The town of Copan Ruins is fast coming of age, meeting the challenge of a boom in tourism with a taste and sophistication unequaled in Honduras; this is a delightful surprise considering it is such a small, out-of-the-way town. Together, the hotels, restaurants and tour operators have come a long way toward solving the problem of hit and run tourism that has frustrated Copan Ruins. For years, Maya enthusiasts would be bused in from Guatemala or San Pedro Sula on a short day trip to see the spectacular Ruins of Copan, returning to spend their money in fancy city hotels and missing the other unique attractions that the area has to offer.

Today, however, the combination of quality accommodations, good food and organized tours, the quaint charm and friendly people of this small town, and the wide variety of outdoor activities available can easily satisfy the most active and diverse interests throughout a stay of many days. In addition to the Principal Group of the Archaeological Park, there are other interesting sights nearby: the amazing sculpture museum at the ruins, and a great little museum in town; hot springs; nature trails; horseback riding; cloud forest hiking; tubing and rafting; caving; bird watching; a Spanish school; tobacco farming; and Chortí Maya villages.

The tiny colonial town of Copan Ruinas itself is a charming, peaceful place to spend several days. Red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and a lively central park are among the traditional characteristics that make the town so comfortable. The rise in tourism has encouraged construction of many new hotels and restaurants, but happily, a great effort has been made to maintain Copan Ruinas’ traditional colonial esthetic. Hotels are tastefully decorated and restaurants offer a wide variety of delicious foods. Good music and interesting people make for an active yet laid back nightlife that hops from one restaurant/bar to another through the safe and quiet streets. There are also many interesting art and souvenir shops offering colorful Honduran artistry.

Besides the fascinating Copan Archaeological Park and its newly opened Rosalila tunnel, the world>