The 25 Best Sights in Honduras
Honduras is located in the heart of America, has a tropical climate and is great for a beach vacation. However, there are quite a few interesting sights here that are definitely worth seeing.
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Who Should Come to Honduras and Why?
First of all Honduras is known for its beautiful nature. There are many national parks and nature reserves, where you can walk through shady forests, listen to birds sing and see a variety of animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction.
Also in this country, there are historical architectural monuments. Many people will be interested to see the ruins of the Mayan city and visit several museums to learn more about the history of the country. The ancient churches and cathedrals are also worth seeing.
Cultural Sites and Museums
Roatan Institute of Marine Science
The founding date of this institute is 1989. It was established to study and protect marine life, and schoolchildren and students often come here to gain new knowledge.
The institute is also open to tourists: here you can swim with dolphins and play simple games with them, and the staff helps visitors communicate with these amazing animals.
Museum of National Identity
Located in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, it is one of the most popular and visited museums in the city. The exhibits on display are related to the country’s history and culture. Also, you can see the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copán by taking a virtual tour.
History Museum of the Republic of Honduras
This museum will acquaint you with the history of the state and its people, starting from 1821, when Honduras received its independence from Spain. The exhibit features archaeological finds from before the Spanish arrived and exhibits from the colonial era.
There is also a map room and the room of Lozano Diaz, a local politician who owned the museum building until 1979.
National Gallery of Art
The building that houses this museum today was built in 1654. For more than 100 years, the first university in Honduras operated here, and in 1994 it was decided to establish the National Gallery of Art.
Its collection is housed in 12 rooms and is presented in chronological order, from ceramics and carved Mayan sculptures to colonial paintings and contemporary masterpieces. There are also temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.
Military History Museum
The inhabitants of Honduras have long fought for freedom, so the country has a rich history, which is reflected in the military-historical museum. Here you can see documents and artifacts from the XVII and XVIII centuries.
Also in the museum a collection of weapons, where there is a machine gun Degtyarev, rifle “Beretta”, RPG and rifles from the Anglo-Boer War. During the tour, tourists are invited to go down into the underground chamber where the soldiers held prisoners.
Ancient City of Copan
An archaeological city in Honduras near the border with Guatemala. It is believed that Copan was founded in V-IV century BC. Today it is known all over the world for its ancient structures and buildings. The city has protected status and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Not all sites within Copan have yet been studied and restored – some temples, houses and plazas have not yet been explored.
Fort San Fernando de Omoa
The fort is located in the town of Omoa on the coast. The fort was built from 1756 to 1775 and was intended to protect the city from pirates. For many years the structure stood abandoned until in 1959 the authorities decided to restore it to attract tourists.
Fortaleza de Santa Barbara Fortress
In the north of the country is the small town of Trujillo. It is here that Fortaleza de Santa Barbara was built around 1550 at the entrance of the bay. The purpose of its construction was to protect the city from pirate attacks. Today it is a tourist site where you can go on a fascinating excursion.
Architecture of Comayagua
The city of Comayagua has preserved unique ancient architecture. There is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, whose tower houses one of the oldest clocks in America, the Merced Church, the Bishop’s Palace, the ruins of the Royal Castle, and Trident College.
Saint Michael the Archangel Cathedral
The temple is located in Tegucigalpa and is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel. This building has a significant place in the history of the city. In its walls are buried eminent persons: the presidents of Honduras, the builder of the cathedral, Simon José Zelaya, and Bishop José María Martínez. In 1967 the church was declared a national monument.
Church of Iglesia de San Francisco
This is the first church built by the Spaniards in Tegucigalpa at the end of the 16th century. During the temple’s existence, its building served as the town hall, an educational institution, and a rebel station. Today the church has been fully restored, attracting attention with its beautiful towers, side altars and bell towers.
San Pedro Sula Cathedral
The cathedral in San Pedro Sula was built in honor of the Apostle Peter in 1904. The building has a classical form and has vaults holding up the central dome. The colonnaded facade has two towers, a clock tower and a bell tower.
The incredible atmosphere inside the cathedral is created by the mosaic windows and stained glass dome depicting the life stories of Catholic saints. On the walls of the temple you can see frescoes of the same theme.
