Winter Escape to Honduras
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An affordable escape to the wonderfully beautiful country of Honduras. Great fun awaits you, with a variety of soft adventure activities, cultural experiences, amazing Mayan ruins, and so much more. Relax and let your experienced tour leader take care of every detail for you. This vacation is good for all ages of travelers.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Double occupancy only for this tour. We will pair single travelers with a same sex room mate.
5% GST not included.
Day 1: Arrive San Pedro SulaSan Pedro Sula, Honduras
This is your international flight day. You will probably arrive in the middle of the afternoon. Your tour leader will be waiting at the airport to greet you and take you to the accommodations. You have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy the hotel and pool.
Tonight, the group will meet for a Welcome Dinner. Your tour leader will give you the details when you arrive.
Day 2: San Pedro Sula To Copan Ruinas (Town)Copan Ruinas, Honduras
You can enjoy breakfast in the hotel this morning before we head off to take a public bus (don’t worry, it’s safe) to our destination of the town of Copan Ruinas. The bus departs at 10:20 am and takes approximately 3 hours.
Copan Ruinas, located just 1 km northwest of Honduras’ most-famous Maya site, is a charming little town with cobblestone streets, white and yellowish adobe buildings, and red-tile roofs. It is tucked away in the mystical mountains of western Honduras, where you can feel its relaxed and peaceful vibe though its scenery and town beauty. Walking around town you can see old men playing checkers in the plaza and barefoot kids kicking soccer balls in the main square. But, don’t be confused by its peaceful and picturesque charm, there is much to occupy you if you’re looking for interesting things to do and cultural sights to explore.
First, we will head to our accommodations to check in and drop off our luggage before departing to explore and make the most of our time here. We may want to stop for a light lunch somewhere.
This afternoon we will have a unique look behind the scenes with our bilingual local guide. This two-hour walking tour gives you an insight into daily life in Copán. You will learn about the disparities between rich and poor, and where your dollar actually goes - an honest, intriguing view of Copán Ruinas that most tourists don’t get to see. Tour price (which is included) includes a $4 donation to the local education project “Nacho para todos” which assists in providing rural schools in the area with essential textbooks. This will take up the rest of our afternoon and you have the rest of the day free.
Every evening locals set tables at the plaza or along some of the main street, where you can buy local art pieces, jewelry, and interesting Mayan replicas.
Join your tour leader for dinner at a recommended local restaurant, or enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 3: Copan Ruinas (The Actual Ruins)Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Today we will visit one of the most important of all Maya civilizations - which lived, prospered, and then mysteriously crumbled around the Copán archaeological site, a Unesco World Heritage Site. During the Classic period (AD 250–900), the city at Copán Ruinas culturally dominated the region. The architecture is not as grand as that across the border in Tikal, but the city produced remarkable sculptures and hieroglyphics, and these days you'll often be virtually alone at the site, which makes it all the more haunting.
The ruins are a pleasant 1 km stroll outside of Copán, so we will be traveling on foot today. A visitor’s center, an excellent sculpture museum and a cafe and gift shop are close to the main entrance and can be enjoyed at your leisure. We will be meeting a local guide for a tour through the site, and then you can enjoy free time to explore on your own.
If we have time, we will walk a further 20 minutes to Las Sepulturas, a wonderfully open section of the ruins that many people fail to visit. If not, we can always return on our last day.
Join your tour leader for dinner at a recommended local restaurant, or enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 4: Macaw PreserveCopan Ruinas, Honduras
After breakfast we will head out to find some local mototaxis to take us about 2.5 kms outside Copán Ruinas. Macaw Mountain is an extensive private reserve aimed at saving Central American macaws. There are plenty of them here, along with toucans, motmots, parrots, kingfishers and orioles, all flying around in spacious, humanely constructed cages. In the 'Encounter Center' uncaged birds fly onto your shoulders or hands and you can pose for photos with them.
If caged birds upset you, bear in mind that nearly all of these birds have been donated to the park by owners who didn't want them anymore, or were confiscated from bird smugglers. It's a lovely place to wander around, with plenty of walking trails weaving through the lush forest and over boardwalks to lookout points and swimming holes; there's also a cafe-restaurant on the property where we can enjoy lunch.
The entrance ticket – which includes a guided tour in English – is valid for three days, so if you want to return for another swim or look around, you can come back on our free day.
The other interesting thing at this site is the historic coffee roasting house. This roasting house has an elevated wooden deck in the tree canopy where you can enjoy a freshly ground cup of the hand-picked 100% high grown Arabica. The historic structure was carefully moved from their highland coffee farm, Finca Miramundo. Inside this heritage façade, your coffee is roasted on a period Turkish roaster, but modern Swiss machines deliver delicious cappuccinos and espressos.
During our day here, you can enjoy the famous natural bathing pool, which is a welcome retreat on a tropical afternoon. Reminiscent of old-time Southern swimming holes in Tennessee and the Carolinas, this pool offers a clean, clear dip in a beautiful, tree-lined river.
