Day 1: San Pedro Sula - Yojoa Lake - Cerro Azul Meambar National Park
To start our tour we visit the downtown area of San Pedro Sula to observe the intense commercial activity of the fastest growing city in Central America. We visit the local handcraft market "Guamilito" with its colourful stores, where fruits, vegetables, flowers and all kinds of regional handcrafts are for sale. Observe the Tortilleras forming hundreds of the popular corn tortillas at an impressive speed and baking them on open fire. Later our journey continues through a scenic drive to the Lake Yojoa. The region around the lake is rich in different habitat types. It is home or temporal host of a huge amount of migratory birds. Cerro Azul Meambar works as a retreating area for a lot of species because of increased human activities around the lake. 2 overnights at Cerro Azul Meambar Visitors Center.
Day 2: Cerro Azul Meambar National Park
Today we explore the magnificent tropical forest types of the Cerro Azul Meambar National Park. The park is one of the main protected areas around the lake, which is fed by the small rivers of the surrounding mountains. Ranging from 415 to 2,080 m, it contains coffee plantations, lowland humid forests, pine forest, and cloud forest. The rare elfin forest, which is a bizarre ecosystem of stunted oak and pine trees, covered with moss and lichen, can be found on the highest peaks in the centre of the park. Due to its location at the transition from the hot northern lowlands to the cooler, more arid mountain country, Cerro Azul Meambar supports an unusually diverse animal population. We hike to the interchange zone between the tropical rainforest and the tropical cloud forest enjoying impressive views of the lake.
Day 3: Cerro Azul Meambar National Park - Gracias
After breakfast we transfer to Gracias. Gracias was founded in 1536 and served as colonial capital of Central America for some time. Today Gracias is just beginning to make a name for itself and reveal all its natural and cultural treasures. Located at the foot of Celaque National Park, it is a great destination for those interested in hiking. With its magnificent churches, unique houses, streets and colonial estates, Gracias has a wealth of architectural richness that is unsurpassed. More importantly, the invaluable Lenca spirit survives in the city and mountains. As a stronghold of the Lenca culture, Gracias is a window to meet the descendants of the largest indigenous people encountered by the Spanish upon their arrival. We discover the colonial history of Gracias with its churches and the fortress San Cristobal. Overnight in Gracias.
Day 4: Gracias - Santa Rosa de Copán - Copán
In the morning we transfer to Santa Rosa de Copán, the most important city in Western Honduras. After its foundation in 1705, the town soon became the centre of the tobacco production in Honduras thanks to its fertile soil and mild climate. Today the cigar manufactory Flor de Copán produces about sixty very exclusive brands. During the traditional production process cigars are rolled by hand and covered by thin cedar wood, which characterizes the distinctive aroma of the Flor de Copán cigars. Before we continue to Copán Ruinas, we tour the charming village and visit the famous tobacco factory. En route learn about Mayan trade routes, social and political organization, and theories on their mysterious demise. Upon arrival to Copán your guide bids farewell. 2 overnights in Copán.
Day 5: Copán Ruinas
After breakfast, it is our suggestion for you to visit the legendary Archaeological Park of Copán, a short 30-minute walk from the Copán town. For your visit you can hire a local guide or enjoy on your own with the help of the many information brochures. Apart from Tikal, Copán is recognized as one of the best excavated archeological sites. Although Copán was much smaller than Tikal, it stood out due to its artistry. One of the main attractions of Copán is the impressive hieroglyphic stairway, which is with more than 2,500 hieroglyphs universally recognized as the most extensive hieroglyphic text of the ancient New World. This majestic construction is part of a temple that was built, at least in its final stage, by the fifteenth ruler of Copan in 755 A.C. Although not fully decoded, numerous studies have shown that the text narrates the dynastic history of Copán.
Day 6: Copán Ruinas - San Pedro Sula
This morning is left free for you to explore Copán. There are numerous small shops and stalls offering all kinds of handcrafts as well as excellent coffee, which is produced in the area. Narrow cobblestone streets, red tiled roofs and a bustling central park characterize the picturesque village of Copán. Many other activities are available for your enjoyment as well. There are for example a bird reserve that cares for rescued and endangered birds of the American tropics, an enchanted butterfly garden and hot springs in the midst of nature. In the afternoon you take the direct bus to San Pedro Sula. Upon arrival at the bus terminal you are picked up and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in San Pedro Sula.
Day 7: San Pedro Sula
Transfer to the San Pedro Sula airport in time for your international departure flight. You can also extend your stay with another of our itineraries. End of program.
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Central America and Caribbean Honduras Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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