Copan


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Published: November 21st 2014
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We left Managua, Nicaragua at 4am on a direct bus to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. The bus was reasonably comfortable but I was more than happy to finally get off it as it had taken an hour longer than expected arriving around 6pm.

The night before we left Nicaragua I read that in 2012 San Pedro Sula had been named the murder capital of the world. This made me a little nervous travelling through Honduras and staying in San Pedro Sula however we had no problems and didn't feel unsafe.

We were picked up at the bus station by the owner of our hostel. He explained to us that it is the drug cartels and gangs that like to fight and kill each other which has seen the murder rate go out of control. Generally for locals and tourists if you stay out of their way you have no problems.

The next morning we took a local bus from San Pedro Sula to Copan Ruinas. According to the bus timetable it was supposed to take 2.5 hours but took closer to 3.5 hours as we were constantly stopping to drop off and pick up passengers, but at least we made it.

Copan Ruinas (the town) is pretty small and mainly focused on the tourist trade, as a result some interesting places have opened up including a Germany micro brewery. We stopped in so Gary could try the beers and we enjoyed some German food for a change.

The Copan ruins are a short walk from town and a UNESCO world heritage site. Copan was one of the most important of all Maya civilisations. It is believed that people lived in Copan since at least 1200 BC. We enjoyed exploring the ruins and climbing to the top for some great views over the surrounding countryside. There is also some impressive pre-colombian art and sculpture which I enjoyed seeing. The site was pretty quiet so we could enjoy our visit without the crowds.

We visited the local cheese factory and did a short tour of where they make the different cheeses. We then enjoyed some wine and a cheese board with several different cheeses.

We visited Macaw Mountain, a bird park and nature reserve where all the birds are either rescued, donated, or part of their breeding program. The park is set around a gurgling stream in amongst the trees with good trails. They have a fantastic collection of Honduran and Central American macaws, toucans and parrots. We were the only guests in the park and really enjoyed the open area where the birds were not in cages and were free to come and go, but they generally just stayed. I held three macaws including a scarlet mawcaw that's native to Copan as well as a 4 month old toucan that fell out of its nest and was found on a coffee plantation. Many of the birds seemed very intelligent and a few said hello or hola.

Next stop Santa Ana, El Salvador.


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21st November 2014
Macaw Mountain

The bird woman of Honduras
How great that you visited Copan, and ignored that "murder capital..." nonsense. Your hostel owner was so right--we tourists are rarely targeted in places like that, and besides, you then got to visit Copan without all the tourists. Macaw Mountain looks fantastic--thanks for the tips (cheese factory and German food--yum)!

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