Church of Santa Maria de los Dolores
This is one of the oldest churches in the country. A small hermitage stood on the site of the present temple as early as the 16th century, and in 1732 the construction of the church began at the initiative of the priest Juan Marquez-Nota. The church was built in the American Baroque style, has a dome and two bell towers. Inside it you can see paintings and frescoes, as well as traditional Baroque luxury gold and silver trim.
The island of Roatan belongs to Honduras and is located in the Caribbean Sea. Ecotourism is very well developed here and the place is great for diving – divers are attracted by the clean water and the reefs close to the shore.
The main tourist area is on West End Beach, which is also a diving center. Visitors to the island can also go sport fishing, take a boat trip, visit an iguana farm, or the ancient Punta Gorda settlement.
The waterfall in the province of Cortez is the largest in the country, with a height of 140 meters. The stream of water flows out of the rainforest with such a roar that nothing can be heard around it – not even the voice of a man standing nearby.
Locals say that the name of the waterfall was given by the Mayans, and it means “white river coming out of the banks. If you go to see this attraction as part of a tour group, your guide will also take you inside the waterfall.
The largest lake in Honduras is 15 meters deep and 285 m2 in area. The lake is of volcanic origin and is located at an altitude of 700 m. It borders two national parks and is a kind of rest area for tourists traveling through them.
Here you can take a breath between excursions, have a bite to eat in the coastal cafe and admire the beautiful views. The lake is rich in flora and fauna – about 800 species of plants and about 400 species of birds.
Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
The reef is nearly 1,000 km long. It originates slightly north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, runs along Guatemala and Belize and ends near the coast of Honduras.
The underwater world of the reef is represented by 500 thousand species of fish, sea turtles and manatees, dolphins and sea sharks. There are also underwater grottos and caves, the deepest of which has a diameter of 300 m.
If you are attracted to the exploration of underground caves and grottoes, go to the town of Comayagua, where there is a huge cave complex Taulabe. Now 12 km of its territory have been explored, but only 400 m are accessible to tourists.
Inside the complex there are paths and lighting in all the secluded corners, which makes the underground walk even more exciting. There is no dampness inside the caves – the air there is very dry.
Cayos Cochinos Islands
This archipelago is a National Park, and tourists call it “heaven on earth.” The nature of the islands is protected by the state, so there are no factories nearby. There are beautiful clean beaches with white sand, the water temperature does not drop below 25 degrees.
You can rent a boat to sail around the island or do scuba diving. Thanks to the clear water, visibility is excellent.
Parks and reserves
The Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve is located on the Rio Platano River on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Much of its territory is occupied by lowland and mountain rainforests. The reserve also includes coastal lagoons, moss-covered forests and palm swamps, mango groves and clear streams flowing from the ground.
The park is also home to a mix of wildlife and flora, and is home to traditional Indian tribes. The reserve is home to monkeys, jaguars, cougars, ocelots, toucans, ara parrots, and other animals and birds.
The oldest national park in Honduras was created to preserve the soil and prevent it from leaching into the region. La Tigra is divided into two ecological zones, and there is also a museum of the history of the park.
The local tourism center is located in El Rosario, a small village where you can get the necessary information about the park and its inhabitants, choose a tourist route. The park is home to about 200 species of birds, as well as various species of animals, many of which are rare or endangered.
The second largest botanical garden in the world with tropical plants is the pride of Honduras. The park was founded by the railway company. During its existence (since 1926) the garden has amassed an impressive collection of various plants.
In addition, its territory is home to more than 350 species of birds and animals. On a tour you can walk through the largest orchard and bamboo forest and swim in the local river Lancetilla.
Pico Bonito National Park
One of the largest nature reserves in Honduras, the area is divided into two parts, Yoro and Atlantida. The park has two mountain peaks (Montein Corozal and Bonito) as well as many rivers. The reserve is home to many species of birds, animals, and reptiles, many of which are endangered.
La Leon Park.
Back in 1840 at this place was planned to build a park, but construction began only 70 years later. Today, La Leona looks like a modern French-style park. Its main attraction is the monument to the President of Honduras, Manuel Bonilla, installed in the center.
Walking through the alleys of La Leon is loved not only by tourists, but also by locals. There is a basketball court for young people, and you can go rollerblading or skateboarding on the paths.
