(10 days / 9 nights from/to San Pedro Sula)
Day 1: San Pedro Sula – Copán Ruinas
Your guide awaits you in the morning with your four-wheel drive vehicle at your hotel to start your tour through Honduras. We visit San Pedro Sula to observe the intense activity of the fastest growing city of Central America. Our walk takes us to the museum and the central park with its cathedral. Afterwards we visit the local handcraft market Guamilito where fruits, vegetables, flowers and all kinds of regional handcrafts are for sale. Its colorful stores invite you to buy a nice souvenir. Observe the Tortilleras forming hundreds of the popular corn tortillas at an impressive speed and baking them on open fire. In the afternoon we enjoy the beautiful countryside as we travel to the picturesque village of Copán. After the arrival you have enough time for a stroll through the romantic colonial town. 2 overnights in Copán.
Day 2: Copán Ruinas
Today we visit the legendary Archaeological Park of Copán Ruins, which consists of two main sites: the ruins and the sepulchers. With a population of around 24,000 at its height Copan wasn’t one of the largest Mayan cities. However, it is nowadays known as the Athens of the New World, as at the peak of the Mayan development Copán was its principal cultural centre. In its development of sculpture, astronomy, and hieroglyphic writing Copan was far ahead of other larger and more powerful Mayan cities. Learn about the impressive 63-step stairway with more than 2,500 hieroglyphs and the masterfully carved stelae. Appreciate to its full the significant number of ruins surrounded by giant trees that provide shades all over the site. In the afternoon we take a deeper look at the “Sepulturas”, a residential and burial site of the Mayan nobles.
Day 3: Copán Ruinas – Santa Rosa de Copán – Gracias
After breakfast we continue our way to Santa Rosa de Copán, the most important city in Western Honduras. The charming city centre, with its cobblestone streets and picturesque buildings, dates back to colonial times. In the afternoon we visit the Flor de Copán tobacco manufactory (closed on Sundays). The factory produces about sixty very exclusive brands. During the traditional production process cigars are rolled by hand and covered by thin cedar wood, which characterizes the distinctive aroma of the Flor de Copán cigars. Nearly 50,000 handmade cigars are produced daily and sent to customers in Europe, America, China and Russia. We tour the town’s colonial centre before we continue to Gracias. 2 overnights in Gracias.
Day 4: Celaque National Park
Early in the morning we drive to the entrance of Celaque National Park. With our 4×4 vehicle the road to the park’s entrance isn’t a problem. Today’s hiking through the park leads us through typical Central American pine forests. Honduras’ highest peak with its 2,849 m can be found here, the Cerro de Las Minas. Celaque means Box of Water in the local Lenca language. In the afternoon we discover the colonial history of Gracias with its churches and the fortress San Cristobal. In 1537, Gracias and the surrounding mountains were the setting for the last battle lead by the Lenca leader Lempira against the Spanish conquerors. In honor to this famous indigenous leader, who resisted the Spaniards for such a long time, the Honduras currency has been named after him.
Day 5: Gracias – Cerro Azul Meambar National Park
We transfer to the Cerro Azul Meambar National Park, looming over the eastern side of Yojoa Lake. The region around Yojoa Lake is rich in different habitat types and home or temporal host to a huge amount of migratory birds. Before we arrive at the park, we visit the impressive Pulhapanzak Waterfalls, which has been an important ceremonial and cultural site for the Maya. Our way up to the visitor’s center is made possible thanks to our 4-wheel drive. The National Park Cerro Azul Meambar works as a retreating area for a lot of species because of increased human activities around the lake. Toucans, oriels, motmots, parakeets and parrots are just a small sample of the bird species living in the park. 2 overnights at Cerro Azul Meambar Visitor’s Centre.
Day 6: Cerro Azul Meambar National Park
Today we explore the magnificent tropical forest types of the Cerro Azul Meambar National Park. Ranging from 415 to 2,080 m, the park contains coffee plantations, lowland humid forests, pine forest, and cloud forest. The rare elfin forest, which is a bizarre ecosystem of stunted oak and pine trees, covered with moss and lichen, can be found on the highest peaks in the centre of the park. Due to its location at the transition from the hot northern lowlands to the cooler, more arid mountain country, Cerro Azul Meambar supports an unusually diverse animal population. We hike to the interchange zone between the tropical rainforest and the tropical cloud forest enjoying impressive views of the lake. In the afternoon we hike to an idyllic waterfall where we take a refreshing bath.
Day 7: Cerro Azul Meambar – Tegucigalpa
After breakfast we transfer to Tegucigalpa, driving through fascinating landscapes in Honduras. On the way, we visit the ancient capital Comayagua with its colonial heritage and a small historic museum. The church of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Cathedral, houses one of the oldest clocks in America, which dates from AD 1100. The origin of the today’s capital Tegucigalpa dates back to the 16th century and is linked to the discovery of silver deposits in the surrounding areas. In the afternoon we visit the colonial mining town Valle de Angeles. The Valley Valle de Angeles is considered as Honduras’ national handcraft centre. Famous traditional crockery made by the Lenca people and much more is for sale. 1 overnight in Tegucigalpa.
Day 8: Tegucigalpa – Trujillo
Early in the morning we depart from the Tegucigalpa region to Olancho, Honduras’ interior where cowboys still roam and 4x4s are the only way through the rough land. Our journey goes through beautiful, nearly uninhabited landscapes. The streets are simple earth roads. Get enchanted by the rural surroundings and the inherent natural beauty. The region is most sparsely populated. It can take us hours to see an oncoming vehicle. From the highlands down to the Caribbean coast we constantly lose height. The contrast between the wide, unspoiled plains and the palm-lined beaches of the Caribbean will elate you. We reach the Caribbean town of Trujillo in the late afternoon. 2 overnights in Trujillo.
Day 9: Trujillo
Today we discover the rich history of Trujillo, where Columbus set foot for the first time on Central American soil in 1502 on his fourth and last voyage to the New World. Today’s Trujillo was founded by Hernan Cortés’ command about 20 years later. Under Spanish rule Trujillo became the capital of Honduras, but because of its vulnerability the capital was changed to the inland town of Comayagua. Pirates destroyed Trujillo several times during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. We visit the fortress, Fortaleza de Santa Bárbara, and the last resting-place of the English pirate William Walker. Afterwards we drive to the nearby Garífuna communities of Santa Fé and Guadalupe. In the afternoon there is time to enjoy a refreshing bath in the sea and the beautiful beach.
Day 10: Trujillo – San Pedro Sula
You are transferred back to San Pedro Sula, where the journey ends. We travel through some of the most picturesque scenic areas of Honduras. En route we visit La Ceiba, one of the merriest towns in Honduras. Before reaching Tela we visit the Lancetilla Botanical Garden. The United Fruit Company founded the gardens more than 80 years ago as an experimental botanical site. If you wish, your guide can drop you of at the airport in La Ceiba in order to catch a flight to the Bay Islands. He can also take you to one of the beautiful hotels on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Please ask for more details.