras now, and have come across the phenomenon that anywhere that is “safe” for me to go is invariably expensive and rubbish (i.e. some sort of chain). Not so in Copán, where people are friendly and welcoming, and when you ask them for directions, they actually stop, as opposed to in San Pedro where people are so guarded they won’t even turn to see who is addressing them.
As I was leaving my hostel, the proprietors and his friends asked me to stay. They are active on workaway.com and usually have at least one volunteer. I was tempted; they were lovely people, and this was the nicest place I had been to so far in Honduras. But time was awasting, and I had to continue my journey to see more of this beautiful yet troubled country.