Discover the Copan Maya site in Honduras

If you’re going to Honduras, don’t miss the Mayan site of Copan! This archaeological site is located right in the middle of the jungle and is a Unesco World Heritage Site!

Honduras isn’t exactly a country that attracts many travelers. In fact, it can have quite a bad reputation. And yet, did you know that Honduras is home to one of the region’s most beautiful Mayan sites? The Maya site of Copan, nicknamed the « Alexandria of the Mayas », has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1980, and comprises over 3,400 buildings spread over some 24 kilometers. A visit is a must during your stay in Honduras! Here’s everything you need to know about Copan, this astonishing archaeological site.

Also read in the Honduras guide :

A little Copan history

Just a few kilometers from the Guatemalan border, the town of Copan Ruinas has developed thanks to tourism in recent years. And for good reason: this town is the gateway to Copan, an impressive Mayan site still nestling in the heart of the tropical jungle. Copan is an ancient Mayan city, now a Unesco World Heritage site, dating from around the 7th century AD.

The site is impressive, as archaeologists estimate that the first inhabitants established Copan as their home from 1200 BC onwards, making it one of the oldest Mayan sites in the region. Thanks to extensive excavations, the remains of the civilization can be admired today, including some beautiful mountain temples and the ball game area, one of the main spaces of any ancient Mayan city. Copan was one of the most powerful Mayan cities in the region, along with Chichen Itza in Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala.

How to visit Copan

Site maya de Copan au Honduras

You can visit Copan in Honduras from Guatemala City or Antigua, both of which offer daily shuttle services. If you’re arriving via Honduras, there are also shuttles from several cities, such as San Pedro Sula, directly from the airport, for added security.

The site is open Monday to Sunday, 8am to 4pm. It takes at least a full day to visit Copan’s extensive site. Admission costs around $15. You can visit the site on your own or with a guide.

What else to do in Copan

Visiter Honduras, Copan Ruinas

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Cratón

The town of Copan Ruinas is also a very pleasant place to visit: with its cobbled streets, colorful facades and colonial architecture, it’s a real step back in time to stroll through its alleyways. The atmosphere is pleasant, with many small restaurants and bars.

In the surrounding area, you can also visit several nature reserves and coffee plantations. In fact, the region’s climate is ideal for growing coffee, and the numerous plantations are ideal for discovering the diversity of this country, which is still relatively unknown to the general public!