We tour the Park on a network of nature trails and elevated viewing decks. These trails offer a safe and attractive way to see the whole park; numerous decks offer time for relaxing pauses or for wild bird watching.
The Park’s owners were lucky enough to purchase one of the last old growth forests close to Copan. Macaw Mountain’s nine-acre nature reserve has an extraordinary forest including mahogany, indio desnudo (gumbo limbo), chico zapote, Spanish cedar and fig trees. Elevated wooden trails and decks offer spectacular viewing of the park’s pristine river, year-round freshwater springs, huge boulders and sloping canyon walls. As well, they have augmented the tropical forest by reintroducing native species and some tropical ornamentals into a natural botanical garden. Blue Morpho butterflies are a delightfully constant presence along the streamside trails. Noisy flights of wild parakeet’s land in the canopy to feed. In some cases, we simply let nature take its course and are enchanted by what shows up.
Since part of the property had been a coffee plantation, we kept several areas of producing coffee plants to show visitors the process of coffee production.
Our day concludes with another mototaxi ride back to the town, where you can enjoy dinner on your own or join your tour leader.
Day 5: Adventure ActivitiesCopan Ruinas, Honduras
A day of excellent adventure activities! Today we will be experiencing two activities in the area. First, we head off to do some zip lining. We will be picked up at the hotel for a transfer up to the mountains to the beginning of this system of trails, 14 suspension platforms, and zip lines that will offer you the opportunity to observe and appreciate tropical vegetation from different vantage points, above the rainforest canopy. An exhilarating experience of boiling adrenaline at its top. The Copán Canopy Tour zip lines requires no special athletic abilities. All you need to know how to do is sit down – gravity will do the rest for you. The guides will gear you up and get you started from each platform. The longest cable is 1km long, the others are about 600 to 700m – the highest platform has an altitude of 60ft. We will enjoy stunning views of the rainforest and the valley of Copán. All safety equipment is included. Don’t forget your camera for this experience!
We will be enjoying lunch somewhere before heading off to our second activity of the day. This afternoon we have a three-hour horseback riding trek with one of our charismatic Spanish speaking guides (don’t worry, your tour leader will translate). We follow the river out of town and up into the mountains for stunning views over the valley, ruins and have a visit to the Maya Chorti village of La Pintada. Previous riding experience not required.
We return to town and you have the rest of the day free.
Day 6: Copan Ruinas Area – Free DayCopan Ruinas, Honduras
Today you are on your own to enjoy the area. You can return to the Ruins, hang out in the town, or visit one of the other nearby sites or museums. Ask your tour leader for suggestions and directions.
If you like, join us later this afternoon for a visit to The Tea & Chocolate Place, a peaceful, garden-like setting where you can enjoy a healthful tea or chocolate beverage (along with a traditional local snack) while watching the sun go down. The Tea & Chocolate Place is not a traditional coffee shop nor restaurant but a state-of-the art showcase for natural herbal products grown at the nearby Copán 2012 Experimental Botanical Research Station. From a breezy open veranda, you will appreciate up close the dire situation that faces the entire Maya World — erosion and land degradation, along with the innovative methods that are being used to regenerate the landscape.
The Tea & Chocolate Place is a unique experience encouraging a positive, healthy outlook for all who come to Copan - a bridge between the ancient past and a better future. This cafe offers fresh, high quality, innovative teas and other products, 100% organic and sustainably grown at the Copán 2012 Experimental Botanical Station. They are only open from 4 pm to 6 pm so we have an early evening, head back into town and can find a place for dinner. Eat at your leisure on your own, or join your tour leader at a recommended local restaurant.
Day 7: Copan Ruinas To San Pedro SulasSan Pedro Sulas, Honduras
We can enjoy one last morning here in Copan Ruinas and our accommodations. Our bus back to San Pedro Sulas departs at 11:00 am and once again takes about 3 hours to reach the city. We will be heading back to the hotel to drop our luggage before we depart to enjoy a local market, Guamilito Market.
This huge traditional market is an excellent place to buy handicrafts from Honduras. The food here is amazing, and locals say it is one of the best places to eat a baleada (wheat flour tortilla with cheese, cream, and fried beans – a Honduran specialty). So, we can grab a late lunch and wander to our hearts content.
At an arranged time, we will meet and head back to the hotel, for our last night in Honduras and our Goodbye Dinner as a group. Your tour leader will let you know what time dinner is. The rest of the evening is free.
Day 8: San Pedro Sulas Out To HomeSan Pedro Sulas, Honduras
You sadly say goodbye to Honduras as you depart today. You can enjoy breakfast in the hotel. Dependent on your flight time you may have some free time today to enjoy the pool or area. Your tour leader will accompany you to the airport.
Small group tour maximum 12 travelers.
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