Saturday, 22 October 2016

Travel Inspiration - Honduras

     Many travellers shy away from the prospect of visiting Honduras, due to its unusually high murder rate, but my visit there was the furthest thing from dangerous. It was one of the destinations on my Central American trip last year, and I was travelling as part of a group tour, so the company were going to do their best to keep us safe! And with some basic traveller common sense, the likelihood of anything happening to you is no higher than most other countries. More tourists are visiting now, but it still feels like a relatively unknown location, lacking the masses of tourists you may find in other places. We made two main stops during my few days there, the town of Copan, full of tuk tuks and cobbled streets, and the island of Roatán, with its idyllic palm trees and beaches.

Cobbled streets and tuk tuks in Copan, Honduras

Palm trees in the town of Copan, Honduras

Looking down a cobbled street towards the town square of Copan, Honduras

Scarlet macaws in the jungle forest outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan carvings at the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan carvings on a stone table at the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

     Copan is a small town, mostly visited to see the temple ruins nearby, but its a nice place to stroll around for a few hours. Plenty of cobbled streets and tuk tuks rolling around, and you can observe local life in the town square. There's some delicious street food around too! Being a small place, the wildlife around is pretty tame, and we saw lots of beautifully coloured macaws in the forest, which didn't bat an eye as we walked past.

Temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan face statue carving at the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan temple ruins and view of the hills and forest outside Copan, Honduras

Details of stone Mayan carvings on the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan temple ruins in the jungle forest outside Copan, Honduras

Stone staircase and Mayan statue at the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Mayan temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

Scarlet macaws in the jungle at the temple ruins outside Copan, Honduras

     Copan's ruins are a short tuk tuk ride out of town, where you can wander through the jungle, exploring the many small temples there. Efforts are being made to preserve the site, and there are lots of intricately detailed statues and carvings throughout. If you can get a local guide, like I had, you can learn more about the Mayan history of the place, or you can just roam around and appreciate the architecture yourself.

Boats by the dock and palm tree on the beach at West End, Roatan Island, Honduras

Palm trees on the beach in West End, Roatan Island, Honduras

Colourful art shop in West End, Roatan Island, Honduras

Palm tree by wooden docks in West End, Roatan Island, Honduras

Rocky beach by the ocean on Roatan Island, Honduras

Wooden dock in the ocean on Roatan Island, Honduras

Ocean view, with wooden dock, from West End, Roatan Island, Honduras

     Roataán Island is about an hour's ferry ride from the mainland, and when you arrive, you are just surrounded by postcard perfect scenery. I was staying in West End, which has lots of quirky, colourful shops and restaurants, perfect for an afternoon wander. The beaches around this part are small, but it's so pretty to walk around. There's also some great sea life to be discovered, by snorkelling or diving just off the coast.

Beach and ocean on Roatan Island, Honduras

Wooden dock into the ocean on Roatan Island, Honduras

Ocean view from wooden bridge leading to West Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Honduras

Ocean view from West Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Honduras

Sunset over the ocean from West Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Honduras

Sunset through palm trees over the ocean, from West Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Honduras

Cloudy sunset sky over the ocean from West Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Honduras

     One of the more famous beaches on Roatán is West Bay Beach, which is a short water taxi ride from West End, but we opted to walk there during my stay. It takes around an hour, but walking along secluded beaches and over rocky outcrops is such a pleasant way to pass an afternoon. The beach itself is also the perfect spot for watching an island sunset - idyllic! All in all, Honduras has a lot to offer and is absolutely worth a visit!

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