If you’ve had enough of taking it easy and want to experience another side of Honduran culture, take a trip to Copan Ruinas. On the Honduran mainland, this small town is a 3-4 hour bus ride from San Pedro Sula which is serviced by flights from Roatan Island. Situated 1km away from the town of Copan Ruinas are the Maya ruins of Copan. Discovered in the early 19th Century, they date from around A.D. 426 to 820 and were once home to 26,000 people.
Only twenty per cent of this site has been reconstructed; most of it is covered by thick forest. You can take a guided tour and learn about the ancient game played on the ball court, the hieroglyphics inscribed on the stone staircase and the history of kings, depicted in statues, who once ruled this UNESCO World Heritage site. An 'alternative walking tour’ is also available and takes around 2 and a half hours. It leaves from ViaVia Café where it can be booked. While you walk along the cobbled, hilly streets and dirt roads populated with a variety of mudbrick or concrete one and two-storey buildings, you'll hear about the problems facing Honduras, including corruption, low incomes and drug-trafficking. The tour is incredibly interesting.
The nearby Tea and Chocolate Shop (El Lugar del Té & Chocolate) is open from 4-6pm and showcases the natural herbal products grown at the nearby Copan 2012 Botanical Research Station. Only products grown, processed and packaged on-site are sold. Browse natural repellants, herbal teas – one of which is Noni, rich in anti-oxidants and bioflavonoids - sauces, moles, chocolate and juices.