The national park is named after environmental activist Jeannette Cavas, who threw himself into the fight to preserve nature in Honduras. His efforts were not wasted: this park has preserved mango thickets, rainforests, coral reefs and lagoons, and clean beaches.
Wildlife is also diverse: dolphins, white and roaring monkeys, sea turtles and manatees, quetzals and toucans can be found in the territory and waters of the reserve.
Honduras is a very interesting country to travel to. It is filled with many mysteries and mysterious places. And the beauty of its nature will impress even the most avid tourist. There are no developed megacities, but there is something more. Snow-white beaches, endless rainforests and ideal places for diving. For true connoisseurs of historical monuments, Honduras has ancient settlements where the captive Mayans lived. This is a country with no industrial waste, which means that the water near its shores is the cleanest. This is what opens the way for many divers from all over the world. It is a country of pristine nature with many natural attractions and beautiful places. Walking through its cities, you can look at the beautiful buildings of the colonial style.
So what are the best places to visit to experience the real Honduras unadorned?
Thanks to this island, which is washed by the Caribbean Sea, many and discovered Honduras as the ideal country for many travelers. Here you can not only do perfect diving and see the amazing coral reefs, but also just walk around the island and enjoy its pristine nature. During the dives, you can see an amazing variety of underwater life.
The next must-see place in Honduras is the amazing waterfall. In the whole country can not find, at least larger waterfall. From a height of 140 meters, its raging stream of water plummets downward. The nature that surrounds this attraction is a dense and green jungle. Despite this it will be easy enough to get to the waterfall, but only with an attendant. It is better not to risk on your own.
This city is the largest in all of Honduras of those that have survived the ancient Mayan civilization. It is considered to be the ideal cultural heritage of this tribe that has remained in our days. As far back as the 7th century it was inhabited by people and since that time some of their amazing constructions made of solid slabs of such dimensions, which they surprisingly lifted with their own hands, have remained here. There are whole statues, columns, and you can even see their burial sites.
Comayagua and its colonial architecture.
This city once acted as the capital of the country, until 1880. Among all its buildings, which are made in a chic colonial style, the Cathedral deserves special attention. The building itself is very beautiful and certainly worthy of the attention of every visitor to the city. But its main feature is the oldest clock in the world. Also, walking around this beautiful city, you should pay attention to the church of La Merced. And that’s not all of the amazing buildings that are worth seeing here.
A small, 12-meter islet is a great choice for a low-cost vacation. There are no comfortable hotels or fancy restaurants here. But there is its own beautiful nature and atmosphere created by the locals. On the island, you can take diving lessons for absolutely pennies. They even made several schools for this purpose. And off its shores you can see a real whale shark.
Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
The 900-kilometer-long underwater wonder acts as the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is a paradise for all divers. The beauties you see underwater you will never forget. This is a world of its own that needs no introduction and cannot even be described. Thousands of inhabitants of this reef, a secret underwater cave with no end in sight, amazing plants. It’s all found in this place. And much of it is not yet fully explored.
Little French Key Resort.
This place is located on one of the most recognizable islands, Roatan. This resort is designed for the most comfortable “luxury” vacation. Soft beach sand with chic bars and chic cool cocktails they serve, the clearest water off the coast. It seems that even nature has adjusted to the rich recreation in this place. Here you can go for spa treatments or eat freshly caught seafood in a good restaurant. Everything is only of the highest level.
Comayagua Street Carpets
The town of Comayagua has a very unusual attraction that is so beloved by tourists. The week before Easter, you can see a real handmade miracle in the streets of this town. This homemade, colorful carpets. The sight is simply amazing. They make them out of everything colored that comes to hand. These are flower petals, colored sawdust, rice, and more. The images mostly refer to various biblical motifs.
Roatan Institute of Marine Science.
This organization was founded to focus on marine conservation. It began its activities in 1989. Many young people come to this place who are interested in nature and want to learn everything about it to the best of their ability. And tourists who visit this place can get to know marine nature personally, such as swimming with dolphins.
This river has a very important feature. It is considered one of the most picturesque in the whole continent. It is part of a national park. Its 25 kilometers of length with various estuaries, rapids and rocks provide ideal conditions for such a sport as rafting. If you like extreme sports, this is the ideal place. But it is better to do it with a group of professionals, because safety should be paramount.
