The charming city of Copan, adjacent (just 1.6km) to the famous Copan Ruins, Honduras, is a nice colonial city located in western Honduras.
While most people simply stop in to see the Ruins, the town of Copan has a lot to offer on its own! The paved cobblestone streets are full of restaurants, shops and street venders and the local population is friendly with a surprisingly good grasp of English.
Requiring only a day or two to get a good grasp of the small town, make sure to try some local dishes like the scrumptious baleadas, a Honduran style burrito or pupusa..
Made with ultra-thin corn tortillas, baleadas can be filled with a variety of toppings – meat, eggs, cheese, avocado and vegetables – and range from $15-35 Lempira each. This translates to .80 – $2 cdn, so yeah, Copan is a good place to get your budget back on track!
While Copan has plenty of higher end restaurants for gourmet $5-10 cdn meals, if you’re super budget conscious like I am, don’t think twice about getting some fantastic street food.
Although lacking in presentation, the quality of street food is superb in Copan. A meal of grilled beef, beans, salad and tortillas is $40-50 lempira – which is hard to top just about anywhere in the world!
After checking out the city of Copan, I’d suggest visiting the Macaw National Bird Park, just a 20-minute walk from the city centre. This beautiful nature reserve is well worth a visit, whether you’re into birds or not – as the setting overlooking Copan is pretty special.
Home to a number of Scarlet Macaw (large, long tailed parrots), the National bird of Honduras, this Park aims at rehabilitating displaced birds – before releasing them back into their natural habitat.
AND, as weird as it feels to have a bunch of these large birds perched on top of you, it’s also possible to become a ‘bird whisperer’!
Overall, I don’t have enough good things to say about my visit to Copan. The people are friendly, everything is cheap, and the city was a pleasant surprise. While Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, I didn’t begin to feel unsafe during my time in Copan.
Ultimately, I’d suggest spending a day in the city and another day checking out the Ruins and the National Bird Park. From Copan, you can catch daily van shuttles to Guatemala, El Salvador, or to the Utila Islands located on the east coast of Honduras. Check it out!
Enjoy – hasta pronto !