Western Highlands Attractions
Forest-covered mountain ranges shelter small Honduran towns that retain their colonial flavor. National parks, waterfalls and Honduras's largest lake are found in a region that is home to the capital city, Tegucigalpa, and the region's star attraction, the Maya ruins at Copán.
Also known as Nuevo Ocotepeque, the city's focal point is a gigantic bus station built because of its proximity to both El Salvador and Guatemala. Located in the highlands of Western Honduras Ocotepeque, is a relatively modern city and does not contain colonial buildings because the original town of Ocotepeque was destroyed years ago by a flash flood.
Agua Caliente - Thermal Waters
Agua Caliente means "hot water" and near the village of Agua Caliente, thermal waters spout and flow into a cold water river forming natural pools and showers where bathers can relax.
Comayagua, population 72,000, was the capital of Honduras from 1537 to 1880, and retains much evidence of its colonial importance. Recent reconstruction efforts seek to preserve the city's treasures which date back to the 16th C and incorporate Spanish and Mayan influences.
Santa Maria Cathedral and Clock
The 17th C cathedral in the center of the town contains much fine art and boasts one of the oldest clocks in the world. The clock was made at the beginning of the 13th C was donated to the town by King Philip II of Spain.
Regional Museum of Archeaology
San Merced Church
The oldest church in Honduras was built in 1536.
Travelers stop at Gracias, a town which still retains much of its colonial flair, en route to the Celaque National Park. Founded in 1536, by settler Juan de Chavez who named the location Gracias a Dios after exclaiming "thank God that we have finally found flat land".
Celaque National Park
At 26,400ha/66,000ac Celaque National Park is one of the largest tracts of cloud forest left in Central America. The journey to the 2,500m/8,200ft level where the cloud forest vegetation actually begins is long and strenuous There is plenty to see on the lower mountain such as the many orchids and colorful tropical birds plus an interesting organic coffee farm, located ½ hour hike up into the park.
Montaña de Celaque, is the highest peak in Honduras at 2,880m/9,500ft above sea level.
Fort of San Cristobal
From a small mountain, turreted Castillo de San Cristobal looms over the city of Gracias. The fort has old Spanish cannons that were donated by the Spanish government and the tomb of Honduran governor Juan Lindo. From the fort you can Gracias' three churches, the cemetery, and the Montaña de Celaque located behind the fort.
Church of Las Mercedes
The 16th C colonial Church of Las Mercedes, and the Audiencia de Los Confines houses the parochial center. The Audiencia de Los Confines, once the governing council for all of Central America and capital of Honduras, was established here in 1544.
Santa Barbara, Honduras
Nestled in a very mountainous region is the old colonial town of Santa Barbara. Because of its geographic location and climatic conditions Santa Barbara is the largest coffee growing area in Honduras. There are many handicrafts produced in the area.
Balneario La Torre
An old colonial building known locally as the Castillo Bogran offers views of splendid scenery that includes a view of Santa Barbara and many of the surrounding villages.
Santa Barbara National Park
The Santa Barbara National Park, whose main star is the second highest peak in Honduras, has no infrastructure to service tourists.
Nestled between mountains and two national parks, Lake Yojoa was originally inhabited by Lenca in 1000 BC. The lake provides the opportunity to fish, boat and bird watch.
Azul Meambar Park
This is one of the two parks that surround Lake Yojoa, and the only one that has access for travelers. The park has some impressive cloud forest, as well as tropical rain forest in the lower elevations.
There are over 373 species of birds in the region. It is possible to sight as many as 37 different species at one tree alone.
El Naranjo Eco Archaeological Park
This unique park will be the third archaeological park in Honduras.