In the western highlands of Honduras, closer to Guatemala than any large city in Honduras, is the city of Copan Ruinas. At least three hours from any large city, the town of Copan Ruinas is not a town you stumble upon. If you are here, it’s by intention, not by accident. And what brings most people to town are the Maya Ruins of Copan just 1 km outside of town.
People come from all over the world to see these ancient ruins but typically stay in the town of Copan Ruinas for only a day or two. For us, the town is home for 17 days.
The urban population of Copan Ruinas is around 6000 people. If you add in the rural areas, the population increases to 30,000. Because of its tourism, the town of Copan Ruinas experiences less poverty than the rest of the country of Honduras but of course, that’s not saying much since Honduras is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – second only to Haiti.
The town has a small handful of things to do for the tourists: The Maya Ruins of Copan and its museum, Macaw Mountain bird sanctuary, coffee plantation tours, hot springs, horseback riding and nature hikes. This could keep a person busy for 3-4 days. The only reason to stay in Copan Ruinas for any longer is to study Spanish in one of the two immersion language schools or to just experience the tranquil life of a small Honduran town; we opted for the later two.
They say it is always spring in Copan Ruinas. I guess “their” definition of spring is a little different than mine. We’ve been here for a week now and we haven’t seen a high below 88° F. Add to that the intense sun of a country close to the equator and you have a climate that’s plain old hot; not my definition of eternal spring! On the other hand, our hometown of Cincinnati, OH has had highs of 95-105° F for weeks now, so I guess it’s all relative. 88° looks a lot more like spring than 100° F.