Posts Tagged ‘Comayagua’
Comayagua was the colonial capital of Honduras. It’s only two hours away from Lago de Yajoa by bus, which makes it a perfect place for a day trip getaway. From our hotel, El Cortijo del Lago, we took a chicken bus towards La Guama. Transportation is somewhat informal. Often times there are no bus stops or stations by the side of the highway. You just wave down a van that’s approaching and if it’s going in the direction of your destination then score!
Chicken buses zoom by the front gate of our hotel every 10-15 minutes, sometimes 20 but that only seems to happen on extra hot days. We hopped on a bus towards La Guama and about 45 minutes later, we stopped at Siguatepeque for a restroom run. Other than that there really isn’t a reason to stop here. We hopped back on the bus and half an hour later, we were dropped off on the side of the dirt road in La Guama.
Fried fishes were sold in brown paper bags and served on a dirty bucket attached on top of a broom stick. It was a clever way to reach passengers sitting on the bus. They were served on both sides of the roads, along with ripe mangoes. Every time a bus stopped, everyone who run over in hopes that someone would buy their goods.
We finally arrived in this charming colonial town two hours after we left our hotel. We took a cab to the Parque Central to visit the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion. The cathedral was built between the late 1600′s and early 1700′s. It has a beautiful pastel yellow and white facade with an incredible three-paneled altar.
As soon as my friend and I approached the entrance to the church, we were spotted by a “guide” who followed us into the church and tried to convince us to take a private tour up to the church’s tower for 20 lempiras. I’m almost certain that he was not official tour guide and these “private tours” were offered to any random tourist who was willing to fork over the money. I considered the 20 lempiras only as an entrance fee. Everything the guide told us was already in the Lonely Planet guide book.
We climbed up the narrow stone staircases wobbling on the uneven steps as we tried not to scrape the side of our arms along the jagged walls. The clock in the tower of the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion was donated to Comayagua by King Phillip II of Spain. What’s amazing about this clock is that it was originally built by the Moors around 1100 for the palace of Alhambra in Granada. It’s the oldest clock in the Americas and one of the oldest in the world. I don’t quite understand the mechanics of it but all I know is that people use to tell time by the number of times the bell goes off.
Across the street is the Colonial Museum of Religious Art (Museo Colonial de Arte Religioso). It was renovated in 2005 but it’s under construction again after a fire destroyed it last year. This isn’t in the guide book so if you’re planning to visit, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The other museum in town is the Museo Regional de Arqueologia that displays artifacts from the ancient Lenca communities.
All of Comayagua can be seen in a day or two. What I really wish I had time for was the Parque Nacional Montana de Comayagua. The park is extremely eco-friendly. There are two main trails. One of them leads to the Cascada de los Ensuenos, a waterfall about an hour’s hike. The second trail also leads to another waterfall, El Gavilan. These waters is where drinking water is sourced from for many communities in the area so swimming is not allowed. The guide told us that the accomodations there are pretty basic. All the furniture are wooden and there is no electricity.
It’s two months away but I still have the urge to take out my backpack and starting packing. I’m eager to leave, eager to see and eager to live. I can’t wait till I get on that plane to Honduras. I booked it for only $280! I’ve got my plate full working 50 hours a week, volunteering, studying for GMAT, researching grad schools and running random errands I don’t have time to do during the work week.
I haven’t had a chance to do much planning for Honduras. Although, experiences have taught me that things never go as planned when traveling. The best you can do is expect the worst and hope for the best but it’s always good to have a general outline.
So here’s my tentative one week itinerary for Honduras.
- 1PM – Land in Honduras
- Take a bus to Lago de Yojoa
- Check into a hostel/hotel
- Explore the Lago de Yojoa
- Copan Ruins
- Parque Nacional Montana de Celaque
- Visit Comayagua
- Travel day to La Ceiba
- Bay Islands
This itinerary is VERY tentative. I still need to figure out:
- A place to stay in Lago de Yojoa
- How to get from Lago de Yojoa to Copan Ruins
- How to get from Lago de Yojoa to the Parque Nacional Montana de Celaque
- How to get from Lago de Yojoa to Comayagua
- How to get from lago de Yojoa to La Cieba
- A place to stay in La Cieba
If anyone has any tips or advice, please share! I’d really appreciate it.