Practically perfect weather is an important asset of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, situated 3,000 ft. above sea level and surrounded on three sides by towering hills. “Teguce,” as the locals call her, shows off a melange of old colonial buildings, such as the boutique-style Portal del Angel hotel, and modern structures, including the hilltop Hotel Plaza del Libertador. Among the key places to visit are the National Museum, occupying the home of former President Julio Lozano and showcasing particularly interesting ethnographic displays, and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, documenting pre-Hispanic Honduras. The Church of St. Francis, dating back to the 17th century, houses a large collection of colonial-period paintings in its elaborate interiors, while the Cathedral of San Miguel is noted for its gold and silver altarpieces. Holy Week in Tegucigalpa, during which daily parades narrate the biblical Easter story, is a very special event. At that time, or anytime, drop in for dinner at El Patio, legendary in the capital for traditional cuisine.
A number of colonial villages—whose roots and riches were tied to mining—are within an easy day’s trip from the capital, including Valle de Angeles, known for its many handicraft shops; Santa Lucia, whose 16th century church is filled with religious art; and Ojojona, known for its lovely little churches and earthenware pottery. Nature lovers can spend a day hiking the trails threading through the cloud forest of La Tigra, the first Honduras national Park. Fifty miles from Tegucigalpa is Comayagua, the first capital of Honduras and well worth a visit, for its colonial cathedral and smaller church gems, two excellent museums, and streets covered with alfombras, decorative carpets of multi-colored sawdust, during Holy Week.
- Best time to go:
November to May
- Fun fact:
The largest track of virgin rainforest in Central America is La Mosquitia, the locale for the Paul Theroux best seller book, “Mosquito Coast,” made into a movie with Harrison Ford
- Getting there:
Delta flies from Atlanta to Tegucigalpa
- Entry documents:
- Must-try local food:
Anafre (hotpot of refried beans and cheese fondue)
- Best buys:
Hammocks, paintings, wood carvings, leather items, Lenca pottery
- Information Please:
Honduras Tourism Institute—letsgohonduras.com