Garifuna fishermen, Punta Izopo, Tela

Via Flickr:
Around 10AM these Garifuna fishermen will pack their nets and head to their huts with today's lunch: a few fresh fish caught from the Río Platano canals in Punta Izopo National Park as they have been doing since over a couple centuries when they first arrived to Honduran Caribeban Coast after being sent away from Saint Vincent Island.

Alrededor de las 10am estos pescadores Garífunas recogerán sus atarrayas y retornarán a sus cabañas con el almuerzo del día: unos cuantos pescados recién obtenidos de la desembocadura del Río Plátano en el Parque Nacional Punta Izopo como lo han venido haciendo a diario desde su llegada a las Costas del Caribe Hondureño hace más de dos siglos luego de ser enviados lejos de su natal isla de San Vicente.

A few Km. from Tela, Atlántida in Honduras, Punta Izopo National Park main attraction is the Rio Platano, where you can kayak through a maze of  mangroves admiring an impressive landscape and plenty of aquatic birds, howler, spider and cappuccino monkeys and some crocodiles. An exciting way of spending half day, and then enjoy a typical Garifuna lunch at the community of Triunfo de La Cruz.

Artisan's street, Copan Ruinas

Via Flickr:

The artisans' street in Copan Ruinas. Every weekend, this street is blocked to vehicles, and turned into a pedestrians' way, where everybody can admire and buy at bargain prices some excellent artwork and crafts exhibited by local and regional artisans. One of the little details that make this acquainted charming little town a true gem for tourists, besides the majestic Copan Maya Ruins.

La calle de los artesanos en Copan Ruinas. Cada fin de semana, esta vía se cierra al tránsito vehicular convirtiéndose en una peatonal donde los artesanos locales e internacionales exponen sus magníficas obras, las cuales estána la venta a precios muy razonables. Es una de las cosas de las que pueden disfrutar los visitantes en este pacífico y encantador pueblecito del Oeste de Honduras, además de las magníficas Ruinas de Copán.

MC Tours Honduras Launches New Redesigned Website

MC Tours - Honduras redesigned website as a vital communication tool for its clients, business partners and for all the traveler community interested in Honduras.
The result is an improved website which offers a fresh new look that technically provides its online visitors with significant improvements in navigation and resources to easily locate what they are looking for.

The Website located in http://mctours-honduras.com includes a better structured navigation aimed for the visitor to easily find interesting information which will be a great help in selling Honduras destination. The products/services are grouped together in a logical way, according to type, including some specific sections that filter the content according to the travelers’ interest, providing a cross-reference throughout all the website content to quickly find wanted information. This combined with the powerful dynamic search feature, with all pages carefully indexed with keywords, will make it easy for visitors to find everything they may need with a just few clicks.

The website is also mobile ready, so users will be able to conveniently navigate it from their iPhone, iPad, Android, or other smartphone mobile device while on the road.We are sure visitors will find the Resources – Videos section particularly useful; this section contains 17 recently produced videos about Honduras highlights which are a valuable tool to show prospect visitors the wonders of this beautiful country.

MC Tours - Honduras

MC Tours - Honduras
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Copan Ruinas, Copan

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Carpets of Copan, Honduras

Photo of the day - Carpets of Copan, Honduras | Gadling.com

Thanks Meg Nesterov for choosing our photo of Copan "Semana Santa" Carpets as Photo of the Day.

If the street above looks a little more colorful than the average road, it's because the carpet has been rolled out for Semana Santa, or holy week leading up to Easter. The "carpets" are made from colored sawdust and flowers and illustrate the Stations of the Cross. There are many reasons to visit Copan in the western region of Honduras, but the procession that will march down this street on Good Friday morning (April 6 in 2012, if you want to start planning) is a big draw; arrive early to admire the "carpets". Thanks to Flickr user Adalberto H Vega for capturing them before they got trampled!

Honduras's Top 5 Best Destinations

Located right in the middle of Central America, Honduras has plenty of different touristic sites for varied interests. From archaeological sites and towns with colonial buildings to almost a quarter of territory turned into protected areas for nature lovers, beautiful beaches spanning over 500 miles of its Caribbean North coast and crystal-clear warm water coupled with bleached sand beaches at the Bay Islands, a section of the Mesoamerican barrier reef, second largest of its kind in the world and first in biodiversity; living cultures that bear ancient traditions and authentic cultural heritage, and certainly the friendliest people in the region.