La Tigra National Park
This national park is popular among tourists. All those who got to its land called it the most beautiful place in all of Honduras. It is also the oldest. Since it is located on an elevation of more than two thousand meters above sea level, the views here are simply gorgeous. The park has wilderness areas and hiking trails for tourists. Among the many plants is the sacred Mayan tree, the erythrina.
This enormous volcanic lake covers an area of about 280 square kilometers. In all Honduras there is no lake larger than Yojoa. Its maximum depth is 15 meters. Because of the high elevation, the lake offers spectacular views of the surrounding nature of the two national parks. Many varieties of birds come to the shores of the lake.
Jeanette Kawasaki National Park
On the coast of the Caribbean Sea is another interesting national park. It is quite young and was opened only 25 years ago. The territory of the park is occupied by beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, forests, swamps, lagoons and rivers. It has all the conditions for interesting eco-tourism. You can also find many interesting animal species in the park.
This island was discovered in the early 1500s by Christopher Columbus himself. He called it the pine island. And all because the island is almost entirely populated with this stunning Caribbean tree. It looks very beautiful, especially against the background of white sand and crystal clear water. Also on the island you can climb a 500-meter mountain and admire the place from a bird’s-eye view. Visit this amazing place should every tourist.
Pico Bonito National Park
Another national park with stunning primordial nature is located in the north of the country. It was discovered in ’87 and covers about 600 square kilometers of Honduran territory. There is a beautiful and massive mountain range that can be seen from every point on the island. Small rivers and even smaller streams flow through the stunning rainforest and make up the perfect picture of this natural park.
Cayos Cochinos Islands
Another beautiful islands of Honduras for a good beach vacation. These are not just any islands, but nature reserves. Every traveler who gets to these places call them paradise. Everything here is perfect, the water, the sand, and the surrounding nature. Tourists can rent a boat and go fishing or scuba diving.
Botanical Garden of Lancetilla
The second largest park in the world is located in the city of Lancetilla. It was opened in the early 1900s. Here the river of the same name flows, in which every guest of the park can swim. You can also admire many species of interesting plants and animals that live here. The park has a beautiful orchard and its own bamboo grove. A walk through the botanical garden will bring incredible aesthetic pleasure.
Museum of National Identity in Tegucigalpa
Another city that every visitor to the country should visit is its capital Tegucigalpa. It has a very interesting national identity museum. Visiting it, the tourist will learn more about the culture and history of the country, how people used to live here and live now. The museum has its own stage where various public performances are held. This place will be interesting not only for adults, but also for children.
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve
There is a beautiful place in the city of Rio Platino, which is included in the list of protected sites of UNESCO. The reserve began its existence in ’82. What makes it interesting is that it is home to a large number of members of such a people as the Mosquito. There is also a river of the same name, on which you can rent boats and admire the surrounding beauty. A huge variety of birds come to these places.
El Kusuko National Park
Another must-see spot on the tourist map is this national park. What is it about it that attracts tourists so much? There is very interesting vegetation here. For example, the mighty mountain oaks. They can reach a height of forty meters. Also in the park there are whole fields covered with orchids and even a vineyard. This picturesque place leaves no one indifferent.
Karambola Botanical Gardens.
Another eco-tourism paradise is this botanical park. Here the wild jungle, as if by order is decorated with flowers. Orchids and fruit trees the tourist will meet at every step. In a tour group walk through the park will be more interesting, because the guide will be able to tell about each unfamiliar plant or bird in more detail. The highlight of this garden is the chocolate tree that grows here.
These amazing caves, which are located in the town of Comayagua, are another must-see on the tourist itinerary. Most of them are not even explored, but the 400 meters that are available to visitors will be able to show the whole essence of these places. There are well-trodden hiking trails and every corner is illuminated. Walking through these caves is a pleasure.
Kirigua Archaeological Park and Ruins
These famous ruins are part of the archaeological park. Quirigua is the name of the city that appeared and was settled by the first inhabitants back in the 2nd century. And until now, there are still a few of its structures preserved. It is just an amazing place in terms of historical heritage. That is why this park is included in the list of protected sites of UNESCO. Settled this city by the Maya tribes. It is after them, and left a variety of sculptures, ruins, and the famous calendars.