Santa Rosa de Copán

Santa Rosa is an important regional town with a colonial atmosphere of cobbled streets and some of the best colonial architecture in Honduras. Originally known as Los Llanos, it was made a municipality in 1812 and became capital of the Department of Copán when it was split from Gracias (now Lempira). The town is set in some of the best scenery in Honduras and the fine weather makes it ideal for hiking, horses and mountain biking.

Santa Rosa owes its wealth to the fact that it's an agricultural and cattle-raising area. Maize and tobacco are grown here, and visitors can see traditional hand-rolling at the
Flor de Copán cigar factory
. The central plaza and church are perched on a hilltop. There is a quieter plaza, the
Parque Infantil
, a fenced playground and a nice place to relax. The main
, has good leather items.
Farmers' markets
are held daily in Barrio Santa Teresa.

Around Santa Rosa de Copán

Taking time to explore some of the forested hills around Santa Rosa will lead you through spectacular scenery and give an insight into the life of agricultural Honduras.

There are buses from Santa Rosa west to the small town of
Dulce Nombre de Copán
. There are rooms available next to the Hondutel office. Hikers heading for Copán and the border can continue west through the mountains to stay at
San Agustín
(buses and pickups from Santa Rosa), take a hammock or sleeping bag, continuing next day through Mirasol to reach the Ruinas road at El Jaral, 11 km east of Copán ruins .

South of Santa Rosa, buses pass through
, with a scenic river, good swimming and camping on its banks, and
San Pedro de Copán
, an attractive village and an entry point into the
Parque Nacional Celaque

A mule trail connects
Belén Gualcho
, a Lenca village in the mountains and a good base for exploring the surrounding area, with
San Manuel de
(1500 m), which has a magnificent colonial church whose façade is sculpted with figures of saints. Buses to San Manuel from Gracias at 1300, four hours, and usually a pickup returning in the evening. There are no hotels so you must ask villagers about places to stay. There is an equally fine colonial church 30 minutes by 4WD vehicle to the southwest at
San Sebastián Colosuca
(1550 m). The village has a mild climate (two
; or try Don Rubilio; food at Doña Clementina García or Doña Alicia Molina). The Feria de San Sebastián is on 20 January. An hour's walk away is the Cueva del Diablo and 6 km away is Cerro El Alta with a lagoon at the top. From San Sebastián, a mule trail goes via the heights of
Agua Fría
to reach the route near the border at

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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