The Copan Ruins Honduras are some of the most famous
and best preserved Mayan ruins in Central America, on
par with Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
The Copan Ruins (or ruinas de Copan) are remnants
of a great Mayan city, which reached its peak between
600 and 800 CE. By 1200 CE the city was completely abandoned
and the jungle surrounded the former Mayan wonders.
Copan Ruins Honduras
Today, the Copan Ruins Honduras are a major archeological site and a big tourist draw. The nearest town is Copan Ruinas (the Spanish phrase for the ruins themselves is ruinas de Copan). It is possible to take day tours from Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and other Honduras cities, but most travelers will want spend a night in a Copan hotel Honduras: it can take several days to explore all the ruins. The Marina Copan Hotel Honduras is a good top-end bet. Budget travelers will find the area around the Copan Ruins flush with cheap digs. Several hostels offer shared rooms for under $5 a night. The Los Gelemos Copan Hotel Honduras has private rooms for a similar price. Quality increases considerably if you spend just a little more, so the Copan Ruins Honduras is a must-visit place on any Central American backpacking tour.
The town of Copan Ruinas is less than a mile from the
Copan Ruins, a short 15-minute walk from the hotels and
restaurants. Santa Rosa de
Copan is a nice large town a little farther away in the
Copan Valley. Santa Rosa is also worth considering as
a base to explore the Mayan site.
The Ruinas de Copan archeological site operates the ruins. Entrance to the Copan Ruins is about $10 a person. The extra charge to visit the archeological tunnels is a bit steep, but the do provide a unique glimpse at some of the structures beneath the visible Copan Ruins. The fee to enter the Museum of Sculptures (about $6) is well worth it. The artwork inside conjures a magical world far removed from modern Honduras.
Archeologists and tourists alike flock to the Copan Ruins for its huge stone stalae, impressive sculptures often covered in Mayan hieroglyphs, much of which remains undeciphered. Other impressive sights around the Great Plaza include the Ball Court, the hieroglyphic staircase, and the imposing Acropolis. It is worth getting a tour guide to take you around the Copan Ruins, guides are generally well informed and full of interesting information. The $35 or so price tag is less expensive when you get together a large group.
The Mayan site of Copan is one of the archeological wonders of the New World. A vacation to Honduras is incomplete without a trip to see the Copan Ruins.