1. Copan

Copan Ball Court
Ball Court and Main Plaza, Copan Ruinas
Copán Ruinas is the prime destination in Honduras mainland. A small town with cobblestone streets, a multicultural ambiance typical of a regularly visited destination, yet not too crowded so as to still be enjoyed. As opposed to many other archaeological destinations, the main archaeological site is a short walk from town, just about ten city blocks away and you will find yourself in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copan, with a magnificent display of particularly unique sculpture works, even for general Maya art displays.

The southernmost Maya city–state of Copan flourished during a major Classic period from the 5th to 9th centuries AD, when Maya art and science development reached its peak just before mysteriously vanishing. You can enjoy a one-hour easy walk through the park, preferably with a local Tour Guide who will let you deep into the story of this fascinating place.

The Maya Sculpture Museum is one of the best in the region, holding the highest detail in original pieces found in the site protecting them from the elements as well as a full size replica of the Rosalila Temple, discovered in the late 80s, one of the intact temples preserved underneath one of the structures in the main site.

Besides the archaeological park, Copan has plenty of activities to keep you busy for a couple more days. There is the Copan Coffee Tour, a nice hike through shade grown coffee plantations under huge elderly trees inside an authentic primary rainforest just a 30-minute drive from town. Here you can learn about the harvesting and processing of this known bean variety that has become a key to most of our lifestyles.

At the Macaw Mountain Bird Park Reserve you will watch over 200 birds from different species such as macaws, parrots, toucans, owls, and hawks; some are flying freely in the park while others are kept inside spacious aviaries, and you can even have an encounter with some lucky ones at the interaction area. Most of these birds have been rescued from smugglers or donated from people who had them as pets, and since they were not able to survive alone in the wild, they are taken care of in the park.

The Luna Jaguar Hot Springs and Spa 50 minutes from town provides all necessary elements for a relaxing afternoon soothing your body, and for the more active people there is the Los Sapos Canopy Tour with 14 zip-lines (one of them over half a mile long and 650 feet above the ground) qualified by some people as one of the best in Central America.

2. Roatan and Utila

West Bay Beach
West Bay Beach at Roatan, Bay Islands
If you are more into enjoying sand and sea, Roatan will be the best choice. Pristine water and sugar-white sand are waiting for you at some of the best beaches this side of America. And for divers and snorkelers, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is just a fin stroke away from the beach, as opposed to many other diving destinations where you are forced to take a boat ride to get to the good spots.

The Gumbalimba Natural Park has a zip-line, a jungle with a lagoon and an interaction area with monkeys and macaws, a nice hanging bridge and water sports, all available to spend a nice full day of fun and adventure. You can also visit a nice cameo factory, where you can see the ancient delicate art of carving mythical images in sea shells. There is also an iguana farm, glass bottom boat tours and dolphin encounters available for you.

Utila, the smallest of the Bay Islands is a true heaven for divers, it is the less expensive place in the planet to get PADI certification, a preferred spot for the impressively giant whale shark and plenty of marine life, still a truly enjoyable paradise not crowded at all.

3. Tela

Lancetilla Botanical Garden
Lancetilla Botanical Garden, Tela
One hour from San Pedro Sula, the main touristic gateway in the country is Tela, an old town that flourished during the banana boom of the 30s when Honduras was the main exporter of this exotic fruit, earning its popular title “Banana Republic”. Tela is located in the north Caribbean coast of Honduras.

There are nice fully appointed resorts to enjoy some sunny days, and there are also four different protected areas in the surroundings: Jeannette Kawas National Park; accessible only by water, this park has some of the nicest beaches around and totally off the beaten path to have them only for you, there is plenty of wildlife to be seen such as howler, white-faced, and spider monkeys, alligators, many aquatic birds and (if you are lucky) some dolphins along the boat on the way in. Los Micos Lagoon is a place to go on a motor boat right past the Garifuna village of Miami where you can visit a Garifuna Museum and interact with the ethnic locals during their daily life.

