BootsnAll Travel Network

More rocks whoopeee: Copan Ruins


Copan Ruinas was my next destination. It´s location caused a bit of backtracking but I was on a roll with buses and the three transfers went without a hitch. I had actually thought of bypassing the ruins as it was slightly out of the way and I could make up a few days by heading straight up to the Caribbean where I could…. drum roll…….. go to another island. I thought about instead of backtracking, I could keep heading east along a route that is less traveled which would include more old colonial towns with a bit more of the indigenious culture. From there I could rocket straight up to the islands. I finally decided that doing the central route would end up taking twice as long as there were a lot of small towns in which I would have stopped and would have taken probably an extra week. The other issue was that Honduras had really two main sites. Copan Ruinas and the Bay Islands. Missing one would probaby seem like a travesty to any Hondurans I met in the future even though culturally the central route would probably be more conducive to learning about real Honduras. In the end I stuck to my guns and figured that I really havent seen any of the Central American rock formations and with Copan being one of the highlights I shouldn´t miss it. So off to see the rocks I went.

Copan town was nice as it was a heavy tourist destination and had all the amenities which make it a pleasant place to catch your breath. It draws international big money travelers so everything was spit shined up as the influx of foreign currency has pushed the average income up quite a bit. I got a really good deal on a new hotel with all the amenities and was more than willing to lay low for a bit. My originaly plan was one full day of rock visiting followed by one full day of scanning the channels to see if I could find a program airing information on the aformentioned rocks. Then I could be on my way to the islands.

Once I got to town I was actually getting a bit excited about traversing through some pyramidal structures and doing the archaeological thing. It had been a few months since I had done some rock walking and these being my first latin american rocks in a really long time I was surprised to feel a bit of anticipation. The layout was perfect, about a kilometer walk from town along a sidewalk created for the touring crowd although most people are shuttle the one kilometer. Apparently, people are not capable of walking for fifteen minutes with the amount of buses and tourist shuttles. Once in the entry way I paid the fifteen dollar entrance fee (again feeling fine about dropping that much money on some rocks as it was going to be cool.) There was a bit of walking through some tree lined paths before the view opens up and you are in a manicured grass field surrounded by rocks. Shit. All at once it hit me. I really dont care about rocks even if they are piled up in formations or chipped away into rough statues. Damn it, now I had to walk around and look at them as well. Yea, spoiled brat, I know, but it is what it is and I doubt that most people would have different feelings unless they were real “Tomb Raider” or “Raiders of the lost ark” freaks. That or if it was your job, ie. archaeologists. I think the main issue that I have is that I know how not difficult it was to make these places (watching the guy in Machu Pichu make those perfect blocks and taking about two minutes to figure out how they built the Pyramids in Egypt (start one level of blocks, fill in with the center with dirt to the heighth of the blocks, create a dirt ramp which to drag blocks up to the next level, fill in with dirt, create a larger ramp, use ropes to drag the new blocks up to the next level and repeat until the pinnacle is reached. When done excavate out the dirt. Finished. Not so difficult when you have unlimited resources.)) Anyways, I did my duty and walked all the different ruins and checked out all the stellae. The layout was nice, the area was maintained nicely, and there were plenty of nice places to take a break in the shade. The best part of the place was actually just before you entered the ticket booth as they had a bunch of colorful macaws and some tailless kangaroos. And with that I was done and retreated back to town.

Now, was Copan Ruinas a must see. Yes, if you were only visiting Honduras. Maybe if you were doing a tour of Central America and are interested in the different ancient cultures. No if you have seen other rock formations and not interested enough to really want to know the backgrounds of such. My takeaway was that I was going to put on a cap on the number of ruins that I was going to visit as I think it is important to see some, but not so much to have to see a lot of them. For this section as I am entering a highly rich rock formation territory and i want to get home relatively soon, I figure three more will be my threshold. I´ll have to talk to a few southern headed travelers to get some recommendations but no rush I have time.


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