“Copán Ruinas is a tranquil oasis of ancient culture and sublime nature nestled in the foothills of western Honduras, just 7 miles from the Guatemala border. For years, Copán has been renowned for its magnificent Maya Ruins, a designated World Heritage Site believed by archeologists to be the cultural center, the Paris, of the Maya world.” —-chamber of commerce site of Copan Ruinas. You must see it to beleve it. It is out of this world!
The town of Copán Ruinas is a beautiful little village paved in cobblestone and lined with white adobe buildings with red-tile roofs… An aura of timeless harmony permeates the air.”
– The Lonely Planet Guide 2006 You should definitely place Copan Ruinas on your list as you travel around Honduras.
Bring plenty of film as you stroll through the Copan ruins of Honduras. The town is easy to get around, has excellent guided tours for the Mayan ruins and plenty of accommodations to fit the tourista and the budget minded. There is a large soccer field at the base of the town where the locals practice and play on a daily basis. If beef is your thing there are a number of outstanding restaurants serving excellent beefsteak as the main course. Honduras beef-cattle are free range and live off the rich green grasses in the valley.
In the town of Copan they have a skeleton on display, named “ole bones” at the local museum. He is certainly worth a look-see as you explore the town.
They grow some of the best coffee and tobacco in the region, which is exported to cigar and coffee markets around the world. If you want to go river rafting there are outfitters which can arrange a trip on one of the mountain rivers tumbling down through the valley. They also have numerous hot springs several kilometers from town, which the locals can hook you up with—- for an enjoyable nature-spa treatment.
It makes an excellent walk or hike to the ruins from the town of Copan or you can hire a taxi for the return trip. Bring plenty of water and pack a lunch as you will get the hungrys after walking around through the Copan ruins. As you stroll through the ruins you can see evidence of the sacrificial wall where they beheaded virgins for the benefit of the gods.
The ruins are not only majestic, but one of the earliest examples of art being carved into stone. They use the bright red and green jungle colors as a part of their vibrant society. They have a three story building partially unearthed that was being preserved like a tomb that is intricately carved to appeal to the gods. The large number of texts at Copán, nearly all on large stone stelae or altars, have given scholars a large amount of texts to be compared and studied, and these texts have played a significant role in the overall effort to break the Maya code.
At one time the Mayan city of Copan had over 25,000 population and dominated that part of Central America for its fierce warriors and hierarchy society. You can see different types of housing for the different classes within the Mayan culture. This Mayan ruin is an exceptional example for the freelance archeological buff or the very serious. It has been told there are miles of roads connecting the different Mayan cities throughout Central America and this was before the wheel was invented.
Some have compared the Mayan culture as the same time-period as the the Great Pyramids of Egypt. At any rate Copan Ruinas makes a great spot to learn about the history of the Mayan culture and realize what a great society they were– with many technological advances that would still be a wonder today.
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ZENTRAVLER SAYS: Explore the Mayan ruins as part of your journey!
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