Tela is also home to the Lancetilla Botanical Garden, the second largest botanical garden in the world, holding a wide variety of plants and trees from around the globe. This garden was built as a research facility by one of the banana companies and is now maintained by the government. The Punta Izopo Wildlife Reserve is an intricate maze of mangroves where you can kayak along to enjoy the peace of this remote area while watching some abundant wild life.

4. La Ceiba

Cangrejal River Rafting
Cangrejal River Rafting, La Ceiba
One hour east of Tela and you will stumble upon La Ceiba, owner of the properly earned title: “the Ecotourism Capital” of Honduras. In La Ceiba you have the chance to visit Pico Bonito National Park, a true paradise for birdwatchers -one of the biggest most intact contiguous forest in this part of the world, with confirmed sightings of more than half of the nearly 800 birds known to Honduras. The highest elevation in the shortest distance from sea level, Pico Bonito has several nicely maintained nature trails for all levels of hiking and trekking, some canopy tours, and from The Lodge at Pico Bonito -featured in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World list- you can find a few  nice bird-watching towers to easily appreciate some of the over 400 species that wander freely in this cloud forest including the elusive Lovely Cotinga.   

Cuero y Salado Wild Life Refuge is a coastal manatee and wildlife refuge where the Cuero and Salado Rivers meet the ocean. The refuge contains over 13 square kilometers of tropical wet and mangrove forests. Monkeys, sloths, caimans, crocodiles, iguanas, and turtles are common sights together with over 350 species of birds. The refuge's most famous inhabitant is the elusive and endangered West Indian Manatee with an estimated population of 50 individuals. From the La Ceiba international airport you can fly to Roatan, Utila or Guanaja (the other two Bay Islands), although they can also be reached by a nice passenger’s speed-boat.

For those searching adrenaline kicks, the Cangrejal River offers class 4 and 5 rapids for one of the best white-water river rafting experiences. Last but not least from La Ceiba is Cayos Cochinos, an archipelago of several small cays all part of a protected area which has guaranteed a truly secluded experience in one of the most paradisaical spots around.

5. The Lenca Trail

Cathedral Santa Rosa de Copan
Cathedral from Central Plaza, Santa Rosa de Copan
If your interest is more into the cultural side, the Lenca Trail offers a nice itinerary, covering some of the nicest old colonial towns including Comayagua, former capital city of Honduras. With some nice colonial churches and buildings, one of the Comayagua Cathedral towers holds the oldest clock in our continent; La Esperanza, a small town in the Honduran highlands where local Lenca people from the surrounding villages gather together on Sundays to exchange market goods; Gracias, former capital city in the days of the Central American Vice-royalty, home to some nice old churches, the San Cristobal fortress dating from colonial times and the Casa Galeano Museum; and Santa Rosa de Copan, a nice small city which flourished greatly during the republican period, right after independence days when the tobacco industry began to take off, the city tour includes a visit to some nice old buildings and a tobacco factory.


Honduras is a little less than 3 hours from main gateways in the United States by flight, with four international airports receiving daily flights from major airlines, being San Pedro Sula the main aerial entry for tourism. Getting around is easy, there is deluxe transportation service available, and private services can easily be arranged as well. There are hotels for every budget, and the locals are very friendly. English is widely spoken in Copan and Roatan and also by the staff of important hotels throughout the country.

The Church and Central Plaza, Copan Ruinas

The Central Plaza in Copan Ruinas, Honduras is going through some radical transformations. Apparently the municipal authorities had finally come to their senses and realized that the Central Plaza in a small town like Copan Ruinas should not have that many ornaments and walls inside.

It is the same situation as any other town in Honduras (or Latin America) that has the typical layout of the Spanish cities, with the church opposite to the government building. The Central Plaza doesn't have any walls or tall edifications inside, because buildings around have even more historical value to be appreciated from the plaza itself.

Although a properly maintained—beautifully adorned Central Plaza contributes to the embellishment of the city, Central Plazas should not be crowded with vision-obstructive elements that impede the view of those historically valuable buildings.

The actual Plaza with all those decorations inside (and an unnecessary wall in the south side) was created by the same architect who designed the Central Plaza in Puerto Cortes, but the difference in that city as compared to Copan —no offense to the Porteños— is that the only pretty element in the city is the Plaza itself. There are no historical buildings around worthy of singular appreciation.

Let's hope the remodeling process won't suffer the same interference as the so—called garden refurbishing.