Santa Rosa de Copan

Semana Santa (holy week), a weeklong festival before Easter, is the most vibrant of all Honduras events. It is celebrated throughout the country, but the best place to experience it is probably Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras.

Santa Roso de Copan Honduras is a delightful mountain town in the western part of the country, near the border with Guatemala. The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys alone make a Santa Rosa vacation worthwhile. Downtown Santa Rosa de Copan features cobblestone streets, restored clay-roofed Spanish-style buildings, and a charming colonial church. The downtown is a national historic area.

Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras has been the center of the region's rich tobacco trade since colonial times. To learn about the entire process of cigar production, head to La Flor de Copan cigar factory. Tours are available Monday through Friday at 10 am and 2 pm for about $2 each. At the end of the tour stop by the factory shop and try some of their hand-rolled cigars. Local recommend the Santa Rosa, a mild but satisfying cigar.

Benificio Maya is another must-see place on a Santa Rosa vacation. A factory for roasting of coffee for export, Benificio Maya is open year-round, with tours available in coffee season (November to February). The factory store sells fresh high-grade coffee.

Like most Central American towns, life in Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras centers around the Parque Central, a great place for people watching. To the west of town, the Parque El Cerrito provides good view of Santa Rosa.

Be sure to visit the surrounding countryside on a Santa Rosa vacation. Nearby Montana de Celaque, a national park featuring lush forests and several rivers, is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Honduras. The Mayan site of Copan is a short drive from Santa Rosa. Other towns along la Ruta Lenca (the Lenca Route) - Gracias, San Juan, La Esperanza, and Mancala - are also worth a visit. Lenca Land Trails tour company offers single and multi day trips to these and other sites from Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa hotels are not fancy, but some are quite charming: Hotel Elvir in particular has a grand façade and entrance. There are a few Santa Rosa hotels for budget travelers: Hotel Blanca Nieves (snow white hotel) and Hotel El Rosario are good cheap choices. Uniquely, many Santa Rosa hotels are converted family homes. Contact the tourist office in town to organize a stay in one of these bed and breakfasts.

If you have not booked into one of the Santa Rosa hotels well in advance, do not bother going to the city for Semana Santa. The holy week before Easter in Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras is perhaps the best in the country, with six parades celebrating different parts of the Easter story. On Good Friday, a procession accompanies "Jesus" through the historic district over a carpet of flowers.

Holy week would be a great time for a Santa Rosa vacation, but visitors will find this lovely Honduran mountain town charming at any time of year.

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