Posts Tagged ‘Copan Ruins’
After a 3-hour long horseback riding tour and a half a day climbing up and down the ruins in Copan, my friend and I decided to sleep in on our third day in Honduras. We had breakfast at Via Via Cafe and hitched a L20 ride from Parque Central to a tropical rain forest, the Macaw Mountains, 2.5km north of the Copan Ruins. Our tickets for Macaw Mountain were good for three days and it included a one-hour tour guide. However, we arrived late in the afternoon so all the tours were over by then.
We roamed around on our own looking at a rainbow of feathered birds. The macaws were kept in cages that were large enough for visitors to walk through. Other birds, like the toucans, were kept in smaller cages. I’m not a an animal fanatic so it didn’t take long for me to lose interest. Yes, these birds were beautiful but they were just birds. (No offense bird lovers.)
There is a river that runs through Macaw Mountain. Down by the water was a guy in a bright red shirt. It was the end of the day and no one else was in the forest so I assumed that he was just a maintenance worker. He was lingering around, playing with his stick (pun not intended). I saw him as I approached the bridge to cross the river. I turned around to look for my friend and when my gaze returned to the water, the guy in the red shirt in the river was playing with his other stick (pun intended).
He clearly wasn’t a maintenance worker. I was certain I wasn’t seeing things. He had a disgusting grin on his face as he excitedly waved his schlong at me like there was no tomorrow. I was startled but I pretended I didn’t see it. I “casually” sauntered over to my friend and whispered, “There’s a guy in the river who just flashed me.”
Since my friend and I were the only ones there, I felt extremely uncomfortable sticking around, especially since we’re girls. I walked quickly through the forest while looking over my shoulders, paranoid that my flasher might jump me. When I arrived to the souvenir shop where we purchased our tickets, I told the girl at the front desk that there was a man who has his pants down. I don’t know if she didn’t fully understand or if she just didn’t want to be bothered by it. She sat there with a blank look on her face.
Fortunately, there was a tour guide who as about to leave for the day standing nearby. I explained to him what I saw and to appease me, he offered to take us for a tour. It would be safer that way. He explained that many people come to the river to shower. Sometimes they don’t realize that other people are around. I believed him but this was certainly not the case. By the time we returned to the river, the man in the red shirt was gone.
Everyone says that the Copan Ruins pale in comparison to the Tikal in Guatemala and the Machu Picchu in Peru. Since I have yet to visit either one of them, I didn’t know what to expect. The Copan Ruins was about a 30-45 minute walk from my hotel, The Graditas Maya. You can also grab a cab ride for L10 (L = lempiras) on a three-wheeled motor-taxi, found almost everywhere in Copan.
As soon as I entered the gates to the ruins, there was a large booth to the right. A guide presented himself and told my friend and I that he’d been working there for over 30 years, overseeing parts of the excavation and doing numerous tours for people all over the world from Germany to Japan. Impressed? Me too.
He directed us to the ticket booth and told us to come back for a personal tour whenever we were ready. Instead of waiting for us to return, he followed us to the ticket booth. Red flag #1. He hoovered nearby as he watched us buy our ticket. Red flag #2. Our entrance fee was $15 USD per person. The two tunnels, which allows visitors to see the structures below the ruins was an additional $15 USD. We heard it wasn’t worth it so we decided to only purchase tickets for the entrance to the ruins.
The tour guide said he charges $25 for the two of us. I asked if he could lower it and he said no because he had to buy his own ticket. Red flag #3. I politely declined because that meant he didn’t officially work there. For all I know, he could be making stuff up on the fly. He tried to convince us that it was worth our time and that we could explore on our own after the tour. He whipped out his phone to show us the time but all I saw was a headless half naked girl clad in a bikini. Yes, very professional. Red flag #4.
My friend and I explored the ruins on our own and to be honest, you don’t need a tour guide. A Lonely Planet guide will do just fine. You can go at your own place, see what you want to see, read up on things that stand out to you and take it easy knowing that there isn’t someone herding you along just so he has enough time to pick up the next group of tourists.
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.