My first stop in Honduras! Initial thoughts – god it is hot! The temperature difference between Antigua and Copan was remarkable.
Crossing the border into Honduras was quite an experience in itself. Firstly as soon as you stop the van at the, seemingly remote, border men appear from everywhere to change money for you at, what I can only assume is, a rather questionable rates. Still this a useful system as both the exit tax and entrance tax seems to vary day by day and currency by currency. Lempira, Quetzal, Dollars? Who knew? Cost? Very good question!
Arriving at Copan we turned down an extremely bumpy dirt track and arrived in this tiny and wonderful little town. Again think cobbled streets, white buildings with red tiled roofs and heat. Very small, very hilly and utterly delightful. We had a meal in local hostel and I can highly recommend the local beer – Salva Vida.
Early the next day we set off the visit the Mayan ruins of Copan, one of the most important Mayan sites. Still taking our time to get used to the speculator heat it made sight seeing all the more challenging. However this did not detract from how impressive this site was. We stood under the blazing sun and saw temples, the plaza, ball court and the residential houses of the Royal family. I would say that getting a guide is imperative for making the most of this experience. There aren’t any signs and while the structures would still be impressive, you would definitely miss out on the history, use and significance of what each was. Our guide Marvin, self styled as an alien, was absolutely fantastic. I was in total awe of how long this buildings had been here and was such a privilege to see.
The great thing about Copan Ruinas is that it is relatively crowd free, and you can really access the ruins and get up close. The jungle almost appears to be growing out of it, so really feel like you are discovering this civilisation for yourself.
One of the other exciting parts of visiting this site were the wild macaws, the national bird of Honduras. I say wild; but they do keep coming back to the same spot as they know food will be there. We also saw giant rodent animals know as Paca – incredibly odd animals.
One of the highlights of my trip to Central America was visiting the Luna Jaguar hot springs outside of Copan Ruinas. It was a long bumpy ride out there, and we did wonder where on earth we were going. However when we arrived it was so worth it! Different pools of different temperatures were cascading down the side of jungle. We sat in pools drinking local beer and rum and grapefruit surrounded by the vines. We also used the mud to cover and ex-foliate our skin. Looking and feeling good! Absolutely fantastic and such a great way to spend an evening. This was followed by a delicious local dinner eaten outside under the stars.
Great first stop in Honduras, and somewhere I would highly recommend! All in all Honduras is love!