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Mayan Archaeology, Culture, History, and Nature are all waiting for you to explore in the Copán ruins in Honduras. The archaeological ruins are still the main tourist attractions and my reasons for visiting Honduras.
Copán Ruins History
A Spanish explorer, named Diego García de Palacio, found the archaeological ruins in 1570. When Diego discovered the Mayans, they were educated, cultured, well advanced in math, science, writing, and specifically, in architecture. Instead of trying to defeat the Mayas, Diego, an anthropologist, befriended them.
Where is Copán?
Surrounded by farmlands, rivers, and lagoons, Copán village is the artistic and cultural center of the Maya world. It’s a three-hour bus ride from San Pedro Sula, and an eight-hour ride from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.
Near the border of Guatemala, on the western part of Honduras, the Ruins of Copán stands on an old city built between 400 and 800 A.D. A sacred ground and a focal center of the Mayan civilization and excavated until the 19th century.
Mayan Ruins of Copan
At the Copán Archaeological Park, you can still see the impressive stone temples, altars, hieroglyphs, and stelae. Replicas have put in place of the originals for their preservation. I was a bit disappointed not seeing some of the originals!
- There are walking trails and plenty of wildlife such as the macaw birds lurking in the trees.
- Several museums have collections of the artwork, artifacts, and portrayals of the Maya history.
In the Archaeological Park, you will see some amazing sculptures, colorful birds, and monuments.
- The Scarlet Macaw Birds – played a significant part of the ancient Maya monuments. Their feathers used as decorative accessories for the elites and traded with other Maya cities.
- Royal Residence – consists of 25 buildings built around rectangular patios. Mainly the homes of the royal elite families. There are no cemeteries found Copán valley because the Mayas buried the dead close to home.
- Royal Precinct – an enormous complex used for ceremony and gathering. It includes the most hieroglyphic writing. And the most elaborate sculpture in the Maya world.
- Forest of Kings – the seven stelae and eleven altars bring out the elegance of this magnificent garden.
- Residential Courtyards – located just south of the Copán Acropolis. It is a place where high-ranking families lived in houses clustered around the courtyards.
- Forest Sanctuary – surrounded by tree and wildlife. The Mayas enjoyed areas with good climate and farmable land.
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