Honduras South-West

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN

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Description : The biggest city in Western Honduras (25000 inhabitants) with cobbled streets, a nice colonial center on a hill and a big cigar factory

Comments : There is not much to see or do in town so it is not really necessary to spend too much time here. You could walk an hour or so around the Parque Contreras (20mn walk from station toward South, right after the bridge over the road, stiff climb) but it is nothing special. The Flor de Copan Cigar Factory's one hour tour (8 to 16:30 except Sunday) should be more interesting, if you are ready to spend $3 for the privilege. It produces over 20,000 hand-rolled cigars a day and is located 5mn South of the Bus Station (turn right after Commercial Rajo). You can also reach it by turning right after Hotel Continental and right again on a dirt road after a shop with a penguin sign.

Where to stay ? If you decide to stay, there are a few places North of the Parque but none of them are good value for money :

  • Hotel Sta. Eduviges, 3 Av NO, 1a C NO / 80 p.p. or 100 p.p. w. shower / No HW nor fan / Empty but big rooms
  • Hotel Continental (6620801), 2C NO, 2-3 Av NO / 200(1) or 290(2) w. HW shower & cable TV / Rather small and basic room so expensive
  • Hotel Castillo (6620368), 3 Av NO, 1-2C NO, turn left after the Esso Station / 70 p.p, 90 p.p. w. shower / No HW and no fan / Rather basic and small rooms but the cheapest in town.

Leaving ? No direct bus to Copan. Need to go first to La Entrada (L14, 1 hour, every 30mn). / To Nueva Ocotepeque (border to Guatemala or El Salvador), every hour from 6:30 to 17, L35, 2 hours / To San Pedro Sula, direct buses (L50, 2.5 hrs, a few buses) or non direct (L30, 3.5 hrs, every 30mn) / To Gracias, every hour (L20, 1.5 hours)

The trip to Gracias : SSSSS / Left / L20 / 1.5 hours
I came back at the station when a bus was leaving. This was a lovely packed bus like I like them. Of course, I could have waited one hour more for a secured seat but where would be the fun ? Trying to find a space for my backpack was the first challenge. Not finding any, I had no choice but to clear a rack and requesting people to take their small bag on their knee. Don't expect them to think about it for you !
More people getting in, the second challenge was to keep a reasonably safe breathing space. The third, to still manage to enjoy the great view on the left side. 
After an hour, the bus eventually lost a fair number of people and it was possible to sit. The scenery was now on the right side but it was not as dramatic as before. 

See also the trip from Copan